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Busy Bee Jul 16, 2010 10:09 PM

http://www.centersquarejournal.com/n...-metra-station

jpIllInoIs Jul 16, 2010 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4915030)
Looks good.

Why are they building this again?

This Metra stop has found favor with Northsiders. In general the reliability of Metra, seating availability-(not on inbound morning rush), and 1 stop service into the Loop has led to increased ridership. A sheltered platform with protected stairwells would really enhance the experience and further increase patronage.



http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2...commuters.html


Metra releases new UP North Line timetables
July 16, 2010 3:31 PM | 4 Comments | UPDATED STORY

Metra today released proposed new schedules on its Union Pacific North route later in conjunction with a major program to rebuild century-old bridges on the line.

The new schedules will start Aug. 21 and are available on Metra's web site. Thousands of commuters will be affected.

Train times will vary by about two minutes, Metra said.

Public meetings on the new schedules will be held July 29 at the Waukegan City Hall, 100 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Aug. 2 and the Lake Forest City Hall, 220 E. Deerpath Rd. and Aug. 4 at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

The first phase of the $185 million project is expected to start next month.

Although the 22 bridges that need to be rebuilt are on Chicago's North Side, riders on the entire line will be affected because the project will force northbound and southbound trains onto a single track at work sites, officials said.

As a result, Metra is revising UP North arrivals and departures, and some trains will skip certain stops. Rush-hour commutes will be affected most because that's when the majority of trains run, Metra said.

With nearly 10 million passenger trips a year, the UP North is Metra's third-busiest line, after the BNSF and the Electric lines.

As part of the program, Metra is also building a new Ravenswood station, the most-used stop on the UP North and ninth-busiest of all stations. Currently, passengers must wait for trains on an open platform south of Lawrence Avenue.

The new station will be fully accessible for the disabled. It will also accommodate longer trains than the old platform could.

-- Richard Wronski

OhioGuy Jul 16, 2010 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4915030)
Looks good.

Why are they building this again?

As noted, the ridership at this station is the highest of any on the UP North line. I can understand why. When I lived just 5 blocks west of the station, a couple times I opted to take Metra down to the loop as opposed to the brown line. The total travel time is essentially cut in half (approximately 30-32 minutes on the brown line from Damen to Washington/Wells, while about 15-18 minutes on Metra). Of course it's only useful if your schedule lines up pretty closely to when Metra makes its stops at Ravenswood.

VivaLFuego Jul 17, 2010 12:49 AM

Presentation on the River/Navy Pier Bike Path flyover:

http://www.ward42chicago.com/documen...ion7-15-10.pdf

While this is a nice project, for $40 million I can think of at least 100 other transportation projects around Chicago that would be a higher priority if there is any discretion in the money. If it's federal money exclusively for bike paths, then great, full speed ahead.

bnk Jul 17, 2010 1:27 AM

:previous:

Thanks for that link.

That is a pretty big and important plan, I doubt it could be done as designed for only 40 million. It needs to done though.

denizen467 Jul 17, 2010 6:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4915284)
While this is a nice project, for $40 million I can think of at least 100 other transportation projects around Chicago that would be a higher priority if there is any discretion in the money. If it's federal money exclusively for bike paths, then great, full speed ahead.

Quite a substantial tunnel for the bike path under Solidarity Drive (just south of Shedd) was completed last year. I don't know what funded that, but maybe the source(s) are the same.

denizen467 Jul 17, 2010 6:50 AM

Relocating Metra to the north side of Lawrence puts it right next to the mixed-use development proposed for the current Sears lot. Perfect combo. May a large TOD blossom here.

Baronvonellis Jul 18, 2010 6:17 PM

Also starting next spring Lawrence ave will be reduced from a 4 lane street to 2 lanes in that area. With wider sidewalks, wider bike paths, and new streetscaping.

denizen467 Jul 18, 2010 7:52 PM

^ What?! That is an E-W artery, and it will be only busier (especially with people entering/exiting/stopping/standing) as the new station and TOD develop! As long as they are re-doing the viaduct, why can't we have our cake and eat it too with lanes as well as sidewalks and bike paths?

OhioGuy Jul 18, 2010 9:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4916626)
^ What?! That is an E-W artery, and it will be only busier (especially with people entering/exiting/stopping/standing) as the new station and TOD develop! As long as they are re-doing the viaduct, why can't we have our cake and eat it too with lanes as well as sidewalks and bike paths?

Why does it need to be four lanes? With the exception of Western to Ashland, Lawrence Ave only has two travel lanes from at least the Kennedy to Lake Shore Drive. Maintaining the increased road capacity in that one mile stretch from Western to Ashland won't do much for drivers traveling along Lawrence since it's already only two lanes both east & west of there. For drivers traveling up/down Western and turning onto Lawrence to go to the Ravenswood TOD/Metra stop, I can't imagine the time savings of one mile's worth of four lane roadway is that much better than two travel lanes.

And as someone who lived on Lawrence Ave between Western & the Ravenswood stop, I would have gladly welcomed the improved streetscape project in order to turn that stretch of Lawrence into a more pedestrian friendly environment. If you want people to be willing to walk to the new TOD, making the walk there more pleasant is a great way to encourage greater foot traffic in the area.

ardecila Jul 19, 2010 12:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4916626)
^ What?! That is an E-W artery, and it will be only busier (especially with people entering/exiting/stopping/standing) as the new station and TOD develop! As long as they are re-doing the viaduct, why can't we have our cake and eat it too with lanes as well as sidewalks and bike paths?

The plan is actually to turn a 4-lane cross section into a 3-lane cross section, with a turning lane in the middle. In many cases, this actually improves capacity, since left-turning traffic does not foul up one traffic lane and force drivers to merge right, which usually fouls up the other one. Creating a bike lane may also alleviate traffic delay due to cyclists who already use Lawrence.

Mr Downtown Jul 23, 2010 8:47 PM

^I happened to notice today that Roosevelt Road on the Oak Park/Berwyn border has been reconfigured this way, and traffic seems to move more smoothly than the traditional four-lane cross-section still in place in Cicero.

denizen467 Jul 24, 2010 2:36 AM

^ Sounds good. As long as the travel lane doesn't intermittently become a bus stop or an interminable right-turn lane clogged because of peds (nothing against pedestrians!).

pip Jul 24, 2010 6:37 AM

the seas have parted!!

Suburban residents now favor more transit spending, poll shows

Reflecting the increasing strain of gridlocked traffic, a majority of Chicago-area residents think improving bus and train service is so important to the region that repairing and expanding expressways and toll roads should take a back seat, a Tribune/WGN poll shows.

Most suburbanites support investing more in mass transit than roads, sharing the long-held stance of a large majority of city residents, the poll found. Suburban residents also said they are driving less and taking more advantage of expanded suburban train and bus service in communities where the automobile has been king.

Even in the collar counties, half said public transit deserves a higher priority in spending decisions.

The director of a Chicagoland civic organization called the poll results "phenomenal.''

"People are seeing that a car-oriented culture is limiting economic development and quality of life in the region,'' said Frank Beal, executive director of Chicago Metropolis 2020, which promotes social and economic ideas for the 21st century. "



http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,2153627.story

Busy Bee Jul 24, 2010 1:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pip (Post 4923582)
"People are seeing that a car-oriented culture is limiting economic development and quality of life in the region,''

Just now seeing this or just now admitting it?

ardecila Jul 24, 2010 4:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4923429)
^ Sounds good. As long as the travel lane doesn't intermittently become a bus stop or an interminable right-turn lane clogged because of peds (nothing against pedestrians!).

Don't forget that there's a bike lane and a parking lane. I believe the buses will pull to the right, out of the flow of traffic.

denizen467 Jul 24, 2010 9:22 PM

^ Ok, that's great. I should just go look and check it out.

----------------------------

Does anyone know if the Central Avenue Bypass (south of MDW) project has gotten going?

ardecila Jul 25, 2010 1:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4924013)
Does anyone know if the Central Avenue Bypass (south of MDW) project has gotten going?

The last Federal transportation bill included a $3.8 million earmark to begin the preliminary engineering on the project. However, IDOT hasn't spent it yet, and now Oberstar, the Transportation Committee chair in the House, wants those funds back, along with others. This is just another blow in a long battle between Oberstar and Durbin over numerous issues. That disagreement, by the way, is a significant factor in why we haven't gotten much Federal funding for big projects in recent years.

Quote:

Originally Posted by recent Crain's article
Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Chicago, said the earmark for the Central Avenue connector project in his district won’t be rescinded if at least 10% of the funds are obligated by September 2011, under the bill, and he has received assurance from the Illinois Department of Transportation that the state plans to spend about $800,000 on design work next spring. He said he expects the House to move quickly on the bill.

Link to article

I'm really hoping we can get moving on this bridge soon. It's really an opportunity to create a landmark... a similar project in Port Coquitlam, BC (near Vancouver) yielded an absolute work of art:
http://www.joconl.com/images/archivesid/26259/550.jpg

The cable-stayed spans allowed for significant cost reduction as well, since the bridge piers could be moved farther apart and the bridge deck could be made thinner, reducing the need for costly track relocation or heavy steel sections.

ardecila Jul 25, 2010 1:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4915615)
Quite a substantial tunnel for the bike path under Solidarity Drive (just south of Shedd) was completed last year. I don't know what funded that, but maybe the source(s) are the same.

Money came from a CMAQ grant.

Funding for the flyover may come from CMAQ, so you can't really spend it on outright highway projects. Usually it goes to bike paths and such, although Illinois has tried and succeeded at spending the money on other stuff, like transit station rehab projects, or infill stations. These projects are expensive, so they tend to soak up a lot of the available money.

VivaLFuego Jul 25, 2010 4:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4924175)
Money came from a CMAQ grant.

Funding for the flyover may come from CMAQ, so you can't really spend it on outright highway projects. Usually it goes to bike paths and such, although Illinois has tried and succeeded at spending the money on other stuff, like transit station rehab projects, or infill stations. These projects are expensive, so they tend to soak up a lot of the available money.

CMAQ can at least partially pay for streetscape projects, too, at least when they have bike or transit components.


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