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Wright Concept Oct 11, 2006 8:38 PM

^ To my knowledge before I moved out of Chicago. I thought the STAR line was to use mostly existing right-of-way.

Norsider Oct 11, 2006 8:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brian_b
The star line would be well used if built as proposed. It is, however, pretty damn expensive.

Expensive compared to what?

VivaLFuego Oct 11, 2006 9:00 PM

^But what of that couldnt be accomplished with dedicated bus lanes, i.e. BRT? Why heavy commuter rail? I mean, everyone in the suburbs, even the bulk of the working class, drives to their destinations (except perhaps the illegal immigrants who don't have licenses but again.....BRT?).

Why would they change their habits? It's not like downtown Chicago where there is an absence of any cheap or convenient parking, or where you can combine trips and run errands at lunch. Heck, in those Scumburg office parks you need a car just to go to lunch.

I just see the project as encouraging further decentralization of the region's employment, I would rather transit money be directed towards getting people into and around Chicago's central area, since the constituency for most other trips is ever-shrinking

brian_b Oct 12, 2006 1:51 AM

When I worked in the suburbs, just as many people took the inbound Metra trains to Arlington Heights from the outer suburbs as the people (like me) that took the outbound trains from downtown to Arlington Heights.

I had tons of coworkers that lived south of Arlington Heights (such as Naperville and Lisle) that hated the daily drive up 355. Given the option, most would take the train at least a few times a week.

VivaLFuego Oct 12, 2006 3:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brian_b
When I worked in the suburbs, just as many people took the inbound Metra trains to Arlington Heights from the outer suburbs as the people (like me) that took the outbound trains from downtown to Arlington Heights.

I had tons of coworkers that lived south of Arlington Heights (such as Naperville and Lisle) that hated the daily drive up 355. Given the option, most would take the train at least a few times a week.

I hope that your experience is generalizable to the whole population, I'd love to see some ridership projections for the ultimately-chosen route. I mean if it works, it could indeed be somewhat revolutionary by bringing rail transit to an intersuburban context. but intuitively, I just dont see the ridership potential to run frequent service. I just feel like the Circle Line, Mid-City Line, West Loop subway, red line extension, and downtown BRT/LRT circulator would be higher priority chicago-area transit projects.

spyguy Oct 12, 2006 3:35 AM

http://www.chicagojournal.com/main.a...76&TM=84285.05

'Wild West' Metra bridge to be removed
CDOT plans to build new Grant Park Metra station sometime next year

By TIMOTHY INKLEBARGER
, Staff Writer

The rickety wooden bridge at the south end of Grant Park, which connects the Roosevelt Road Metra Electric and South Shore station with South Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road, will soon be no more.

The City of Chicago and Metra will soon remove the bridge and relocate the Metra stop closer to the new 11th Street bridge just about 20 feet north, Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Advisory Council, said this week.

"We get a lot of complaints about this as the south end of the park gets more and more fixed up," O'Neill said.

He said the old bridge stands only a few feet from the new Agora sculpture garden-designed by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz-that will be installed at the corner of Roosevelt and Michigan in early November. The garden will feature 100 classic sculptures that stand 9 feet tall.

"You look just past them a few feet and there is a bridge that looks like it is out of an old wild west movie," he said. "It's sort of an interesting mix of old world and new world."

Brian Steele, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation, said the city will pay for the construction of the new Metra station. The project will cost approximately $8.7 million.

"More than likely the work will begin sometime next spring," Steele said.

But before the city can build the station, the Metra must first realign its tracks and catenary wires.

Metra spokesman Judy Pardonnet said in that though the project was supposed to be completed in the summer of 2006, the Illinois Department of Transportation was slow to release the funds for the realignment project. IDOT did not distribute the $3.2 million needed to realign the tracks until August, long after the construction window had closed, Pardonnet said.

She said the project would go to a public bid this winter and construction is expected to begin in March. Pardonnet said the realignment would not disrupt service at the station.

O'Neill said the project is needed because the existing station is not inviting to commuters and does not even appear safe. Pardonnet said that although the existing wooden bridge might be a bit of an eyesore, engineers have determined that it is structurally sound.

"Public transportation is essential to having a vibrant active city," O'Neill said. "This station says to people, 'Don't take public transportation.'"

http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/5606/2276azo6.jpg

denizen467 Oct 12, 2006 4:58 AM

^ Who uses this station anyway? Other than people coming in to the city for the museums or Soldier Field, I can't think of any major constituency.

jpIllInoIs Oct 12, 2006 2:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PracticalVisionary
^ To my knowledge before I moved out of Chicago. I thought the STAR line was to use mostly existing right-of-way.

True enough it uses the 'EJE' Eljin, Joliet & Eastern RR, except the link from Hoffman Estates (Sears HQ) to Schaumburg and O'Hare, where it will be constructed in the median of I-90.

VivaLFuego Oct 12, 2006 4:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467
^ Who uses this station anyway? Other than people coming in to the city for the museums or Soldier Field, I can't think of any major constituency.

I seem to remember on normal weekdays it sees a little under 1000 boardings, which isn't that many compared to some of the pathetically run-down CTA stations that need work. But it's pretty decent ridership for commuter rail. The City really should be using that downtown TIF bonanza to fix up all the downtown CTA stations, NOW.

Robert Pence Oct 13, 2006 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy
http://www.chicagojournal.com/main.a...76&TM=84285.05

... O'Neill said the project is needed because the existing station is not inviting to commuters and does not even appear safe. Pardonnet said that although the existing wooden bridge might be a bit of an eyesore, engineers have determined that it is structurally sound ...

... "This station says to people, 'Don't take public transportation.'"

I'll second that. Most South Shore trains that I ride drop off at least a few inbound passengers or pick up outbound passengers there. I don't know about commuter use, but it's a perfect station for visitors going to the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium or Adler Planetarium.

"A bit of an eyesore" is an understatement. Earlier this week I was noticing how nasty it looks. I've used it, and it seems sturdy enough, but it's ratty-looking and run down, and those long, steep, rickety wooden steps are a challenge for many. Museum visitors are greeted with downtown Chicago's most disgusting eyesore.

the urban politician Oct 13, 2006 2:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
The City really should be using that downtown TIF bonanza to fix up all the downtown CTA stations, NOW.

^ yeah, but come on! That station needs the work more BADLY than anything I can think of. Rickety old wood? Please!

denizen467 Oct 13, 2006 6:44 AM

Speaking of the 11th Street station, does anybody know what the deal is with that loner spur track west of the busway (all the other tracks at 11th St. are east of the busway)? It can be seen in one of the most recent photos in the One Museum Park thread. Unless it continues under OMP, I assume it just dead ends around Roosevelt, which makes me wonder whether they aren't just going to tear it out.

VivaLFuego Oct 13, 2006 3:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467
Speaking of the 11th Street station, does anybody know what the deal is with that loner spur track west of the busway (all the other tracks at 11th St. are east of the busway)? It can be seen in one of the most recent photos in the One Museum Park thread. Unless it continues under OMP, I assume it just dead ends around Roosevelt, which makes me wonder whether they aren't just going to tear it out.

In addition to the large rail yard and maintenance facility at about 14th street, 12th street used to be the main terminal of the Illinois Central (known as "Central Station", hence the name of the residential development). Basically, bit-by-bit since the late 60s and early 70s, the grand old rail terminal that used to be here has been chipped away, with odd remnants here and there (just a year or two ago, there were some old tracks with abandoned freight cars on the site of One Museum Park). This rickety 12th st station is almost all that is left of old Central Station, and once the maintenance facility is removed (this is one of the holdups for decking over that section of the tracks with parkland: Metra will build new facilities in the south suburbs but doesnt have money for that yet), all of the old station will be gone.

Looking to the southeast:
http://content.answers.com/main/cont...al_Station.jpg

Looking to the northwest:
http://www.illinoiscentral.net/chgocentsta/cs1894.jpg
(images googled)

denizen467 Oct 14, 2006 4:51 AM

^ Thanks. Those photos really show lost Chicago. Sad that the tower is gone now.

the urban politician Oct 14, 2006 4:33 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed
Metra plans rail stop near Sox ballpark

Published October 14, 2006


CHICAGO -- After years of balking at the prospect, Metra has decided to make it easier for fans to attend White Sox games.

As early as the 2008 baseball season, a new Metra station could open along the Rock Island line, which runs through the heart of traditional Sox territory on the South Side and in the southwest suburbs.

The commuter rail line's board of directors on Friday approved an $800,000 design contract for a new station at 35th Street, just across the Dan Ryan Expressway from U.S. Cellular Field.

"We're absolutely thrilled," Sox marketing vice president Brooks Boyer said. "That line goes right through a hotbed area of White Sox fans."

The contract signals a new ballgame for Metra. In 2003, then-Chairman Jeffrey Ladd said he opposed adding a train station to serve the ballpark, even though Rock Island and SouthWest Service line tracks run nearby.

Because the Chicago Transit Authority's Red and Green Lines already had stations at 35th Street, Ladd said he believed it would be a poor use of resources for Metra to build a station that would only be used for about 81 home games a year. Before he stepped down in June, Ladd acknowledged the station was needed.

Metra Executive Director Philip Pagano said Friday that many others besides the White Sox would benefit from the new station. The Near South Side is home to booming development from Bronzeville to Bridgeport. The station would also serve the Illinois Institute of Technology and De La Salle Institute.

Money for the contract comes from a $1 million federal appropriation obtained by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.).

Funding for the new station was included in Metra's 2007 capital program and $554 million budget.

Marcu Oct 17, 2006 6:22 AM

Sox fans will now have 5 options for getting to the game: Green line, red line, buses, dan ryan/parkng and Metra.

Cubs fans will just have buses and the red line.

I guess that's what happens when the mayor's a Sox fan.

Wright Concept Oct 17, 2006 11:58 AM

That's what happens when there is an existing Metra service a block away from Cellular Field and IIT. Might as well build a station and use it.

VivaLFuego Oct 17, 2006 2:51 PM

Cool. I've always thought there was great potential for Metra to improve its services within the city limits, especially on the 3-4 track lines where they can still shoot express trains from the suburbs past the in-city local stops. With more frequent local in-city service and closer spaced stations, Metra could actually provide rapid train coverage to almost every other remaining area of Chicago without service, including the auto-loving nightmare of the northwest side, the University Village/East Pilsen area, and the far southwest and far south sides.

The first key step is changing the bizzare regional transit funding formula; right now, Metra doesnt get a dime of the transit tax collected within the Chicago city limits.

the urban politician Oct 17, 2006 5:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu
Sox fans will now have 5 options for getting to the game: Green line, red line, buses, dan ryan/parkng and Metra.

Cubs fans will just have buses and the red line.

I guess that's what happens when the mayor's a Sox fan.

^ Does anyone else wonder why Metra is choosing this particular line, which basically overlappes with the red and green lines, to place a 35th street stop on?

Metra's Southwest service also crosses 35th street, and a stop there would be just as far from the Cell. Plus it doesn't overlap the red and green lines. Seems like a better idea to me

Wright Concept Oct 17, 2006 5:27 PM

Because the Metra Line(Rock Island to Joliet if I'm not mistaken) that runs between Red and Green lines is busier with more travelers and the right of way is available for it. Plus it serves a double duty for college students who attend IIT to the east of the tracks. I know because I went there.


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