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J_M_Tungsten Oct 19, 2012 3:09 PM

What if the masses all decide to do the whole congestion pricing thing, and those lanes get just as backed up as the rest? I could see this turning into just as much of a clusterf#*k as the rest of normal traffic during peak times.

nergie Oct 19, 2012 3:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 5872069)
^ The problem is, and I think either VivaLFuego or Ardecila brought this up a few years ago, congestion pricing could also cannibalize mass transit ridership.

If I were a fairly well paid, but not super rich, professional from the suburbs or outlying neighborhoods who worked downtown, all of a sudden congestion pricing makes driving downtown a more attractive option for me.

Now, instead of paying for a Metra ticket, I can pay daily for the "congestion lane" and get downtown just as fast, if not faster. All of a sudden you are raising revenue for Metra while, at the same time, decimating its ridership.

To me, congestion pricing isn't a bad idea but I think the cost should be high enough such that it doesn't become too attractive an alternative to the train. It should be more of a "damn it I really need to get downtown fast today, I'll bite the bullet and pay the high price just this once!" kind of thing. Here's who should use congestion lanes:

1. Individual cars for a steep price that varies throughout the day--no matter how many people are in the car, the price is the same. This will encourage carpooling because people can take turns using their own car and thus split up the cost over time
2. All buses use these lanes free of charge
3. Emergency vehicles (of course)
4. Taxicabs? Not sure about this one. I'm inclined to say they should be able to use the lanes but should still pay the congestion charge, or perhaps have a special transponder that charges them only half the congestion charge

I agree fully. Chicago should look at Singapore and London two of the leaders on congenstion pricing. The Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) in Singapore follows your 4-point plan with variable pricing based on timing during the work week. It is also turned on during the weekends give expected traffic loads in the central city. The ERP fee is included in the taxi fare, buses and emergency vehicles are free and indvidual cars pay high feed each time the pass under the gantrys.

M II A II R II K Oct 19, 2012 3:34 PM

Transit dedicated lanes are better for suburban arterials, especially since an extra lane could be added to the street. There's also the left turn lane consideration at intersections that would have to be sacrificed with narrower streets.

k1052 Oct 19, 2012 4:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten (Post 5872180)
What if the masses all decide to do the whole congestion pricing thing, and those lanes get just as backed up as the rest? I could see this turning into just as much of a clusterf#*k as the rest of normal traffic during peak times.

Keep increasing pricing until it thins out to an acceptable level. Add dynamic pricing so the most expensive times are during rush periods and other heavy congestion times.

J_M_Tungsten Oct 19, 2012 4:18 PM

Ah ok, that makes sense. Thanks

Patrick Barry Oct 19, 2012 6:45 PM

As Lawrence CTA station closes, the Red North beat goes on
 
(By Patrick Barry, Reprint from CTA Station Watch, Oct. 19, 2012)

Stand by for a big weekend – and a slow one – as construction continues on at least seven stations and track along CTA’s North Red Line.

The Lawrence station closes at 11:59 p.m. Friday for six weeks, joining the already closed Berwyn station. To allow work at those stations and elsewhere, southbound trains will bypass Granville through Lawrence from 10 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Monday.

There will be partial or full street closings, too, as viaduct repairs continue. Full street closings between Broadway and Winthrop will block auto traffic from Granville, Bryn Mawr, Winona and Berwyn, according to an alert from Ald. Harry Osterman. Watch also for partial or full closures at Argyle, Lawrence and Sheridan Road at Loyola.

It’s all part of the CTA’s $100-million-plus blitz to rebuild stations and infrastructure along the North Red Line. Here’s a glimpse at what’s going on right now:

• Lawrence demolition – Crews were working Thursday and Friday to prepare for removal of this station’s worn and uneven wooden platform and the chain-link enclosure that serves as a stationhouse. This is station number six to get the treatment, which is typically fast and furious. By the end of the weekend, after much noise and dust, the platform will be gone.

• Argyle viaduct – One of the most eroded viaducts when this project began, the structure at Argyle is being rebuilt column by column, giving riders at the newly opened station a play-by-play view.


http://ctastationwatch.com/uploads/c...3.ImageHandlerThe Berwyn stationhouse has been gutted and a new subfloor has been poured. Extensive concrete work is underway. (Photo by Patrick Barry)

• Berwyn rebuild – Half of the new pre-cast concrete platform was in place this week and the rest may go in over the weekend. Crews have gutted the old stationhouse and are rebuilding the formerly closed storefronts across the street. And with massive shoring on either side, they are replacing an entire support structure on the north side of the street.

• Bryn Mawr deep cleaning – Left out of the station-reconstruction party because it will be completely rebuilt in two or three years, Bryn Mawr is getting a CTA deep-cleaning in the meantime. New tile is partially installed on the once-horrid stairwell walls.

• Thorndale viaduct – The station has reopened and much of the viaduct work is complete, but the “bike hub” on the south side of the street isn’t built yet.

http://ctastationwatch.com/uploads/c...9.ImageHandler
The new entrance at Loyola will be wide and deep, extending outward into the future plaza space. (Photo by Patrick Barry)

• Loyola stationhouse – The foundation has been poured for a wide new station entrance north and west of the current doorway. It juts about six feet outward into the space that will become a new station plaza next spring. Upstairs, crews are rebuilding the north end of the split platform. Across the street, extensive repairs on the viaduct are blocking one lane of northbound Sheridan Road.

• Lunt viaduct – Shoring and screw jacks support the rail structure as crews rebuild columns and beams at the Lunt exit to the Morse station. One of the former storefronts was demolished because of structural problems and will become a bicycle parking area.

The station-bypass this weekend will free up two tracks so that crews from Kiewit Infrastructure and its subcontractors can fix slow zones and replace ties and ballast where needed. Kiewit's two staging yards – one at Broadway and Winona, the other just west of the Loyola station – are stacked with new rail ties and other equipment, so there’s plenty more work to come.

If you take photos or observe the work anywhere along the construction zone, please share with others at CTA Station Watch. If you tweet photos with the station hashtag (#LawrenceCTA, #BerwynCTA, etc.), they will appear on the site. You can also provide updates on our Facebook page, or send reports and photos to ctastationwatch@gmail.com.

emathias Oct 19, 2012 9:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 5872069)
^ The problem is, and I think either VivaLFuego or Ardecila brought this up a few years ago, congestion pricing could also cannibalize mass transit ridership.
...

Oh, the old, "It's not popular anymore, it's too crowded" canard? :koko:

It would be possible for them to do that because now more people would be taking Metra. Even if Metra lost 9 "well to do" riders for every 10 less-well-off "congestion-priced-out" riders it gained, it would still be netting riders.

If fewer people drive, then the only way Metra loses is if people stop coming into the city.

ardecila Oct 20, 2012 3:03 AM

The congestion-priced lane will have a floating fee that is high enough to match demand to capacity. It will be impossible to budget for commuting expenses unlesss you're so wealthy it doesn't matter - a real 1%er - and the 1%, by definition, won't make a dent in Metra ridership.

Actually, without highway expansion, setting up a congestion-priced lane will reduce capacity on the highways, since a free-flowing lane is carrying fewer cars per hour than a congested lane. Seems like a backdoor win for transit, especially if the new revenue can be spent to enhance transit. I'd like to see the Stevenson revenue used to make capital improvements to set up a bonafide commuter service on the Heritage Corridor, for example (new stations, sidings for freight, flyovers).

untitledreality Oct 20, 2012 3:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 5872178)
but you can see in the picture how that design will totally cripple traffic on Ashland and Western, which are basically the "urban highways" that are more high capacity wide roads to carry surface traffic through areas as opposed to say Damen or Racine, etc. that tend to just be more local roads.

Not that I dont agree (considering they are already a mess most of the time), but I could imagine the center running BRT with a travel lane removed actually being somewhat beneficial to traffic. With no left turns you remove the left turn lingers, with the signal prioritization it could be possible for traffic to flow smoother for longer, and having dedicated right turn lanes could prevent bunch ups as traffic slows/waits for pedestrians. so maybe it wouldnt be THAT bad? :shrug:

Either way, as a city dweller who prefers vastly taking mass transit over driving my own car, I want the absolute best, no compromises option

Beta_Magellan Oct 20, 2012 5:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 5872178)
If they could at least ditch the parking on that route they could stick with it as an obvious route for cars to move quickly across the city as well as have the bus lanes.

Even ignoring the parking meter deal this would be a bad idea—parked cars serve as an important buffer for pedestrians on streets like Ashland and Western and removing them would only make the sidewalk experience worse, not better. Although neither’s idea, there are definitely nice, interesting stretches of both with street-level, curb parking-served retail. Getting rid of parking there would hurt them.

I’d suspect putting bus rapid transit in would function more like a road diet than anything else. FWIW, I get the impression that the separate lanes will be phased in, rather than doing 15-18 mile-long stretches of dedicated lanes in one fell swoop, or possibly even restricting the lanes to high-congestion areas. Although this might ameliorate motorists’ concerns, depending on where the lanes are (or rather aren’t) it might cut into one of the big benefits of giving buses a dedicated ROW—better schedule adherence. I’ve also heard that they’re going to concentrate on the worst stretches first, though, so this might not be a huge issue (full disclosure—I was once very late for a dinner appointment thanks to the Western Avenue bus, so maybe it’s a bit personal).

ardecila Oct 20, 2012 8:01 PM

Don't get too dogmatic about the benefits of curbside parking to pedestrians. This applies to massive auto sewers in many American cities where traffic goes at 55mph, but many boulevards in Paris (with slower traffic speeds) do not have curbside parking - those parking spaces only exist where space is not needed for traffic or transit service.

It's kind of a moot point in Chicago since the meter deal ties our hands, but don't take it as some holy truth of urban design.

M II A II R II K Oct 24, 2012 6:22 PM

Strategies in the Pedestrian Plan: Remove all channelized right turns in 3 years

Read More: http://gridchicago.com/2012/strategi...rid+Chicago%29

Quote:

.....

You’ll find the right-turn channelization (characterized by the presence of an additional crosswalk and often a concrete island) most often at intersections with diagonal streets. The Chicago Pedestrian Plan, in Goal 8 of the “Connectivity” chapter, will “remove all channelized right turn lanes by 2015″. This is an excellent idea because it reduces crossing distance, reduces car travel speeds (which is the determining factor of an injurious or fatal crash), and reduces the likelihood of a right-angle (t-bone) crash.

.....



A right-turn channelization from southbound Kedzie Avenue to northbound Milwaukee Avenue. From 2005-2011 there were 7 pedestrian crashes (including a fatal hit-and-run crash in 2009) and 4 bicycle crashes. The crash data do not allow me to relate any of them to a specific hazard at this location.

http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8045/...871c058cfa.jpg




While right-turn channelizations are mainly a pedestrian safety issue, they have adverse consequences for bicyclists as well. Where Elston meets Ashland, there is a paint-only right-turn channelization that allows drivers to turn right across a through-bicyclist’s path (which is illegal in addition to being dangerous, municipal code 9-16-020).

http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8187/...a4592074b8.jpg




The six-way intersection before improvements, page 70, in the Chicago Pedestrian Plan. The text mentions removing right-turn lane channelizations, but the graphic doesn’t show it.

http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8470/...fa84a36cba.jpg




http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8333/...d4b3f73aa4.jpg

Standpoor Oct 25, 2012 10:41 PM

I got out of work early today so I grabbed some pics of the new temporary platform at Ravenswood Metra station and some pics of Ravenswood hospital. I rushed home though as it started raining. The support beams are in all the way up to Montrose and they appear to be starting work again on the north side of the Montrose bridge. Winnemac is ready for concrete and they have begun preliminary work at Foster. So they are moving at a good clip. Likewise, there are rather large I-beams sitting at Leland that I imagine are for the new station which should begin demolition/construction after the 1st.

The gray sky makes it hard to see but the new temporary platform is concrete, unlike the southbound temporary platform which is wood.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8335/8...d73c4500_z.jpg

The new northbound temporary platform is short. Super short, like half the size of the southbound side. You would be hard pressed to get more than four cars on the platform. It will be interesting to see how this functions. The new platform will be used starting Oct. 31.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8185/8...d20fbe01_z.jpg

While I was walking the President flew by on his way to vote.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8043/8...2e7fbd6d_z.jpg

CTA Gray Line Oct 29, 2012 2:00 PM

Metra Budget Hearing + Strategic Plan Open House Chgo Wednesday Nov. 7th
 
http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home/a...egic_plan.html

Metra is continuing its efforts to develop a new strategic plan, a critically important document that will guide our agency for years to come. During our successful first round of public outreach in July, we received a significant amount of feedback from our key stakeholders – our board, our employees, our riders, and the public. More than 200 people attended our public open house meetings and more than 3,300 people submitted feedback online.

We have already incorporated some of that feedback into our strategic plan.

For instance, we have revised our mission statement based on your input and we have used it to develop our goals and objectives and have started to determine our capital funding priorities.

To provide an update on our process and give more details about the plan, we are hosting a second round of public open house meetings this November.

These meetings will be held in coordination with Metra’s annual budget hearings to provide “one-stop shopping” for the public to give us their thoughts on near-term budget plans and longer-term agency strategic direction. The materials for the open house meetings, including a link to provide feedback, will be posted on this webpage by 10/30/12, and feedback will be accepted through 11/12/12. We invite and welcome your input and participation in this process.

Materials:

Presentations to the Metra Board:

April 2012 (includes State of System Report)
June 2012
September 2012

Preliminary 2013 budget and 2014-2015 financial plan

Presentation Boards from July 2012 Strategic Plan Open Houses

Presentation Boards from November 2012 Strategic Plan Open Houses [to be posted 10/30/12]

November 2012 Strategic Plan Feedback [available through 11/12/12]

All times and locations will include both a public hearing on the FY2013 Metra Proposed Program & Budget and an open house concerning Metra’s Strategic Plan unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 4 p.m.–7 p.m.

Kane County

Kane County Government Center
Building A, 1st Floor Auditorium
719 South Batavia Avenue
Geneva, Illinois

McHenry County

City of Crystal Lake City Hall

City Council Chambers &
Executive Conference Room
100 West Woodstock Street
Crystal Lake, Illinois

South Suburban Cook County

Flossmoor Village Hall
Village Board Room & Lobby
2800 Flossmoor Road
Flossmoor, Illinois

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 4 p.m.–7 p.m.

City of Chicago
(Budget Hearing)

Metra

13th Floor Board Room
547 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, Illinois

(Strategic Plan Open House)

Chicago Union Station
Great Hall
210 South Canal Street
Chicago, Illinois

DuPage County

Wheaton City Hall
City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor &

Gamon Room, 2nd Floor
303 West Wesley Street
Wheaton, Illinois

North Suburban Cook County

Arlington Heights Village Hall
Board Room & Community Room
33 South Arlington Heights Road
Arlington Heights, Illinois

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 4 p.m.–7 p.m.

Lake County

Grayslake Village Hall
Board Room & Community Room
10 South Seymour Avenue
Grayslake, Illinois

Will County

New Lenox Village Hall
Council Chambers & Lobby
1 Veterans Parkway
New Lenox, Illinois

Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 4 p.m.–7 p.m.

South Chicago
(Strategic Plan Open House)
Chicago State University
Library Auditorium
9501 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois

All times and locations will include both a public hearing on the FY2013 Metra Proposed Program & Budget and an open house concerning Metra’s Strategic Plan unless otherwise noted.

CTA Gray Line Oct 29, 2012 2:12 PM

Re: Metra Budget Hearing + Strategic Plan Open House Chgo Wednesday Nov. 7th
 
Does anyone on this Forum know how to use Photoshop (I don't).

I would like to create a couple of maps reflecting how Rail Transit will look on the South Side after the
Red Line shutdown (with or without the "Shuttle Buses"), for all of the upcoming Transit Meetings.

One would show the Red Line on the SSM to Englewood, and no CTA Rail service South of 63rd St.;
along with the Metra suburban lines in their present configuration - the other would show the Red Line
on the SSM, with the MED being utilized in the Gray Line configuration to 111th St. (and possibly all the
way to Blue Island).

I am willing to provide modest compensation for this work, but it must be done soon as these meetings
are now coming up very soon, and I have to get all my materials coordinated. Please call me soon if you
have these skills at: (773) 787-8078.

Thanks,

Mike Payne

grayline15@yahoo.com

ardecila Nov 4, 2012 11:38 PM

Metra Stations in Chicago
 
Healy Renovation (design to be duplicated at Mayfair & Grayland)

http://reparroyo.com/wp-content/uplo...Untitled-1.jpg
source

Cicero Renovation

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/7599/cicero.jpg

Auburn Park/59th and Peterson/Ridge to be designed under the same package.

J_M_Tungsten Nov 5, 2012 1:37 AM

Man, Metra could not care less about what gets designed, huh?

ardecila Nov 5, 2012 2:36 AM

Not really. The suburban stations are often designed and funded by the municipal governments, not Metra. They aren't great architecture, but they are usually pretty nice with heated waiting rooms, bathrooms, coffee shop, etc. Metra itself funds, designs, and builds the inner-city stations, which is why they usually suck both from a design AND planning perspective.

Metra does occasionally build nice stations as part of a big capital project - IMO Ogilvie has great architecture, and Franklin Park on the NCS is pretty modern and cool. 35th is nice too. Definitely the exception to the rule though.

Nexis4Jersey Nov 5, 2012 2:58 AM

When are the Metra Electric stations getting upgraded?

emathias Nov 5, 2012 2:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 5890760)
When are the Metra Electric stations getting upgraded?

When Mike Payne finally talks Metra and the CTA into running it as the Gray Line. :)


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