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

lawfin May 5, 2011 4:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 5267190)
I prefer the before?

Yeah thirded! That after pic looks horrible! Is it possible the pics were mis-tagged.....hopefully?

emathias May 5, 2011 5:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 5267190)
I prefer the before?

If I lived across from that, I'd be PISSED if they did that to my view. Nice leafy green, if somewhat overgrown, to no trees and chain link like some prison. The onyl benefit I can see to the "after" is that tree roots may be disruptive to the embankment - but there must be some sort of happy medium.

ardecila May 5, 2011 7:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5267503)
If I lived across from that, I'd be PISSED if they did that to my view. Nice leafy green, if somewhat overgrown, to no trees and chain link like some prison. The onyl benefit I can see to the "after" is that tree roots may be disruptive to the embankment - but there must be some sort of happy medium.

The trees have to go to make room for the track. The new northbound track will be so close to the western edge of the right-of-way that a new, taller retaining wall is required. If a third track is ever built, it will do the same thing to the eastern edge of the embankment (although not as severe).

UP insists that the track spacing needs to increase from 13' to 15'. Also, for reasons of construction staging, the new tracks have to be a few feet to the west of the existing ones. These two factors in combination mean that the edge of the train's clearance envelope will only be 4'9" away from the street on the west side. This requires the permanent removal of all the vegetation on this side (hence the feeble attempt at vines).

http://metrarail.com/content/dam/met...pril2011UP.pdf

I believe the Urbanophile does in fact live across the street from that, or at least within a block of the rail line somewhere. I'm interested to hear his take, since he was such a critic of the original plan.

Nowhereman1280 May 5, 2011 7:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 5267190)
I prefer the before?

What you don't like Jurassic Park style 10' chain link fence?

ardecila May 5, 2011 7:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5267638)
What you don't like Jurassic Park style 10' chain link fence?

LOL

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_cHtQrCxWVW...assic-park.jpg http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/6704/rw2yq.jpg

Rizzo May 9, 2011 5:45 PM

Although these particular improvements are happening in Michigan, it's definitely Chicago related, boosting speeds (though only slightly) between Chicago and Detroit.

http://www.freep.com/article/2011050...text|FRONTPAGE

Nowhereman1280 May 9, 2011 6:21 PM

Waits for TRex to emerge over the top of Metra tracks...

Beta_Magellan May 10, 2011 4:59 AM

A Tribune article on the fencing around the tracks:

Quote:

Controversial Fencing Installed as Metra Moves Ahead with Emissions-Reducing measures
Jon Hilkevitch|9 May 2010

CHICAGO—On Thursday, Metra officials announced a plan to install fencing around the UP-North Line embankment as part of their push to improve air quality in Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center by switching from diesel to dinosaur locomotion. The fences were added to preliminary designs as a response to pressure from the communities along the line, which already suffered from disrupted schedules late last year.

“Even though the agency gave us their full assurance that the tyrannosaurs were fully domesticated and no threat to the community, after their proposal to relocate the Ravenswood station on the north side of Lawrence I was less inclined to take them at their word,” said 47th ward alderman Gene Schulter. “However, I am glad that they have been more responsive on this aspect of the project, and I look forward to working with Metra in the future.”

Although the switch to therapod locomotion was in large part a response to complaints about air quality in Union Station, the creatures’ high level of intelligence and ability to cross tracks without mechanical switches may have some advantages in the cramped quarters of Union Station, potentially making through-routing easier in the short term.

Nonetheless, the project has gained critics over the past few months. Environmentalists have argued that the carbon emissions involved in growing enough livestock to keep the warm-blooded reptiles running at a constant pace would actually outstrip emissions from refining diesel fuel and burning it in a locomotive. The proposal has also garnered critics from within Metra. Says one Union Station worker (who wishes to remain anonymous, “I know we hired the dinosaurs in response to complaints about air quality, but have those suits smelled their breath? Pee-ew—I’d rather breathe in a lung full of particulates any day.”

Funding for the conversion was provided by a federal government Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant earmarked for Metra’s use by US Senator Mark Kirk, who recently disavowed his support for the theory of evolution.

Nowhereman1280 May 10, 2011 2:51 PM

^^^ That's rich. Well done, I was like "wait, did the tribune turn into the Onion and then pick up on this thread?" for a second there...

This reminds me of how they temporarily moved the raptor cages to Millennium Park as one of the main features of the park right at the beginning. They just took them down after they realized that the clever girls were picking off a dozen or so tourists a year.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1272/...b2f5cb184d.jpg
flickr

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_3xmWZKdcRVE/TK...h30m09s215.JPG
ggpht.com

ardecila May 12, 2011 4:55 AM

Quote:

CTA OKs Bus Tracker signs at shelters
By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
11:31 a.m. CDT, May 11, 2011


http://redeye.trb.com/media/alternat...4-11111733.jpg

The CTA board today approved the purchase of 160 signs that will display Bus Tracker information at bus shelters across the city.

There will be at least one sign at each ward, the CTA said, and signs will be placed at downtown Metra stops to encourage riders to take the CTA.

The signs will display four lines of text with arrival information specific to the location of the bus shelter, the CTA said.

The funds for the signs were made available through a Regional Transportation Authority and federal grant, the CTA said.

Luminator Holding was awarded the one-year contract for more than $1 million for the initial purchase of signs. The CTA has the option to purchase up to 2,050 signs for up to five years.
Cool. We need these across the city. If the CTA has an option for 2050 signs, that's pretty much every shelter IN the city. 160 is a good start.

tintinex May 12, 2011 5:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5274957)
Cool. We need these across the city. If the CTA has an option for 2050 signs, that's pretty much every shelter IN the city. 160 is a good start.

It was fun reading through the comment section where some were saying that this is a huge waste of money since everyone can see this on their iphones already.. :rolleyes:

emathias May 13, 2011 1:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5274957)
Cool. We need these across the city. If the CTA has an option for 2050 signs, that's pretty much every shelter IN the city. 160 is a good start.

What they ought to do for the Train Tracker signs in the stations is figure out a way to keep them visible.

90% of the time I can't see them on the platform because other signs (or lighting figures) are blocking them.

ardecila May 13, 2011 6:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5275957)
What they ought to do for the Train Tracker signs in the stations is figure out a way to keep them visible.

90% of the time I can't see them on the platform because other signs (or lighting figures) are blocking them.

I'd rather that the signs display only train arrival times. I don't need reminders to replace my Chicago Card... I was at Cermak yesterday and had to wait through nearly a minute of useless bullshit messages before it got to the arrival times. Also... I don't need arrival times for northbound trains on a sign facing the southbound half of the platform.

Really, the signs installed at Belmont and Fullerton need to be installed systemwide. The one-line signs that already exist, and the LCD screens that display commercials, both suck at showing arrival times.

MayorOfChicago May 15, 2011 4:26 PM

I agree!! It seems I can NEVER see the signs at Fullerton or Belmont unless I'm standing in just the right spot. Otherwise the structure and lights are always blocking all the times.

I also hate that 2/3 of the time it's showing crap thanking us for riding, crap about chicago cards and then what day it is.

I actually contacted the CTA to let them know that one of the signs at Fullerton has been frozen on the Chicago Card message for a few months now.

ardecila May 15, 2011 5:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 5278394)
I agree!! It seems I can NEVER see the signs at Fullerton or Belmont unless I'm standing in just the right spot. Otherwise the structure and lights are always blocking all the times.

I also hate that 2/3 of the time it's showing crap thanking us for riding, crap about chicago cards and then what day it is.

I actually contacted the CTA to let them know that one of the signs at Fullerton has been frozen on the Chicago Card message for a few months now.

The signs have a valid purpose in communicating disruptions and temporary service changes. People check the boards to get an idea of how long they have to wait, so if some knucklehead fell on the tracks 3 stations down, it's gonna increase your wait time and the message is relevant.

Making those messages electronic saves the CTA the cost of replicating hundreds or thousands of paper signs, and saves the union-wage salaries of the dudes who post the paper signs.

I'm guessing CTA will tweak the messaging strategy as they go along to better utilize the signs that have been installed. However, I'm worried that with Train Tracker in place, CTA won't bother to expand the electronic signage. Anybody without a smartphone will remain in the dark, or will have to use a slow and cumbersome texting service.

Hey Viva, what happened to the rollout of the LCD ad/message screens from Titan? I heard they were having problems with the screens overheating, but that was months ago. Will the installation continue?

ardecila May 16, 2011 9:30 PM

Quote:

Evanston wants input on possible south Evanston Yellow Line station
By Jonathan Bullington, TribLocal reporter
Today at 11:48 a.m.


Officials are seeking community input on a potential CTA Yellow Line station in south Evanston.

The city of Evanston, Village of Skokie and Regional Transportation Authority conducted a market analysis of the Yellow Line in 2007, and evaluated three possible station locations at Dodge, Asbury and Ridge avenues — locations that had seen transit stations prior to 1964 and the inception of the Howard Street to Dempster Street “Skokie Swift” service.

According to city officials, that analysis concluded that a new south Evanston Yellow Line station could expand the total number of work trips serviced by the line from 25 percent to 45 percent, and attract 1,000 riders per day or more if the line offered direct service to downtown Chicago.

The study was unable to identify one station as being “clearly superior to the others,” officials said, and recommended an engineering feasibility study to identify a preferred station location or locations.

The public input meeting is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. June 2 in the Linden Room at the Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave.
Asbury seems like the best choice to me. It has dense residential neighborhoods surrounding it, and CTA could extend the busy 49B bus to a new turnaround at the station (or at a convenient location further north). The station could be built with an auxiliary entrance to Ridge as well to serve St. Joseph St. Francis Hospital.

Steely Dan May 16, 2011 9:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5279821)
The station could be built with an auxiliary entrance to Ridge as well to serve St. Joseph Hospital.

i take it you meant to say St. Francis Hospital? St. Joseph is down in lakeview.

and i agree that a station at asbury with access ramp to ridge would make the most sense and serve the greatest number if there's only to be one yellow line station in south evanston.

a station at dodge would also have merits, including providing rail access for seniors to the levy center, but asbury/ridge has much higher residential/employment density.

in an ideal world, you put in stops at asbury/ridge, dodge, crawford, oakton, & main, along with extending the line up to old orchard, and turn it into a full-fledged rail corridor, but ridership probably isn't there to support all of that.

Beta_Magellan May 16, 2011 10:50 PM

A preliminary study can be found here (pdf). It includes a table of their ridership estimates:

Dodge: 250 (low) 950 (high)

Asbury: 400 (low) 850 (high)

Ridge: 500 (low) 1000 (high)

Two separate stations at Dodge and Ridge in south Evanston plus another in Crawford sounds best to me—if Evanston only wants to have one station in the long term, then Asbury makes the most sense. Asbury also has the advantage of having the easiest track geometry for building new platforms. Ridge carries the caveat that there isn’t much room to accelerate between it and Howard and could potential put a dent in the Yellow Line’s high average speed (a major sticking point for Skokie); I’d also expect some of Ridge’s ridership to be poached from Howard.

Mr Downtown May 17, 2011 12:11 AM

What's the latest estimate for opening day at Oakton?

ardecila May 17, 2011 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5279933)
Ridge carries the caveat that there isn’t much room to accelerate between it and Howard

Not a huge problem, since the Yellow Line often has to wait for clearance anyway before getting a berth at Howard.

Still, I'd like to see a Metra station at Howard in the long run. It would really simplify the rail transit system on the north lakefront, even if people had to walk the 2 blocks for the transfer from Metra to Red.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5280043)
What's the latest estimate for opening day at Oakton?

The groundbreaking was last summer, but construction did not actually begin until October. At that point, completion was anticipated for "late fall 2011". I believe the foundation is well underway by now, and they will probably try to open the station before everything is fully completed in order to meet the deadline in the contract.

Construction Updates, April 11 2011

(see the skyline in the background)
http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/6959/oakton1.jpg

http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/6792/oakton2.jpg


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