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

ardecila Jan 28, 2018 9:21 PM

^ Yet the RPM is being funded (in part) by the so-called "transit TIF" that captures the increased value of transit-served property. The people who benefit from the transit line are paying for it.

Assuming this approach works, it seems logical that the city would seek to use it again for expansion projects, especially things like streetcars and busways that are (relatively) cheap to construct. I haven't seen a strong plan for a downtown circulator that didn't come with serious drawbacks, though. I'm surprised Sterling Bay has not studied the issue or pushed for the city to do so, the only (vague) proposal is the North Branch Transitway that was included in the city's rezoning plan.

the urban politician Jan 29, 2018 4:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8064213)
I won't defend the street layout. But in the absence of any sort of city planning, developers build what they think they can sell. When it was time to try developing Dearborn Park II, they didn't think they could sell any highrise or midrise units, and so they cancelled those projects—in one case, after the foundations had been poured. It's pretty hard to imagine even the most powerful American city planning department telling them they had to leave the land vacant until there was a market for highrises there.

When Sterling Bay and other players develop office space in the West Loop or around Goose Island rather than in areas already well served by transit, they're no different than a suburban homebuilder putting subdivisions in Kendall County and demanding a new freeway to serve them. At least there's a chance the drivers on that freeway will eventually pay for it in gas taxes. Transit infrastructure is never paid for by its users.

You really are putting a lot of misplaced motives on these developers. In your own words, they will build what they can sell. Sterling Bay is building office in the West Loop and it’s selling. Why would they stop? I haven’t heard any of them turning to the city and demanding that new transit lines be built for them. But if this trend continues, at some point it would make sense to improve transportation to a booming new district for the sake of the whole city, not necessarily for the developers.

It is also a way out of line to compare this kind of development to building homes on cornfields out it Kendall County. I know you don’t actually believe that. Goose Island is just a wee bit more of an in town site than 40 miles out from the city.

LouisVanDerWright Jan 29, 2018 10:34 PM

Also, I see no reason not to build office in the West Loop. It's the same distance from Union Station to the East Loop as it is from Union to the West Loop. The only thing the West Loop is further from is the Red Line and that side of town most certainly needs the least economic stimulus out of any part of town. The West Loop is opening whole sections of the city up to regeneration.

Remember when Chicago was built jobs were spread throughout the neighborhoods. It was only after the collapse of industry in the city that Chicago became a city with only one real employment focal point. That's starting to change (literally reusing the buildings there were once abandoned in many cases) and that's a good thing. Hopefully the West Loop is only the start and moves like the Crate and Barrel move to Avondale start becoming the norm and we see the true potential of our industrial heritage realized with multiple neighborhoods revitalized by a smattering of large office projects in old factories. We have the bones to accommodate this, not everyone needs to commute to work, some people can move to Avondale or Belmont Cragin and walk to work at the Fields. Some people can live in the West Loop and take the Green or Pink Line.

left of center Jan 30, 2018 3:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 8065694)
Also, I see no reason not to build office in the West Loop. It's the same distance from Union Station to the East Loop as it is from Union to the West Loop. The only thing the West Loop is further from is the Red Line and that side of town most certainly needs the least economic stimulus out of any part of town. The West Loop is opening whole sections of the city up to regeneration.

Remember when Chicago was built jobs were spread throughout the neighborhoods. It was only after the collapse of industry in the city that Chicago became a city with only one real employment focal point. That's starting to change (literally reusing the buildings there were once abandoned in many cases) and that's a good thing. Hopefully the West Loop is only the start and moves like the Crate and Barrel move to Avondale start becoming the norm and we see the true potential of our industrial heritage realized with multiple neighborhoods revitalized by a smattering of large office projects in old factories. We have the bones to accommodate this, not everyone needs to commute to work, some people can move to Avondale or Belmont Cragin and walk to work at the Fields. Some people can live in the West Loop and take the Green or Pink Line.

This is a great point. Office development in the West Loop will help spread development into the Near West Side, specifically along the Green and Pink Lines, as well as the Congress Blue Line. The next logical step as the West Loop fills up is for heavy residential development to begin moving into East Garfield Park and Pilsen. Those neighborhoods are ripe for investment.

The transit connections to the West Loop are still pretty good. Easy to get to from the two big suburban train stations, and its a 10-15 minute walk from the Red or a transfer to the Blue at Jackson or Green/Pink at State & Lake.

I don't think that the West Loop will ever come close to rivaling the Loop as an office market, but it will definitely be an important ancillary/supporting office market in the greater downtown area. Chicago's high rises have long clung to the lakefront. Time to move inland!

emathias Feb 1, 2018 2:57 AM

Crains Op-Ed about Uber and Lyft, congestion and teaching ideas
 
One way to protect the CTA from Uber, Lyft: Use tech

Quote:

...
As a software engineer who has worked both at big companies and startups here in Chicago, I know that the technology exists for ride-share companies to calculate taxes at different rates for different trips. I think it would help both the CTA, and traffic in general, if all ride-share trips starting or ending in the central area (as defined in the Central Area Action Plan) incur a per-passenger tax of the amount of CTA's rail fare. That uses a stick to encourage riders to take transit when commuting to the Loop, generates needed funds for the CTA even when riders don't use it and would almost entirely function as a very progressive tax, avoiding penalizing people in far-out neighborhoods who neither live nor work in the central area.
...

ardecila Feb 1, 2018 4:41 PM

^ Shameless self-plug? ;)

I'm not sure we can blame increased congestion downtown entirely on ride-sharing... maybe it's also partly due to all the new residents who bring their cars with them? Plenty of those folks work elsewhere and have to drive.

emathias Feb 4, 2018 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8069593)
^ Shameless self-plug? ;)

I'm not sure we can blame increased congestion downtown entirely on ride-sharing... maybe it's also partly due to all the new residents who bring their cars with them? Plenty of those folks work elsewhere and have to drive.

Yes. :)

Could be partly new residents, but if you stand at Kinzie and LaSalle at rush, a sizable percentage of vehicles are Uber/Lyft.

ardecila Feb 5, 2018 4:59 PM

Well, we can't put the rideshare genie back in the bottle. If you're annoyed by all the congestion, all you can do is hope for the services to implode financially; both services have yet to turn a profit, and it's not clear that they can ever do so. If that's the case, then both services are operating on borrowed time.

If, on the other hand, the services can find a way to become sustainable, then I don't see a problem with them being part of the city's transportation mix, even a big part. On the city side, it should be coupled with increasing investment in transit, like today's announcement that the new rideshare tax will go towards track and power improvements that will allow the busiest rail lines to move more trains per hour. Rideshare can't compete with transit to the Loop during peak periods, purely because of geometry.

Likewise, I'd like to see bus lanes rolled out on a wider basis across the city. If Los Angeles can do it, there's no reason Chicago can't, we just need politicians with some "testicular fortitude", some buckets of red paint, and a state bill that allows for camera enforcement of bus lanes and bus stops.

the urban politician Feb 5, 2018 5:56 PM

^ Rahm is ever the politician.

Look at the timing of how he plans to invest the Rideshare dollars on the CTA.

He starts with the south side branches of the Green Line, as well as the Pink Line.

Then, upon winning reelection, he moves on to the OHare branch of the Blue as well as the Brown and Red Lines.

IrishIllini Feb 5, 2018 6:06 PM

I believe no transportation agency in the history of the world has ever been profitable. That's the reason why the independent operators of Chicago's L lines were consolidated and now operate as public agencies. They could not turn a profit and require subsidization to exist, but their public benefit is recognized.

I'm not familiar with Uber/Lyft's business model. Honestly I don't use them often. How does it differ from a traditional cab? Is it as simple as these companies and their investors willingly incurring loses to gain a larger market share? If they continue to struggle to turn a profit, I don't see public agencies offering to buy them out when traditional private cabs have existed for decades. Are they banking on autonomous vehicles reducing costs by eliminating the drivers?

emathias Feb 5, 2018 6:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 8073988)
^ Rahm is ever the politician.

Look at the timing of how he plans to invest the Rideshare dollars on the CTA.

He starts with the south side branches of the Green Line, as well as the Pink Line.

Then, upon winning reelection, he moves on to the OHare branch of the Blue as well as the Brown and Red Lines.

Even rich people need their transit to work ...

ardecila Feb 6, 2018 6:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 8073988)
^ Rahm is ever the politician.

Look at the timing of how he plans to invest the Rideshare dollars on the CTA.

He starts with the south side branches of the Green Line, as well as the Pink Line.

Then, upon winning reelection, he moves on to the OHare branch of the Blue as well as the Brown and Red Lines.

Have you seen a schedule of work posted? I don't necessarily know that it will go in that exact order. Also - track replacement is fairly simple, but power and signal upgrades like those on the Blue Line will take some time to engineer and build.

the urban politician Feb 6, 2018 2:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8074744)
Have you seen a schedule of work posted? I don't necessarily know that it will go in that exact order. Also - track replacement is fairly simple, but power and signal upgrades like those on the Blue Line will take some time to engineer and build.

Yes, I did just the other day. Sorry I can’t get you a link, but it clearly shows a chronological sequence like the one I posted above.

I’m not even knocking Rahm, really. But it’s just politics—never blow an opportunity to score political points—and he is clearly a pro at it

k1052 Feb 6, 2018 2:40 PM

More traction power for the Blue line could probably be brought along relatively quickly but I'd think we're talking 3-4 years for major signal upgrades to come online. They've been eyeing the former for a while now so must have a relatively good idea what they need where and how to access required Comed feeds.

ardecila Feb 6, 2018 3:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 8074893)
More traction power for the Blue line could probably be brought along relatively quickly but I'd think we're talking 3-4 years for major signal upgrades to come online. They've been eyeing the former for a while now so must have a relatively good idea what they need where and how to access required Comed feeds.

I believe the Milwaukee substation (next to Frontier in Noble Square) was just upgraded, so there is increased power for the north part of the Dearborn subway at least. It's the elevated and expressway sections that are still weak.

Also just realized that the FastTracks program does not actually mention signal upgrades, which would ultimately be needed. Ideally they would go whole-hog and put in moving block signaling, they could probably get down to 2.5 or 2 minute headways at peak. Expensive, but still significantly cheaper than running a new rapid transit line to the northwest side!

Of course, with more trains, there would be an even bigger imbalance between the O'Hare branch and the Forest Park branch. You'd be running a lot of empty trains to Forest Park. Maybe CTA could bring back branching on the Blue Line during peak periods, and run certain Blue Line trains to the Douglas branch... this would also reduce the peak strain on the Loop with fewer Pink Line trains, while preserving the increased frequency that Pink Line riders enjoy during off-peak. Selfishly, I would get a direct ride to O'Hare and a direct connection to the Red Line under this plan. :cool:

Kenmore Feb 6, 2018 4:43 PM

restored gerber building at wilson looks p sharp

k1052 Feb 6, 2018 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8074960)
I believe the Milwaukee substation (next to Frontier in Noble Square) was just upgraded, so there is increased power for the north part of the Dearborn subway at least. It's the elevated and expressway sections that are still weak.

Also just realized that the FastTracks program does not actually mention signal upgrades, which would ultimately be needed. Ideally they would go whole-hog and put in moving block signaling, they could probably get down to 2.5 or 2 minute headways at peak. Expensive, but still significantly cheaper than running a new rapid transit line to the northwest side!

Of course, with more trains, there would be an even bigger imbalance between the O'Hare branch and the Forest Park branch. You'd be running a lot of empty trains to Forest Park. Maybe CTA could bring back branching on the Blue Line during peak periods, and run certain Blue Line trains to the Douglas branch... this would also reduce the peak strain on the Loop with fewer Pink Line trains, while preserving the increased frequency that Pink Line riders enjoy during off-peak. Selfishly, I would get a direct ride to O'Hare and a direct connection to the Red Line under this plan. :cool:


My suspicion would be that it will be more tempting to short turn more trains at UIC and maybe after IMD if another pocket track is added.

Tcmetro Feb 7, 2018 2:06 AM

Personally, I am a big fan of getting rid of the Pink Line and bring back the 54/Cermak Blue Line. Ridership has greatly increased on the O'Hare branch and now can support an amount of service that doesn't impact frequency on the two west side branches.

Getting rid of the Pink Line has the added bonus of freeing up some space for more trains to run on the loop, namely Green or Orange. The problem with getting rid of Pink is severing the Little Village/Pilsen connection to the West Loop.

What would really help on the Blue Line is 10-car trains. I think that only Damen and California need platform extensions (maybe Western too).

ardecila Feb 7, 2018 3:40 PM

^ I can't vouch for the Congress branch, but the existing Pink Line stations can only handle 8 cars. They were built for 8-car Blue Line trains, but then CTA created the Pink Line and cut the trains down to only 4 cars.

On the whole, I think the Pink Line was a good idea and at least partially helped address the issue of Fulton Market feeling like a backwater. Suddenly Fulton Market became just one stop on a line connecting the Loop, Ogilvie, the Medical District, and Pilsen. Plus, the demographics of Pink Line riders tend to be a little less scary to privileged North Siders than the demographics of Green Line riders, so suddenly taking a train to Morgan/Lake became more appealing... Also, the creation of the Pink Line disentangled the Douglas Branch from the disruptions that always seem to plague the Blue Line, so that was a plus.

The downside is that the Loop has never had good connections to the downtown subways, since the original plan was to move all rail lines underground and tear down the Loop. Moving Douglas branch trains onto the Loop means that it has very poor connections to the city's two busiest rail lines (Red and Blue), with only one connection at Clark/Lake to the Blue Line and zero connections to the Red Line. Ideally there would be connections every time two train lines crossed each other, certainly at State/Lake but also at State/Van Buren and Dearborn/Van Buren, and maybe even at Paulina/290. If CTA is going to commit to the Loop + State/Dearborn Subway layout for the next century, then it needs to build these connections. The State/Lake one may even be in the works, depending on the plans for renovation of that station.

IrishIllini Feb 7, 2018 4:52 PM

I'd prefer the Pink Line stay as-is, but I'd rather it be combined with the Orange Line before having it revert back to the Blue Line. The counter-clockwise Loop Stations are grossly underutilized during the PM rush until you hit the east side of the Loop. Merging the Pink and Orange Lines still gives riders the opportunity to access the opposite side of the Loop via the Green Line. The ever elusive Clinton / Larrabee subway would be a great asset these days. Not sure why extending the Red Line to 130th St. is a higher priority project when there are thousands of North Side L riders that have to make their way west from either Clark / Lake, State / Lake, or Washington / Wells.


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