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Steely Dan Nov 28, 2021 2:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 9462617)
this is why our country is failing.

The real reason our country is failing is that we don't invest in it.

If we weren't forced to exist within such a crappy nation as ours, where transit investment is DFL among developed nations, then we wouldn't even be having these stupid-ass squabbles about how every single last precious transit dollar has to be spent to the absolute highest and best use in every single instance because they are doled out so goddamn miserly.

In a better nation, it would be "both/and", not "either/or", as it always is here.



AMERICA....... fuck no!

ardecila Nov 28, 2021 2:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marothisu (Post 9462688)
Lol..... the 95th Street Red Line stop had 2.8+ million paid station entries in 2019 and over 3 million in 2018. That was more than the Addison Red Line stop had, next to Wrigley Field, in the same years and also more than Clark/Division. Idk - someone want to explain how the 95th street station has more paid station in a year than the stop right next to Wrigley Field and some downtown?

Simple - nobody walks on at 95th from the surrounding neighborhood, they transfer from 14 different bus routes that cover the whole South Side and a good chunk of the suburbs going all the way out to Palos Hills or Chicago Heights. In recognition of this fact, CTA just spent nearly $300 million to rebuild the 95th station and make the bus transfers easier and more seamless. This was a good investment. Extending the Red Line south for 4 more stations at $2B total? Not so much.

As others have noted, there are much better ways to spend $2B on the South Side. Revamping Metra Electric could be done for less than half this cost, and it already runs through the neighborhoods in question. Allowing CTA bus transfers to the Metra line could be done tomorrow, for almost no cost. For people that have to get to the Red Line, CTA could speed up the buses with various improvements along the route and better shelters. Etc etc.

marothisu Nov 28, 2021 2:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9462715)
Simple - nobody walks on at 95th from the surrounding neighborhood, they transfer from 14 different bus routes that cover the whole South Side and a good chunk of the suburbs going all the way out to Palos Hills. If Addison had 14 bus routes that converged there, covering a similar territory, it would be the busiest station on CTA's network by far.

Okay. So you have 79th and 87th, the 2 stops north of that, that have 1-2 million boardings a piece too. How to explain that. The fact is that transit ridership in these areas is actually fairly high.

The investment is obviously a lot of money, and I think it would be good to spend the money more evenly in other ways. However, I think from an economy standpoint and some of the people who actually support a good number of jobs downtown and also potential future development and migration patterns, I think there's a lot of potential there to help bring some vitality back to some of these areas that have lost it over the last 10, 20, 30, etc years.

Quote:

As others have noted, there are much better ways to spend $2B on the South Side. Revamping Metra Electric could be done for less than half this cost, and it already runs through the neighborhoods in question. Allowing CTA bus transfers to the Metra line could be done tomorrow, for almost no cost.
Well I never stated my opinion before. I was merely saying that this thought that "nobody lives down there" is actually not true. Actually I think there's something like 35,000 people or more that were counted in the 2020 census that live in census tracts directly adjacent to the rail line.

I think that revamping Metra Electric into more of a rapid transit line would actually be a better use of money for sure vs. the Red Line extension. Some of the neighborhoods it goes through already are actually growing too (i.e. Douglas, Oakland, Grand Boulevard, Woodlawn, etc). It also goes right near the future home of the Obama Library too. So yes my vote is for that way more than the Red Line. I was just addressing this thought that these stations aren't used and "nobody lives down there." There are still enough people who live there, as well as some of the surrounding suburbs who would use this quite a bit. But yes, ME revamp is better.

ardecila Nov 28, 2021 2:28 AM

79th is the busiest bus route in the city and covers a wide territory including some denser neighborhoods (Grand Crossing, East Chatham, Auburn Gresham etc). 87th is less busy but still covers a huge area. You can see this in aerial photos, any building larger than a 3-flat tends to have white/silver roofs that are clear to see.

Most South Side neighborhoods have a strong Black majority and similar demographic trends, but they are starting from very different density levels. I do recognize that even neighborhoods full of bungalows can be quite dense (Hermosa, Belmont Cragin, etc) if the families that live in them are large or multigenerational, but that isn't common in Black neighborhoods the way it is in Latino or Asian communities.

BruceP Nov 28, 2021 6:16 AM

Could the CTA spend a few of the Infrastructure bucks on maintaining the recently rebuilt Red Line stations? Example: the Clark/Division station, rebuilt barely 9 years ago. Crud is building up on the platform floors at the stairs and escalator and support girders. Grimy water(?) stains on the walls throughout the station. Paint is peeling off the outside canopy. The inside of the elevator on LaSalle is just plain dirty.

LouisVanDerWright Nov 28, 2021 6:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9462711)
The real reason our country is failing is that we don't invest in it.

If we weren't forced to exist within such a crappy nation as ours, where transit investment is DFL among developed nations, then we wouldn't even be having these stupid-ass squabbles about how every single last precious transit dollar has to be spent to the absolute highest and best use in every single instance because they are doled out so goddamn miserly.

In a better nation, it would be "both/and", not "either/or", as it always is here.



AMERICA....... fuck no!

Nope, building heavy rail to an area already served by Metra electric that is one of the lowest density parts of the city is a waste of money plain and simple. The correct way to invest would be to improve existing infrastructure that could be realtively easily improved.

This area is not low density because there is no transit, it's low density because it's far as fuck from downtown. If your logic that transit access causes higher density were correct, then the Kostner Pink Line wouldn't have the lowest daily boarding's in the city and be surrounded by massively disinvested brownfields. It's one of the most recently rebuilt lines in the city, why is it running four car trains? Where is all the TOD you suggest would just sprout up overnight?

I wish it were that simple, but it's not. This is $2 billion being flushed down the drain for virtue signaling reasons. It's being built because "it's equitable", not because it's logical:

https://chicagocrusader.com/chicago/...ine-extension/

Very unfortunate, but this is the world we live in now. It would be far more equitable to put the Jackson Park Branch back up or improve service to South Shore with some kind of Grey line situation, you know, places people actually live on the South Side.

BruceP Nov 28, 2021 7:09 AM

[QUOTE=marothisu;9462688]Lol..... the 95th Street Red Line stop had 2.8+ million paid station entries in 2019 and over 3 million in 2018. That was more than the Addison Red Line stop had, next to Wrigley Field, in the same years and also more than Clark/Division. Idk - someone want to explain how the 95th street station has more paid station in a year than the stop right next to Wrigley Field and some downtown?

You're misreading the data. The 95th stop is the end of the line, so it draws riders from everywhere south, east, and west. (That's NOT the case for Addison or Clark/Division.) Extending the line a few miles south will only capture a very small percentage of those 2.8-3.0 million riders and I doubt that there would be any meaningful increase in total ridership.

Steely Dan Nov 28, 2021 2:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 9462784)
Nope, building heavy rail to an area already served by Metra electric that is one of the lowest density parts of the city is a waste of money plain and simple. The correct way to invest would be to improve existing infrastructure that could be realtively easily improved.

And once again, the reason we don't have a holistic and more logical approach to transit planning in our region is because transit funding & investment is so damn poor. Instead of working together for the greater good of the region, CTA and Metra actively compete against each other for those meager transit dollars, doing everything they can to circle their wagons around themselves.

Yes, it's dumb, but so is our nation, so......

moorhosj1 Nov 28, 2021 3:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 9462784)
Very unfortunate, but this is the world we live in now. It would be far more equitable to put the Jackson Park Branch back up or improve service to South Shore with some kind of Grey line situation, you know, places people actually live on the South Side.

If those projects had already done planning, environmental impact studies, community meetings, preliminary station design, and more you might have a point. The Red Line extension has been planned and studied for years. Many studies and meetings.

Meanwhile, we spent $2.1 billion on the Purple and Red Line on the north side, remade the Blue Line track and stations to O’Hare, added multiple stations on the Green Line, created the Metra Electric pilot project to test more frequent service, and more. This project has been waiting for a while and the background work has been put in over many years.

the urban politician Nov 28, 2021 3:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 9462784)
Nope, building heavy rail to an area already served by Metra electric that is one of the lowest density parts of the city is a waste of money plain and simple. The correct way to invest would be to improve existing infrastructure that could be realtively easily improved.

This area is not low density because there is no transit, it's low density because it's far as fuck from downtown. If your logic that transit access causes higher density were correct, then the Kostner Pink Line wouldn't have the lowest daily boarding's in the city and be surrounded by massively disinvested brownfields. It's one of the most recently rebuilt lines in the city, why is it running four car trains? Where is all the TOD you suggest would just sprout up overnight?

I wish it were that simple, but it's not. This is $2 billion being flushed down the drain for virtue signaling reasons. It's being built because "it's equitable", not because it's logical:

https://chicagocrusader.com/chicago/...ine-extension/

Very unfortunate, but this is the world we live in now. It would be far more equitable to put the Jackson Park Branch back up or improve service to South Shore with some kind of Grey line situation, you know, places people actually live on the South Side.

Yep

Plus look at the vacant fields around so many of our Green Line stations

And the fact that a black Bishop decided that an entire branch of the Green Line just wasn’t worth keeping and had it demolished. Somehow getting to all those “high paying” jobs downtown didn’t end up being too important there.

Building transit stations only works as an economic tool in specific situations. It’s mentally lazy to assume that it will always lead to good returns in all situations.

Sorry peeps, but other than an infill station or two in some up and coming boom areas, the CTA rail system has NO BUSINESS expanding. What’s needed is better connectivity, density, and practicality of use

the urban politician Nov 28, 2021 3:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9462711)
The real reason our country is failing is that we don't invest in it.!

Yes we do. We just invest it in things that a LOT of taxpayers actually use (roads), as opposed to things that most people don’t use (trains)

And due to this perpetual overreaction to Covid, that is now a permanent state of affairs.

How often do you personally ride the L? You live in Chicago.

That’s an expensive as hell system to maintain, and only makes sense when a massive number of people ride it a LOT. CTA trains are half empty. Meanwhile roads everywhere are congested

Busy Bee Nov 28, 2021 3:47 PM

Just to diversify this Red Line discussion with a new Alan Fisher video preaching to the choir about Metra bullshit:

Video Link

twister244 Nov 28, 2021 4:49 PM

As much as I want every square inch of the southside to be better served by transit infrastructure as the next person, I tend to agree with the criticisms here against the red line extension.

There's just so many other projects that better serve to connect neighborhoods in the city that would benefit from over $2 billion. It has nothing to do with the type of people, but is the "bang for the buck" worth it here?

moorhosj1 Nov 28, 2021 5:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 9462889)
Yes we do. We just invest it in things that a LOT of taxpayers actually use (roads), as opposed to things that most people don’t use (trains)

And due to this perpetual overreaction to Covid, that is now a permanent state of affairs.

How often do you personally ride the L? You live in Chicago.

That’s an expensive as hell system to maintain, and only makes sense when a massive number of people ride it a LOT. CTA trains are half empty. Meanwhile roads everywhere are congested

It seems the places who invest the most in roads are also the most congested. If more roads was the silver bullet, Atlanta, LA, and Houston would be traffic-free.

Steely Dan Nov 28, 2021 5:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twister244 (Post 9462918)
As much as I want every square inch of the southside to be better served by transit infrastructure as the next person, I tend to agree with the criticisms here against the red line extension.

There's just so many other projects that better serve to connect neighborhoods in the city that would benefit from over $2 billion. It has nothing to do with the type of people, but is the "bang for the buck" worth it here?

There's no question the RLE is not the absolute highest and best use of scarce transit funds. and if Metra and the CTA weren't so fucking provincial and exclusively self-interested, there are certainly more cost effective solutions to bring better/more frequent rail transit service to the numerous citizens of far Southside (more than 200,000 Chicagoans live south of 95th, that's hardly "no one").

My point is that if we didn't live in such a shitty nation for transit investment, we wouldn't even be in this predicament in the first place.

The root of the problem is that America is stupid. RLE is but a mere symptom.

ardecila Nov 28, 2021 7:21 PM

^ What comes first, though? Why should we trust those same transit agencies with even more tax dollars, when they can't even work together to better use the resources they already have?

I have no faith that pumping a bunch of cash into the existing system will lead to better outcomes. Maybe we get a few flashy new projects that benefit small areas of the city, but the overall transit system in Chicagoland will still be status quo.

For what it's worth, Preckwinkle's pilot program to lower Metra Electric fares was awesome and a breath of fresh air. I had zero faith in Preckwinkle as a leader when she ran for mayor, but she deserves a lot of credit for pushing this pilot. Lightfoot, on the other hand, deserves plenty of scorn for letting her personal feud with Preckwinkle stand in the way of what's best for South Siders (and south suburban residents).

Quote:

Originally Posted by moorhosj1 (Post 9462881)
If those projects had already done planning, environmental impact studies, community meetings, preliminary station design, and more you might have a point. The Red Line extension has been planned and studied for years. Many studies and meetings.

Meanwhile, we spent $2.1 billion on the Purple and Red Line on the north side, remade the Blue Line track and stations to O’Hare, added multiple stations on the Green Line, created the Metra Electric pilot project to test more frequent service, and more. This project has been waiting for a while and the background work has been put in over many years.

The great thing about Metra Electric is that it already exists. Metra could start running frequent trains tomorrow and start accepting CTA bus transfers. No environmental work or community meetings needed. It would just require them to readjust their priorities. Yes, long term they need to rebuild stations for accessibility and add some infill stations, but we're not talking about a megaproject here. It's an incremental upgrade that starts with service changes only.

Steely Dan Nov 28, 2021 8:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9462994)
Why should we trust those same transit agencies with even more tax dollars, when they can't even work together to better use the resources they already have?

We shouldn't.

My point is that the whole system of chronically underfunding transit for decade after decade after decade, and the famine survival mode mentality of local transit systems it has created, has led us to the stupid place where we now find ourselves.

A less stupid 1st world nation would have already addressed far Southside rapid transit eons ago.

twister244 Nov 28, 2021 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9463020)
We shouldn't.

My point is that the whole system of chronically underfunding transit for decade after decade after decade, and the famine survival mode mentality of local transit systems it has created, has led us to the stupid place where we now find ourselves.

A less stupid 1st world nation would have already addressed far Southside rapid transit eons ago.

Agreed. The first step is for someone to step in and force Metra's hand in prioritizing the needs of its riders and the metro area. Maybe use some of that sweet infrastructure stimulus to buy out some railway rights to justify more frequent schedules.

This is where we need a corrupt Daley III to come in and Meigs the situation. Kidding of course.... or am I?

SIGSEGV Nov 29, 2021 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 9462889)
Yes we do. We just invest it in things that a LOT of taxpayers actually use (roads), as opposed to things that most people don’t use (trains)

And due to this perpetual overreaction to Covid, that is now a permanent state of affairs.

How often do you personally ride the L? You live in Chicago.

That’s an expensive as hell system to maintain, and only makes sense when a massive number of people ride it a LOT. CTA trains are half empty. Meanwhile roads everywhere are congested

0) This is a transit thread, read the room.

1) Trains and buses are often crowded. They're not always, but neither are roads. I look outside my window and see no congestion right now... way more people walking than driving and I wouldn't be surprised if there are more people transported by the bus lane than by private vehicles. It's true that CTA ridership is at 50% of 2019 levels, but it's still pretty crowded... (it was just overwhelmingly crowded at peak times before).

2) Where are you planning on putting the roads exactly?

3) Cars destroy the environment (even electric cars), the fewer people own cars the better, and for those who do own cars, we should do everything we can to discourage driving. We should be taxing vehicles at least 50 cents / mile-ton driven (revenue neutral, offset by reductions in other taxes).

kolchak Nov 29, 2021 12:59 AM

Bryn Mawr L station work -

https://i.postimg.cc/1tNgKzK7/20211128-152751.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/WbVDMTqS/20211128-152938.jpg


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