SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   Transportation (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25)
-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

Mr Downtown Apr 5, 2009 11:23 PM

About 20 years ago there was discussion of opening up the Van Buren tunnel as a link between Union Station and Sears Tower/311 South Wacker. I vaguely remember a city RFP and tour being conducted, but don't know anything further.

I wonder if a private operator could install something like the Senate Subway to shuttle commuters back and forth, and pay it off with a $1 one-way fare.

denizen467 Apr 6, 2009 3:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4179201)
The other two tunnels are ...

So the tunnels are under LaSalle, Van Buren, and - where does the third one run?

ardecila Apr 6, 2009 6:24 AM

The three tunnels are:

LaSalle - from Washington to Hubbard
Washington - from Franklin to Clinton
Van Buren - from Franklin to Clinton

The Van Buren tunnel is actually mid-block between Van Buren and Jackson.

the urban politician Apr 6, 2009 2:24 PM

I can't find the article now, but somebody at either the Tribune or Sun Times this morning is criticizing the Central Area Action Plan's recommendation to build a West Loop Transportation Center, Monroe busway, and subway lines.

Instead he recommends scrapping all of that, spending the money on rehabbing the CTA, and building a downtown circulating bus loop using Clinton Ave, Carroll ave, and other existing unused ROW.

Thoughts?

k1052 Apr 6, 2009 2:25 PM

If they ever build the West Loop Transportation Center it might be desirable to use the Van Buren and Washington St. tunnels as pedways that will route people directly into it.

jpIllInoIs Apr 6, 2009 2:36 PM

Here is the Tribs diss on WLTC
 
A $6 billion hole in the ground
By John McCarron
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/o...,3311569.story

As soon as the Olympic inspection team leaves town, can we talk about the West Loop Transportation Center?

I'm talking about the $6 billion hole in the ground the city wants to dig at the corner of Clinton and Madison Streets. It would be a bad idea at half the price, but at $6 billion this proposal ranks up there—or down there—with building an airport in Lake Michigan or another interstate beltway in the far west suburbs.

The airport-in-the-lake idea thankfully got spiked decades ago. And "Prairie Parkway" through Kane and Kendall Counties is dying of neglect now that its champion, Dennis Hastert, has retired from Congress.

But the West Loop Transportation Center? It keeps coming back like a bad penny. Or in this case, like some James Bond fantasy cooked up by 007 wannabes in the Chicago Department of Transportation. Too much "Thunderball," fellas?

k1052 Apr 6, 2009 2:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4180077)
I can't find the article now, but somebody at either the Tribune or Sun Times this morning is criticizing the Central Area Action Plan's recommendation to build a West Loop Transportation Center, Monroe busway, and subway lines.

Instead he recommends scrapping all of that, spending the money on rehabbing the CTA, and building a downtown circulating bus loop using Clinton Ave, Carroll ave, and other existing unused ROW.

Thoughts?

Because the Canal/Jackson/Clinton area really needs more surface traffic with all the cabs, intercity buses, trolleys, hoards of pedestrians, local/express CTA bus service, and cars that constantly buzz around it now. Further surface transport (especially a dedicated busway with signal priority) for this area is out of the question and one of the main things the WLTC should address.

We should be only be building infrastructure that promotes further grade separation in the city core, not less.

jpIllInoIs Apr 6, 2009 2:47 PM

Ya know he might have a point on the overall plan. Do we need 4 levels. We discussed earlier that CUS could have as many as 4 thru tracks at ground level. I would love to see the Clinton Subway and also street level busways. Clinton could easily become a bus only street. And following up on the Pedway tunnel access discussion, why not just install moving sidewalks like the ones at O'Hare? Moving Sidewalks connecting Olgilve and CUS, and also in the Van Buren and Washington tunnels to connect with the East side of the river.

VivaLFuego Apr 6, 2009 3:00 PM

His cost/benefit analysis is flawed. From the perspective of the city, scrounging up local/state money to match federal money that will only be available for certain projects, one analyzes the benefit:cost ratio for the marginal dollars you're putting on the table. It's not like CDOT et al could just decide to spend a $6 billion cocktail from various funding sources on whatever else it chooses.

That said, the WLTC as proposed is indeed overkill. Wouldn't be the first overkill project proposed or built of course, but several of the problems it seeks to address could be alleviated with much less costly projects. Regardless, it's probably a good idea to keep it on the drawing boards for comp plans for the time being, to ensure necessary steps like preserving the ROW are taken to keep it as a viable option down the road, even if not on a 2016-2020 timeline.

the urban politician Apr 6, 2009 3:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 4180116)
I would love to see the Clinton Subway and also street level busways. Clinton could easily become a bus only street.

^ I mentioned this before when somebody else proposed that. Having Clinton as a Bus-only street doesn't solve the problem of grade separation. You still have to deal with traffic lights, and even if you institute TSP you'll be disrupting auto/taxi/bus traffic on intersecting streets.

Wouldn't the proposed subterranean route be more useful?

Mr Downtown Apr 6, 2009 3:35 PM

I also was puzzled by his concept that people trying to get from Union Station to, say, Dearborn Center, would find it useful to creep south on Clinton to 16th, east to the Metra Electric tracks, then back north to disembark in Grant Park and walk four blocks west. It's like saying that we didn't need to build the Eisenhower because people in Elmhurst could always take the Tri-State around to Lansing and then come downtown on the Calumet Expwy and Lake Shore Drive.

Nowhereman1280 Apr 6, 2009 4:30 PM

^^^ Yeah seriously what is this guy smoking? Chicago needs the infrastructure as presented in that plan. If we ever want to return to the glory days when people came to Chicago and "saw the future", then we need to seriously reconsider where we spend money and how. I say no more half-assing it with light infrastructure, if you are going to build a transit system the build the hell out of it, don't just close a few streets to traffic so buses can shuffle along, build four levels of tunnels so trains can shoot through them unimpeded at high speeds.

If Chicago wants to be dominant in a post auto-age world, then we have to have a better transit system than everyone else. I don't know what this whack job is thinking when he proposes putting more vehicles on already crowded streets, but its not going to work. $6 billion is a steal for the benefit that would be provided. That's like saying Millennium Park was not worth the money just because we didn't make any money directly off of it. Well the value of these things is not seen in direct profits, its seen in the tens of billions of dollars of development they spur for years to come. Its seen in tens of billions of dollars worth of new taxes that will be generated over the next 100 or more years.

If Chicago can get the Clinton subway, WLTC, and decking over the Kennedy built, then a boom even greater than that seen around Millennium Park will Occur and it will effectively double the size of the Loop. Can you imagine what Chicago could do with a whole more loop's worth of tax revenue a year?

VivaLFuego Apr 6, 2009 5:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4180282)
^^^ Yeah seriously what is this guy smoking? Chicago needs the infrastructure as presented in that plan. If we ever want to return to the glory days when people came to Chicago and "saw the future", then we need to seriously reconsider where we spend money and how. I say no more half-assing it with light infrastructure, if you are going to build a transit system the build the hell out of it, don't just close a few streets to traffic so buses can shuffle along, build four levels of tunnels so trains can shoot through them unimpeded at high speeds.

If Chicago wants to be dominant in a post auto-age world, then we have to have a better transit system than everyone else. I don't know what this whack job is thinking when he proposes putting more vehicles on already crowded streets, but its not going to work. $6 billion is a steal for the benefit that would be provided. That's like saying Millennium Park was not worth the money just because we didn't make any money directly off of it. Well the value of these things is not seen in direct profits, its seen in the tens of billions of dollars of development they spur for years to come. Its seen in tens of billions of dollars worth of new taxes that will be generated over the next 100 or more years.

If Chicago can get the Clinton subway, WLTC, and decking over the Kennedy built, then a boom even greater than that seen around Millennium Park will Occur and it will effectively double the size of the Loop. Can you imagine what Chicago could do with a whole more loop's worth of tax revenue a year?

I think that you both (1) overstate/overestimate the impact transportation infrastructure will have on accelerating absorption of leasable square footage in a particular location that happens to already be fairly highly accessible by most measures and (2) don't take adequate account of the fact that operating all this new infrastructure will require further operational subsidy in perpetuity, putting aside up front capital construction costs and periodic maintenance.

To elaborate on #1, it's not like the West Loop is bursting at the seams in terms of built density and needs added infrastructure to allow for growth in employment and residential. If a firm or resident wants to locate in West Loop, they already can - and if West Loop lacks the transit accessibility that they demand, there are other areas that have such accessibility that still have room for growth. This might not always be the case, so planning for a major core expansion to the west, and the transit infrastructure that entails, is prudent for the long term: preserve the ROWs, design any near-term facilities to allow for easy expansion/modification, etc. But the whole shebang on a 2016-2020 time horizon? Seriously? Where do you forsee the market demand (and ergo, support for operational subsidy) coming from?

By all means the city should dream big and look at a wide range of projects serving many different needs and at many different price points, but the attitude of building big things for the hell of is unlikely to end well for anyone involved except the contractors building the thing.

schwerve Apr 6, 2009 6:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4180436)
I think that you both (1) overstate/overestimate the impact transportation infrastructure will have on accelerating absorption of leasable square footage in a particular location that happens to already be fairly highly accessible by most measures and (2) don't take adequate account of the fact that operating all this new infrastructure will require further operational subsidy in perpetuity, putting aside up front capital construction costs and periodic maintenance.

To elaborate on #1, it's not like the West Loop is bursting at the seams in terms of built density and needs added infrastructure to allow for growth in employment and residential. If a firm or resident wants to locate in West Loop, they already can - and if West Loop lacks the transit accessibility that they demand, there are other areas that have such accessibility that still have room for growth. This might not always be the case, so planning for a major core expansion to the west, and the transit infrastructure that entails, is prudent for the long term: preserve the ROWs, design any near-term facilities to allow for easy expansion/modification, etc. But the whole shebang on a 2016-2020 time horizon? Seriously? Where do you forsee the market demand (and ergo, support for operational subsidy) coming from?

By all means the city should dream big and look at a wide range of projects serving many different needs and at many different price points, but the attitude of building big things for the hell of is unlikely to end well for anyone involved except the contractors building the thing.

I generally agree with this statement however I don't think the transportation in the west loop should necessarily be looked at facilitating access to the west loop. The power of the WLTC in my mind is its ability to function as a multi-modal core which doesn't currently exist. The transportation center is necessarily not because the west loop doesn't have transportation access, but because it DOES have transportation access, specifically its the regional and sub-regional terminus (amtrak and metra respectively). its the point of system integration between all three major transit system in the region.

nomarandlee Apr 6, 2009 7:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 4180103)
Because the Canal/Jackson/Clinton area really needs more surface traffic with all the cabs, intercity buses, trolleys, hoards of pedestrians, local/express CTA bus service, and cars that constantly buzz around it now. Further surface transport (especially a dedicated busway with signal priority) for this area is out of the question and one of the main things the WLTC should address.

We should be only be building infrastructure that promotes further grade separation in the city core, not less.

I don't know if I buy into this argument of we need to keep all existing downtown roads forever free and clear for full auto optimization. We are going to spend six billion to ensure we maximize auto traffic flow? Why should the optimization of car traffic in downtown be a priority? I think we need more congestion not less. The city could use a few more roads devoted to PT and bikers/pedestrians even in downtown. It kind of works as a congestion charge that could help effect behavior without the bitter blowback of the citizenry of run away government taxation/fees similar to the parking meter fiasco.

k1052 Apr 6, 2009 7:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 4180545)
I don't know if I buy into this argument of we need to keep all existing downtown roads forever free and clear for full auto optimization. We are going to spend six billion to ensure we maximize auto traffic flow? Why should the optimization of car traffic in downtown be a priority? I think we need more congestion not less. The city could use a few more roads devoted to PT and bikers/pedestrians even in downtown. It kind of works as a congestion charge that could help effect behavior without the bitter blowback of the citizenry of run away government taxation/fees similar to the parking meter fiasco.

No, we'll spend 6 billion to improve the flow of everything I listed plus add real integration between CTA/METRA and have a facility ready to accommodate true high speed rail when it comes our way.

I also agreed with reusing the Van Buren and Washington tunnels to funnel pedestrians more safely from Franklin directly into the West Loop stations.

VivaLFuego Apr 6, 2009 8:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schwerve (Post 4180514)
I generally agree with this statement however I don't think the transportation in the west loop should necessarily be looked at facilitating access to the west loop. The power of the WLTC in my mind is its ability to function as a multi-modal core which doesn't currently exist. The transportation center is necessarily not because the west loop doesn't have transportation access, but because it DOES have transportation access, specifically its the regional and sub-regional terminus (amtrak and metra respectively). its the point of system integration between all three major transit system in the region.

Very true - but I talk about West Loop's accessibility/desirability from a real estate perspective because utimately, the only way a rail transit expansion project is cost effective is if it opens an untapped floodgate of transit riders, with transit ridership being driven primarily by people commuting to and from work. This is why the Circle Line concept is generally so abysmal - and in contrast, why something like New York's East Side Access or Second Ave subway are more competitive, as the latter 2 open such a floodgate in what are currently capacity-constrained corridors and terminal locations. To be sure, some significant level of intermodal connectivity improvements are needed in West Loop (the Union Station parking deck is a prime site to deal with some of this, and I think some serious BRT circulator/distrbutor services are also the right direction), but I have my doubts that the $6 Billion "whole shebang" proposal is the best way to go about this considering the implications for future operations and maintenance cost.

I mean, yeah it'd be nice if someone could ride from Lakeview straight to Union Station for an intercity rail trip or a Metra ride to the burbs, but how many additional daily transit commuters would exist because of such a new connection? Probably some - but enough to justify $6 billion in construction and ongoing operations/maintenance? Remember, even at airport rail stations, transit ridership is primarily driven by work commuters, not travelers. Occasional trips (in which I include basically anything that isn't a work/school commute) simply don't justify investment in costly new rail rapid transit.

schwerve Apr 6, 2009 8:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4180637)
Very true - but I talk about West Loop's accessibility/desirability from a real estate perspective because utimately, the only way a rail transit expansion project is cost effective is if it opens an untapped floodgate of transit riders, with transit ridership being driven primarily by people commuting to and from work. This is why the Circle Line concept is generally so abysmal - and in contrast, why something like New York's East Side Access or Second Ave subway are more competitive, as the latter 2 open such a floodgate in what are currently capacity-constrained corridors and terminal locations. To be sure, some significant level of intermodal connectivity improvements are needed in West Loop (the Union Station parking deck is a prime site to deal with some of this, and I think some serious BRT circulator/distrbutor services are also the right direction), but I have my doubts that the $6 Billion "whole shebang" proposal is the best way to go about this considering the implications for future operations and maintenance cost.

I mean, yeah it'd be nice if someone could ride from Lakeview straight to Union Station for an intercity rail trip or a Metra ride to the burbs, but how many additional daily transit commuters would exist because of such a new connection? Probably some - but enough to justify $6 billion in construction and ongoing operations/maintenance? Remember, even at airport rail stations, transit ridership is primarily driven by work commuters, not travelers. Occasional trips (in which I include basically anything that isn't a work/school commute) simply don't justify investment in costly new rail rapid transit.

again, I'm not in disagreement with anything here, but I question whether the wltc would need to generate a significant amount of new commuters to be viable rather than merely capture rides from existing commuters. there are more than enough commuters whom don't use the cta at that location in of itself could to justify some infrastructure the question is whether it could adequately capture enough of those riders. that's why I would say the east-west transitway is more important to that transit center than the clinton subway as it would directly provide the kind of commuter transfer which would perfectly capture the existing market. I can't say that it would be enough to justify the full 6 billion but the scheme does make logical sense, much more so than the circle line.

bnk Apr 6, 2009 8:23 PM

Can someone provide a link to this Clinton subway plan-map and transportation center? I have tried websearch without luck . Thanks.

VivaLFuego Apr 6, 2009 9:05 PM

And now for something completely different. Came across these railfan photos of the new bi-levels that NICTD is taking delivery on:

http://www.nictd1000.rrpicturearchiv...aspx?id=111547

Pretty similar to the cars Metra got for the Electric line.


All times are GMT. The time now is 8:17 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.