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

orulz Nov 5, 2012 3:47 PM

Those stations don't strike me as horrendous. They strike me as boring, utilitarian and durable.

Japan has ridiculous transit ridership, and aside from the gleaming recent terminal reconstructions, most stations even now are built to be just that - boring, utilitarian, and durable.

Mr Downtown Nov 5, 2012 4:09 PM

A number of stations have been completely rebuilt in recent years. What exactly do you mean by "upgraded?"

ardecila Nov 6, 2012 12:09 AM

Quote:

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

The stations are being renovated one or two at a time as funding allows. Usually this just means the platforms, steps, and shelters get rebuilt - no ticket agents or station expansion.

Metra Electric is the forgotten stepchild of the system because it serves the poor side of the metro area, including numerous city neighborhoods on the Far South Side.

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 5891087)
Those stations don't strike me as horrendous. They strike me as boring, utilitarian and durable.

Japan has ridiculous transit ridership, and aside from the gleaming recent terminal reconstructions, most stations even now are built to be just that - boring, utilitarian, and durable.

I would argue they're not very utilitarian; they have tiny canopies and short platforms in a city with freezing cold weather and winds. I don't expect world-class architecture but stations should have decent shelter, especially in dense urban neighborhoods. They should have full canopies and windbreaks, built as cheaply as possible, with a few heatlamps thrown in.

denizen467 Nov 6, 2012 3:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5890748)
IMO Ogilvie has great architecture

What part of Ogilvie's design did Metra have a hand in?

CTA Gray Line Nov 6, 2012 6:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5891025)
When Mike Payne finally talks Metra and the CTA into running it as the Gray Line. :)

Or alternatively - When Hell freezes over.

ardecila Nov 6, 2012 8:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5891827)
What part of Ogilvie's design did Metra have a hand in?

Metra completely gutted and rebuilt the train shed in 1992-1996.

Remy_Bork Nov 6, 2012 4:07 PM

At least in terms of shelter, these stations are an improvement over the existing ones. Currently both Mayfair and Grayland have tiny shelters in both directions. Healy only has a larger shelter for the inbound side, but this only serves to cover the stairs and handicap ramp.

It will also be an improvement if they lengthen the platforms so all the train doors can open at these stations. They tell you once you're approaching those stations that only the doors on the center three cars will open. The train cars are not labeled to let you know which ones are the center three. Like everything with Metra, if you don't know what you're doing to start with, you're out of luck.

Nexis4Jersey Nov 7, 2012 6:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5891672)
The stations are being renovated one or two at a time as funding allows. Usually this just means the platforms, steps, and shelters get rebuilt - no ticket agents or station expansion.

Metra Electric is the forgotten stepchild of the system because it serves the poor side of the metro area, including numerous city neighborhoods on the Far South Side.



I would argue they're not very utilitarian; they have tiny canopies and short platforms in a city with freezing cold weather and winds. I don't expect world-class architecture but stations should have decent shelter, especially in dense urban neighborhoods. They should have full canopies and windbreaks, built as cheaply as possible, with a few heatlamps thrown in.

Thats really sad , are there any Catenary Replacements in the works , I know there replacing the South Shore line wooden poles with Tension poles but what about Metra Electric....?

CTA Gray Line Nov 7, 2012 7:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5891672)
The stations are being renovated one or two at a time as funding allows. Usually this just means the platforms, steps, and shelters get rebuilt - no ticket agents or station expansion.

Metra Electric is the forgotten stepchild of the system because it serves the poor side of the metro area, including numerous city neighborhoods on the Far South Side.



I would argue they're not very utilitarian; they have tiny canopies and short platforms in a city with freezing cold weather and winds. I don't expect world-class architecture but stations should have decent shelter, especially in dense urban neighborhoods. They should have full canopies and windbreaks, built as cheaply as possible, with a few heatlamps thrown in.


In spite of things I might say about them, you have to give Metra a break (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong) - Metra gets NO type of compensation, subsidy, or aid from ANY source ( City, State, or Fed. ) for any in-city services it provides.

Many in-city Electric District stations have less than 100 riders per day, including some of those on the South Chicago Branch - with all-new stations.

Many off-hour Electric District trains run almost empty - but still fully staffed.

Why would or should Metra be expected to make in-city Physical Plant improvements, that would gain NO [ repeat NO ] ridership, because the cause of the lack of ridership is NOT good or bad stations or trains - the Electric District ridership problem (other than during Rush Hours) is no Fare and/or Service integration with the other local Transit Operators.


Too bad nobody can come up with a way to improve the situation.

ardecila Nov 7, 2012 9:10 AM

Supposedly Metra has replaced 95% of its catenary, although they kept the old gantries in most places so it's hard to tell.

Metra's funding comes from suburban areas but IMO this should not dictate where the money is spent. Metra Electric is an odd bird but Metra's scheduling practices on other lines are terrible. All trains should be stopping at Jefferson Park, with boatloads of intermodal connections, but instead they all stop at Clybourn. Same goes for Halsted on the BNSF, 35th on the Rock Island, or Western on the Milwaukee District lines.

I'd love to see city planners start to work with aldermen and Metra to zone for residential around Metra stations. Even low-density townhouse development could contribute a stream of riders to these stations, many of which are in desolate industrial areas. It already happened at Ravenswood. If the city insists on industrial zoning, Metra should relocate its stops to locations where TOD is feasible.

electricron Nov 7, 2012 2:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5893513)
I'd love to see city planners start to work with aldermen and Metra to zone for residential around Metra stations. Even low-density townhouse development could contribute a stream of riders to these stations, many of which are in desolate industrial areas. It already happened at Ravenswood. If the city insists on industrial zoning, Metra should relocate its stops to locations where TOD is feasible.

There was nothing wrong having trains run through and stop in industrial areas. Most Americans commute from home to jobs, and industrial areas used to have many jobs. It would be nice to see new industries locating there.
I agree that many desolate industrial areas should be rezoned, but I could live with commercial, residential, or a combination of both. It doesn't have to be the new flavor of the decade TOD.

Mr Downtown Nov 7, 2012 4:37 PM

Given the land costs and truck access problems, what kind of industry is interested in in-city sites these days?

VivaLFuego Nov 7, 2012 7:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5893465)
In spite of things I might say about them, you have to give Metra a break (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong) - Metra gets NO type of compensation, subsidy, or aid from ANY source ( City, State, or Fed. ) for any in-city services it provides.

According to RTAMS, in 2011 Metra received ~$15m in RTA sales tax receipts from inside the City of Chicago. Not a large amount, but not a pittance, either.

Rizzo Nov 8, 2012 12:48 AM

Just a note worth mentioning. The new pavement on Michigan Avenue fully opened to traffic almost a year ago today and still remains in perfect condition. The type of material was particularly innovative and I was curious how widespread its usage is with all the other street resurfacing going on.

http://www.asphaltpavement.org/index...s4&Itemid=1308

ardecila Nov 8, 2012 5:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5893729)
Given the land costs and truck access problems, what kind of industry is interested in in-city sites these days?

Yeah, many of these industrial districts are struggling. The successful businesses are those that benefit from being in the city - suppliers for the building trades, restaurants, or offices; printing operations; self-storage, etc.

The city is no longer a destination for serious manufacturing or warehousing without subsidies or some other form of public investment. The city admits as much when it zones for PMDs; industrial is no longer the highest and best use for the land, so preserving it requires a special form of zoning protection.

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5893625)
There was nothing wrong having trains run through and stop in industrial areas. Most Americans commute from home to jobs, and industrial areas used to have many jobs. It would be nice to see new industries locating there.
I agree that many desolate industrial areas should be rezoned, but I could live with commercial, residential, or a combination of both. It doesn't have to be the new flavor of the decade TOD.

As I said, the majority of industrial businesses aren't interested in city locations. They have terrible highway access, tricky parking situations, crime/vandalism problems, etc. Modern manufacturing is now heavily automated, which means industrial zones don't have the employment density to justify frequent rail transit service. A modern factory doesn't have 2000 workers on three shifts per day. Granted, these zones do have some value; they preserve space for startups in a very Jane Jacobs-ish fashion (new ideas require old buildings, and all that). However, I'm okay with denying rail transit to these areas; it's not a cost-effective use of scarce resources.

untitledreality Nov 9, 2012 4:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5893465)
Metra gets NO type of compensation, subsidy, or aid from ANY source ( City, State, or Fed. ) for any in-city services it provides.

Many in-city Electric District stations have less than 100 riders per day, including some of those on the South Chicago Branch - with all-new stations.

Many off-hour Electric District trains run almost empty - but still fully staffed

Excuse my ignorance, but why then is METRA still operating the South Shore portion of the ME? If they are receiving no aid for a running a line that is woefully underused wouldn't the costs of operation pour it into the red so fast that they would seek to dump the line?

CTA Gray Line Nov 9, 2012 4:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 5895841)
Excuse my ignorance, but why then is METRA still operating the South Shore portion of the ME? If they are receiving no aid for a running a line that is woefully underused wouldn't the costs of operation pour it into the red so fast that they would seek to dump the line?

You are E X A C T L Y right, but the involved Communities would SCREAM BLOODY DISENFRANCHISEMENT MURDER if Metra tried to reduce services to the primarily Minority Communities along the line, even though the present Service Operating, and Fare Structure formats do N O T H I N G for the Communities it passes through - and L O S E
money for Metra (it's called "Metra's caught between a rock and a hard place").


Could there be a solution for this?

Rizzo Nov 9, 2012 6:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5894659)
Yeah, many of these industrial districts are struggling. The successful businesses are those that benefit from being in the city - suppliers for the building trades, restaurants, or offices; printing operations; self-storage, etc.

The city is no longer a destination for serious manufacturing or warehousing without subsidies or some other form of public investment. The city admits as much when it zones for PMDs; industrial is no longer the highest and best use for the land, so preserving it requires a special form of zoning protection.



As I said, the majority of industrial businesses aren't interested in city locations. They have terrible highway access, tricky parking situations, crime/vandalism problems, etc. Modern manufacturing is now heavily automated, which means industrial zones don't have the employment density to justify frequent rail transit service. A modern factory doesn't have 2000 workers on three shifts per day. Granted, these zones do have some value; they preserve space for startups in a very Jane Jacobs-ish fashion (new ideas require old buildings, and all that). However, I'm okay with denying rail transit to these areas; it's not a cost-effective use of scarce resources.

Manufacturing today also requires large swaths of land for expansion or reconfiguration. Having a lot of open land is a big plus.

If large scale industry were to repurpose any buildings, it would be big box stores.

electricron Nov 9, 2012 5:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 5895931)
Manufacturing today also requires large swaths of land for expansion or reconfiguration. Having a lot of open land is a big plus.

If large scale industry were to repurpose any buildings, it would be big box stores.

I'm not going to disagree with you about large scale industry wanting and needing large swaths of land. But, small scale industry should be targeted instead. As long as industry and jobs move away further away from city centers, we'll continue to have suburban sprawl.

Mr Downtown Nov 9, 2012 7:20 PM

^But small-scale industry needs truck access. What's the point of putting them near train tracks—especially those with low underpasses?


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