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chitowngza Apr 24, 2006 6:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
Yeah that distributor was almost the Central Area Circulator, a light rail project of the late 90s that more or less stalled and fizzled when Daley freaked at the size of the Light Rail vehicles (or thats my understanding at least). But the distributor is the best way to connect the West loop Metra stations to the rest of downtown.

I'm pretty sure the State Street subway can theoretically operate with headways as low as about 90 seconds, and the red line at its peak has headways of 3-4 minutes, so theres some capacity left. Rerouting the purple down there would ease the rush hour crush the red line currently has (not to mention act as a more traditional "red line express"), and let the CTA play with the loop routing some, eventually running 2 lines out to Kimball on what is now Brown (possibly through-routing some Orange line trains), which would also give the flexibility of coming in and out of the loop in different directions to extend all day.

I mean, its not a necessary switch (purple->subway), but its doable operationally especially if CTA has something specific in mind with the added loop capacity.

Thanks for breaking it down. Its not like I got some greedy aversion to sharing the State tunnel with Purple Line riders lol. It's not like I'm never in the Loop structure stations or anything, where of course we do share. I just didn't get the rationale of even proposing it if what's being done now seems well enough. And I can see how, as you noted, the State tunnel has the capacity. But I forgot about the talk of thru-routing the Ravenswood and Midway routes; there's something that would be cool if its shown to work better than what's going on now.

I don't recall Daley's attitude toward the LRT vehicles being a factor in killing the Circulator Plan...that's an interesting nugget. What little I remember from it all I can sorta recall the Anti-Chicagoan GOP Coalition of the time in Springfield (Jim Edgar, Pate Phillip, Lee Daniels) being assholes about funding, like they almost always were about things this town wanted/needed. That's too bad.

spyguy Apr 25, 2006 3:36 AM

I posted this on SSC, thought it was kinda cool
http://transit.elevatedconsulting.com/

Rail Claimore Apr 25, 2006 7:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chitowngza
Operating four-car trains down to 95th St during the off-peak times except for overnight service is courting disaster (Red Line-Ryan riders are cranky enough as is...). While I don't necessarily disagree 8-car trains may be a tad longish currently after 10PM on weekdays, on weekends, and even between the rushes, 4 cars during these times is plain too short and will incite complaints. Dan Ryan ridership is higher than that. It would definitely not be feasible when (if?) they *FINALLY* extend the Red Line to SOMEWHERE beyond 95th. I say this with awareness of the possibility Im misreading you. In that case that's on me. But if not, then as a Red Line rider I hafta quickly but respectfully disagree.

Rest of the idea is cool tho. I especially very much support a Clinton subway. Always have. Tho I would go with an alignment that links it with the Blue Line over linking it with the Red Line further north, both discussed in the Central Area Plan. I like the former plan with the purpose of getting people across the river to their Loop jobs or whatever and back quickly. It would also be a convenient way to get deep into downtown if interurban train service ever goes regionally hi-speed and thus gets popular (or at least useful) again.

As much as the coverage of CTA is the envy of so many who don't live here, its still quite flawed and among myriad other things I think its kinda senseless that the L doesn't directly serve the train stations, especially Union Station. The walk to Clinton/Congress from there is just that--a walk. Same with Clinton/Lake from Ogilvie. And it's an outdoor trek; sucks when it's cold. Millennium Station's a bit of a haul from State but at least it has the pedway. LaSalle's really the only one of the four with halfway convenient L access.

Norsider, I agree with you. Places like Navy Pier and McCormick Pl are woefully underserved by public tansit that's NOT the slow buses or those silly tourist trolleys. Heavy rail service for these places just ain't happenin' tho. Not for a very long time at least. Not with the financial and political issues surrounding the projects actually on the table. And as you succinctly noted a few posts back, those who control the purse strings don't always use those funds for the most sane purposes...

Why not just revive the old Circulator plan to serve these places? Wouldn't that be cheaper as an LRT system, or no? It was a great idea when it was first entertained years ago. Too bad the idiot relevant powers-that-be seemed either cool to the idea or actively opposed to it. Least it looks like this Carroll Av talk is the potential beginning of a revival of that, and perhaps it can snowball from there. It would definitely be a hit with tourists and conventioneers (and may even serve a purpose for those of us who actually live here) and keep em outta my way on the L. :P

Another question: Why route the Purple Line to the subways, anyway? Could it not continue to work in its current routing if these additions to the L system came to fruition? Does it have anything to do with this so-called "Pink Line" (:sly: ) routing on the Loop tracks (to me the CTA is playing themselves if they want me to believe it was ever seriously to be a short-term "experiment;" I've smelled permanece all along...)? Viva, you're always informed and insightful on these sorta things. Whaddaya say?

The south side red line idea I brought up is a bad plan anyway now that I realize one thing. Increasing frequency wouldn't make a difference between 4-car or 8-car trains. The red line will have to continue as is. The only underutilized line on the north side then would be the purple line. If the circle line is to operate using the subway, then routing the purple line through there would not be the best option anyway.

A cheaper alternative is to rather than build a new subway from North and Clybourne, have purple line trains use the circle line going the other way from Armitage into a North Avenue Subway (which would be the way the line would be constructed there anyway), then have purple line trains merge with blue line trains at Division Street and head to the new underground loop that way. Besides the Clinton Street Subway, the additional construction costs would be minimal if the circle line were to be built. This would provide needed capacity by increasing operations on the existing north side elevated as well as in the Milwaukee Subway to at least Division Street without affecting red line service at all on either side of the city.

The Pink Line would operate clockwise around the loop anyway along with the orange line. Together, those two lines can match brown line frequencies going counter-clockwise around the loop, evening out loop traffic as it is in terms of clockwise vs counter-clockwise. The purple line would not need to run on the elevated loop. Operating it in an underground loop would give it a larger area of service downtown.

Norsider Apr 25, 2006 8:57 PM

Let's all stop throwing ourselves under the bus by almost pre-emptively defusing any thoughts of major capital expenditure. We're the only ones who care about this at the moment, so instead of saying "it'll never get built," "it's too costly," let's be the ones to convince others that 2 billion for a new subway is NOT too expensive. That it is, in fact, not expensive at all, relatively speaking. That any money spent on wise transit options generates enough commerce to cover the cost. That money for transit is an investment in ourselves and our country. Let's fight FOR transit by talking about what a good idea it is and how this country should make it a budget priority. 2 billion is NOTHING, people. The problem is not the cost, it's convincing enough people that transit is worth it. I don't mean to overstate our influence here on this forum, but telling everyone within earshot that a new subway will never happen cause it's too expensive doesn't exactly help our cause.

Steely Dan Apr 27, 2006 2:38 PM

from today's tribune:


Activists fear Circle Line to push past transit plans

By Virginia Groark
Tribune staff reporter
Published April 27, 2006

The Chicago Transit Authority's proposed Circle Line, an ambitious megaproject that would connect all CTA and Metra rail lines, is inching forward, but some community activists worry that its $1 billion price tag may sideline other long-proposed projects.

CTA President Frank Kruesi has called the Circle Line, which would cover six times the area of the Loop "L" system, the "single most important" transit project in the region. But watchdog groups are concerned that the plan, which was first made public four years ago, could take precedence over projects, such as the extension of the Red Line to 130th Street, in transit-poor communities.

The Chicago Area Transportation Study has recommended the Red Line project since the early 1970s, according to Kermit Wies, deputy for planning at the organization.

"It's a dismally underserved area that needs a transportation shot in the arm, and it keeps getting bypassed by other projects," said Michael Evans, associate director of Developing Communities Project, a community organizing group on the Far South Side.

CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney said that's not the case. The CTA is in the process of hiring consultants to do studies on the Red Line extension and two other projects.

"We're moving ahead on all of them," she said. "They're all important."

Congress authorized the projects in a massive transportation bill that was passed last year. But those CTA proposals, along with three others, still must secure federal funds, a lengthy and fiercely competitive process.

CTA officials say they have not prioritized the five projects. But transit watchdogs point to the progress on the Circle Line alternatives analysis study as an indicator that it's at the top of the list.

The agency will hold three public hearings on the Circle Line next week, a required step in the alternative analysis study that began in 2004. Similar studies have not yet begun on the Red Line extension and two other projects: the extension of the Orange Line to Ford City shopping center and the Yellow Line to Old Orchard shopping center.

"Essentially what's happened is this great brainstorm child of the CTA has leapfrogged ahead of existing unfunded and unaddressed capital priorities to become the new megaproject goal," said Jacqueline Leavy, executive director of the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group, a civic watchdog organization.

But Gaffney said the CTA started the studies on the Circle Line and one other proposal before the others because they are more complicated projects.

"Not everything operates on a parallel track," she said.

If built, the Circle Line would cover a region bordered by Pershing Road on the south, Fullerton Parkway on the north, Western Avenue on the west and Lake Michigan on the east.

A preliminary plan outlined a three-phase project, the first of which was accomplished with the recent rehabilitation of the Paulina Connector, a 3/4-mile stretch of elevated track that runs parallel to, and just west of, Ashland Avenue. Though the connector had been used recently to reposition equipment, it will be used for passenger service in June when the Pink Line goes into service.

In the second phase, a 1.5-mile link of new elevated track would be built to connect the 54/Cermak branch of the Blue Line near Cermak and Ashland with the Orange Line's Ashland/Archer station.

The third phase would be a 3.35-mile link of new track that connects the Paulina Connector with the O'Hare Blue Line at Division and the Red Line at North/Clybourn. The existing elevated stretch of the Brown Line between the Sedgwick and Armitage stations would be rerouted to a new "super station" at North/Clybourn that also would serve the Red and Circle Lines.

CTA officials believe the plan would shorten travel times and improve connections. Riders could transfer to other lines and Metra routes without having to travel all the way into the Loop.

Evans believes the Circle Line will be built because it has political backing. But his group wants to make sure the Red Line project isn't ignored.

So the organization has been holding community meetings and this week traveled to Springfield to meet with legislators.

"The Circle Line's going to get done no matter how people feel about it," he said. "Let's face it. It's a showpiece. Sure it's going to make a difference. It's saying we are the best to the other cities.

"But servicing your people, the ones that are most displaced, that's saying we care about what's happening," he added. "That's the stance they should be taking right now."

VivaLFuego Apr 27, 2006 5:03 PM

The unpleasant fact is that in the era of modern cities, the low-income areas have lower transit ridership when it comes to hard numbers. So where's the better return on investment?

chitowngza Apr 27, 2006 5:35 PM

^ Well, even they know the Circle Line will get built, and are probably smart enough to recognize it as a fine idea and acknowledge the benefits of it to the system as a whole (tho not neccesarily to them if their individual L-riding patterns are like mine). But they also are looking out for themselves as there's no reason to believe the CTA will be looking out for them...

I say if stretching it to 130th is so much an issue for now (which I find too bad it would be), a compromise would be stretching it to terminating as it hits the 115th and Michigan part of the proposal, and taking it from there another time. There won't be any logical concerns about ridership or lack thereof--not a one--because there is plenty of available ridership along that stretch. Plenty.

We've sorta had this discussion before. I don't know what has given you the impression that the Hundreds are like the 40s and 50s along the Green Line, and some vast ghetto or swath of former projects site, and that it is full of people with no reason to go to the Loop especially not to work. But it's unfortunate you feel that way if you do.

The last post Norsider makes is a fine point: It sucks we even have to have discussions like these on what to do with the little $ our governments are willing to spend on transit.

PS: Thank you for posting the article here, Steely. And I appreciate your added input below me, oshkeoto. Very well said.

oshkeoto Apr 27, 2006 5:37 PM

^ One, return on investment is not the point. Two, even if it were, the 95th station on the Red Line is one of the most heavily-used stations in the entire system--and the Far South Side is so underserved that I don't think we have to worry about building the thing and not having anyone riding it. Look at it this way: there are multiple community organizations in places like Roseland and Pullman who have been clamoring for this extension for decades; how many marches do you see in the West Loop for the Circle Line?

Norsider Apr 27, 2006 6:28 PM

Regarding an extension of the Red Line, I don't think it's a question of whether or not the area "deserves" transit. First of all, there already is pretty decent Metra service up to 115th street so I'm not sure you won't just cannibalize the ridership there, but again, this really isn't the issue. What we need to remember when we talk about the CTA is that we are talking about city circulation, NOT commuter access. Now of course any transit system is going to concentrate on a central area and, largely, bring people to and from there. But what is the point of having the CTA compete against Metra? I would not prioritize an extension to 115th street, but I also wouldn't prioritize an extension to Schaumburg, Old Orchard, or Ford City. Until the CTA can provide convenient and direct access for all the little trips that make a urban area vibrant (think Paris, London, NYC, Tokyo, even an upstart DC), I will be vociferously against all of these things. And it frustrates me that building for these long-ass, Operating-expense-killing trips are all the CTA seems to talk about (other than the Circle Line of course, and Mid-City Transitway to a lesser degree). Let the Metra bring people in from the outer rings. What is the purpose of killing your Operating Expenses if people still(!!!!!!) can't get from the downtown Sheraton to McCormick Place/from Union Station to Navy Pier/from Humboldt Park to Midway/from Ogilvie Station to Soldier Field/from Ukrainian Village to the Metro/from Halsted in Pilsen to ANYWHERE and on and on and on. Duplicating service for suburban transit is wasteful and foolish (yes I mean you, Evanston Express), because to be honest, the Metra can do the long-trip commuting thing much better than the CTA ever could. Instead, let's concentrate on the great potential that the CTA has to be a circulator.

VivaLFuego Apr 27, 2006 7:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norsider
Regarding an extension of the Red Line, I don't think it's a question of whether or not the area "deserves" transit. First of all, there already is pretty decent Metra service up to 115th street so I'm not sure you won't just cannibalize the ridership there, but again, this really isn't the issue. What we need to remember when we talk about the CTA is that we are talking about city circulation, NOT commuter access. Now of course any transit system is going to concentrate on a central area and, largely, bring people to and from there. But what is the point of having the CTA compete against Metra? I would not prioritize an extension to 115th street, but I also wouldn't prioritize an extension to Schaumburg, Old Orchard, or Ford City. Until the CTA can provide convenient and direct access for all the little trips that make a urban area vibrant (think Paris, London, NYC, Tokyo, even an upstart DC), I will be vociferously against all of these things. And it frustrates me that building for these long-ass, Operating-expense-killing trips are all the CTA seems to talk about (other than the Circle Line of course, and Mid-City Transitway to a lesser degree). Let the Metra bring people in from the outer rings. What is the purpose of killing your Operating Expenses if people still(!!!!!!) can't get from the downtown Sheraton to McCormick Place/from Union Station to Navy Pier/from Humboldt Park to Midway/from Ogilvie Station to Soldier Field/from Ukrainian Village to the Metro/from Halsted in Pilsen to ANYWHERE and on and on and on. Duplicating service for suburban transit is wasteful and foolish (yes I mean you, Evanston Express), because to be honest, the Metra can do the long-trip commuting thing much better than the CTA ever could. Instead, let's concentrate on the great potential that the CTA has to be a circulator.

I agree. Generally speaking, CTA's operating budget went to shit after the opening of all the expressway-median extensions.
I think ROI is important, because otherwise everyone complains about CTA wasting money, then the taxpayers wont pony up when CTA needs it to stay afloat.

Something to remember with 95th street is that any red line extension would significantly REDUCE ridership at 95th, since the bulk of ridership at that stop would be taken by the new stations on the extension. 95th is primarily a transfer point from bus riders.

I think the red line extension should be built, dotn get me wrong, but I dont think its as important as the Circle Line.

chitowngza Apr 27, 2006 7:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
Something to remember with 95th street is that any red line extension would significantly REDUCE ridership at 95th, since the bulk of ridership at that stop would be taken by the new stations on the extension. 95th is primarily a transfer point from bus riders.

^That's because people could go to the nearest station in the Hundreds instead of schlepping aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way up to 95th. An extension of course would create a drop in use of 95th, but a likely gain in overall Red Line ridership if nothing else. Y'all want more people on the L, rite?

Norsider my disagreement with your last statement is quite plain and unambiguous. Here's where economics may come into play: Metra isn't for everyone who lives near there. Just because the Electric Line has stations every half-mile doesn't mean that it's practical for everyone who is in proximity.

I live literally steps from the 83rd St. stop. But Metra is a little rich for my blood at the moment--especially since that stop is the first in a new and costlier fare zone. If I could afford Metra I'd be all over it; my moms *LOVES* the Electric Line to go to/from work in the Loop; hates the L. But me? I'm all about the 79th and 87th St Red Line stops, even tho I gotta take the #79 or #87--both shit bus routes--or bike to/from there (or, If I'm coming back from partying up North or something and it's like 5 in the AM, walk the 1 1/2 miles from there). Furthermore the Metra scheduling isn't the best for me, either. In summary, the L works better for me and that's the same for many people who would be served by a potential Red Line extension--that's why they take these shitty ass buses driven by ornery ass bus drivers and ridden by ornery ass fellow riders to 95th and the Dan Ryan.

I understand the reasons why many here agree with the CTA prioritizing the Circle Line. And I say by all means maintain those priorities because they are of benefit to y'all. But to say extensions of existing lines aren't necessary or are cost-ineffective is in my opinion due to being uninformed about the neighborhoods they may serve, and I think are notions based on ridership patterns of some existing lines that I don't feel are fully applicable.

Segun Apr 27, 2006 7:52 PM

^
Replied at the same time.

Anyways, has anyone here actually ridden the Metra Electric to the end? Seriously, its like a ghost train. You have to flag the operator to stop at certain stops. I was waiting for them to serve Sweet Tea and Shoo-fly pie. Even if its convienient, it still costs more than CTA and has no compatibility with it. So no transfers, etc....

As GZA stated, 115th and Michigan is one of the most vibrant shopping districts most people (including me til last year) don't know about. Many people ride the bus from downtown to visit it. Nothing brings people on transit like development around stations, (as evident by DC having the 2nd largest ridership). Chicago is fortunate to have concentrated commercial areas like this, but so many of them are nowhere near transit. On that note, as painful as it is to admit, having transit terminate in a mall is an excellent way to boost ridership. I've seen the results of that in Toronto and Minneapolis. Of course if the mall fails............

Of course an extension will lower ridership at one station, but it will also boost the rest of the line. For instance, ridership at the Jefferson Park station (a similar hub) isn't reduced because it continues into Rosemont and O'Hare. 95th provides connections to the 95th/Commercial shopping district, Chicago State University, areas west of the Ryan like Beverly, and the South Suburbs. If you built a line down to Michigan/115th, it still wouldn't serve these areas, but it would have one hell of final stop, sort of like downtown Jamaica in Queens. Matter of fact, if it did get built, it would be the only such S.Side shopping district located near rapid transit besides 47th on the Green Line. There's more stuff in the 90's and 100's than the entire Orange Line stretch.

chitowngza Apr 27, 2006 8:03 PM

:previous: Word. What this man said. :iagree:

I also wanted to say in my last post (I didn't think you'd swing by this thread tho) that I think you should bust out some more pix sometime (or come down this way and take some more) to provide visual evidence of what I'm trying to get across. Last time I spoke on this in the "Red Line extension" thread last summer you broke one out and it was both Goonsta-Great and helpful in the discussion at hand.

Your camera eye is probably better equipped to make the point than any words I can type on the matter, short of people actually going down there to explore and see with their own eyes.

VivaLFuego Apr 27, 2006 8:12 PM

All the extensions are important and sensible Red line south to at least 115th, yellow line to Old Orchard (with an infill stop at Oakton, damnit), and Orange Line south to Ford City. But I'm with Norsider, where we start kicking ass is once people associate CTA with interconnectivity as well as corridors. I'm comfortable with CTA's choices of priority, though I wish the mid-city transitway and some sort of downtown metra distributor were nearer on the horizon.

chitowngza Apr 27, 2006 8:31 PM

:previous: Yeah Mid-City Transitway will be sweet.

oshkeoto Apr 27, 2006 9:58 PM

"Until the CTA can provide convenient and direct access for all the little trips that make a urban area vibrant (think Paris, London, NYC, Tokyo, even an upstart DC), I will be vociferously against all of these things. And it frustrates me that building for these long-ass, Operating-expense-killing trips are all the CTA seems to talk about (other than the Circle Line of course, and Mid-City Transitway to a lesser degree)"

No one's against urban vibrancy, and I'm all for the CTA being less of a hub-and-spokes system, but we're talking about a huge swath of the city that has zero train access. And, let's face it, the Circle Line is not going to solve a huge number of the CTA's hub-and-spoke problems; if it would, I might be more sympathetic. But as is, you're gonna have a hard time convincing me that it's more important to get from North/Clybourn to the United Center a little bit faster than it is to give direct Red Line access to several miles' worth of neighborhoods.

chitowngza Apr 27, 2006 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oshkeoto
No one's against urban vibrancy, and I'm all for the CTA being less of a hub-and-spokes system, but we're talking about a huge swath of the city that has zero train access. And, let's face it, the Circle Line is not going to solve a huge number of the CTA's hub-and-spoke problems; if it would, I might be more sympathetic.

:previous: Here-here!


Quote:

Originally Posted by oshkeoto
But as is, you're gonna have a hard time convincing me that it's more important to get from North/Clybourn to the United Center a little bit faster than it is to give direct Red Line access to several miles' worth of neighborhoods.

:previous: Me either, put simply.

I guess I'll just have to agree to disagree with the North Siders on this one...

the urban politician Apr 27, 2006 11:32 PM

Agreed on extending the Red line to 130th.

I just hope they plan to extend it though the city as opposed to in the median of an expressway.

Circle and Red Line are the two most important new transit projects in Chicago, if you ask me.

Rail Claimore Apr 28, 2006 12:59 AM

Extending the red, orange, and yellow lines are together only going to cost a fraction (probably around $500 million) of what it will cost to build the full circle line ($3 billion+). I'm also in favor of a Clinton Street subway as well.

Someone mentioned a metra circulator downtown. I have my own ideas about that one, but the amount it would cost and logistics behind it would be enormous. #1, it would require construction of something similar to East-Side Access in NYC (which will bring LIRR trains into Grand Central through new tunnels). #2, it would require electrification of most, if not all existing and future commuter rail lines in the Chicago area, something I'd actually love to see.

chitowngza Apr 28, 2006 1:31 AM

:previous: Actually it doesn't involve Metra service. It's a way to connect the downtown Metra stations to the remainder of the downtown area and important destinations therein. What we've been discussing here in that regard is its composition (light or heavy rail [i.e. a new L route]) and routing (thru the heart of the Loop or hugging ROW along the Chi River).

VivaLFuego Apr 28, 2006 2:37 AM

^, right the hope would be a subway under, or light rail over, Monroe street, running east to grant park then branching north and south to Mag Mile and Museum Campus/McCormick Place, with linkups to all other CTA routes along the way.

I guess they hope the Carrol Ave busway will suffice for now at a much lower cost.

Norsider Apr 28, 2006 2:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rail Claimore
Extending the red, orange, and yellow lines are together only going to cost a fraction (probably around $500 million) of what it will cost to build the full circle line ($3 billion+). I'm also in favor of a Clinton Street subway as well.

Someone mentioned a metra circulator downtown. I have my own ideas about that one, but the amount it would cost and logistics behind it would be enormous. #1, it would require construction of something similar to East-Side Access in NYC (which will bring LIRR trains into Grand Central through new tunnels). #2, it would require electrification of most, if not all existing and future commuter rail lines in the Chicago area, something I'd actually love to see.

For the record, the red line extension is the least problematic of all the extension plans because a) it ain't really that far away from downtown, and b) we're not talking about too long an extension either. And I agree that it should be through the neighborhoods and not on an expressway. The urban mojo of an expressway median "el" line amounts to slightly less than zilch.

But Rail Claimore. Dude. This is something that we have all really got to internalize here. Extending lines may cost less capital, but they absolutely fuck the operating budget. Capital is not the problem. The US is the richest country in the world and we could afford many many billions of dollars for transit projects every year if anyone gave a shit about it (instead, we give those billions to Exxon and Chevron and whoever in subsidies because they must not be making enough money to do their own R & D). What IS a problem however is having a transit system whose expenses are so high that they have to cut hours, charge prohibitively expensive fares, or let their infrastructure deteriorate. Without a critical mass of short trip riders (aka non commuters), extending lines with impunity just digs the CTA deeper into financial trouble.

Rail Claimore Apr 28, 2006 9:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norsider
For the record, the red line extension is the least problematic of all the extension plans because a) it ain't really that far away from downtown, and b) we're not talking about too long an extension either. And I agree that it should be through the neighborhoods and not on an expressway. The urban mojo of an expressway median "el" line amounts to slightly less than zilch.

But Rail Claimore. Dude. This is something that we have all really got to internalize here. Extending lines may cost less capital, but they absolutely fuck the operating budget. Capital is not the problem. The US is the richest country in the world and we could afford many many billions of dollars for transit projects every year if anyone gave a shit about it (instead, we give those billions to Exxon and Chevron and whoever in subsidies because they must not be making enough money to do their own R & D). What IS a problem however is having a transit system whose expenses are so high that they have to cut hours, charge prohibitively expensive fares, or let their infrastructure deteriorate. Without a critical mass of short trip riders (aka non commuters), extending lines with impunity just digs the CTA deeper into financial trouble.

I'm not denying the reality of capital vs operational costs, and you're absolutely right about line extensions. Cost per rider is the bottom line for any company or agency that spends money, or has a limited budget to work with, which is why even in my own opinion, the circle line should be CTA's top long-term expansion priority over the next 15 years. The el must become a true city-wide point-to-point rapid transit system, and not merely a partial one that has to rely on commuters as well.

The downtown circulator thing, now that it's been clarified to me, is a neat idea. I'd love to see something like that connect with the existing pedway system, create somewhat of an underground city like that in Montreal.

VivaLFuego Apr 28, 2006 1:54 PM

The Red Line extension would still be quite significant....the orange and yellow extensions are much shorter and cheaper, but (probably) less ROI, depending on if the red is to reach 115th (good idea) or 130th (waste of money).

VivaLFuego Apr 28, 2006 3:47 PM

I think I’ve finally put my finger on why the Circle Line is significantly more important than the Red Line extension.
A few points:
1. People say the southland (Roseland, West Pullman, etc.) is underserved by transit. But if transit is so important to the residents, its worth pointing out that no one is forcing them to live there. What I mean by that is, there are vast amounts of underutilized areas in Chicago with excellent transit access (think south and west sides), where the cost of living is comparable or in some cases, less than the southland. Why invest in more transit infrastructure farther out from the core while what we have is going underutilized?
2. If the current demographic trends continue, i.e. the formerly-working class residents of the south side are increasingly middle class and more affluent, car ownership and usage will also continue to increase. Since the southland is essentially totally built out, both residentially by bungalows and commercially, this suggests that there is little long term ridership growth potential with a red line extension
3. the beauty of the circle line, as opposed to line extensions, is that it increases the viability and effectiveness of all the lines it connects to. Similarly, if done in conjunction with Chicago Planning and Development, it would significantly contribute to the expansion of a dense, walkable, transit-able Urban core, something these far out line extensions don’t, and can’t, do. This means that the Circle Line has (relatively) unlimited ridership growth potential, both on the circle line itself and on the lines it connects to through enhanced interconnectivity.

Basically, extending the red line is like calling the rest of the south side, which has received a ton of transit investment, a lost cause. Imagine what the ~$400 million the line extension would cost could do in terms of transit-oriented development along the south branches of green, red, and west branches of green and blue.

Hopefully you can see what I’m getting at….the Circle Line is forward-thinking, the line extension is looking backwards. The circle line is a return to the “glory” days of speculative transit, where the urban development we love followed the transit lines to give us our unique neighborhoods.

There’s a clear difference in return-on-investment. I think the red line extension –should- be built (and probably is more important than either the Orange or Yellow extension), but if we view transit as a means to an end (the end being a more sustainable and vibrant pattern of urban development), the choice between extensions and Circle Line is very clear to me, notwithstanding the economic argument that line extensions at the outer reaches have almost always wreaked havoc on operating budgets.

rgolch Apr 28, 2006 4:02 PM

Nothing new, but an interesting commentary and description.

http://www.gapersblock.com/detour/a_cta_map_for_2055/

Norsider Apr 28, 2006 5:47 PM

Great thoughts, Viva.

oshkeoto Apr 28, 2006 8:29 PM

"1. People say the southland (Roseland, West Pullman, etc.) is underserved by transit. But if transit is so important to the residents, its worth pointing out that no one is forcing them to live there. What I mean by that is, there are vast amounts of underutilized areas in Chicago with excellent transit access (think south and west sides), where the cost of living is comparable or in some cases, less than the southland. Why invest in more transit infrastructure farther out from the core while what we have is going underutilized?"

Ah. So the onus isn't on the city to provide decent transportation to all Chicagoans, it's on Chicagoans to move to the right parts of the city. How stupid they are to complain about an extension that was supposed to happen 30 years ago when all this time, they could've just picked up their entire family, left their community, and bought something in Englewood next to the Green Line.

"If the current demographic trends continue, i.e. the formerly-working class residents of the south side are increasingly middle class and more affluent, car ownership and usage will also continue to increase. Since the southland is essentially totally built out, both residentially by bungalows and commercially, this suggests that there is little long term ridership growth potential with a red line extension"

Viva--first off, we all know that Dan Ryan/95th is one of the most heavily-used stations in the system, which suggests there would be a good number of people who would use stations further south. (And if that isn't enough, there's the fact that people in those neighborhoods have been organizing and demanding the extension--something that hasn't happened at all in the areas that would be affected by the Circle Line.) Secondly, there's this thing called densification--something we frequently attribute to the growth of public transport. Of course there's potential for growth.

"3. the beauty of the circle line, as opposed to line extensions, is that it increases the viability and effectiveness of all the lines it connects to. Similarly, if done in conjunction with Chicago Planning and Development, it would significantly contribute to the expansion of a dense, walkable, transit-able Urban core, something these far out line extensions don’t, and can’t, do. This means that the Circle Line has (relatively) unlimited ridership growth potential, both on the circle line itself and on the lines it connects to through enhanced interconnectivity."

Do you honestly think that the Circle Line is going to be some magic bullet that suddenly makes it sensible to travel from the far North Side to the far Northwest Side, or an equivalent trip on the South Side, on the El? Am I really going to take the time and effort to switch to a *third* train to save four or five stops? If I live in the West Loop, am I really going to be *that* excited about this, unless one of the three new stations is located right outside my doorstep? I really don't understand this; if the Circle Line were some massive project that would significantly change the nature of the system, I'd say we have to do it before anything else. But it won't. It'll make a few kinds of trips a little bit more convenient. The Red Line extension will provide trains to whole neighborhoods that previously lacked access.

chitowngza Apr 28, 2006 8:31 PM

Yeah I've seen that before, rgolch. It could be better IMHO but they're on to something.

Viva, I say this with all due respect because I recognize the knowledge you've demonstrated on the matter of transit, but I'm beginning to interpret your arguments as thinly-veiled opinions that a Red Line extension should NEVER be built even after the a Circle Line is done (Norsider's already seemed to have taken that position), and you're practically going out of your way to both make that point and keep it thinly-veiled.

I'll grant you your first point. I mean, nobody (WHO CAN AFFORD IT) HAS to live ANYWHERE. In saying that you're like Cosmo Kramer when he always tells Jerry, "Well, no one is holding a GUN to your head!":P. And that's a valid point if not a universally applicable one, as there are many determinants on where people live sepearate from mere choice. But for the purposes of this discussion I'll go with what you say.

Even taking into the validity of that, let's just say that there's some major trend of West Pullman, Roseland, and Morgan Park residents to Kenwood, Oakland, Grand Boulevard, and Douglas, etc--the 30s 40s ad 50s. Does that automatically mean that people aren't going to take their place in the Hundreds? And I mean regardless of the background of these hypothetical new residents--these communities may or may not stay Black forever. This take the supposition that the population in Chicago city limits can't ever grow significantly again (probably not, but not impossible, I don't think). And the verticality of future closer-in development is only going to go so far no matter how much you all (smartly) promote it here on this forum.

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
2. If the current demographic trends continue, i.e. the formerly-working class residents of the south side are increasingly middle class and more affluent, car ownership and usage will also continue to increase. Since the southland is essentially totally built out, both residentially by bungalows and commercially, this suggests that there is little long term ridership growth potential with a red line extension.

Are you aware of current car ownership levels in these communities? I don't. Not in the sense of citing figures. But I seen with my own eyes. Besides 95th, the busiest stops on the Ryan are 87th-69th. They serve communities as far east as South Chicago and probably as far west as Ashburn, with Calumet Heights, Avalon Park, Burnside, Chatham, etc. in between. ALOT of people own cars in these communities--A. LOT. Go on a major artery like Halsted, Stony Island or Cottage Grove pretty much any time during daylight and you'll see what I mean. After a certain time every day, parking in my little hood is very much an issue.

That said, if you get on the L inbound after 79th (or, sometimes, 87th) between like 7:30-9AM, you're standing. Same going outbound between 3:30 or 4-6ish in the PM. Of course there are significant amounts of people who don't have cars in these areas who ride the L, but there are more "choice" riders, I argue, that there is credit being given to (including myself)--that's why Wabash and in some cases Michigan in this stretch are residential parking zones from 8-10AM. While the Hundereds are not generally as well off (tho for the record they are largely well-off nevertheless) I don't buy the case that it wouldn't be the same here. ALOT of people have cars there also, and drive because, what are the alternatives besides the Electric Line and Rock Island Line? And I've stated the insufficiency of Metra down there.

I'll take that argument and pose this question to you: If the Howard branch didn't already run thru Uptown and Edgewater and Rogers Park, where ALOT of people own cars, would you be opposed to extentions from, say, hypothetical terminal at Wilson up thru these areas, assuming everything esle about the character of these places were the same? What about everyone's favorite Lakeview and Lincoln Park? Parking there is impossible--does that mean they don't deserve transit either, tho the Red Line is well-used up there?

Listen, I know I said I would "agree to disagree" and this isn't consistent with that, but I just couldn't let that ride. We can go on about this ad infinitum but why? I'm already on record supporting the Circle Line, which is irrelevant anyway because its a foregone conclusion. The choir of SSP is being preached to in support of it anyway. And don't say extension will be acceptable to have if you're going to support an argument for why it should NOT be had.

And PLEASE don't base your arguments in the "con" camp on conceptions you have on the eneighborhood based on biased heresay and what you read about the community in the Trib. Take the time to see for yourself one day; nobody'll hurt you. Promise. Also, while I believe in statistics, they don't have eyes. While I can't cite numbers like some of you can, I have the experience in the area that is less tangible but as useful. Right now, Viva, you're making your case based on the assumption (at least I've concluded it's the assumption), that I've seen you mention regularly in this thread and others, that the vaaaaaaast majority of South Side is some a grimy ghetto. That's a makes what you've been saying, candidly, a mis-informed argument.

chitowngza Apr 28, 2006 8:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oshkeoto
Do you honestly think that the Circle Line is going to be some magic bullet that suddenly makes it sensible to travel from the far North Side to the far Northwest Side, or an equivalent trip on the South Side, on the El? Am I really going to take the time and effort to switch to a *third* train to save four or five stops? If I live in the West Loop, am I really going to be *that* excited about this, unless one of the three new stations is located right outside my doorstep? I really don't understand this; if the Circle Line were some massive project that would significantly change the nature of the system, I'd say we have to do it before anything else. But it won't. It'll make a few kinds of trips a little bit more convenient. The Red Line extension will provide trains to whole neighborhoods that previously lacked access.

:previous: Once again I've gotta piggyback on whay you're saying. This to me is one of the most important points in trying to speak from the perspective of your average South Side L rider. Certainly speaking for myself. Say I'm going to, for example, North/Damen/Milwaukee to party, or better still for my point, to see some buddies who live off the California stop on the O'Hare branch. Why am I going to want to take the Red Line to Chinatown, then hop the Circle Line which'll take me all that way back down to 31st and Ashland before turning back up to go to the Division stop, where I'd have to get off and either wait for the O'Hare train or (in the Wicker Park case) probably end up walking? Seriously, I know you North Siders get such fantasitc service comparatively, but y'all are acting like it's ideal even up there. Naw, man riding the L can be a stressful thing anywhere the way the CTA runs it.

So, that's THREE trains, TWO transfers. Nah, Red to Jackson, Blue to Damen or Cali works just fine in its imperfection. I mean, hell. It's bad enough waiting for the one transfer--especially since the CTA loves to make it so that you JUST miss a train when you do transfer. Circle Line's gonna be great for the system, sure. But not for me. There may be times I'll have a use for it but not many. For example, it MAY be a prudent route to get to Midway, but again we got the variables of train frequencies and synchronicity between lines. Same for many others in my side of town--especially those who don't have an L nearby to begin with. I don't have a survey on me, but feel free to conduct one scientifically or informally.

Listen, I ain't trying to change minds here. Just expand them without use of certain substances.

VivaLFuego Apr 28, 2006 9:05 PM

^gza,
I actually think all 3 extensions should be built....(even yellow and orange to Old Orchard and Ford City respectively....people should think about using transit for shopping instead of instinctively reaching for the car keys).

But I'm aware of the different demographics between the 30-40-50s and the hundreds. I lived on the southside for 18 years, and have been extensively in most of the neighborhoods therein, including Pullman, Eastside, Beverly, Morgan Park, Hegewisch, and most of the Lakeshore (Hyde Park, Kenwood, Woodlawn, Oakwood, etc.). Of course that experience doesnt make me an "authority" on the subject, but I want to put it out there I'm not making unfounded generalizations.

Also for reference the Howard red line north of Wilson (but not including Wilson) has over 35,000 daily boardings over a length of 3.75 miles, versus 48,000 for the entire Dan Ryan branch over a length of 9 miles. Again I bring this up just to consider the R-O-I merits of the red line extension.

Of course, there arent any hard ridership estimates for the Circle Line; its hard to gauge. Aside from the Circle line itself, how will it impact and increase ridership on each of the lines it connects to? Intuitively, it would increase ridership systemwide significantly, especially in conjunction with additional high-density, mixed use development in the area it serves. but I havent seen any ridership predictions, so we can't know for sure.

In the meantime, let's agree that its worth the time and money to be exploring everything to do with both projects, which thus far CTA is doing :)

VivaLFuego Apr 28, 2006 9:07 PM

^ and I agree, most people will not make 2 transfers to reach their destination, but I think most people would be happy to make 1 transfer especially if it is a matter of crossing a platform. The options the Circle Line opens up in terms of where 1 transfer can get you in a short amount of time are phenomenal, consider the circle line not only serves many destinations, but if it is developed as a high-density origin of trips, people located along the circle line could quickly get to the proper "spoke" of the CTA system to get to their desired destination, rather than backtracking all the way to the loop as they mostly do now.

chitowngza Apr 28, 2006 9:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
In the meantime, let's agree that its worth the time and money to be exploring everything to do with both projects, which thus far CTA is doing :)

Agreed :cheers:

But let me say that my Wilson-to-Howard scenario wasn't quite meant to be a parallel analogy. It was meant to illustrate that having lots of cars in a community is not going to eliminate the need for public transit--especially with gas and downtown parking both unapologetic ripoffs now. Of course the stretch up there I speak of will have higher ridership--they're currently much denser areas with more people with reason to head downtown or somewhere. Helps tremendously that there are stops every two blocks as well. But while there are odds to overcome, these South Side communities I speak of are not "immune" (for lack of a better word) to densification in the future. Nor the need to be less car-reliant now. Can't see where a well-placed L route would be a detriment to that or anywhere else, is all I've been trying to say.

I too am much in favor of the Orange Line to Ford City. I wish it was there all along. I was in high school when it first opened, and I made many a trip from Whitney Young to Ford City via the Orange Line after school. I also used it when I was working in Lincoln Park and the Loop.

But I absolutely hated taking the bus from the airport terminal to the Ford City area, because the service was horrendous. Say what I want about the routes east of the Ryan, but that #54B Cicero might be the worst route I ever personally used with any sort of regularity. More likely than not I took one of the Pace routes that went that way; they seemed to run somewhat better. The L straight down to the mall would have saved me much much stress.

A Yellow Line extention has no bearing on me, but if it benefits you and your type up there then go for it.

To me the only dumb idea is stretching the Blue Line all the way out to Schaumburg. And that's because, as I've made so over-abundantly clear--too many areas in Chicago city limits are lacking L service to be giving the rich NW Cook 'burbanites some at this juncture.

Norsider Apr 28, 2006 9:42 PM

I think the Red Line extension should be built someday, but again I make the point of the real mission of the CTA. Light rail transit shouldN'T exist for the purpose of grabbing people from as far away as possible and plopping them downtown. We have the heavy Metra commuter rail for that. The role of light rail transit in a city should be to circulate the population. If you've ever visit Paris (perhaps you already have) you will be amazed at the fact that you can travel from literally anywhere to literally anywhere via the Metro. This is what we want to acheive in Chicago. Inasmuch as the 90's and 100's are in sort of no man's land in that respect (not exactly downtown, not exactly Naperville), it's a interesting project.

As far as the Old Orchard, Schaumburg and Ford City projects are concerned, I have three words: Take the bus.

brian_b Apr 28, 2006 9:50 PM

Hmm, some interesting discussion on this page.

My personal view, after thinking about it a bit, is that the circle line would be a nice addition, to a degree.

I've lived on the northside, in the NW burbs, and now in the West Loop.

On the northside, the best option the CTA has in terms of gaining riders, is to extend the Brown Line from Kimball to the Blue at Jefferson Park. It would pay itself off just in the Cubs traffic from the NW burbs alone. I knew a lot of people that would drive in for games and were longing for an easier way. The Park and Ride at Cumberland and then a bus connection at Irving Park just doesn't cut it for these people. An L transfer would do it.

The added benefit is easier access to O'Hare for northside residents.


For me in the West Loop, simply adding that 18th/Blue Island/Ashland connecter would give quicker and easier access to Midway.

And that's it for the north and west. I'll leave the southside stuff to someone who knows more about those needs.

Rational Plan2 Apr 28, 2006 10:44 PM

How about expanding all the Metra routes within 15 miles of the city to near metro frequencies, at lease 6 trains an hour for the 1st 10 to 15 stops from the centre. Longer distance commuter trains would be express near centre.

All it would take is a broad political consensus to develop amongst all principal groups in the city to fund a long term investment plan in public transport (irony). This could be funded incrementally with the most congested tracks expanded 1st. I know that does require a bit of wishful thinking, but such a plan would benefit a larger area and therefore hopefully get more politcial buy in from suburban councils.

chitowngza Apr 28, 2006 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norsider
If you've ever visit Paris (perhaps you already have) you will be amazed at the fact that you can travel from literally anywhere to literally anywhere via the Metro. This is what we want to acheive in Chicago.

:previous: I can dig it. :iagree: . I too find this neccesary and look forward to the day it comes. All it's gonna do is make the world's greatest little burg that much better. It's just about priorities and the differing ones. And the perspectives that create them. I see y'all's; I'm in the North Side far too much for many reasons and all times to NOT see your perspective--and agree in more regards than you may think. And downtown? Not even an issue there.

See mine. And oshkeoto's and Segun from up the North way.

And we take things from there...


Quote:

Originally Posted by Norsider
Inasmuch as the 90's and 100's are in sort of no man's land in that respect (not exactly downtown, not exactly Naperville), it's a interesting project.

THIS, on the other hand, borders on hilarity. I understand the application of relativity, but that's a bit much. It's an altogether different beast than what goes on the North Side--caused my many different factors that favored the North eventually becoming one of the showplaces (with downtown) of the city to the world and SSP. But it's a beast nevertheless. Never a pussy. It's got a plethora of issues. Alot. But the Chi would be in serious trouble if this was a wholly dead-at-best, screwed-up-at worst side of town--20s to Hundereds. Tho I'm inclided to interpret that you see it as holding the city down as is.

It's significantly less dense even in the more developed areas than the North Side communities we speak of becuase it is far more single-family and lo-rise flat residential. But to say it doesn't merit L service due to that is to say that the Southwest Side doesn't merit the Orange Line (the last to open, significantly). Or that if O'Hare wasn't where it is that the Northwest side wouldn't fit the criteria for the Blue Line.

Why I compromised on the Red Line going all the way to 130th like it deserves, is because it indeed will route through the de-industrializing(-ed) South Deering and Pullman on its way to Hegewisch. But whose to say that these places won't one day densify? Doesn't a densification anywhere in city limits help the city in some way? And aside from there, we have a ways to go based on Our Town's current growth pattern til people are going to have to figuratively live on top of each other block-by-block like the New-New York of Futurama. May one day happen tho. But lets not act like this great big section of town looks the same as when the city annexed it in 1889 (exaggeration for effect). It takes exploration to understand that, is all--even if it doesn't change your perspective. But just driving thru ain't gonna do it.

What you're saying at best is "Wait til it happens, if it happens." I understand that. All I can do is tell you why that shouldn't be. But Metra and the way Metra does its thing (albeit well within those parameters) shouldnt have to be what's to be lived with for someone who is paying the cost of living anywhere in city limits over the admittedly cheaper-in-many-ways burbs (including $75/yr for a city sticker for his/her car).

And let's not forget Ford City sends some of its business-related taxes to LaSalle St...

chitowngza Apr 28, 2006 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rational Plan2
How about expanding all the Metra routes within 15 miles of the city to near metro frequencies, at lease 6 trains an hour for the 1st 10 to 15 stops from the centre. Longer distance commuter trains would be express near centre.

All it would take is a broad political consensus to develop amongst all principal groups in the city to fund a long term investment plan in public transport (irony). This could be funded incrementally with the most congested tracks expanded 1st. I know that does require a bit of wishful thinking, but such a plan would benefit a larger area and therefore hopefully get more politcial buy in from suburban councils.

That's a rational plan. But I can tell you're not familiar with how politics work here regionally ;) . But indeed if it could work like that: A) I wouldn't *necessarily* be as vocal on my position in the discussion; and B)University of Chicago students and Hyde Park area residents, who tend to rather not go so deep into the ghetto to get to the Red and Green Lines, might not be so vocal about changing one of the commuter lines that runs right through the area into a rapid-transit route.

The Regional Transportation Authority is too much a mess so that to even consider that is proposterous to some within it, I'd theorize.

EDIT: Silly me I forgot to mention the msot important factor. Only a couple Metra routes have that many in-city stops. Granted they're in the area of the city we're having this discussion on. But there are also many stops on these routes in the mnay suburbs, who would object to even that concept--they're gonna want more frequent service, and then the heavily suburban-oriented lines that are the majority of the system will want some, and the different agencies under the umbrella and their respective constituencies are gonna bitch about the available loose change the governments provide for these things, and so on, and so forth...

So it would be these parts of the city that would have to do the political heavy-lifting--and that's a helluva lotta weight.

So it's a fine idea, just not politically do-able currently.

chitowngza Apr 29, 2006 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brian_b
Hmm, some interesting discussion on this page.

My personal view, after thinking about it a bit, is that the circle line would be a nice addition, to a degree.

I've lived on the northside, in the NW burbs, and now in the West Loop.

On the northside, the best option the CTA has in terms of gaining riders, is to extend the Brown Line from Kimball to the Blue at Jefferson Park. It would pay itself off just in the Cubs traffic from the NW burbs alone. I knew a lot of people that would drive in for games and were longing for an easier way. The Park and Ride at Cumberland and then a bus connection at Irving Park just doesn't cut it for these people. An L transfer would do it.

The added benefit is easier access to O'Hare for northside residents.

I can see that being quite popular. They're only, like a mile apart. Would help encourage more train use and ameliorate the parking and traffic controversies in Wrigleyville. I don't generally hear good things about how the Cubbies are running that shuttle from DeVry. And as far as the CTA is concerned, as you state the Park and Ride is way out at Cumberland, and I'm sure the Addison bus connection is a pain in the arse.

What you state is further north than the proposal on the site rgolch referred to. They instead call for putting a new ring line going south from there in Albany Park. But, what's wrong with adding a short due-west stretch? And shit, who wouldn't wanna get to the airport easier via L?

Segun Apr 29, 2006 1:16 AM

I'm late, but anyways
here's 115th and Michigan
http://www.streetsandsoul.com/roundup/roundup296.jpg

and Paradox21 was with me, and he's way more skilled at moving photos, so here are his:
http://www.streetsandsoul.com/parado...t-2005-129.jpg
http://www.streetsandsoul.com/parado...t-2005-132.jpg
http://www.streetsandsoul.com/parado...t-2005-133.jpg
http://www.streetsandsoul.com/parado...t-2005-134.jpg
http://www.streetsandsoul.com/parado...t-2005-135.jpg
http://www.streetsandsoul.com/parado...t-2005-136.jpg
http://www.streetsandsoul.com/parado...t-2005-137.jpg

Norsider Apr 29, 2006 2:45 AM

Gza,

Maybe you misunderstood me. What I meant by no man's land was it wasn't far enough away to make me boil with fury at the thought of extending el service there, but not close enough to downtown to be a circulation priority. I was only talking distance, not density.

Actually, the more I think about it the more I realize that it really just the Old Orchard and Schaumburg projects that piss me off.

chitowngza Apr 29, 2006 2:53 AM

:previous: My apologies. I did. And I see now what you mean. Hey that's cool I can accept indifference. It's hostility that I have to react to.

Goonsta, comin thru with the pics. Good lookin' out. That's really what I've been trying to say, just in like a thousand words per picture. Its not Oak and Michigan, but damn not many other places in the city are.

VivaLFuego Apr 29, 2006 4:21 AM

^ Yeah nice pics. Make a good case for Red Line service to 115th/Michigan, eh? The city should spend a few bucks and "streetscape" that bitch....repave the street, get some flowerboxes, decorative light poles, pretty it up. The alderman should get busy on that...

gza,
"A Yellow Line extention has no bearing on me, but if it benefits you and your type up there then go for it. "
dude, what?

Ignoring that, i think the first priority is a yellow line stop at oakton (where there is actual population and employment density), then potentially park n ride service at old orchard with trains running directly through to downtown. I think the Yellow -extension- is the least important of these projects, but the infill at Oakton is very important to help justify the continued existence of the yellow line. I think an Old Orchard extension -could- be worthwhile because of its potentially tiny cost, since the right-of-way is entirely preserved, and I believe there would be only one required grade seperation at Golf Road. the park n ride lot, well youve got all that Old Orchard parking.

I still think Circle is the priority of the bunch, but with a little luck and just a little cooperation from the state legislature to match the federal funds, I bet we could see serious progress on not only the Circle, but also the Red extenson. The only other transit projects that can compete in the country are things like the 2nd ave subway in manhattan (no-brainer) or the Wilshire subway in LA (also no-brainer).

VivaLFuego Apr 29, 2006 4:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norsider

Actually, the more I think about it the more I realize that it really just the Old Orchard and Schaumburg projects that piss me off.

Right. It also comes down to how one views the purpose of public transit. Personally I see it as a vital means to reach the desired end of sustainable, vibrant, dense, interesting, urban development. Like I described in a previous post, I think the Red extension serves another important purpose of providing low-cost environmentally friendly travel options in a travel-heavy area, but I don't think it directly serves my above stated goal of core development, which is why I don't rate it as high as the Circle.

Of course, what is probably clear, is that gza stands to benefit directly from a red line extension, and I stand to benefit directly from the Circle Line :) now I just need to convince him that he and so many others would benefit from the Circle too!

chitowngza Apr 29, 2006 4:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
gza,
"A Yellow Line extention has no bearing on me, but if it benefits you and your type up there then go for it. "
dude, what?

Yeah I certainly should have worded that better; it was much too informal. Sorry bout that cuz I didn't mean anything malicious by it. I just meant, you and those who would also benefit from a potential Skokie lengthening, as that was my assumption then.

But as you clarify your position it looks like you wouldn't even have much (or any) use for it yourself, but are instead speaking for others who may benefit. If that's the case, then I suggest you let that happen when they get around to it, or IF they do so, or even decide it's worthy to get on. To quote McCartney, I "wisper words of wisdom: Let it be." We've already got enough contrroversy on what we're gonna do with the stuff inside the city. I get you about trying to find a way to let Skokie stay online and useful tho. But again it doesn't make me any difference what they ever do with the Swift. In fact, here's where Norsider's opposition is fine by me. And it seems also to be a more appropriate case study for your concerns about potential ridership justifying necessity. I.e. it's not only a question of, are the riders there for a longer Yellow Line(?), but also of, would many even miss it if it goes offline? To be honest I'm rather uninformed on the subject, as I don't go out that way (I seldom leave city limits on any side of town). But--based on my understanding that Swift ridership is very light and my knowledge that service is very infrequent--it seems to me the answer to both is "no."

...

But much as you may be speaking for others, I am also. I wouldn't use a Red Line south of 95th very often becuase my life and associated L-riding patterns take me north. I DO have use for it tho cuz I got family and other relevant things down there and on occasion I patronize the shopping area 'round Michigan that we speak of (which actually looks that way, generally speaking, from 103rd on down) as well as the lesser commericalized strips of the Halsted drag down there--there's sum good shit for cheap there especially on Michigan. But when I'm going down there now I'd MUCH rather drive--in fact unless my piece-of-shit car (anyone ever hear the Adam Sandler song of that name?) is acting up, I won't go there UNLESS I'm driving.

But I mainly speak for a larger-than-y'all-think constituency (which makes someone who shuns the culture of public office sound like a public official), that is pissed about the bus rides (like the #34 and #119 that run past the scene of Segun's pics--both shit routes) way up to and way down from 95th. It can be an excruciating trip; I can't stress that enough.

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
Of course, what is probably clear, is that gza stands to benefit directly from a red line extension, and I stand to benefit directly from the Circle Line :) now I just need to convince him that he and so many others would benefit from the Circle too!

If by that you mean, being an important and heavily-used route that will help fund further improvements and enhancements that we all agree are necessary citywide, then I been convinced since 2002, man.

But if you mean, giving me a better way from point A to point B based on where I go in town--that would make my L-riding life complete--so much so that I'm itching for it to come online? Nah I'm not feelin' it. But again I'm just speaking for me and mine, is all. Just as you are.

I'm appreciating this discussion both in its depth and health (i.e. it's been contentious but hasn't come close to deteriorating, tho it's had a fair amount of misconception and misinterpretation). Since I kept it in the house and and clear-headed this Friday nite I'm all about adding to it now. And I'm down with keeping it going if y'all are. But I don't think our beliefs are (or at least SHOULD be) as incompatible as they may seem. Certainly we can disagree on things and have legit reasons on why that is but it seems like we all want the same thing to manifest eventually--whether we recognize that or not.

spyguy May 1, 2006 11:24 PM

Full article here:
http://media.www.chicagoflame.com/me...epublisher.com

Station construction to create track for signal project
Kristine C. Ostil

Issue date: 5/1/06

Quote:

A CTA electrical contractor has built a small section of tracks in the extra space at the UIC-Halsted station to use as a temporary storage area while they are working on a large signal communication project along the Blue Line.
blah blah blah

Quote:

"This project is for the re-signaling and power traction for a third rail which increases the power and makes the train move. The CTA tracks are going to cross the Red and Blue lines together," said a foreman for Aldridge Electric, Inc.

The upgraded signal system will result in improved reliability of service for Blue Line customers, and also includes upgrades to the power cables and communication system needed to connect the Red Line State Street subway and Blue Line Dearborn Street subway as part of the Block 37 project.

A transit center will be developed under Block 37, the vacant lot on 108 North State Street.

"The signaling project is going fantastic and everything is right on schedule...the project started about two weeks ago and is a three year job," said the foreman.

VivaLFuego May 2, 2006 3:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy
Full article here:
http://media.www.chicagoflame.com/me...epublisher.com

Station construction to create track for signal project
Kristine C. Ostil

Issue date: 5/1/06



blah blah blah

This project bugs me. People like to rave about how great automatic train control is, but its SLOW. The blue line is the only line with the old simple block signalling, and it moves the fastest of the lines (i.e. red and brown get slow and stop signals all the time). Hopefully the technology has improved and the new signal system won't slow down operations on the blue line.

HK Chicago May 2, 2006 7:55 AM

"The signaling project is going fantastic and everything is right on schedule...the project started about two weeks ago and is a three year job," said the foreman.

:koko:

I'm sure it's factual, but I hope he made that statement toungue-in-cheek.

headcase May 2, 2006 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy
http://www.transitchicago.com/news/c...ticleid=101316

Public Comment Next Step in Federal New Start Process

Chicago Transit Authority will hold public meetings next month to receive input on the proposed Circle Line project. The meetings are part of the Alternatives Analysis study—the first step in pursuing federal funding for major transit projects. The Alternatives Analysis study is designed to examine all the transit options available and determine a locally preferred alternative.

Meeting dates and venues are:

Tuesday, May 2, 2006
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum
West Wing Auditorium
1852 W. 19th Street
Chicago, IL 60608

Wednesday, May 3, 2006
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Lincoln Park High School
Room 103
2001 N. Orchard Street
Chicago, IL 60614

Thursday, May 4, 2006
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Molecular Biology Research Building
Room 1017
900 S. Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60607

All venues are accessible to people with disabilities.

The proposed Circle Line would link all of CTA’s rail lines and all of Metra’s lines in a study area bounded by 39th Street on the south, Fullerton Parkway on the north, Western Avenue on the west and Lake Michigan on the east, creating improved transit connections throughout the six-county region and helping to further ease traffic congestion and improve travel times.

DMJM+Harris, A Joint Venture, which specializes in transit/rail, highway and bridge, marine, aviation and energy infrastructures is conducting the Alternatives Analysis study. The Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program requires transit project proposals to proceed through a process of planning, design and construction. The FTA process consists of five formal steps: Alternatives Analysis, Environmental Impact Statement, Preliminary Engineering, Final Design and Construction.

Anyone planning on attending? When?

VivaLFuego May 2, 2006 1:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by headcase
Anyone planning on attending? When?

I'll hopefully make it Wednesday night.


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