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

ardecila Oct 23, 2014 5:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6779834)
This is the first I've heard of this path. I always wondered what the point of that tiny little path that crosses over peterson was. It makes much more sense connected to a much larger bike path. We have got to keep tying all these paths together because we could really make something special out of it given all the surplus rail infrastructure we have in this city.

Up north, it's tricky because of multiple jurisdictions (Skokie, Lincolnwood, Evanston, Chicago, etc - and each one has to negotiate individually with UP and ComEd to get the rights and apply for funding individually. CMAP is helping coordinate though.

In Chicago, the bulk of funding for ped/bike projects goes to dense neighborhoods near the core... these outer fringes just are a lower priority, especially because the rail-trails usually require expensive bridge rehab.

LouisVanDerWright Oct 23, 2014 5:35 PM

^^^ Chicago is adding so many awesome little projects like this. Ultimately these railroad trails through relatively urban suburbs offer a bit of "place making" for what was originally a fairly bland, but not particularly offensive from an urban planning perspective, postwar suburban district. It's nice to see projects like this in what I would call "salvageable suburbs" like Skokie, Lincolnwood, etc.. It's almost as if these areas are finally reaching maturity and beginning to adopt the more granular, layered, older, feel you find in the city. The reuse of obsolete infrastructure contributes greatly to this feel.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6779845)
"Throw the bums out" is not a philosophy of governance.

It should be, Congress would be a lot more functional if it were...

ardecila Oct 23, 2014 5:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6779504)

Besides having their eye on headways that are unimaginable for the Chicago region, I suspect that Toronto has the advantage of hydroelectric resources that make electric power much cheaper than here.

Why are the headways unimaginable? Have you seen Toronto's outlying GO stations? They don't have the constellation of railroad suburbs that Chicago does, so there is almost no existing transit-oriented development. Most of these stations are massive park-and-rides like Metra's Rte 59 stop in Aurora, surrounded by industrial parks and culdesac subdivisions. Multifamily development, if it exists, are suburban-style midrise complexes - not exactly transit oriented.

The only exception is Toronto's Lakefront Corridor, which does have a few downtowns along it (Port Credit, Hamilton, etc).

Mr Downtown Oct 23, 2014 10:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6780199)
Why are the headways unimaginable?

Some of their politicians are talking about running GO on five-minute headways. That hardly seems likely, even for Canada, so I wonder if these statements are more pandering to voters in suburban ridings than actual transit planning, much like Rob Ford's subway fantasies.

On the Weber Branch trail, it's important to note that a lot of the ROW is now gone, sold off to various private entities all around Lincolnwood Town Center and in southwest Evanston.

CTA Gray Line Oct 24, 2014 4:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6779845)
I doubt that anyone who's watched the GTA's "subway wars" over the last 20 years would share your opinion.

Nor does your name-calling suggest how Illinois's agencies should be structured differently. "Throw the bums out" is not a philosophy of governance.

Wasn't the opinion of just about all of the Studies about our "governance" that the 4 "Agencies" should be combined into one?
(a version of "Throw the bums out")

Didn't we all witness the Alex Clifford debacle (I wonder if he's been able to wash all of that patented NE Illinois Cesspool Smell
off of himself yet) of all the rats (bums) abandoning ship before they got deservedly prosecuted? I'm name calling because they
embarrassed us (and me - I do PAY my Taxes) in front of the entire Nation.

BUT maybe things are getting better! (see next post)

CTA Gray Line Oct 24, 2014 4:50 AM

RTA, Metra to Hold Joint 2015 Budget Hearings
 
http://www.rtachicago.com/index.php?...014&Itemid=128

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and Metra will hold eight joint hearings to gather public input on their proposed 2015 budgets in November. In addition, the RTA will hold an individual budget hearing in December to offer the public a chance to learn about and provide input on the proposed RTA 2015 budget, two-year regional financial plan, and five-year regional capital program......


I guarantee you that I will be there lobbying!

CTA Gray Line Oct 24, 2014 6:21 AM

Chicago’s Plan Commission Adopts RTA-Funded Study
 
http://www.rtachicago.com/index.php?...014&Itemid=128

The Regional Transportation Authority is pleased to announce the City of Chicago Plan Commission’s adoption of the RTA-funded Metra Typology study. A typology study is used to create systems for putting things into groups according to how they are similar; in essence, it is the study of how things can be divided into different types......

denizen467 Oct 24, 2014 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6779300)
Yes, in a limited fashion. It may take a long time for NS to negotiate individually with the many property owners in the area, but they are rebuilding all the viaducts along 51st St and constructing a connection ("Echo") at 58th St between their two lines as a precursor to the eventual yard expansion.

http://www.nscorp.com/content/dam/in...day-slides.pdf (p. 54)

Also worth noting that Norfolk Southern's abandoned line along 58th St will be donated to the city in exchange for some city-owned parcels near 61st and State. Community organizers want to turn this into a trail like the Bloomingdale, although I'm guessing it will be more basic like the Weber Spur on the far North Side.

Thanks! That investor presentation has some great nerd/foamer images - slide 52 is the first time I can remember seeing a satellite or aerial photo with freight lines superimposed; I feel smarter just from looking at it. The slides after it are really interesting too.

Per schwerve's post and some Tribune articles I found from last year, it seems the property acquisitions have been moving along pretty well - the notable finding regarding timing seems to be that they apparently plan this as a phased 10-year expansion project, so there may be little visible progress for a while. And once they vacate all the relevant streets (will utilities have to be rerouted?) and close off the site, maybe we will have to rely solely on the occasional satellite photo update to keep tabs on how their buildout is going.

One very interesting question is how canyonization of Garfield Blvd will be mitigated - whether they will minimize the extent of viaducts over it (leaving essentially separate north and south yards, with one or two connecting/thru tracks), and whether there will be sheer walls along both sides or some kind of landscaping.

It's great they are reconstructing the 51st St mega-viaduct; that should be a kind of interesting little project to follow. There are so many decaying viaducts all across the city; one wonders what motivates a railroad to spend money on certain improvements, and one wonders whether some of them (and which ones) will sit forlorn well through this century. But streetscapes can look so much better when they are finally carried out as we see along Ravenswood (though the old stuff is often kinda sexy too).

denizen467 Oct 24, 2014 11:20 AM

The Englewood Flyover opened yesterday, at least ceremonially. Surprised there wasn't more hoopla about this. I'm looking forward to the next YouTube video from the admiring commuter's vantage point. (Dick Durbin's office has proudly posted a video of him speaking at yesterday's dedication ceremony.) Edit - found a pre ceremony video, but they didn't seem to be running at full speed yet.

The viaduct clearance there seems awfully tight - double stacked freight trains can run underneath Metra now, but what if specs or needs increase in the future?

ardecila Oct 24, 2014 1:38 PM

The viaduct has a maximum 1.5% grade so every additional foot of clearance at the overpass requires 133 feet of extra viaduct.

I certainly hope requirements don't increase in the future. Containers have had the same dimensions for 50 years, standardization is the whole point. The cost of modifying bridges and overpasses across the U.S. would be colossal, in addition to the handling yards, massive container ships, etc.

Mr Downtown Oct 24, 2014 1:48 PM

Given the tunnels NS has between here and the East Coast, a floating-girder viaduct in Chicago would be the least of its problems.

Nouvellecosse Oct 24, 2014 1:51 PM

The GO electrification study mentions a number of benefits but it also demonstrates that without them the case can still be made on an economic basis. Electric rates may be low in Ontario making the economic case strong than some areas but that just means we'd be looking at different time frames.

CTA Gray Line Oct 24, 2014 4:02 PM

Chicago police to check CTA passengers for explosives
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...024-story.html

Starting next month, Chicago police officers will be swabbing the bags of some riders entering some CTA rail stations to make sure the bags don't have explosives, Chicago Police announced Friday.......

Mr Downtown Oct 24, 2014 5:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse (Post 6781203)
the case can still be made on an economic basis. Electric rates may be low in Ontario making the economic case strong than some areas but that just means we'd be looking at different time frames.

But what's the point if the time frame for recovery of the project cost is longer than the life of the asset? GO's own figures give a payback period of 100 years, even with cheap hydro and no cost overruns on construction.

If electrification costs billions and billions of dollars, reduces running times very little, and saves almost nothing in energy costs or emissions . . . why is it so necessary to the future of Metra?

CTA Gray Line Oct 25, 2014 4:43 PM

New trains? That's not where your Metra fare hike will go
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/o...023-story.html

Let's set the record straight right up front: That 10.8 percent fare increase Metra wants for next year is not about buying new trains......

CTA Gray Line Oct 27, 2014 7:28 AM

No CTA fare hike, 'slight' service bump in 2015
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...026-story.html

The CTA will freeze fares for the second straight year in 2015 and offer a slight increase in Blue and Orange line service aimed at easing crowding, under a proposed $1.44 billion budget that will be unveiled Monday......

ChickeNES Oct 28, 2014 5:44 AM

According to Reddit they've started demolition at Wilson Red Line. Does anyone have any pics? I might head up that way myself in the next couple of days and snap a few if not.

denizen467 Oct 28, 2014 12:30 PM

^ I believe the Rokito's restaurant structure (or the one next to it) along Wilson has been reduced to rubble now, so it seems work has begun.


Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6781199)
I certainly hope requirements don't increase in the future. Containers have had the same dimensions for 50 years, standardization is the whole point. The cost of modifying bridges and overpasses across the U.S. would be colossal, in addition to the handling yards, massive container ships, etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6781201)
Given the tunnels NS has between here and the East Coast, a floating-girder viaduct in Chicago would be the least of its problems.

Call it my Panamax anxiety. The Panama Canal's allowed dimensions were going out of date after several decades, and this interesting NYT article outlines how shipping economics are driving evolution in sea cargo practically as fast as our smartphones are changing (nearly quadrupling the number of containers on the world's biggest ship in about 2 decades). Rail changes are orders of magnitude slower, given the hundreds or thousands of dimension-constrained points along a route to the coast, to be sure. But infrastructure we build now will still be operating in the 22nd Century.

Also I note how Indiana highways permit triple-tandem truck trailers, which must be rearranged into doubles just before entering Illinois (UPS does this at Hammond), and it makes me think that, analogously, intra-Chicago rail (like along the belt railway, or between classification yards, or something) could theoretically be built to different, superior specs to make more efficient use of space, if it were at all economical. It's a little fanciful, but a hundred years is a long time.

ardecila Oct 28, 2014 4:46 PM

Well that gets into a bigger discussion about the responsiveness of our infrastructure investment. We are not building the infrastructure for today's need, let alone tomorrow's. You'd think the scarcity of money and political will would force governments to focus on the most urgent projects and those with the biggest return on investment, but instead it's a wedge for politicians to push their ill-conceived pet projects under the rubric of "something is better than nothing" (see the Illiana). Even the business community is starting to turn on that boondoggle.

Vlajos Oct 28, 2014 5:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6785628)
Well that gets into a bigger discussion about the responsiveness of our infrastructure investment. We are not building the infrastructure for today's need, let alone tomorrow's. You'd think the scarcity of money and political will would force governments to focus on the most urgent projects and those with the biggest return on investment, but instead it's a wedge for politicians to push their ill-conceived pet projects under the rubric of "something is better than nothing" (see the Illiana). Even the business community is starting to turn on that boondoggle.

There's an article in Crains today about how some of the original proponents of the Illiana are now against it. That highway is a very bad idea.


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