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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

simcityaustin May 27, 2007 2:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 2856392)
I like North Illinois. We'd have enough of a rural constituency from all of the farmland north of I-80; this would also include Galena, Rockford, DeKalb, and maybe the Quad Cities (minus Davenport), in addition to Chicagoland.

I'm from the Quad Cities, and let me tell you, we mine as well be our own state. When Iowa's governor came here he said "The QCA is the only place in Iowaq that no one recognizes me.

Anyways, if you want Moline and Rock Island, you can have them. The Iowa side is much nicer, and Davenport is where all you tax producing businesses are anyways. (Investment banks, blue collar jobs, Alcoa) I guess you would get John Deere.

Busy Bee May 27, 2007 3:25 PM

^Or just more funding to begin with.

honte May 28, 2007 7:09 AM

^ Funny, I was just talking about this tonight. Whoever made these decisions was an idiot. Imagine how cool Central Station would be today with that station there, something like Dearborn Station is now.

We really owe Harry Weese and others who saved Dearborn our gratitude.

ardecila May 29, 2007 5:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2862640)
I grew up in Beverly and used to take the Rock Island downtown as a kid and later....

Funny, I have the same story (even down to being in Beverly), but I grew up AFTER '81 when the station was replaced.

Was the old one really Art Deco? I know the building was built prior to the Deco era, and looked a bit like Philly's Reading Terminal from the outside. Was it just the interior that was Deco?

Also, while Central Station may have been a great loss, the sheer skyscraping wall on Roosevelt will make up for it in the coming years. IMO, the bigger loss was Grand Central at Harrison/Wells, with it's 247-foot clocktower and grandiose arched train shed, whose prime site 50 years later still sits empty, forlorn, and forgotten.

Mister Uptempo May 29, 2007 2:07 PM

http://www.thebluecomet.com/riLaSalleStEntrance.jpg
http://www.trainweb.org/rshs/lasalle_st4.jpg
http://collections.carli.illinois.ed...B=1&DMROTATE=0
http://www.trainweb.org/rshs/LaSalle3.jpg
http://www.trainweb.org/rshs/LaSalle4.jpg
http://www.trainweb.org/rshs/LaSalle1.jpg

Another former Beverly resident here(West Beverly, actually). I can recall riding the Rock into the old LaSalle Street Station as well. Always loved the look of it.

Certainly much better than that glorified bus shelter that serves as LaSalle Street Station these days.

honte May 29, 2007 5:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 2864367)
Also, while Central Station may have been a great loss, the sheer skyscraping wall on Roosevelt will make up for it in the coming years. IMO, the bigger loss was Grand Central at Harrison/Wells, with it's 247-foot clocktower and grandiose arched train shed, whose prime site 50 years later still sits empty, forlorn, and forgotten.

What I meant was that the station should have been kept and the high-rises built around it. Best of both worlds. I don't understand why people always think in "one or the other" terms.

Yes, Grand Central was a catastrophic loss.

alex1 May 31, 2007 6:20 AM

well, at least it looks as if any new budget placed before Illinois will include a cash infusion for mass transit. just how much remains to be seen but without a change in the funding formula, we're just beating a dead horse.

now is the time (politicking) where Huberman can shine head and shoulders above Kreusi (RIP).

We'll see if he's the guy who can change the perception of how transit gets funded or if he'll be the guy who 1-4 years down the road has to gut the C.T.A.

jpIllInoIs May 31, 2007 12:31 PM

Skokie Swift to gain a stop in Evanston?
 
From Todays Trib
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...ck=1&cset=true

By Dan Gibbard
Tribune staff reporter
Published May 31, 2007
South Evanston residents mostly favor a new station on the CTA's Yellow Line but have concerns about noise, traffic and crime, according to study findings unveiled at a public meeting last week.

City officials commissioned the study, which included a resident survey that got 500 responses out of 1,900 mailings, said Ald. Ann Rainey.

"The Yellow Line travels through the entire 8th Ward without even slowing down, and many people thought that was a waste of public transportation," Rainey, the ward's alderman, said last Thursday in front of more than 60 people at the Levy Senior Center.

Project consultants considered adding a station as part of a broader look at North Shore mass transit needs, including the feasibility of extending the Yellow Line to Old Orchard Road.

For now, the Yellow Line, a.k.a. the Skokie Swift, runs non-stop from Howard Street to Dempster Street, but a new station is planned at Oakton Street in Skokie and it could be open within two years.

The line's potential is barely tapped, consultants said. About 2,500 people board the train each day at Dempster Street, and a new Evanston station could boost that by a third, the study said.

The consultants looked at three possible sites for an Evanston station: at Asbury, Ridge and Dodge Avenues. All three had stations along the commuter rail line that ran in the decades before the Yellow Line was established in the early 1960s, and the track in those spots is still straight and level, a necessity for a station, said senior consultant Chris Kopp of Cambridge Systematics.

Going into the study, Kopp said, "We're thinking the best place to put [new stations] is probably where they were before, and it pretty much worked out [that way]."

Officials repeatedly emphasized that for better or worse, no station is coming soon. Darud Akbar, a CTA representative, said five to 10 years seemed a likely time frame if funding is found.

Late in the meeting a resident noted that the CTA had announced possible service cuts on the Purple and Yellow Lines.

Akbar, though, said that was merely a "contingency plan" the CTA had to submit to the Regional Transportation Authority.

"We're hoping this doesn't happen," he said.

In their site survey, consultants looked at a whole roster of factors: population density, how much land could be developed in a "transit-friendly" way, how many shopping centers or other points of interest were nearby, the potential for parking, and how many jobs there were.

Results were mixed. Ridge Avenue, for example, had the most people within a half-mile, considered the benchmark for how far people will walk to get to a mass-transit station.

On the other hand, Dodge Avenue led in several categories, including parking potential and nearby shopping centers.

Results from the survey, which asked residents for their preference, gave a slight edge to Asbury with 40.6 percent followed by Ridge with 35.8 percent and Dodge with 34.1. Some residents voted for more than one.

Though officials insisted there was no front-runner, some residents who live near Dodge and Mulford Street, which the Yellow Line roughly follows east to west, noted that Dodge seemed to come out ahead in many of the criteria.

To applause from about a dozen residents at the meeting, Crista Noel, 47, said the CTA has been a "horrible neighbor" already and fears a new station would bring noise, crime and congestion.

The CTA's Akbar said new tracks and station design cut down on noise and promised the agency will listen to complaints at future public meetings.

Other residents said they would like to see the trains stop in Evanston.

"If I could get on it and ride it, the noise wouldn't bother me nearly as much," said Richard Nemanich, 64.

---------

dgibbard@tribune.com

nomarandlee May 31, 2007 11:17 PM

http://movingbeyondcongestion.org/

Strong Bipartisan Support for RTA Reforms, Transit Funding

$452-million proposal approved for transit operations, General Assembly to consider pension reforms, capital investment in overtime session

Springfield, IL – An overwhelming majority of the Illinois House Mass Transit Committee approved a $452-million transit operations funding proposal and a package of reforms to improve coordination and efficiency in the transit system.

“Today’s strong, bi-partisan vote reflects the shared belief in the importance of our transit system and the need to invest in it,” noted Jim Reilly, Chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority. “We are very encouraged that the General Assembly recognizes the vital role transit plays in our region and that funding for the system must be addressed this session.”

The Illinois Mass Transit Committee approved two amendments to Senate Bill 572 that would provide funding for transit operations and reform the roles of the RTA and the Service Boards – CTA, Metra and Pace. The funding proposal would:

Increase the RTA sales tax in the six counties of northeastern Illinois by 0.25%, yielding approximately $280 million;


Impose a new RTA real estate transfer tax in the City of Chicago to raise $42 million;


Extend the standard state 25% match to the proposed sales and transfer tax to provide $80.5 million;


Continue the support of transit service for the disabled and elderly by instituting an additional state match of 5%, raising $50 million


The committee approved the measure 13-4 with strong bipartisan support from both City of Chicago and suburban members.

“Without funding, the millions of people who rely on transit every day will face drastic service cuts and higher fares,” noted RTA Executive Director Steve Schlickman. “Today members of the Mass Transit Committee have loudly voiced their support for additional funding for the system.”

The committee also approved a reform measure by a vote of 20-0, which would implement the recommendations found in the recent report on the transit agencies issues by the Illinois Auditor General, improve coordination and increase accountability in the system. The proposal would require the RTA to adopt a long-term strategic plan, measure the performance of the Service Boards, review capital investment projects and reform budgeting measures.

“We have long-believed that some reform could improve the coordination among the RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace,” said Reilly. “Together we have worked over the last year to improve efficiency and effectiveness and we think the reforms adopted today will help us continue that work.”

The committee acknowledged the need to continue work on mass transit funding and pension reform issues before the General Assembly adjourns for the summer. Several members of the committee called the vote a means to continue discussion on the funding issue, identify funding for needed capital investments and complete work on CTA pension reforms.

“Committee members have worked diligently to ensure that reforms and funding go hand-in-hand,” said Rep. Julie Hamos (D-18, Evanston), chair of the House Mass Transit committee. “We simply cannot put off what business leaders and transit riders and the public understand to be a critical need to ensure the future of mass transit in northeastern Illinois.”

“The amendments passed today reflect a regional solution to a regional problem. The bipartisan support shows how strongly we believe that now is the time to act on mass transit for Illinois,” said Rep. Sid Mathias (R-53, Buffalo Grove), Republican Spokesperson on the committee.

“We know that the funding and reform proposals must be accompanied by CTA pension reform,” said Reilly. “Without addressing the challenges with the pension, it would not be responsible to provide more funding to the CTA.”

The significant capital needs of the transit system remain unfulfilled pending the approval of a state capital investment plan.

“Identifying funding for operations is important to the millions of people who use our transit services, but without capital funding, we will be unable to repair tracks, replace buses or trains or expand the system with new services. It is critical that the General Assembly approve a capital plan to meet these needs,” said Schlickman.

brian_b May 31, 2007 11:32 PM

Any experts want to weigh in on the new amendments to Senate Bill 572?

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/full...AID=9&Session=

Supposedly it allows the RTA to levy a $3 per $1000 real estate transfer tax in Chicago. I don't see that in the bill. What I do see is an addition to 70 ILCS 3615/2.01:

...The [RTA] shall ... allocate operating and capital funds made available to support public transportation in the metropolitan region.

If this passes, it looks like the RTA gets to decide for itself how to divide up and spend all the money it gets. Isn't this something they've been begging for?

brian_b May 31, 2007 11:34 PM

^^^ I guess I was a bit too slow typing out my comments. Well, at least I added a link to the actual reform amendment so everyone can read it if they choose.

brian_b May 31, 2007 11:38 PM

And of course this bill still has to be passed by the legislature. It has only made it out of committee.

pip Jun 1, 2007 2:55 AM

Quote:

The committee approved the measure 13-4 with strong bipartisan support from both City of Chicago and suburban members.
Thank god!!

I remember a few pages ago when I read businesses, labor leaders, civic organizations, suburbs and the city were all on the same page about increasing transit funding and that led me to believe that all hope is not lost and actually things will happen if everyone is on the same side.

I am confident now.

Wow, excellent news all around.

ardecila Jun 1, 2007 4:17 AM

Well, it still has to be passed by both houses. Let's hope this new tax gives enough to the CTA to close their budget hole and continue operations simultaneously with regular maintenance rather than deferring the maintenance.

One thing that worries me... why the hell are major news sources not reporting this? The Trib briefly mentioned it, but dismissed it as minor because FUCKING BLAGOJEVICH claims he will veto any sales tax increases. I'm starting to wish I voted for Judy Baar, who, despite her obvious image problems, isn't a panderer.

Eventually...Chicago Jun 1, 2007 1:23 PM

No way man, green party all the way!

I have always supposed that the best way to fund transit is to increase fares on the overused mode of transportation (in this case, cars & roads) to expand the applicability of others. Why not incorporate adjustable rate tolling to high enough levels so that the people who clog up the expressways during rush hour instead of taking the metra pay for their congestion? For example, if you drive on the kennedy inbound during rush hour, your are going to pay 7 dollars to enter the city. I believe that this is what they do in London. To me, it seems like a proper tax because it puts the burden on people who choose to decrease the effectiveness of our transportation network. I suppose that increasing the cost of driving is not particularly popular when gas prices are rising.

Which brings me to my next question... Is anyone else cheering for higher gas prices like i am? I have this image in my mind that when gas gets to like 8-9 dollars a gallon (meaning a fill-up is like $125) everyone will migrate back to cities and public transit will have astronomical ridership. Is this a reasonable fantasy or am i missing something here? Unless we see a huge jump in electric car technology, i don't see any other scenario playing out. I suppose we could just go declare another war, that sure helped keep gas prices down! :-)

Mr Downtown Jun 1, 2007 4:58 PM

Quote:

I have this image in my mind that when gas gets to like 8-9 dollars a gallon everyone will migrate back to cities and public transit will have astronomical ridership. Is this a reasonable fantasy or am i missing something here?
Well, let's see. From 1972 to 1981 gas nearly quadrupled in price. Remember the huge back-to-the-city movement and astronomical growth in transit ridership at that time?

Neither do I.

ardecila Jun 1, 2007 5:28 PM

Also during that period, investment in public transit was at an all-time low. Chicago's downtown stations were soot-covered, dirty, and uncared-for. Commuter services were run by a handful of railroads that didn't give a care how on-time their trains were or how inviting their stations were. The CTA was dangerous and maybe even worse than the commuter stations. The only good thing to come out of that time period was the Blue Line extension to O'Hare.

The city is booming right now, and it has a well-run, though poorly-funded, transit system. I think the time is ripe to capitalize on the high fuel prices and build ridership, at least among the people that commute into the city radially.

Unfortunately, most of the people using cars to go to work in Chicagoland do so because they HAVE to. Public transit is really a horrible option. Say a man lives in Arlington Heights and works in Melrose Park. What are his options? Take 3 buses and a train, consuming 2 1/2 hours to get to work, or drive for an hour. He can make up the price difference by gaining the extra time at work, or he can spend extra time at home with his family rather than sitting on a bus, which is probably worth the extra cost. The point of transit is that it's supposed to be convenient. For more than half the workforce in Chicagoland, it's nowhere near convenient. Nothing short of exponential growth in gas prices and exponential decline in road investment is gonna make people turn to the transit that exists currently.

Mister Uptempo Jun 1, 2007 5:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eventually...Chicago (Post 2871562)
No way man, green party all the way!

I have always supposed that the best way to fund transit is to increase fares on the overused mode of transportation (in this case, cars & roads) to expand the applicability of others. Why not incorporate adjustable rate tolling to high enough levels so that the people who clog up the expressways during rush hour instead of taking the metra pay for their congestion? For example, if you drive on the kennedy inbound during rush hour, your are going to pay 7 dollars to enter the city. I believe that this is what they do in London. To me, it seems like a proper tax because it puts the burden on people who choose to decrease the effectiveness of our transportation network. I suppose that increasing the cost of driving is not particularly popular when gas prices are rising.

Why must it work only one way?

Why shouldn't "reverse commuters", who live in the city, and work in the suburbs, pay the same amount? They are contributing to the problem as much as those who drive into the city, no?

Let's be fair, now. If we are attempting to correct the behavior, then anyone who uses the expressways, for any reason during the rush hour, suburbanite or city dweller, should pay through the ass. No exemptions for anyone for any reason.

Eventually...Chicago Jun 1, 2007 9:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 2871914)
Well, let's see. From 1972 to 1981 gas nearly quadrupled in price. Remember the huge back-to-the-city movement and astronomical growth in transit ridership at that time?

Neither do I.

Good point. However, that was due to political problems. The analogy i hear used often to demonstrate the difference between that situation and this situation is that in the 1970's the faucet was being turned off. The situation today is that the faucet is being turned on and not enough is coming out.

but, we'll see...i can dream!

Eventually...Chicago Jun 1, 2007 9:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 2872014)
Why must it work only one way?

Why shouldn't "reverse commuters", who live in the city, and work in the suburbs, pay the same amount? They are contributing to the problem as much as those who drive into the city, no?

Let's be fair, now. If we are attempting to correct the behavior, then anyone who uses the expressways, for any reason during the rush hour, suburbanite or city dweller, should pay through the ass. No exemptions for anyone for any reason.

Sorry MR. UpT, i didn't mean to exclude any group. Obiviously reverse commuters should pay as well. I just chose the forward commute because that is still the most common commute.


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