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west-town-brad Aug 5, 2022 3:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrdoSeclorum (Post 9694691)
Apropos of this, what DO you think the best new heavy rail investment would be? I've always been a bit skeptical of the circle line. Obviously BRT would be great on Ashland and/or Western. Clinton street subway? Brown line extension?

western ave seems like a good idea because you can connect a bunch of existing lines, as well as supports neighborhood growth west-ward, but not sure how a line not connected direct to DT would fly

I have always thought a rail line up Grand Ave to the NW side through to downtown would make sense. this would support west loop growth as well as serve the NW side growth around hermosa/avondale/etc.

red line extension is a silly waste of money

ChiMIchael Aug 5, 2022 4:00 PM

While I agree that other transit projects should have priority, I just find the vitriol towards RLE based in defeatism. For some people, making those areas viable is a fool's errand. Something like this would be applauded for cities that are bursting at the seams demographically and ecomically. I think it's always beneficial for rapid transit to reach as many areas as possible with out oversaturating itself. There just needs to be a plan to make those areas more viable (which is true with or without the train line).

Via Chicago Aug 5, 2022 4:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moorhosj1 (Post 9694675)
For an actual comparison, we would need to look at density of each station before the trains were built.

agreed, this is all chicken and the egg. you can argue adding transit is a waste because the density is low, or you can argue density is low because of lack of adequate infrastructure investment, which ultimately is a consistent lynchpin that has led to the revitalization of many areas surrounding existing L lines.

its a fact that resources are limited and they have to be allocated smartly. i dont think this plan is necessarily perfect. but its not a solution to just write off portions of the city the way we have for decades prior (yes, which were decisions very obviously based on race and income given the well known history of this city/country) and let the most disadvantaged areas of the city continue to rot. something has to begin to change at some point. and for once, its going to have to involve areas receiving significant dollars that have otherwise been systemically excluded from the table for multiple generations.

the blue line being smack dab in the middle of an expressway isnt ideal either from a best practices standpoint, but ultimately its an advantage that it was built and that our city has it. its not ideal that the orange line goes through large swaths of low density industrial areas either...but its still an advantage that our city built it.

thegoatman Aug 5, 2022 4:51 PM

Lol @ people saying development will come to the far southside because of this. We still have a plethora of vacant lots, drive thrus, strip malls, and other shitty land usages surrounding L stations in desirable areas and neighborhoods. I swear progressivism and this activist mindset has to rot your brain of any common sense. Chinatown is booming ye theres still vacant lots surrounding the L station.

Via Chicago Aug 5, 2022 5:15 PM

the far south side is still part of CHICAGO. it deserves city funded infrastructure and amenities on par with any other neighborhood. and this extends to the state of roads, parks, green space, libraries, schools, cultural programming, public safety, and everything else. this area does not just exist solely to be a dumping ground for all the polluting industries you dont want next to your manicured house on the north side.

galleyfox Aug 5, 2022 5:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Via Chicago (Post 9694764)
agreed, this is all chicken and the egg. you can argue adding transit is a waste because the density is low, or you can argue density is low because of lack of adequate infrastructure investment, which ultimately is a consistent lynchpin that has led to the revitalization of many areas surrounding existing L lines.

its a fact that resources are limited and they have to be allocated smartly. i dont think this plan is necessarily perfect. but its not a solution to just write off portions of the city the way we have for decades prior (yes, which were decisions very obviously based on race and income given the well known history of this city/country) and let the most disadvantaged areas of the city continue to rot.



The fact of the matter is that Chicago is only getting federal money because the former President used to live and work in the vicinity and the request got moved up in the queue. We’re fooling ourselves if we think the Federal Government would sponsor any of our “worthier” extensions.

By federal standards, this is a minor political favor (and by state standards, more helpful than rebuilding LSD by Oak Street Beach)

We essentially arguing over a South Side TIF for a project that the South side wants, and a ROW that can be used for as long as the city exists. I don’t see what the big deal is.




Quote:

Using federal seed money, the transit agency is starting work on a draft environmental impact study, which the Federal Transit Administration requires as part of the CTA ultimately receiving a federal full-funding grant agreement.
https://www.chicagotribune.com/autos...926-story.html

moorhosj1 Aug 5, 2022 5:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thegoatman (Post 9694790)
Lol @ people saying development will come to the far southside because of this. We still have a plethora of vacant lots, drive thrus, strip malls, and other shitty land usages surrounding L stations in desirable areas and neighborhoods. I swear progressivism and this activist mindset has to rot your brain of any common sense. Chinatown is booming ye theres still vacant lots surrounding the L station.

The idea that we shouldn't expand CTA service to one location because land around another location isn't fully developed doesn't really sound like "common sense" to me.

Rather than insulting, would you care to make a case for what vacant lots in Chinatown have to do with transit access 12 miles south? Do vacant lots in Logan Square mean we shouldn't have rebuilt the CTA stations in Uptown?

moorhosj1 Aug 5, 2022 5:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by west-town-brad (Post 9694717)
western ave seems like a good idea because you can connect a bunch of existing lines, as well as supports neighborhood growth west-ward, but not sure how a line not connected direct to DT would fly

I have always thought a rail line up Grand Ave to the NW side through to downtown would make sense. this would support west loop growth as well as serve the NW side growth around hermosa/avondale/etc.

Western and Ashland are so car-reliant at this point, it would be difficcult to pass. That is what shut things down last time. As for alternatives, it's farther west than most prefer, but the boulevard system has very wide right-of-way. You could easily add BRT or light rail going south from Kedzie & Logan to Humboldt to Sacramento to Hamlin to Douglass to California.

west-town-brad Aug 5, 2022 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moorhosj1 (Post 9694858)
Western and Ashland are so car-reliant at this point, it would be difficcult to pass. That is what shut things down last time. As for alternatives, it's farther west than most prefer, but the boulevard system has very wide right-of-way. You could easily add BRT or light rail going south from Kedzie & Logan to Humboldt to Sacramento to Hamlin to Douglass to California.

heavy rail not busses

orulz Aug 5, 2022 5:55 PM

I have to say, this St. Charles Air Line -> Union Station ramp connection has a lot of parallels with the late 80s/early 80s Empire Connection that connected the Hudson Line into NY Penn Station via the West Side Line.

The Empire Connection has a single track with tightly constrained geometry. It was designed to meet the exclusive need for intercity service - commuter service was not a consideration at all. However, with Penn Station Access from the Hudson Line possibly on the table sometime in the future, that single track connection and its tight curve is probably seeming like more of a constraint than folks might have managed when this was planned and built 30+ years ago.

It looks to me like it would be similarly fairly difficult to expand this St Charles Air Line -> Union Station connection in the future too. It seems to me that they should plan right now for an eventual 2nd track, even if it may not be needed for the next 20+ years.

Busy Bee Aug 5, 2022 6:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 9694884)
I have to say, this St. Charles Air Line -> Union Station ramp connection has a lot of parallels with the late 80s/early 80s Empire Connection that connected the Hudson Line into NY Penn Station via the West Side Line.

The Empire Connection has a single track with tightly constrained geometry. It was designed to meet the exclusive need for intercity service - commuter service was not a consideration at all. However, with Penn Station Access from the Hudson Line possibly on the table sometime in the future, that single track connection and its tight curve is probably seeming like more of a constraint than folks might have managed when this was planned and built 30+ years ago.

It looks to me like it would be similarly fairly difficult to expand this St Charles Air Line -> Union Station connection in the future too. It seems to me that they should plan right now for an eventual 2nd track, even if it may not be needed for the next 20+ years.

They probably couldn't have done anything to prevent the tight curve. By definition it had to corkscrew to get into Penn. The single track on the other hand was a serious oversight imo. Yes, Amtrak didn't necessarily need anything beyond that but the MTA should have at least pondered the possibility of future use at the time, after all isn't that the point of employing "transit planners"? As far as the second track, which depending on volume of Hudson Line trains using the connection into Penn, may or may not be necessary, but it would have been prudent from the start. Engineering wise, I do not know, and there are only a handful that likely do know, whether or not the connection was designed to facilitate a second track or whether it would even be possible at this point considering the foundations of current and future Hudson Yards towers.


Sorry for the NY-centric post in the Chicago thread...

ardecila Aug 5, 2022 7:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by galleyfox (Post 9694841)
The fact of the matter is that Chicago is only getting federal money because the former President used to live and work in the vicinity and the request got moved up in the queue. We’re fooling ourselves if we think the Federal Government would sponsor any of our “worthier” extensions.

Lots of projects get funded as a favor, that's how our system of government works. That's how we got the Orange Line built during the very anti-transit Reagan administration. But you're way too pessimistic if you think a well-planned Chicago transit expansion could not compete effectively against other US cities for Federal grants.

For god's sake, Los Angeles is in the middle of the country's biggest transit expansion, fueled by Federal cash. Very few Angelenos ride their existing rail system, but they're planning tens or hundred of miles worth of additional rail lines, and securing Federal grants for those projects.

The problem is, and always has been, a lack of agreement among our local politicians on where to expand transit and how to pay for the local share. We go hat in hand to the Feds just to pay for basic planning and engineering studies, because the sub-$10M cost of these studies is apparently too expensive for us. Los Angeles is succeeding because they got all their leaders on the same page about expansion, and voted to tax themselves to raise billions to pay for planning/engineering work and the local match for projects.

Also, of course, we have gotten many billions in transit grants from the Feds over the last few decades - it's just gone towards rebuilding all of our crumbling L lines, a project that is still far from complete.

Steely Dan Aug 5, 2022 7:44 PM

i think it would be pretty hard to argue that RLE is the best use of scarce capital expansion transit dollars for our city.

but it is the project that we had on hand ready to go when the feds were signing fat checks, so here we are.

and hey, if burbs like evanston, skokie and wilmette get to have CTA rail transit, then why not the wild 100s too?

it is what it is; i've moved on.





EDIT:

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9695026)
The problem is, and always has been, a lack of agreement among our local politicians on where to expand transit and how to pay for the local share.

yep.

ardecila Aug 5, 2022 8:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 9694884)
It looks to me like it would be similarly fairly difficult to expand this St Charles Air Line -> Union Station connection in the future too. It seems to me that they should plan right now for an eventual 2nd track, even if it may not be needed for the next 20+ years.

It might be short-sighted not to build two tracks on Day 1, but it won't be difficult to double-track it later if they want to run commuter service.

-Amtrak is looking to buy UP's mothballed Canal St Yard in Chinatown. This will allow them to relocate some important facilities away from the current yard and clear space.
-The ramp structure is above ground and will mostly be supported on wide straddle bents over other tracks below. I imagine they will design these straddle bents to support a 2nd track in the future; the cost to do so is minimal. Railroad structures often include provisions for future 2nd track.
-The potential for up to 4 tracks already exists over the river, with 2 tracks on the St Charles Air Line bridge and another 2 on the identical B&OCT bridge.

The Empire Connection is a different story, since it runs two levels underground below an active railyard that is itself below a highrise development. With tunnel or trench construction, the cost is proportional to the amount of soil you have to remove. Building a double-track connection back in the 80s would have cost nearly double as well.

thegoatman Aug 5, 2022 10:31 PM

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...yIum-thrrldi9A

damen green line station set to start this month

twister244 Aug 5, 2022 11:41 PM

Personally, I would like to see our existing systems get upgrades first before further expansion talks. However, we are getting some of that. I live near Fullerton/Western. While a cool connector line to get me to the lake would be cool, I would rather see a compromise where I get BRT along Fullerton and Western, with rail expansion to underserved parts of the city. When I go to Boystown, and am not in a rush, I have no problem taking the 74 bus to the Brown/Red line stop on Fullerton. Just a pain given busses sometimes are unreliable and there may be tons of traffic that slow things down. Otherwise, I have less issues with "riff raff" on the bus than I do on the L. Gotta build momentum by getting the entire city onboard. Then you can start planning for larger projects like connector lines.

My 2 cents at least.

untitledreality Aug 6, 2022 3:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thegoatman (Post 9694790)
Lol @ people saying development will come to the far southside because of this... I swear progressivism and this activist mindset has to rot your brain of any common sense...

This is essentially a development fanboy forum, proformas be damned. Of course people are going to play the 'build it and they will come' card.

That said, while it is my opinion that the RLE is an unjustifiable expense given the ridership estimates, it has approved federal funding which cannot (in my understanding) be transferred elsewhere within the system...might as well get it done. Hopefully they are including provisions for short turns at 95th so the line does not get even further out of balance.

Mr Downtown Aug 7, 2022 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrdoSeclorum (Post 9694691)
what DO you think the best new heavy rail investment would be?

“Organization before Electronics before Concrete”

The Chicago region (comparatively speaking) is shrinking rather than growing; we don't really need any rail extensions. We do need to make better use of what we have, by integrating fares between Metra and CTA, and by putting new office and residential growth next to the stations we already have, rather than letting developers build where there's cheap land but no transit (Lincoln Yards, I'm looking at you).

So were I in charge, the first thing I'd do is make Metra more of a regional rail system rather than a bunch of commuter trains. I've sketched the basic concept of a Chicago S-Bahn that would have frequent service all day long. Obviously, this is pointless if it's not fare-integrated with CTA to get South Siders to job centers north of the river or in the Medical District.

https://i.imgur.com/gu48htU.jpg

Second, I think the movement of the office core that's already taken place justifies a Larrabee-Clinton Subway.

https://i.imgur.com/qWkWn6W.jpg

Further down the list, I think a South Chicago-Stony Island LRT line makes some sense, as does a real crosstown BRT line, probably in the Cicero corridor.

OrdoSeclorum Aug 7, 2022 4:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9695784)
“Organization before Electronics before Concrete”

The Chicago region (comparatively speaking) is shrinking rather than growing; we don't really need any rail extensions. We do need to make better use of what we have, by integrating fares between Metra and CTA, and by putting new office and residential growth next to the stations we already have, rather than letting developers build where there's cheap land but no transit (Lincoln Yards, I'm looking at you).

So were I in charge, the first thing I'd do is make Metra more of a regional rail system rather than a bunch of commuter trains. I've sketched the basic concept of a Chicago S-Bahn that would have frequent service all day long. Obviously, this is pointless if it's not fare-integrated with CTA to get South Siders to job centers north of the river or in the Medical District.


Second, I think the movement of the office core that's already taken place justifies a Larrabee-Clinton Subway.


Further down the list, I think a South Chicago-Stony Island LRT line makes some sense, as does a real crosstown BRT line, probably in the Cicero corridor.

I love this vision and I'm adopting it.

Nouvellecosse Aug 7, 2022 5:39 PM

That S-Bahn plan looks like a great start but 30 min headways is a bit lacking in ambition for the longer term. Maybe if we're talking about the end of a branch or sections or routes that stretched out to places like Aurora, Joliet, Waukegan etc. but based on the map there should probably be headways of say 7-10 min peak and 15-20 min off-peak.


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