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Nexis4Jersey Jan 24, 2013 6:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5971500)
No, the "Eight-Track Bridge" at Campbell Avenue, frozen in the down position at 17 feet vertical clearance, sets the clearance for the entire Sanitary & Ship Canal. Nothing between Damen Ave. and Joliet still opens.

I don't think any swing bridges are still operable anywhere in the Chicago area, except the one just south of Armitage on the North Branch.

Thats a shame I think IL should invest in a waterway network between Joilet and Chicago it would give new options for shipping along with opening up Chicago to the Gulf Trade Markets.

emathias Jan 24, 2013 6:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 5986138)
Thats a shame I think IL should invest in a waterway network between Joilet and Chicago it would give new options for shipping along with opening up Chicago to the Gulf Trade Markets.

It would be cool, but with calls to close all connections between Lake Michigan and the rivers due to invasive fish species, I don't think anyone wants to invest in something that may be forcibly shut down.

CTA Gray Line Jan 25, 2013 1:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5985700)
Please attend if you can the 2nd Congressional District Candidates Debate:
Wednesday January 30, 2013 4:30pm to 9:00pm
Rich Central High School 3600 203rd St.
Olympia Fields, IL 60461

http://www.facebook.com/events/487324314642723/?ref=22

I will be there to submit ideas for Jobs, and Economic Development,
and to distribute CTA Gray Line information and literature; there may
also be coverage by Fox32 TV:

http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/17...-electric-line

Mike Payne

I will be attending, and distributing at this Event also -- please attend if you
can: http://www.activetrans.org/TransitSummit2013

k1052 Jan 25, 2013 2:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 5986138)
Thats a shame I think IL should invest in a waterway network between Joilet and Chicago it would give new options for shipping along with opening up Chicago to the Gulf Trade Markets.

This is already better served by rail with the exception of bulk commodities shipped by barge. That money would be better spent completing CREATE.

Beta_Magellan Jan 26, 2013 7:56 PM

Streetsblog Chicago has an article on the first BRT meetings. Highlights:

Quote:

In that scenario, bus stations would be placed in the median, curb parking on both sides of the street would largely be preserved, and sidewalks would be widened, while left-turn lanes would be removed. According to CTA studies, this configuration would boost the average bus speed on Western from 10.1 mph to 18.4, with a 50 percent increase in reliability and a 30 percent spike in ridership. Despite the removal of car lanes, the agency predicts average automobile speed would only drop from 17.9 to 16.3 mph.
Quote:

The Ashland Avenue-Western Avenue Coalition tipped its hand a bit with the alarmist punctuation of yesterday’s meeting announcement. “CTA’s proposal to reconfigure these streets may remove curbside parking, for one side of the entire stretch of the addresses above, if not all parking,” it read. In reality, removing parking from both sides of the street is not being actually being considered as an option. “[BRT] would HISTORICALLY RECONFIGURE these streets and HISTORICALLY IMPACT businesses, residents and neighborhoods.” True enough, but the historic reconfiguration of these streets to prioritize transit and walking should be a reason to celebrate, not sow fear.

http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8326/...04cd821eff.jpgCTA image hosted on Greenfield’s flickr

About 60 people showed up for the afternoon meeting at First Baptist Congregational Church, located at Ashland and Washington, including several alderman and chiefs of staff. Joe Iacobucci, the CTA’s manager of strategic planning and policy, CDOT deputy commissioner Scott Kubly and Chris Ziemann, the city’s BRT manager outlined the reasoning behind the proposed changes. “For the last 50 or 60 years roadways were designed with the automobile as the primary users,” Kubly said. “Transit, pedestrians, and cyclists played second fiddle. And what we’re trying to do as a department is look at all the new road projects that we’re doing and accommodate all the users.”

Louis Rago, owner of Rago Brothers Funeral Home, located nearby at Western and Erie, said he was opposed to any parking loss on the street. “We depend upon the parking that’s available on the side streets and on Western,” he said. “So you’re concerned about getting these people to where they want to go. We’re not going to be there for them. You’re going to put us out of business.” Iacobucci pointed out that half of the alternatives preserve nine out of ten on-street parking spaces. “Nine out of ten spaces? Gee whiz!” responded Rago sarcastically. The business owners present generally seemed unclear on the concept that BRT would significantly boost bus ridership, which would mean less need for car parking.

jpIllInoIs Jan 27, 2013 3:19 PM

CREATE Update
 
CREATE Project Status Maps have been updated as of Jan 18,2013

What is noticeable is the number of completed projects and also Phase III -Under Construction projects.

The map does indicate that the P1 - Englewood flyover is in the construction phase.

Below is another article on CREATE in Progressive Railroading Mag.

CREATE update: Grade crossing upgrades, separations and closures

Communication and Signal

By Walter Weart

For freight and passenger railroads, making the safety grade at crossings requires a little technology, a lot of partnering, more education and more closures. In the Chicago metropolitan area, railroads and a host of partners are working in a big way to improve crossing safety (see "Grade crossing safety: Freight and passenger railroads take a multi-pronged approach"). The $3.2 billion Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program, which started in 2003, includes crossing upgrades, grade separations (25 in all) and closures.

Two recently completed projects include the $60 million Belmont Road grade separation in Downers Grove, Ill., which eliminated an intersection between the four-lane road and three BNSF Railway Co. tracks used by 150 Amtrak, Metra and BNSF trains daily; and the $165 million 115th & Torrence rail bridge replacement grade separation of the intersection of 130th Street and Torrence Avenue, says Jeff Sriver, CREATE project manager for the Chicago Department of Transportation.
....
The goal of the 130th and Torrence grade separation project is to eliminate at-grade crossings on two Norfolk Southern Railway mainlines by lowering the profile of 130th Street and Torrence Avenue to fit under two new bridges that will carry the tracks and also be used by the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad. In addition, an existing bridge carrying two Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District/South Shore Line commuter-rail tracks over the NS tracks and Torrence Avenue will be rebuilt on a new alignment immediately south of the current structure.

The 394-foot-long bridge is the largest truss bridge ever built off site and moved into place fully assembled, CREATE officials say. The project is scheduled for an April 2015 completion.

"Two other notable crossing projects involved the Ashland and Damon crossing, which experiences over 50,000 vehicles a day, and a BNSF crossing on Blue Island Avenue, which used a tub-type crossing," says CREATE Coordinating Planner Joe Alonzo.

Speaking of BNSF: The Class I has about 50 tub crossings in the Chicago area, 10 of which were installed in 2012, a BNSF spokesperson says. BNSF officials believe tub crossings work well in areas where there is high vehicular traffic and low train speeds. Unlike conventional concrete panels that fit on top of ties, tub crossings don’t sit on ties. The rails are attached directly to the precast concrete modules, which eliminate the use of ties and ballast. CREATE officials note that there's been less of a need for maintenance with the tub crossings currently place.

CREATE officials also plan to use variable message signs to alert drivers "when a particular Belt Railway crossing is blocked, which occurs frequently and creates significant delays," says Chicago DOT Deputy Director David Zavattero. The signs are designed to alert drivers that gates are down and for how long. The crossing, which is monitored on a Belt Railway Co. of Chicago line, is located at 55th Street, just west of 55th and Central, at the northwest corner of Midway Airport.

The signs — which ultimately could be tied into the railroad's crossing control system to provide additional information — will be placed along the Stevenson Expressway and Cicero Avenue during the next 18 months. If they prove to be successful, the signs could be installed in other locations, Zavattero says.

Walter Weart is a Denver-based free-lance writer. Email comments or questions to prograil@tradepress.com.

ardecila Jan 27, 2013 10:03 PM

Yeah, the bridge at 130th and Torrence is now linked into the South Shore line and the previous viaduct is being dismantled.

http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphoto...73109706_n.jpg

src

J_M_Tungsten Jan 27, 2013 10:16 PM

Wow that's blue!

denizen467 Jan 28, 2013 6:23 AM

^ How about we do this for much more of our public infrastructure? Please? Not all, but occasionally?

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 5989497)
The 394-foot-long bridge is the largest truss bridge ever built off site and moved into place fully assembled, CREATE officials say. The project is scheduled for an April 2015 completion.

In the US or what? I'm sure there is stiff competition from around the world, and $1tr infrastructure investment in China would be tough to keep track of, though 120 meters isn't shabby at all.

Edit - perusing web links reveals someone is suggesting this size was exceeded by a foreign project - a 640-foot truss for the Quebec Cantilever Bridge.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5989957)

CREATE has a Facebook page?!?! Can all major construction projects from now on have a Facebook page? Not that I care for Facebook, but when you ask for a dedicated website or webpage you usually end up with six-month stretches with zero updates - I recall having to rely on the Tribune and Sun Times for most Wacker rebuild updates and timetables. It would be quite nice to have regular updates like this for, say, OMP, whether cargo area and runways or just the consolidated car rental facility and surrounding roadway realignment.

ardecila Jan 28, 2013 9:01 AM

Facebook dramatically lowers the barriers to frequent updating, especially for non web-savvy people. I doubt CREATE has the budget to hire a dedicated web person; they probably use one of IDOT or CMAP's people - when they remember to make an update, get materials together, send the email, make a phone call, etc. With Facebook, literally anyone can make an update in a few seconds. Its's also interactive, so (for example) Walsh Construction could post a cool photo of the 130th/Torrence project, shot by a Walsh employee, to the CREATE page.

CTA and CDOT also post quite a bit of content to social media now; CTA in particular has always (historically) been meticulous about photographing capital improvements and now both old and new photos are posted on Flickr for all to see.

Vlajos Jan 29, 2013 5:54 PM

Looks like CTA ridership was up again in 2012. 2.4% growth in ridership.

http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...ts/2012-12.pdf

ardecila Jan 30, 2013 4:55 AM

WBEZ is reporting that the "preferred" design for the Ashland/Western BRT is median lanes on Ashland, coupled with a lane reduction, between Archer and Milwaukee. Expansions to the north or south, and anything on Western, would need to wait until later.

As I suspected awhile ago, this is basically a Circle Line replacement, connecting core CTA lines circumferentially and forming an express link to the Illinois Medical Center. Since it's a short segment, I imagine CTA will reinstate the X9 and run it using the new busway.

emathias Jan 30, 2013 5:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlajos (Post 5992111)
Looks like CTA ridership was up again in 2012. 2.4% growth in ridership.

http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...ts/2012-12.pdf

And that's using calendar-adjusted numbers - non-adjusted is up almost 2.6%. Must not have been a lot of riders on Feb 29.

It's a little worrisome that December was down but overall seems like good news. Dan Ryan ridership next year will obviously be decimated by the reconstruction, which will probably bull the system total numbers below 2012 even if they manage to track all the additional bus and shuttle riders, but hopefully by 2014 it will immediately exceed 2012 due to the must faster travel times. 2013 should have higher ridership on all the other lines, though. 2014 I expect to be a banner year.

Vlajos Jan 30, 2013 2:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5993089)
And that's using calendar-adjusted numbers - non-adjusted is up almost 2.6%. Must not have been a lot of riders on Feb 29.

It's a little worrisome that December was down but overall seems like good news. Dan Ryan ridership next year will obviously be decimated by the reconstruction, which will probably bull the system total numbers below 2012 even if they manage to track all the additional bus and shuttle riders, but hopefully by 2014 it will immediately exceed 2012 due to the must faster travel times. 2013 should have higher ridership on all the other lines, though. 2014 I expect to be a banner year.

I was looking at that. I think the December there was a bunch of construction on the north red line. Also, weren't some bus routes eliminated in December? Finally, I imagine the way the holidays played this year caused less weekly ridership during the last week of the year.

Mr Downtown Jan 30, 2013 3:24 PM

I wouldn't expect a return of the X9. First, I think that was paid for with demonstration project money and I don't know that it ever served much of a purpose north or south of the proposed BRT corridor. Second, the median BRT will require special buses with offside doors, so it would be tricky to have equipment that runs in normal and BRT service.

emathias Jan 30, 2013 4:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlajos (Post 5993326)
... Finally, I imagine the way the holidays played this year caused less weekly ridership during the last week of the year.

Oh, that's true, and probably explains nearly the entire effect. Probably 40% of my office was out during the week of Christmas, and I'm sure other offices had similar vacation effects. Those holidays will be mid-week this year and 2014, too, so 2015 and 2016 will probably show "growth" in December for the inverse reason.

Vlajos Jan 30, 2013 5:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5993471)
Oh, that's true, and probably explains nearly the entire effect. Probably 40% of my office was out during the week of Christmas, and I'm sure other offices had similar vacation effects. Those holidays will be mid-week this year and 2014, too, so 2015 and 2016 will probably show "growth" in December for the inverse reason.

That was my thought. My office probably only had 40% in the office and nearly everyone in my office lives in Chicago. I was out for 12/24-31.

ardecila Jan 31, 2013 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5993381)
I wouldn't expect a return of the X9. First, I think that was paid for with demonstration project money and I don't know that it ever served much of a purpose north or south of the proposed BRT corridor. Second, the median BRT will require special buses with offside doors, so it would be tricky to have equipment that runs in normal and BRT service.

So you think it will be a closed system, then? Rapid buses will only run Division-Archer? I guess there's a turnaround at the Orange Line station. Still, thus confers virtually no benefit to North or South Siders.

:wtf:

untitledreality Jan 31, 2013 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5993052)
As I suspected awhile ago, this is basically a Circle Line replacement, connecting core CTA lines circumferentially and forming an express link to the Illinois Medical Center.

I hope this does not mean the Circle line will no longer be considered in the future. Missing out on a connection to the Red/Brown/Purple at North and Clybourn is a huge blow to potential ridership and system efficiency.


I am however, very excited that the center running BRT with full street parking seems to have won favor with the city. I only wonder how nasty traffic will be where Ashland transitions from 2 lanes to 1.

Beta_Magellan Jan 31, 2013 2:17 AM

Is WBEZ still claiming it? I recall reading it with an update saying that no decision’s been made yet (though it’s around what I’d expect).

There are buses which can board from either side—I believe Eugene’s EmX uses them.


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