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

PKDickman Nov 2, 2017 7:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7973753)
The cheapest thing would be a busway using existing street ROW as much as possible. Many of those side streets are lightly used and could certainly have space given to bus lanes. On the south end, it would tie into the Canal and Clinton bus lanes to do a circuit around the Metra stations.

Actually, the cheapest way would to put back the Elston and Clybourn bus routes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7973753)
The City's Framework Plan included an alignment, but it's super conceptual. It would require General Iron to leave, possibly two new river bridges, a new street to be constructed between Kinzie/Clinton and Chicago/Halsted, etc. Much of it depends on what gets developed and when. Not insurmountable challenges but big ones to be sure.

I wouldn't hold my breath for any transit in their "transitway" proposal. It was pretty vague with a lot of pie in the sky images. but part of it was the Cherry Ave bridge, which is too narrow, and the other end would either need a new bridge and streets, or leap onto Halsted. It'll end up being a continuous bike route at best.

cmmcnam2 Nov 2, 2017 8:23 PM

Got word demos for the the Belmont Flyover are being delayed. I got this in a text from an engineer on the project, he is being laid off with a few others because of the delay. It has something to do with tenants in buildings not leaving. I do not know specifics but should get them tonight.

the urban politician Nov 2, 2017 8:33 PM

^ Ahhh the RLTO, biting its authors in the butt!

maru2501 Nov 2, 2017 8:56 PM

Pink Line needs another stop in W Loop vicinity

Stunnies23 Nov 2, 2017 9:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maru2501 (Post 7974239)
Pink Line needs another stop in W Loop vicinity

Agree, this area is quickly becoming the second largest employment area in the city. There should be one placed at Monroe right by the United Center to server the 100+ large events there annually, along with Malcom X College, and the booming office scene.

gebs Nov 2, 2017 9:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stunnies23 (Post 7974265)
Agree, this area is quickly becoming the second largest employment area in the city. There should be one placed at Monroe right by the United Center to server the 100+ large events there annually, along with Malcom X College, and the booming office scene.

I could be wrong, but does the Wirtz family owns the parking lots by United Center?

left of center Nov 2, 2017 9:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maru2501 (Post 7974239)
Pink Line needs another stop in W Loop vicinity

I've always wanted a stop on Madison. It would make getting to the UC feasible for most people without having to use a car. The planned Damen stop on the Green line is fairly close, but enough people will gripe about having to walk 5 blocks that they will continue to drive as long as parking is abundant. The two blocks from the Pink line is the perfect distance.

As the West Loop fills up with development, that sea of parking around the UC will start looking real ripe for the picking.

LouisVanDerWright Nov 2, 2017 11:32 PM

A Madison Pink Line stop would pair nicely with the new Green Line Stop just North of United Center (Damen? forget where?). The West Loop from Halsted to about Ashland should be midrise and everything around United Center and UIC should be allowed to revert to super dense uses akin to downtown. The area around United Center should be allowed to develop into LA Live type configuration with ample nightlife and hospitality. The stuff South of the freeway should become high density retail like the other near sides of downtown (near south by Roosevelt and Near North by North/Clyborn). The area around IMD should continue to be an outlet for high density uses like the proposed Gateway development that has seen no movement for years.

A user like Amazon could even choose to locate on the far side of the West Loop and have as much land as it wants to develop into 30 story office buildings right next to multiple transit stops. The Blue Line, Pink Line, and Green Line all take people basically straight to the commuter rail stations and the rest of the city. I see this sea of parking and vacant lots as the gateway to reviving the West side (i.e. Garfield park). The West Loop is really booming because it is now in a pincer movement between Pilsen/University Village and Ukrainian Village/Wicker Park. Once the area around United Center is quickly being surrounded too. Someday a subway could connect the Paulina Connector back up to the Blue Line along Ashland just like the good old ways, have a new Subway swing East there and go to Division. Have it connect with Ashland Orange Line and swing back into downtown connecting into the Red Line Subway at Roosevelt where it loops back up to Division Red Line. That would be the ultimate completion of Downtown, these areas are totally vacant right now, huge swaths of NIMBY less land ripe for intense development.

left of center Nov 3, 2017 12:05 AM

^ It was really a shame that the CTA demolished the old Metropolitan Northwest line between Milwaukee and Lake (as well as the Humboldt Park branch). If those lines survived to the present day, they would have seen an explosion of ridership as those neighborhoods gentrified and developed.

Would have made completing the Circle Line a lot more attainable as well, since most of the new track placement would have been in industrial areas with few NIMBYs and plenty of space for right of ways.

ardecila Nov 3, 2017 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PKDickman (Post 7974132)
Actually, the cheapest way would to put back the Elston and Clybourn bus routes.

I wouldn't hold my breath for any transit in their "transitway" proposal. It was pretty vague with a lot of pie in the sky images. but part of it was the Cherry Ave bridge, which is too narrow, and the other end would either need a new bridge and streets, or leap onto Halsted. It'll end up being a continuous bike route at best.

Elston and Clybourn bus routes would still have to crawl through the mighty traffic jams that plague the corridor. Plus, neither one would provide good service to Goose Island. Maybe the Elston bus, but even there, multiple pedestrian bridges would need to be built. Both streets are lined with auto-oriented development, which is unlikely to change anytime soon, and is not conducive to transit. To the extent that the North Branch develops walkable places, it will be in the areas directly along the river, and along the proposed route of the transitway.

This is really not even close to "pie in the sky". It's eminently reasonable, and any other world-class city would probably be planning something even more ambitious. It's literally less than a mile of new roadway, built across vacant or low-intensity land, and two short river bridges, only one of which needs to be operable. The rest of the corridor uses existing streets that are fairly wide, from one property line to the other, that are lightly used.

I'm not convinced this is the best way to serve transit demand in the corridor, but it doesn't seem like a bad proposal on its face. If it's built as a busway instead of a streetcar, then buses can fan out at each end to serve multiple destinations, including linking to CTA and Metra stations in areas where the busway really can't go. Construction can be financed through a TIF, and the operations can be semi-privatized and funded by landlords and businesses in the corridor.

ardecila Nov 3, 2017 1:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by left of center (Post 7974479)
^ It was really a shame that the CTA demolished the old Metropolitan Northwest line between Milwaukee and Lake (as well as the Humboldt Park branch). If those lines survived to the present day, they would have seen an explosion of ridership as those neighborhoods gentrified and developed.

Would have made completing the Circle Line a lot more attainable as well, since most of the new track placement would have been in industrial areas with few NIMBYs and plenty of space for right of ways.

Blue Line ridership is already close to maxed out at peak times. It's worth remembering that these branches closed to simplify service on the Blue Line and turn it into a frequent, 24-hour powerhouse transit line. Branching isn't good for high-ridership, rapid transit lines. Reverse branching, where inbound trains split into two paths to downtown, is even worse.

Imagine if you were trying to catch a train to Logan Square or O'Hare, but half the northbound trains would be useless to you because they'd be heading to Humboldt instead. Or if every inbound train from O'Hare had to wait 90 seconds at North Ave Junction while a Humboldt train crossed. I guess you could run the Humboldt branch as a shuttle to Damen, kinda like the Yellow Line, but remember, it only went west to Lawndale. It was useless for anyone in West Humboldt or Austin, better to just run the North Ave bus more frequently.

left of center Nov 3, 2017 1:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7974545)
Blue Line ridership is already close to maxed out at peak times. It's worth remembering that these branches closed to simplify service on the Blue Line and turn it into a frequent, 24-hour powerhouse transit line. Branching isn't good for high-ridership, rapid transit lines. Reverse branching, where inbound trains split into two paths to downtown, is even worse.

Imagine if you were trying to catch a train to Logan Square or O'Hare, but half the northbound trains would be useless to you because they'd be heading to Humboldt instead. Or if every inbound train from O'Hare had to wait 90 seconds at North Ave Junction while a Humboldt train crossed. I guess you could run the Humboldt branch as a shuttle to Damen, kinda like the Yellow Line, but remember, it only went west to Lawndale. It was useless for anyone in West Humboldt or Austin, better to just run the North Ave bus more frequently.

What would prevent you from operating the routes as different lines? The Humboldt line could have run from Lawndale/North to Milwaukee, then down Paulina to the Green Line and continued onward on the Douglas branch. The Blue line would continue to operate as it does now. The only sections that would share tracks would have been roughly the mile of Milwaukee between North and roughly Hermitage/Ellen St. Quad tracking that section would allow for more train volume.

I will admit there would be a traffic jam where the tracks split at North & Milwaukee, ala the Belmont junction on the north side main line. That could have been addressed in several ways, such as giving priority to Blue line trains over Humboldt trains, if the money for a fly over was unavailable for instance.

Had the Met extended the Humboldt line to at least Pulaski, it definitely would have been a much more viable line of course.

ardecila Nov 3, 2017 2:13 AM

Not to get too technical, but if you had two separate lines and a 4-track section around Damen, you could run the two lines in parallel with no track crossings required. However, a line that went from Humboldt Park branch to Douglas branch, as you suggest, would probably be a total ridership loser without a connection to downtown.

CTA's planning decisions in the 1950s make sense given the time. Their infrastructure was decaying. The inner city neighborhoods with the best L service were quickly declining, as the buildings in these neighborhoods were now hitting 50-60 years old, and 20 years of Depression and WWII had not allowed for proper maintenance. There was little hope of these neighborhoods being revived, as young families were fleeing the city as fast as their pocketbooks would allow, and once they moved there, they tended to buy a new car and ditch transit.

With those kind of pressures, something had to give... CTA's plan of a streamlined, skeletal rail system with feeder buses was economical and still allowed for decent transit service to all corners of the city. That disciplined plan later allowed for new expansions to the Far Northwest Side and the Far South Side, eventually the Southwest Side too.

PKDickman Nov 3, 2017 3:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7974520)
Elston and Clybourn bus routes would still have to crawl through the mighty traffic jams that plague the corridor. Plus, neither one would provide good service to Goose Island. Maybe the Elston bus, but even there, multiple pedestrian bridges would need to be built. Both streets are lined with auto-oriented development, which is unlikely to change anytime soon, and is not conducive to transit. To the extent that the North Branch develops walkable places, it will be in the areas directly along the river, and along the proposed route of the transitway.

Goose Island doesn't really figure in. It is still a PMD It has had its uses expanded, but it's pretty much expected to continue as it has. It also has limited need for transit access. There is no place on Goose Island you can't walk in 15 min. If required you could make the two routes cross over at Division and bring the walk to 7 1/2. But it's moot. All the action will be north of North or east of Halsted.
The transit needs are north from Ogilvie, and N/S from each of the two Clybourns. All of which would be adequately served by a couple of 2 1/2 mile bus routes ride over existing infrastructure.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7974520)
This is really not even close to "pie in the sky". It's eminently reasonable, and any other world-class city would probably be planning something even more ambitious. It's literally less than a mile of new roadway, built across vacant or low-intensity land, and two short river bridges, only one of which needs to be operable. The rest of the corridor uses existing streets that are fairly wide, from one property line to the other, that are lightly used

Other "world class" cities limit their property taxes by limiting the rate and have been able to take advantage increases in property value.
We limit our base levy's dollar value. We cannot take advantage of rising property values unless it rises by tearing down the old and building new in its place (or by playing the TIF game). We said that we will pay for no more services than we had in 1994, and cannot expect any more.
In addition, the CTA's mission is not to move as many people as possible. The CTA's mission is to stay afloat. Riders only pay half the cost of operations. The taxes that pay the other half are not matching funds, they are essentially fixed amount not related to ridership. To pay his own way, each new commuter will have to spend 200 retail dollars a day or sell $750,000 in real estate each year. Adding service expenses to serve passengers who only pay half those costs is a losing proposition. Their path to sustainability is to to shoehorn more riders into the current level of service or the same number of riders into a lower level of service.

Any money to create new bridges and roads to serve transit will have to come from federal sources. Unlikely in the current administration.

That is the definition of pie in the sky

emathias Nov 3, 2017 6:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maru2501 (Post 7974239)
Pink Line needs another stop in W Loop vicinity

Quote:

Originally Posted by left of center (Post 7974310)
I've always wanted a stop on Madison. It would make getting to the UC feasible for most people without having to use a car. The planned Damen stop on the Green line is fairly close, but enough people will gripe about having to walk 5 blocks that they will continue to drive as long as parking is abundant. The two blocks from the Pink line is the perfect distance.

As the West Loop fills up with development, that sea of parking around the UC will start looking real ripe for the picking.

One that stretches between Madison and Monroe would be good. Other than cost, I never really understood why they didn't make ones at both Halsted and Racine instead of just one at Morgan (other than cost, which I'm sure is the primary reason, with the proximity to Clinton being a secondary reason.

If the area becomes dense enough they may want to consider one between Ada and Elizabeth. Yeah, that means some pretty close stations, but still futher apart than most of the Loop stations, and if the Randolph through Fulton corridor continues to become a dense employment center, having a station density closer to that of the Loop could make sense.

What really irritates me the most, though, is the east exit where the stairs take you back west toward the center of the platform instead of allowing you to cross Sangamon on the platform and exit the stairs headed east if you're headed toward Halstead. THAT I really just cannot fathom as a decision. Maybe there's some reason, but it just seems so very stupid from a usability design choice. Sure, it's probably only adding 20 seconds to east-walking passengers but it's still a stupid 20 seconds to have to waste.

ardecila Nov 4, 2017 5:04 AM

Well, that and the fact that the stairs to Sangamon are exit-only. There's plenty of room for a high-barrier turnstile and card reader at the top of the stairs...

denizen467 Nov 4, 2017 8:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7974013)

Thanks, it looks nice, but $999/year comes to like twenty dollars per week, and that's even more than I spend on whiskey. I know I haven't kept up with SSP dues these past few years, but I would definitely consider a Bronze membership in the Chicago Chapter if I could get some kind of aboveboard shared login. Who's our treasurer these days?

Mr Downtown Nov 5, 2017 11:00 PM

^Well, they have a free trial thing that wasn't too hard to game if you know how to generate new email addresses. Though I haven't tried recently.

phanta721 Nov 6, 2017 7:26 PM

11/6/2017
 
Repainting the former Randolph/Wabash stop.

https://i.imgur.com/pQ9VrcWh.jpg

Kippis Nov 7, 2017 1:16 AM

^ Part of me wished that the CTA would paint all of the elevated structures that cool gray color. Seems a bit less 'heavy' than the brown that they use. Or even the yuck yellow on some of the other structures around the city...


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