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CTA Gray Line Oct 15, 2011 7:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5445156)
^^^^The green line could use several more stops on the near south side like it used to have hopefully we'll see one at maybe 18th and say 31st or so. It could really help with developing the area I think.

Also eventually bring back 63rd all the way to stony or at least the 63rd Metra. Tie it in with the gray line or whatever it would be great.


Or right I am on the green line cool aid right now.....also extend it out to midway it'd be about 4 miles or so....how much could that be :)

In 1996 that is exactly what I had proposed for 63rd & Dorchester (see pages 7 & 8): http://www.box.net/shared/jqvpx489un

Obviously no one listened; now they'd need millions to rebuild it.

M II A II R II K Oct 15, 2011 4:02 PM

Mayor Mandates Public Transit for City Employees


Read More: http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward...131391738.html

Quote:

.....

Under new travel mileage and reimbursement policies outlined Saturday, those who work for city government are required to use Chicago Transit Authority buses and trains as their main mode of transportation once they've clocked in. If that's not feasible due to location, timing or security reasons, the employee will have to provide reasoning on reimbursement forms. The policy was crafted after Emanuel ordered City Comptroller Amer Ahmad to conduct a thorough review of past mileage and travel practices to increase accountability and efficiency across city government, a release from the mayor's office said.

- In his report, Ahmad said he identified several systemic weaknesses including unsupported or limited support for reimbursements, inadequate management review and follow up, unclear monitoring and audit controls, and questionable or inconsistent usage of other local transportation modes, the release said. Ahmad found instances of employees being reimbursed for car washes, transportation to jury duty, parking tickets, excessive parking costs and even late fees on personal credit cards, the release said.

- "Across the board we found inconsistency in the policies and enforcement in our departments and sister agencies,” Ahmad said. "This new policy provides the necessary structure to ensure that city travel is efficient and above all an appropriate use of city resources."

.....

J_M_Tungsten Oct 15, 2011 6:22 PM

Umm why would you post that in a Chicago transit thread?

denizen467 Oct 15, 2011 9:35 PM

Unfortunately, a Cermak station will probably push the priority way down for a stop in the 18th Street area. Might need another boom or two before enough dense South Loop development reaches down to 18th, 19th, Cullerton.

But the future of the Cermak area looks great - the thing that surprised me the most was that the demolition of CHA towers along State between Cermak and 25th was way more comprehensive than originally planned. I think there was an announcement just a few years ago that one building would remain, but I'm pretty sure now virtually everything has been razed. That leaves 3 completely empty blocks along State Street. In fact, there's so much developable land around there you could almost see the outline of a McCormick Place 5 starting to form, straddling State and/or Wabash ... although south of the South Building would be the more likely spot.

Along with Lexington Park and the revitalization of Motor Row, the Cermak Station will help integrate that whole area nicely with downtown.

Also, how are the line crossovers structured between 14th and 18th -- would it ever be possible to run an O'Hare-McCormick shuttle from Blue - Block 37 - Red - Green ?

the urban politician Oct 15, 2011 9:48 PM

^ Problem is, there is so much unsold inventory in the south loop, and so much developable land, one wonders when, if even in our lifetimes, prices will reach a point to actually justify significantly dense development around the new Cermak-Green Line stop.

CTA Gray Line Oct 16, 2011 5:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5445812)
Unfortunately, a Cermak station will probably push the priority way down for a stop in the 18th Street area. Might need another boom or two before enough dense South Loop development reaches down to 18th, 19th, Cullerton.

But the future of the Cermak area looks great - the thing that surprised me the most was that the demolition of CHA towers along State between Cermak and 25th was way more comprehensive than originally planned. I think there was an announcement just a few years ago that one building would remain, but I'm pretty sure now virtually everything has been razed. That leaves 3 completely empty blocks along State Street. In fact, there's so much developable land around there you could almost see the outline of a McCormick Place 5 starting to form, straddling State and/or Wabash ... although south of the South Building would be the more likely spot.

Along with Lexington Park and the revitalization of Motor Row, the Cermak Station will help integrate that whole area nicely with downtown.

Also, how are the line crossovers structured between 14th and 18th -- would it ever be possible to run an O'Hare-McCormick shuttle from Blue - Block 37 - Red - Green ?

I think a new Station on the Green Line to serve the population in the immediate area is a great idea worthy of Funding; but as far as serving McCormick Place - McCormick already HAS a Train Station directly attached to it (like the Merchandise Mart and Thompson Center), the Metra Electric District 23rd St. Station: http://community-2.webtv.net/GLRT2/McCormickPlace23rd/

But in the interest of the ongoing inter-agency "it's-my-ball-and-you-can't-play-with-it" adventure - that possibility is ignored (for now - wait until Sen. Durbin's Study).

jpIllInoIs Oct 16, 2011 1:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5445156)
^^^^The green line could use several more stops on the near south side like it used to have hopefully we'll see one at maybe 18th and say 31st or so. It could really help with developing the area I think.

Also eventually bring back 63rd all the way to stony or at least the 63rd Metra. Tie it in with the gray line or whatever it would be great.

Or right I am on the green line cool aid right now.....also extend it out to midway it'd be about 4 miles or so....how much could that be :)

Lawfin, you hit on one of my favorite CTA extension daydreams. Green Line to Midway. The row along 63rd is intact until Damen, then may need to be a subway until it meets the ROW just east of Cicero. A quick google earth shows that the area is still densely packed with residential and there employment centers are scattered along the route. Plus it would end at Midway.

nicksplace27 Oct 16, 2011 5:56 PM

Express Bus Services OKd on I-90


Read More: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/2...ews/710129679/

This doesn't look half bad. Can that I-90 corridor evolve into something more than just an auto sewer? If you want to see cool BRT on a suburban highway, check out the I-35 bus service in Minnesota. I hope shaumburg is as forward thinking as Bloomington is.

ardecila Oct 16, 2011 9:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5445812)
Along with Lexington Park and the revitalization of Motor Row, the Cermak Station will help integrate that whole area nicely with downtown.

Also, how are the line crossovers structured between 14th and 18th -- would it ever be possible to run an O'Hare-McCormick shuttle from Blue - Block 37 - Red - Green ?

Yes, it's technically possible (assuming they find the big money to finish B37) but the 5-block walk to McCormick Place is probably a deal killer.

On the contrary, I think the Cermak station will be a catalyst for the redevelopment of that neighborhood. Motor Row is an intact coherent pedestrian streetscape. It gives that south-of-Cermak neighborhood a "center" that most redeveloping areas simply don't have.

Man, I wish 6-9 story midrises were feasible in Chicago...

ardecila Oct 16, 2011 9:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 5446188)
Lawfin, you hit on one of my favorite CTA extension daydreams. Green Line to Midway. The row along 63rd is intact until Damen, then may need to be a subway until it meets the ROW just east of Cicero. A quick google earth shows that the area is still densely packed with residential and there employment centers are scattered along the route. Plus it would end at Midway.

Actually, this was in the planning stages under Daley I. White ethnics east of Kedzie protested, afraid to give their neighborhood such a strong link into the black ghetto. That's why it was cut off at Ashland (the Ashland station is in a kitschy 60s Googie style, the only remnant of that project)

k1052 Oct 16, 2011 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 5446188)
Lawfin, you hit on one of my favorite CTA extension daydreams. Green Line to Midway. The row along 63rd is intact until Damen, then may need to be a subway until it meets the ROW just east of Cicero. A quick google earth shows that the area is still densely packed with residential and there employment centers are scattered along the route. Plus it would end at Midway.

Even a relatively simple extension to Kedzie (assuming stops added at Western and Kedzie) would probably do wonders for the Green Line's ridership figures.

denizen467 Oct 17, 2011 7:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5446475)
Yes, it's technically possible (assuming they find the big money to finish B37) but the 5-block walk to McCormick Place is probably a deal killer.

It's just over 2 blocks to the doorstep of the West building, which at least is protection from the elements. Beyond that, yeah, indoors it's another couple blocks' worth if the destination is Hyatt or any of the other buildings. If the developable sites along Cermak are eventually built out, there could be an indoor connection even closer to the el station. Setting aside the airport connection, this new station will also be useful for the hundreds (presumably often thousands) of support staff working at McCormick. (Do they mostly use buses and the Red Line now?)

I was stunned a couple weeks ago when you wrote about the Red-to-B37 crossover never having been built. (What on earth were they doing along the Red platforms for so long?) What is a "bellmouth" structure?

denizen467 Oct 17, 2011 7:48 AM

Has anyone ever seen photographs of whatever rail facilities were eventually built underneath Block 37 ? A fortune was spent on that project and I feel we know less about it than NORAD, or Cheney's "undisclosed location." Also, is there provisioning for escalator access in the bottom level of the shopping mall - if so, where?

nicksplace27 Oct 17, 2011 4:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5446879)
Has anyone ever seen photographs of whatever rail facilities were eventually built underneath Block 37 ? A fortune was spent on that project and I feel we know less about it than NORAD, or Cheney's "undisclosed location." Also, is there provisioning for escalator access in the bottom level of the shopping mall - if so, where?

I would think it's right in the center of the Pedway area around the atrium. All that cordoned off white space space can't be just retail.

Daley did do a really good job locking it up. It's gonna take a few years before the CTA can use it again because by then it will become a long lost transit project; not a recent boondoggle that bankrupted the city and took away thousands of pensions.

Mr Downtown Oct 17, 2011 5:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5443870)
This blog post [puts the lie] to Mr Downtown's. . . claim that highways are self-funded via user fees....ie gas tax.


As we’ve discussed before, there are lots of flows between levels of government that make it impossible to look at a single budget to determine whether highways pay for themselves. The average person actually has no easy way of determining who pays for a particular stretch of roadway.

Table HF-10 of Highway Statistics 2005 (Bureau of Transportation Statistics) is a nationwide summary of highway receipts and disbursements—covering all highways and local streets—which balanced out at $154,690 million each in 2005. It's true that $39,214 million of the receipts shown are from non-user general revenues, but motorists in turn sent at least $59,543 million of user fees the other direction, to non-highway and mass transit uses.

So highway users fall 25 percent short of paying the total direct cost of highways and streets—but remember that this is looking at all streets, even local streets that existed long before there were motorists to pay fuel taxes. In the 20 years I have been studying this issue, the shortfall has been as low as 15 percent, but fear of the words “tax hike” has prevented Congress from raising fuel taxes to keep up with inflation since the early 90s. They’ve been dipping into the general fund to allow them to still attend ribbon-cuttings without facing attack ads at reelection time. Certainly a lot of the 2008-2009 use of general funds was for employment "stimulus" rather than true transportation needs.

Any accounting, of course, has to make decisions about where income and expenditures are properly allocated. Given the history of the highway network (the Interstate system was a political nonstarter until Congress agreed to pay for it with fuel taxes on motorists only), I think it's still proper to say that motorists pay the entire cost of the numbered highway system, and about half the cost of local side streets.

ardecila Oct 17, 2011 9:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5446878)
It's just over 2 blocks to the doorstep of the West building, which at least is protection from the elements. Beyond that, yeah, indoors it's another couple blocks' worth if the destination is Hyatt or any of the other buildings. If the developable sites along Cermak are eventually built out, there could be an indoor connection even closer to the el station. Setting aside the airport connection, this new station will also be useful for the hundreds (presumably often thousands) of support staff working at McCormick. (Do they mostly use buses and the Red Line now?)

I was stunned a couple weeks ago when you wrote about the Red-to-B37 crossover never having been built. (What on earth were they doing along the Red platforms for so long?) What is a "bellmouth" structure?

This is a bellmouth structure.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4133/...1eb944d0ba.jpg
source

Basically, when one subway track splits off from another, you need to build a wedge-shaped space underground (in a floorplan, it looks like a bell, hence 'bellmouth'). It must be large enough that when you reach the end of it, there's enough clearance for two tunnels to exist side-by-side. This can't be bored like a typical tunnel, so you usually need to blast or dig it out manually and then put in steel or concrete to hold up the walls and ceiling of the space. There are various ways to do this, but it becomes vastly more complicated when you're working around an active subway tunnel.

I thought that they never built the bellmouth at Block 37. The reality is more complicated. From what I can tell, the bellmouths are half-built. The floor and ceiling (technical terms are "invert" and "diaphragm", respectively) were poured, but they never built finished walls for the bellmouth space or broke through the existing 1940s tunnel walls.

So, in order to complete the tunnel connection, they would need to break through the tunnel wall and then install the new tracks, power supply, and signal systems. Additionally, they would need to finish work inside the existing subway tunnels - cutting through platforms and removing columns to allow the far-side track to cross over. With extraordinary cost control, you could probably finish the work for $45 million. That's not including the work required to actually build out a new station in Block 37, which would probably add another $15 million.

http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/4...bornstconn.jpg

CTA Gray Line Oct 18, 2011 6:52 AM

Metra Proposed 2012 Budget Public Hearing Schedule pdf
 
http://metrarail.com/content/dam/met...20Schedule.pdf

lawfin Oct 18, 2011 6:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5447221)
As we’ve discussed before, there are lots of flows between levels of government that make it impossible to look at a single budget to determine whether highways pay for themselves. The average person actually has no easy way of determining who pays for a particular stretch of roadway.

Table HF-10 of Highway Statistics 2005 (Bureau of Transportation Statistics) is a nationwide summary of highway receipts and disbursements—covering all highways and local streets—which balanced out at $154,690 million each in 2005. It's true that $39,214 million of the receipts shown are from non-user general revenues, but motorists in turn sent at least $59,543 million of user fees the other direction, to non-highway and mass transit uses.

So highway users fall 25 percent short of paying the total direct cost of highways and streets—but remember that this is looking at all streets, even local streets that existed long before there were motorists to pay fuel taxes. In the 20 years I have been studying this issue, the shortfall has been as low as 15 percent, but fear of the words “tax hike” has prevented Congress from raising fuel taxes to keep up with inflation since the early 90s. They’ve been dipping into the general fund to allow them to still attend ribbon-cuttings without facing attack ads at reelection time. Certainly a lot of the 2008-2009 use of general funds was for employment "stimulus" rather than true transportation needs.

Any accounting, of course, has to make decisions about where income and expenditures are properly allocated. Given the history of the highway network (the Interstate system was a political nonstarter until Congress agreed to pay for it with fuel taxes on motorists only), I think it's still proper to say that motorists pay the entire cost of the numbered highway system, and about half the cost of local side streets.

Do you always misquote and additionally attempt to diminish said quote by editorializing that it is merely a "blog post" yet fail to mention that in fact the post was simply reporting on the release of a GAO report that indicates that roads are not self-funded and the attached graphic also soured from GAO that indicates the same.

Data does matter

Mr Downtown Oct 18, 2011 11:29 PM

^But that's not what the GAO report actually says. Reading comprehension does matter.

lawfin Oct 18, 2011 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5448714)
^But that's not what the GAO report actually says. Reading comprehension does matter.

Indeed, it does. Perhaps you should try it.

Here I will quote, not misquote, as seems to be your MO, directly from the GAO report:

"Federal funding for highways is provided to the states mostly through a series of grant programs known as the Federal-Aid Highway Program,
administered by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). In 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) authorized $197.5 billion for the Federal-Aid Highway Program for fiscal years 2005 through 2009. The program operates on a “user pay” system, wherein users contribute to the Highway Trust Fund through fuel taxes and other fees......

.....
From 2005 to 2009, every state received more funding for highway programs
than they contributed to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. This was possible because more funding was authorized and apportioned than was collected from the states, and the fund was augmented with about $30 billion in general revenues since fiscal year 2008.........

..........The infusion of general revenues into the Highway Trust Fund affects the relationship between funding and contributions, as a significant amount of
highway funding is no longer provided by highway users.
Additionally, using rate of return as a major factor in determining highway funding poses challenges related to performance and accountability in the highway program; in effect, rateof-return calculations override other considerations to yield a largely predetermined outcome—that of returning revenues to their state of origin. Because of these and other challenges, funding surface transportation programs remains on GAO’s High-Risk list......

............... Our analysis of the entire 5-year period of SAFETEA-LU shows that every state was a donee state, receiving more funding for highway programs than their users contributed to the Highway Account (see fig. 3). Funding received for each dollar contributed ranged from about $1.03 for Texas to about $5.85 for the District of Columbia. Every state was a donee state during the 5-year SAFETEA-LU period because overall, more funding was authorized and apportioned than was collected from highway users, since the account was supplemented by general funds from Treasury. "


Read & comprehend that. I know you can if you try.

Mr Downtown Oct 19, 2011 2:18 AM

^As I noted, the GAO report only looks at federal funding. Roads are funded at many levels of government.

CTA Gray Line Oct 19, 2011 6:26 AM

Durbin announces $51 million dot investment to improve transit in illinois
 
http://durbin.senate.gov/public/inde...2-ddd9d7ab47d8

October 12, 2011

DURBIN ANNOUNCES $51 MILLION DOT INVESTMENT TO IMPROVE TRANSIT IN ILLINOIS

Chicago and Rock Island among recipients of funding
[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that several Illinois transit projects have been awarded a total of $51,657,400 in grants through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT grants include funding to upgrade transit facilities, study new transit routes and replace aging buses and equipment with new fuel-efficient vehicles and cost-saving materials.

“Bringing new buses with more capacity and cleaner emissions to cities throughout Illinois, improves the quality of life for all residents – even those that don’t rely on public transportation,” Durbin said. “Investing in this infrastructure today will contribute to the long-term economic growth of these areas in the future.”

The following investments in Illinois’ transit infrastructure were made under this announcement:

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago: $30,000,000 in funding for the purchase of sixty-foot hybrid diesel-electric public transit buses to replace a like amount of forty-foot conventional diesel powered buses that are beyond their useful lives. Hybrid diesel-electric buses achieve at least 20 percent greater fuel efficiency than standard diesel buses, which save fuel dollars while promoting cleaner air. Each sixty-foot bus replaces an average of 78 passenger cars, helping to ease traffic congestion in neighborhoods served by the CTA. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the 2011 State of Good Repair Program.

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago: $6,000,000 in funding to make accessibility improvements at the Wilson Red Line Station which is served by four bus routes that together they provide direct service to 55,275 people. The project includes a new elevator control room and rail maintenance room, a new elevator inside the main station house at street level, as well as street modifications and exterior rehabilitation. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the 2011 Bus Livability Program.

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago: $2,000,000 in funding to conduct a study along the Chicago Lakefront Corridor to determine the feasibility and appropriate level of investment for high capacity transit connections in the 24-mile corridor from Howard Street to 103rd Street. The route is currently served by 18 CTA bus routes carrying 109,000 weekday passengers on congested roadways. Along with a need to address congestion in the corridor Communities in the study area need rapid and reliable transit service to provide convenient access to Central Business District as well as job centers outside of the central area. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the 2011 Alternatives Analysis Program.

Pace – Suburban Bus Division of the RTA, Arlington Heights: $5,075,000 in funding to replace obsolete emergency generators for its garage facilities. The current generators are between 17 and 26 years old and are obsolete. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the 2011 State of Good Repair Program.

Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District, Rock Island: $2,082,400 in funding to build a transportation hub in downtown Rock Island. The proposed 1,600 square-foot building will accommodate 10 buses at any given time and will include a lobby and restrooms. The current transfer hub is much smaller and has no bus berths for transferring passengers outside traffic lanes, greatly impeding traffic flow. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the 2011 Bus Livability Program.

Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District, Moline: $3,000,000 in funding to replace buses in the MetroLINK fleet that are beyond their useful lives with clean-diesel and compressed natural gas buses. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the 2011 State of Good Repair Program.

Illinois Department of Transportation, Statewide: $3,500,000 in funding for the Illinois Department of Transportation to replace vehicles in rural transit agency fleets that are beyond their useful lives. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 State of Good Repair Program.

emathias Oct 19, 2011 7:58 PM

Crain's Chicago Business, Greg Hinz

CTA floats no-fare-hike budget that requires huge union concessions

Quote:

Chicago Transit Authority officials Wednesday unveiled a no-fare-hike, no-service-cuts budget for 2012 — but the $1.24-billion spending plan contains an enormous "if."

CTA President Forrest Claypool wants to close a projected $277-million deficit largely with changes in union work rules and restraint in union wage growth. If the unions balk, "The CTA would be forced to lay off up to 1,000 employees, reduce bus and rail service and perhaps hike fares," the agency conceded.

And the unions are balking big time. One top labor official immediately urged Mr. Claypool to "come up with another plan" because this one would cost his members nearly $9,000 a year each.

...

Robert Kelly, president of ATU Local 308, which represents train workers, instantly shot down any such theory.

"My job isn't to balance their budget. It's to represent my members," Mr. Kelly said, urging Mr. Claypool to go to Plan B.

The work-rule campaign is "completely false," he said, and requiring his local and the one that covers bus drivers to make up $160 million would require each to suffer $9,000 in losses.
As far as I'm concerned, with "leadership" like Mr. Kelly, I'd be perfectly fine tolerating a strike for as long as it took to break the union. In any other context, what they threaten would qualify as extortion - particularly when it's threatened against the general public.

k1052 Oct 19, 2011 8:55 PM

I'm not sure what the union actually thinks Plan B might be besides more layoffs of their membership at this point. Claypool clearly has the backing of the mayor who isn't likely to capitulate to the CTA unions given the battles he has ahead with other city unions.

Nowhereman1280 Oct 19, 2011 9:18 PM

^^^ Yeah, I don't think the union gets it. Daley isn't mayor anymore, Rahm's not going to put up with this shit. I'm sure he'll crack some skulls if they try to push back. You can tell Gabe Klein is telling Rahm to do this. He's probably making the very argument that we've outlined here: fare hikes will reduce ridership and therefore revenue. They are counter productive. The real problem is the bloodsucking union preventing any sort of progress from occurring.

I will enjoy watching Rahm dismantle these idiots almost as much as I will enjoy him "keeping the protesters in line" during the NATO-G20 event...

M II A II R II K Oct 20, 2011 3:46 PM

Chicago Proposes “Congestion Fee” On Parking to Fund Transit


Read More: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/10/1...-fund-transit/

Quote:

In last winter’s Chicago mayoral election, all the leading candidates made ambitious promises to increase funding for the city’s struggling transit agency. Now, with a proposed $2 “congestion fee” — really a downtown surcharge on the city’s parking tax — Emanuel plans to make drivers pay their fair share and use the proceeds to build a new rail station and the city’s first bus rapid transit line.

Under Emanuel’s plan, anyone parking in a downtown lot or garage would be required to pay an additional $2 on top of the existing parking tax. Drivers parking on the street or in residential garages wouldn’t be taxed, though according to the Chicago Tribune, some transportation advocates want to see the fee extended to downtown meters. According to the Sun-Times, the fee would raise roughly $28 million.

Emanuel and his transportation commissioner, Gabe Klein, want to use that revenue to complete two important transit projects. A new Green Line station at McCormick Place would allow for transit-oriented development in a fast-growing part of the city. A bus rapid transit system with dedicated, camera-enforced lanes, priority at traffic signals and off-board fare payment will be put into place for a new downtown circulator route.

An earlier version of the same plan was put forward by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2008, with parking fees that would have gone up to $8 a day to fund an even wider BRT system, but opposition kept that plan from being enacted before a federal deadline passed.

For New Yorkers, the substance of Emanuel’s plan isn’t groundbreaking. The Chicago BRT line looks like it will have roughly the same features as New York City’s Select Bus Service, and New York already charges an 8 percent surtax on parking in Manhattan; with daily parking rates in Midtown averaging $41, that works out to about $3.25.

.....

Standpoor Oct 21, 2011 11:12 PM

Well some might not care any more, but after talking about it for months on end construction has re-started on the UP-North bridge replacement project. There has been a crane at Sunnyside and Ravenswood now for a couple of weeks and when I walked by today, there were steel beams, lane closures, a whole mess of ties, and workers setting up a bunch of hydraulic lines. Eight years to go. :cheers:

M II A II R II K Oct 22, 2011 3:05 PM

Chicago's 'Congestion Fee' Gets Chilly Reception


Read More: http://www.npr.org/2011/10/21/141595...illy-reception

Quote:

.....

Attorney Tom Higgins says he is not happy with the fee. At the downtown lot he parked in recently, prices start at $6 for 20 minutes but quickly skyrocket to $30 for staying between 101 minutes and 12 hours. "So unless you're staying here more than 12 hours, you're bleeding," Higgins says. He says he tries to take the train from his home in northwest Indiana whenever he can, but he can't always do so. "Based on what I do and my need to be able to travel to court in various outlying districts, I need my car, so I guess this is just another cost for working in the city," Higgins says.

- Colleen Karsted, a chef instructor at a downtown culinary school, pays a reduced parking rate — but even that just went up. "Now with an additional $2 tax, that puts me at $14 a day. It's just too much. I'll be on [Chicago's elevated trains], for sure." Karsted's response to the parking fee increase is exactly what city officials and urban planners are hoping for. According to Peter Skosey with the nonprofit Metropolitan Planning Council, the city needs to keep the central business district — and not the number of cars — growing, with people coming downtown to work, shop and play. "We have to start looking at how we increase the number of people that come in by trains and buses, and on bikes and on foot," Skosey says.

- "I do not think a $2-a-day charge on off-street parking is the way to go," says Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at UCLA. His book, The High Cost of Free Parking, prompted many cities to rethink how they price downtown parking. Shoup says a $2 increase may not be enough to get many commuters to leave their cars at home, especially if their employers cover all or part of the parking cost. Also, he says, raising prices in parking lots and garages might only increase the number of drivers circling around in search of street parking, adding to congestion. "I think the most important thing to do for any city is to get the price of curb parking right," Shoup says.

- That's the approach some other cities are taking. San Francisco, for example, is experimenting with parking meters that change prices block to block and at different times of day, based on supply and demand. Los Angeles, Washington and other cities are also trying congestion pricing on street parking. Shoup and other urban planners say Emanuel should consider incorporating meters and other options into his plan, which will be voted on by the City Council next month.

.....



http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2011...319263549&s=51

Buckman821 Nov 3, 2011 7:23 PM

Crustiest Station No More!
Wilson El To Get $135 Million Overhaul

http://www.uptownupdate.com/2011/11/...son-el-to.html

Quote:

November 3, 2011 (CHICAGO) – 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman stood this morning with Governor Quinn, Mayor Emanuel, and CTA President Claypool to announce $135 Million in funding to rebuild the Wilson L Red Line station.

J_M_Tungsten Nov 3, 2011 9:22 PM

135 million? Doesn't that seem a bit excessive for an el station?

ardecila Nov 3, 2011 9:32 PM

Not when you consider the complexity of the project. They will need to rebuild the elevated structures to allow enough platform width for elevators. Hopefully it will be a proper express/local station like Belmont and Fullerton - actually, it will hopefully have a full canopy.

The weird thing is that this is all money down the drain if CTA decides to build a subway for the North Main project. My guess is that the subway was always a pipe dream option, though. The mere fact that this project is progressing tells me that CTA will probably go for the cheap "refurbishment 4-track" option.

Side note: apparently Chicagoans coined the phrase "pipe dream", as the first printed usages of the phrase occurred in Chicago newspapers around 1890...

untitledreality Nov 3, 2011 9:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten (Post 5467200)
135 million? Doesn't that seem a bit excessive for an el station?

I thought the same thing. Morgan is being built for $35mm~ ...one possible explanation that crossed my mind was that it could possibly involve the proposals in the RPM project. Thee of the six "options" involved serious changes to how an elevated station at Wilson would function. All three called for Wilson to become a Red/Purple transfer station with a secondary entrance off of Sunnyside.

Just a thought...

J_M_Tungsten Nov 3, 2011 9:48 PM

Ah ok, well that makes sense, thanks. I always get suspicious when I hear figures like the here in Chicago!

ardecila Nov 3, 2011 10:38 PM

Better article from Crains:

Quote:

CTA Red Line to get $1-billion makeover
November 03, 2011


The Chicago Transit Authority's critical but creaky Red Line finally is getting a major makeover — $1 billion in work over the next four years.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday announced they've lined up the funds for a variety of projects that will begin next year, including new track and power systems, and the rebuilding or renovation of 11 stations.

The work won't include a total rebuild of the especially dilapidated el section north of Wilson, which is built atop a dirt embankment. But it should sharply increase speeds on a line that accounts for nearly 40% of all CTA rail riders.

The state will provide a $646-million grant for the project, coming from the $31-billion Illinois Jobs Now capital program that Mr. Quinn got through the General Assembly in 2008.

As part of the plan, tracks between 18th and 95th streets will be replaced, with stations in that area scheduled for upgrades.

On the North Side, both the Wilson and Clark/Division stations will be rebuilt, along with surrounding track. The ventilation system will be upgraded in the downtown subway, three electric substations rebuilt and ties replaced on Purple Line track between the Belmont and Linden stations, improving travel speeds on that line.
Alright, so it looks like Claypool will pursue a piecemeal approach to the Red Line project instead of the massive New Starts rebuild envisioned by the RPM studies. That makes a lot of sense, actually, and provides the opportunity for Chicago to receive New Starts for other stuff like the Red Line South.

Unfortunately, it looks like we'll be stuck with the awful Sheridan curve for the foreseeable future.

Not sure which 11 stations the article is referring to. I'm seeing:
Loyola
Wilson
Clark/Division


Possibly:
Cermak
North/Clybourn
Grand/State

if Rahm wants to claim those as a victory for his administration.

Articles mention that the stations between Cermak and 95th are in for an upgrade, but they were all just rebuilt 8 years ago. I guess Claypool could send in the Clean Team? :shrug: There are still 3 stations without elevators, too (87th, 63rd, Garfield).

Beta_Magellan Nov 4, 2011 4:09 AM

Any word as to whether Purple Line would be able to access the new Wilson station?

I’m not sure what the relationship between this and RPM is—it either could be the first phase of a less-intensive version or a tie-over until a big Red-Purple Project happens (the transit equivalent of a road resurfacing). I’m starting to think it’s somewhere in between—they’re waiting on rebuilding the stretch north of Wilson, but this will essentially be lifted out of one of the Red-Purple alternatives. It looks like the subway and all its advantages—no Sheridan curve, no Ravenswood interlocking issues, track geometry good enough to eliminate the need for express tracks, stations not-exposed-to-the-weather, higher ridership—won’t be coming. If that’s the case, we’re either headed for the shorter-term refurbishment or one of new elevated structure scenarios between Ravenswood and Morse. I’ve heard bad stuff about the Red Line embankment, and given that the projected lifetime of the basic rehab option was only twenty years I’d hope they would go with one of the fuller rebuilds, but since (at least with transportation) Rahm seems focused on quick results I’m guessing we’re getting the basic rehab, one station/part of the embankment at a time.

Sheridan could still be widened some point in the future, though probably not without eminent domain—if that’s the case, I wouldn’t be surprised if it became a Red Line-only island platform, especially if Wilson gets Purple Line access.

I’m pretty sure the mention of refurbishing stations from Cermak to 95th was just a goof—they’re either planning or already working on slow zone-track-ballast work on the Dan Ryan.

lawfin Nov 4, 2011 3:48 PM

Quote:

CTA Red Line to get $1-billion makeover
November 03, 2011

The Chicago Transit Authority's critical but creaky Red Line finally is getting a major makeover — $1 billion in work over the next four years.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday announced they've lined up the funds for a variety of projects that will begin next year, including new track and power systems, and the rebuilding or renovation of 11 stations.

The work won't include a total rebuild of the especially dilapidated el section north of Wilson, which is built atop a dirt embankment. But it should sharply increase speeds on a line that accounts for nearly 40% of all CTA rail riders.

The state will provide a $646-million grant for the project, coming from the $31-billion Illinois Jobs Now capital program that Mr. Quinn got through the General Assembly in 2008.

As part of the plan, tracks between 18th and 95th streets will be replaced, with stations in that area scheduled for upgrades.

On the North Side, both the Wilson and Clark/Division stations will be rebuilt, along with surrounding track. The ventilation system will be upgraded in the downtown subway, three electric substations rebuilt and ties replaced on Purple Line track between the Belmont and Linden stations, improving travel speeds on that line.]
this is a travesty especially when you contrast Chicago's much superior in-place transit infrastructure with that in LA for instance. LA is getting things done in the right way vis-a-vis Chicago when it comes to building promoting transit....I really realy hoped for the subway option; maybe it will still happen but doubtful

I am getting more and more disheartened with Chicago's place as an alleged major world city. We claim to be; but so much of what we do here is bush league more deserving of a place like Cleveland than alleged world city.

I'd kill for instance to have a transit system in Chicago as good as Barcelona:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...x-Met2.svg.png

or Madrid:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ro_Map.svg.png

emathias Nov 4, 2011 6:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5468170)
...
I'd kill for instance to have a transit system in Chicago as good as Barcelona:

or Madrid:

Can't really compare our transit system to those cities because even central Chicago is only about 1/2 as dense as the parts of Madrid or Barcelona served by their respective metros.

So not only do they have more taxpayers per track mile, they have more riders per track mile. Then the requirements for "safety" or disabled access and whatnot aren't as burdensome in Spain. They still mostly have elevators, and are as safe as US systems, but the federal requirements here are of the sort that greatly increase costs (by nearly double).

Given our present density, BRT is probably our best hope for increased rapid transit outside of the core. We might be able to get a little extra - maybe a Clinton Street subway, or maybe a circulator subway between the N Michigan Ave corridor and the West Loop, but outside of that we don't have anywhere near the necessary density to be building major rail projects.

The best long-term hope would probably be to start making destination centers outside of the Loop that are dense and attractive and on existing rail lines, and then start connecting those centers at some point in the future. If the Midway area were designated a dense low-rise (due to the airplanes) commercial district, something in Grand Crossing or Chatham, something near Jefferson Park, dedication to building up the commercial aspects of Uptown in a dense way, and the edge of Austin and Garfield Park, continued densification in Hyde Park, and you'd have decentralized areas that could then justify rail connections between them. Then allow Western between Foster and 79th to be built out at DX densities, and you might eventually be able to make a case for a Western subway.

Via Chicago Nov 4, 2011 7:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5467222)
Not when you consider the complexity of the project. They will need to rebuild the elevated structures to allow enough platform width for elevators. Hopefully it will be a proper express/local station like Belmont and Fullerton - actually, it will hopefully have a full canopy.

The weird thing is that this is all money down the drain if CTA decides to build a subway for the North Main project. My guess is that the subway was always a pipe dream option, though. The mere fact that this project is progressing tells me that CTA will probably go for the cheap "refurbishment 4-track" option.

Side note: apparently Chicagoans coined the phrase "pipe dream", as the first printed usages of the phrase occurred in Chicago newspapers around 1890...

Perhaps. Still seems like a huge amount of money for just one station. Back when I was still in university, an entire state of the art academic building went up for $25 million. I realize transportation has its own challenges, but still. I can't help but think about how much was poured into the Brown Line project, which ultimately still is plagued by problems and shoddy construction issues only a couple years later. Should be interesting to see the renderings.

untitledreality Nov 5, 2011 3:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Via Chicago (Post 5468540)
I can't help but think about how much was poured into the Brown Line project, which ultimately still is plagued by problems and shoddy construction issues only a couple years later.

The Brown line capacity expansion project was $530mm and involved work on 18 of the 19 stations, 16 of which were nearly or totally rebuilt... the only real screw up was the wood selection for the decking.

source_chicago-l.org

the urban politician Nov 5, 2011 8:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5467222)
The weird thing is that this is all money down the drain if CTA decides to build a subway for the North Main project. My guess is that the subway was always a pipe dream option, though. The mere fact that this project is progressing tells me that CTA will probably go for the cheap "refurbishment 4-track" option.

Side note: apparently Chicagoans coined the phrase "pipe dream", as the first printed usages of the phrase occurred in Chicago newspapers around 1890...

^ One benefit of the subway option for the Red Line is that the CTA can actually sell the ROW to private developers. That doesn't exist for the other options. I wonder if that has ever been discussed at any of the meetings?

denizen467 Nov 6, 2011 9:30 AM

^ You're referring to the elevated portion that would become dis-used, right? I think that runs over alleys for almost the entire stretch in question (to Loyola or something?) and so at best there would be, over decades, a zillion little landowner transactions buying a mini-plot to build a garage or something, no?

denizen467 Nov 6, 2011 9:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Standpoor (Post 5452774)
Well some might not care any more, but after talking about it for months on end construction has re-started on the UP-North bridge replacement project. There has been a crane at Sunnyside and Ravenswood now for a couple of weeks and when I walked by today, there were steel beams, lane closures, a whole mess of ties, and workers setting up a bunch of hydraulic lines. Eight years to go. :cheers:

Belated thanks for this update. It will be nice to see progress on these. Though the rustic viaducts can be pretty and new ones can be a bit brutalistic depending on the structure used.

the urban politician Nov 6, 2011 6:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5469952)
^ You're referring to the elevated portion that would become dis-used, right? I think that runs over alleys for almost the entire stretch in question (to Loyola or something?) and so at best there would be, over decades, a zillion little landowner transactions buying a mini-plot to build a garage or something, no?

^ Yes, I was referring to that.

emathias Nov 7, 2011 5:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 5469459)
^ One benefit of the subway option for the Red Line is that the CTA can actually sell the ROW to private developers. That doesn't exist for the other options. I wonder if that has ever been discussed at any of the meetings?

I think it'd be better as a elevated park or, perhaps, a bicycle expressway.

Mr Downtown Nov 7, 2011 7:15 PM

The North Side Main is two different kinds of ROW. From Belmont to Irving Park, it's traditional steel viaduct over public alley. That's probably tricky to develop in any useful way. From Irving Park to Wilson, it's steel structure over the old railroad ROW. Could be sold off, but it's not clear to me whether it's owned by the city or CTA, and most of it is a strip between Graceland Cemetery and the linear "Challenger Park," so the neighbors wouldn't think development a possibility. North of Wilson, it's a 60-foot right-of-way now owned in fee by CTA, apparently, often flanked by alleys on both sides. This could conceivably be a string of new infill buildings, but I wouldn't get too excited. The Winthrop-Kenmore corridor is not exactly the hottest real estate around. The uncertainty of dealing with the environmental implications of removing the existing fill is one thing, the uncertainty of dealing with neighborhood groups in Uptown and Edgewater is another.

Beta_Magellan Nov 7, 2011 9:26 PM

I also doubt it would be redeveloped as a string of tall buildings—if the elevated was replaced with a subway, there’d be infill along streetfronts (probably keeping original CTA facades in some instances), but most of the value would come from making the corridor more attractive (less noise, same service) and would allow any potential new infill to go deeper into the block.

ardecila Nov 8, 2011 1:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 5469459)
^ One benefit of the subway option for the Red Line is that the CTA can actually sell the ROW to private developers. That doesn't exist for the other options. I wonder if that has ever been discussed at any of the meetings?

Yes, it was discussed at the meetings, and I remember seeing it in CTA's scoping comments compilation. I'm not sure they took it seriously, but it's on their radar in some form.

In other news, the 75th Street Corridor posted stuff about their massive proposal. I'm posting it here since it doesn't directly relate to the Regional Rail projects.

It includes two new flyovers and some intense track re-arrangement to eliminate conflicts. The rendering posted of the SouthWest Service flyover is such a joke, though. Did Metra switch from Nippon Sharyo to Lionel for their passenger cars?

http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/5011/flyover.jpg

lawfin Nov 8, 2011 2:06 AM

This is a graphic of the proposed city wide brt....I don't recall seeing before apologies of it was already posted:

source:http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2...ity-mobility/#

http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/w...hicago-BRT.jpg

Beta_Magellan Nov 8, 2011 3:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5471959)

Incompetence, a trick of perspective, or not-so-strategic misrepresentation? :rolleyes:

Although I just got through a week of bitching online about CAHSR’s viaducts, I’d say that, regardless of how poorly this image probably represents the way the viaduct will actually cut through the area, it’s worth noting that this will only be about a block long and will probably go a long way towards improving the SouthWest Service’s speed and reliability, taking it off of Norfolk Southern tracks in the city (I’m pretty sure a lot of its delays happen there) and allowing it to be rerouted onto the RI line to LaSalle (not to mention that this project also untangles other traffic).

All of this, of course, makes it all the more frustrating that CREATE couldn’t do a better job with its renderings.

zilfondel Nov 8, 2011 3:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5472152)
Incompetence, a trick of perspective, or not-so-strategic misrepresentation? :rolleyes:

Although I just got through a week of bitching online about CAHSR’s viaducts, I’d say that, regardless of how poorly this image probably represents the way the viaduct will actually cut through the area, it’s worth noting that this will only be about a block long and will probably go a long way towards improving the SouthWest Service’s speed and reliability, taking it off of Norfolk Southern tracks in the city (I’m pretty sure a lot of its delays happen there) and allowing it to be rerouted onto the RI line to LaSalle (not to mention that this project also untangles other traffic).

All of this, of course, makes it all the more frustrating that CREATE couldn’t do a better job with its renderings.

Judging by the height of the surrounding houses and the train rendering, the train would probably be twice as tall/large as depicted in that render. Which really isn't surprising.

If you look closely, the depicted it the same height as a CAR, around 4 feet. Most trains are ~10' tall.


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