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ardecila Apr 3, 2012 12:44 AM

I like that. South Siders headed to the West Loop would presumably just ride the bus an extra stop to the Red Line, so there's no need for a Green-Red transfer.

The Rock Island trains would lose most of their passengers here - Rock riders will love the one-seat connection to West Loop and River North.

Above-ground stations with that kind of cross-platform transfer are pretty rare. I can only think of Queens Plaza in NY... definitely not something you want to show to the neighborhood groups.

http://urbanomnibus.net/main/wp-cont...n-qp-south.jpg

David vs. Goliath

Mr Downtown Apr 3, 2012 11:46 PM

Well, Fullerton and Belmont both work that way, too.

Nexis4Jersey Apr 4, 2012 12:03 AM

Are there any plans to cover the Dan Ryan Expressway with a park?

emathias Apr 4, 2012 2:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 5653112)
Are there any plans to cover the Dan Ryan Expressway with a park?

Not that I've heard. Occasionally there's rumor that some portion of the Ike - for example in Oak Park - might get decked, and there were some proposals about decking over the portion of the Kennedy immediately west of the Loop. But I haven't heard of anything about the Dan Ryan.

ardecila Apr 4, 2012 2:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5653091)
Well, Fullerton and Belmont both work that way, too.

Howard does too (and soon Wilson) but I was talking about the stacked arrangement you referred to. That kind of stuff is monstrous when it's above ground - certainly no worse than the existing 18th/Wentworth junction though, or your average expressway interchange.

CTA Gray Line Apr 4, 2012 4:48 AM

Red Line Extension Left Off Emanuel’s Infrastructure Plans
 
http://progressillinois.com/posts/co...tructure-plans

Matthew Blake Tuesday April 3rd, 2012, 4:58pm

Red Line Extension Left Off Emanuel’s Infrastructure Plans


Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Building a New Chicago” speech last Thursday outlined $7.2 billion in infrastructure improvements he wants the city to tackle over the next four years. One project was conspicuous in its absence – extending the Chicago Transit Authority Red Line, from 95th Street to the end of the city at 130th Street.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Building a New Chicago” speech last Thursday outlined $7.2 billion in infrastructure improvements he wants the city to tackle over the next four years. One project was conspicuous in its absence – extending the Chicago Transit Authority Red Line, from 95th Street to the end of the city at 130th Street.

Since the 1960s, city planners have discussed extending the Red Line to connect the predominantly African-American and economically marginalized far South Side Chicago neighborhoods with the rest of the city’s economy. As a candidate for mayor, Emanuel said that expansion of the Red Line would be his first transportation priority.

But Emanuel spokesman Tom Alexander confirmed the Red Line extension was not part of Building a New Chicago. Alexander said the mayor only included projects where a funding source was identified.

This is arguably a fuzzy distinction. The city can identify a possible funding source for any project. But that’s not the same as said source agreeing to pay for the project.

For example, Emanuel prominently included another runway for O’Hare International Airport in his infrastructure speech. But the funding source is private airline companies, who have not agreed to pay the money.

Alexander referred subsequent questions to the Chicago Transit Authority.

Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski said that CTA continues to see the Red Line extension as a longer-term project. Hosinki added that the city and CTA “continues to explore multiple funding avenues to make these projects a reality.”

Advocates for extending the Red Line were discouraged by Emanuel’s infrastructure speech.

“We are becoming increasingly concerned about the mayor and CTA not properly communicating about their public investment strategies,” says John Paul Jones, an organizer at the Developing Communities Project, a faith-based group in the Roseland neighborhood.

Jones, though, holds out hope that the Infrastructure Trust Emanuel introduced at last month’s City Council meeting could mean private investors committing to the Red Line extension. Jones said that his group is scheduled to meet with the mayor’s office later this week.

However, Steve Schlickman, director of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Urban Transportation Center and former head of the Regional Transit Authority, is skeptical that the emerging trend of privatizing public infrastructure projects can work with the Red Line extension.

Schlickman says that he is not clear on how the Infrastructure Trust will exactly work. But he points out that a Red Line extension is probably unattractive to private investors. “Projects like that are very expensive upfront,” Schlickman says – reported estimates put the extension at $1.4 billion. “And there is no expectation that a Red Line transit line will have surplus operations revenue.”

Federal money would likely pay for much of a possible Red Line extension: the CTA’s Hosinski cited the federal New Starts program as a possible funding source.

But there must be matching local money for the federal government to consider the project – at least 20 percent of the project must be locally funded, and often that figure is higher, according to Schlickman. And – as noted by the mayor’s office – the city and CTA have not identified this local funding.

The mayor’s office has further constrained itself, Schlickman notes, through a commitment to no new taxes that Emanuel made in the infrastructure speech.

One local funding possibility is creating a Far South Side Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, district. Jones says that he worked with his alderman – Carrie Austin (34th) – on the creation of a TIF. A call to Austin’s office this afternoon was not returned.

The Red Line was not before pushed as a private investment opportunity, but as a way for government to better connect the city. CTA estimates that a current day trip from Altgeld Gardens public housing projects on 133rd St. to City Hall takes an hour, and involves a combination of three different buses, or two buses and a Metra line.

untitledreality Apr 4, 2012 6:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5653420)
Red Line Extension Left Off Emanuel’s Infrastructure Plans

This whole Red Line extension needs to be rethought anyways. In its current form it does nothing to increase connectivity on the far South side other than adding four new stations. It would be far wiser imo to route it to 115th/MLK, offering a direct connection to the Metra EC/future rapid transit conversion.

lawfin Apr 4, 2012 6:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 5654097)
This whole Red Line extension needs to be rethought anyways. In its current form it does nothing to increase connectivity on the far South side other than adding four new stations. It would be far wiser imo to route it to 115th/MLK, offering a direct connection to the Metra EC/future rapid transit conversion.

Agreed.

emathias Apr 4, 2012 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 5654097)
This whole Red Line extension needs to be rethought anyways. In its current form it does nothing to increase connectivity on the far South side other than adding four new stations. It would be far wiser imo to route it to 115th/MLK, offering a direct connection to the Metra EC/future rapid transit conversion.

King was considered. it was eliminated because transit ridership in the corridor was lower than in the LPA corridor and because the King corridor already has better high-capacity transit service exactly because it has Metra Electric. It would be sort of silly to duplicate that just for a transfer that might become useful sometime in the unspecified future.

If ME became the Silver Line, I'm sure a station for transfers could be arranged if it were determined to be something riders wanted.

EDIT: Unless you mean the current routing except running along 115th where it crosses with a station at MLK and then continuing southeast?

ardecila Apr 4, 2012 10:37 PM

No point finding local matching funds if there's no money for grants in Washington.

electricron Apr 5, 2012 3:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5654527)
No point finding local matching funds if there's no money for grants in Washington.

Having local matching funds available allows your senior Senator or Representative to include a "pork" project during the joint conference committee making two separate appropriation bills into one. Of course, your State will need a senior member on that joint conference committee - which I believe Illinois has....

ardecila Apr 5, 2012 4:46 AM

Pretty much all of the region's Federal dollars for the last decade have gone into the huge money pit known as O'Hare.

My point is that there's no new transportation bill in Congress, and as long as they keep passing extensions to the old one, FTA can't really make new commitments to transit agencies. When there's a snowball's chance in hell of Chicago actually getting a few billion out of the Feds, then I'm sure Rahm will find a way to make it happen.

Remember, Daley wasn't really interested in expanding CTA, which is why several times CTA had to run to the Feds and find a loophole so they could use money intended for new transit lines to pay for rebuilding old ones.

Beta_Magellan Apr 5, 2012 6:36 AM

ardecila hit the nail on the head with respect to federal funding, and it should be noted that the big Red-Purple Modernization project isn’t in Emanuel’s speech, either (though he makes note of the smaller interim modernization project). And even if we did have a secure federal funding environment, neither is yet ready for a New Starts application (though they’re getting pretty far along on the Red Line extension).

I’ve voiced my Red Line/Gray Line preferences on this board previously, but I think it’s worth reiterating that the Red Line project’s more expensive than it needs to be. A big factor is the yard—according to the EIS it’s not necessary—there’s already sufficient yard capacity on the Red Line—and is a nice-to-have for the CTA (not in a freeway median, connection with national rail network for easier transportation of new railcars and such), not a need to-have. Get rid of that you’re saving ~$300 million. Furthermore, I’m not convinced that it’s really necessary to go past 115th—while it would be nice for Altgeld Gardens to get 24 hours railservice, do we really have to roll eight steel cars all the way down to 130th? And if we want park-and-ride, why not strike a deal with NICTD to put a facility there? Although it won’t be as nice in some ways—commuters would be bound to NICTD’s schedules—park-and-riders elsewhere in the Metro area have to put up with similar constraints and still choose the train. I don’t think it’s a bad project, but it does seem to have suffered from some scope creep.

ardecila Apr 5, 2012 6:56 AM

If there needs to be a park-and-ride, put it next to Kensington and eliminate a mile of L structure. It would kickstart the revival of the 115th St commercial district, give direct L access to historic Pullman, and spur major redevelopment in the vast brownfields south of 115th. Plus, you'd get direct transfers to Metra Electric and South Shore.

CTA could probably turn Kensington Ave itself into a direct access route from 94.

On the flipside, though, a TON of the community support comes from the Altgeld residents. I went to two community meetings and they packed both of them with Altgeld residents to speak in support.

CTA Gray Line Apr 5, 2012 8:19 AM

Here is a link to a graphic I created demonstrating the extent of coverage, and the relative costs - of the Red Line Extension versus the Gray Line Conversion:

http://www.grayline.20m.com/photo.html

paytonc Apr 5, 2012 6:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5655000)
Pretty much all of the region's Federal dollars for the last decade have gone into the huge money pit known as O'Hare.

No relation to surface transportation funds.

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5654941)
Having local matching funds available allows your senior Senator or Representative to include a "pork" project during the joint conference committee making two separate appropriation bills into one.

It's different this time: there are no more earmarks. (This has the unintended consequence of making the transportation bill, previously the lardiest of all pork barrels, politically unpalatable.) OTOH, Congresscritters keep whining about the technocrats in the administration, but of course no one's ever told them that they can't have it both ways.

the urban politician Apr 5, 2012 7:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5655148)
Here is a link to a graphic I created demonstrating the extent of coverage, and the relative costs - of the Red Line Extension versus the Gray Line Conversion:

http://www.grayline.20m.com/photo.html

^ The Gray Line idea sounds better to me.

How come there isn't much support for it?

My only beef with the Gray Line as currently proposed is that it doesn't make connections to any of the CTA's other rail lines

sammyg Apr 5, 2012 10:36 PM

I believe the last time that the Gray Line came up, it turned out that there weren't many people who would transfer from Metra Electric to other CTA lines. For example, here it would be much better to upgrade the Metra line than extend the Red line.

ardecila Apr 6, 2012 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paytonc (Post 5655731)
No relation to surface transportation funds.

Only in a budgetary sense. Chicago's and Illinois' political delegation have to spend time and political capital to get support for these megaprojects, and they can't get funding for everything. We've been extraordinarily gifted with airport funding but, relative to our size, pretty poorly gifted with transit funds and especially poorly gifted with highway funds (although we've been able to self-finance roadway expansion through tolls).

untitledreality Apr 6, 2012 2:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5654155)
EDIT: Unless you mean the current routing except running along 115th where it crosses with a station at MLK and then continuing southeast?

I was in fact speaking of having the Red Line terminate at 115th/MLK. However, even if the route continues SE I still think having a station at 115th/MLK would be beneficial. It provides a connection to the ME, in on a commercial (however defunct) strip and provides a rapid transit connection for Pullman (which is far more deserving than Altgeld IMO)


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