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

sammyg Jun 16, 2009 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4309175)
Check out costs in Madrid for their recent metro expansion, too. Much lower than any American subway project.

Spain has much more powerful unions than the US, where are the savings coming from if not from labor?

VivaLFuego Jun 16, 2009 8:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sammyg (Post 4309493)
Spain has much more powerful unions than the US, where are the savings coming from if not from labor?

For one, I don't think the governments there instituted "Buy Spain" requirements akin to the requirements here mandating that the vast preponderence of all labor and materials involved in the project be domestic. They could actually allow multinational consortia of engineers and construction managers to come in, i.e. leveraging comparative advantage, economies of scale, and so forth.

Also, as previously bemoaned in the thread, I doubt any country anywhere has as tedious and immense a mountain of bureaucratic red tape for government construction projects as happens here.

emathias Jun 16, 2009 9:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sammyg (Post 4309493)
Spain has much more powerful unions than the US, where are the savings coming from if not from labor?

"powerful" and "greedy" aren't necessarily synonymous.

Also, all their health care costs are probably coming from a different line item, making direct cost [comparisons] difficult.

Finally, they've been in expansion mode for quite a while, and having continuous construction for a decade or more yields big cost savings in terms of reuse and training and learning to schedule and manage work. The head of their transit agency credits extremely good project managers for a lot of it, and seeing how some of the work on the Brown Line proceeded, I'd believe that the CTA's project management has a lot of room for improvement, or at least the rules around construction could be improved to enable enhanced scheduling.

emathias Jun 16, 2009 10:52 PM

For the Transit Oriented Development meetings I mentioned in a previous post, the north one on June 22nd was moved to a new location:

Skokie Village Hall
5127 Oakton Street
Skokie, IL 60077
6pm-8pm, June 22nd

OhioGuy Jun 17, 2009 12:45 AM

^^ Too bad the Oakton Street station still isn't even close to beginning construction. People could ride the el and walk the short distance to downtown Skokie for this meeting.

the urban politician Jun 17, 2009 2:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4310024)
For the Transit Oriented Development meetings I mentioned in a previous post, the north one on June 22nd was moved to a new location:

Skokie Village Hall
5127 Oakton Street
Skokie, IL 60077
6pm-8pm, June 22nd

^ So they choose to locate a meeting to discuss Transit-Oriented-Development in a location that has NO nearby connection to the rail system and is surrounded by parking?

HELLO? Did somebody have a brain hemorrhage or are they just attempting to be fashionably ironic?

ChicagoChicago Jun 17, 2009 3:03 AM

The Clark/Lake elevated platform has flat screen monitors installed. Maybe one day you'll be able to see them from the street.

Nowhereman1280 Jun 17, 2009 4:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sammyg (Post 4309493)
Spain has much more powerful unions than the US, where are the savings coming from if not from labor?

They may be more powerful, but they are less wasteful. Also, labor rates in Spain in general are far lower than in the United States. When the average income of a Spaniard is approximately half that of an American, then you can imagine how that would save money on labor.

lawfin Jun 22, 2009 7:09 PM

Capitol Hill is buzzing with the news: just moments ago, a new transportation bill was released, and the Obama administration is pushing Congress to pass a funding plan quickly. Why the rush?

Transportation funding is running out.

But we can't afford to keep throwing money at transportation agencies unable to show progress on the issues that matter to us all: Affordable ways to get around; alternatives to congestion; reducing our oil dependency; protecting the climate; safe and vibrant communities and access to jobs.

Tell Congress: No new money without a real, sustainable plan.

The National Highway Trust Fund - which pays for road work, bike and pedestrian facilities and transit projects - will run out of money in August.

With funds drying up, the pressure to throw more money at our problems is growing. Some in Congress are poised to take money from other needs to prop up the trust fund, which comes from gas taxes. They would prefer to go on spending our tax dollars without a real plan. But more money with no strings attached is not the answer.

The U.S. hasn't had a vision for transportation policy in decades. We've been trying to build our way out of a congested and inefficient system with no accountability and no actual plan to link our roads, trains, buses, bikeways and pedestrian-friendly streets.

The result? Longer, more frustrating, less safe and increasingly expensive commutes for all of us.

But now we have an opportunity for change. We must ensure that our country's transportation investments strengthen our economy, our environment and our health.

Tell your representative we need real reform before we throw more money at our problems.

Don't let Congress make the same mistakes it's made in the past. We must fund transportation, and we must do it right this time.

Thank you for your support at this crucial moment.

Sincerely,

Ilana Preuss
Outreach and Field Director
Transportation for America

the urban politician Jun 23, 2009 2:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4303566)
FYI (from an email out of Reilly's office, no less):
CTA Transit-Friendly Development Typology Open House

The CTA and the Chicago Department of Zoning and Land Use Planning will be holding an open house on the CTA Station Area Typology Study, to discuss transit-friendly development around CTA rail stations system-wide. Two meetings will be held at the following locations, are accessible to people with disabilities:

North:
Monday, June 22, 2009
6:00- 8:00pm
Chicago Public Library
Sulzer Regional Library
4455 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL60625
312.744.7616

South:
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
6:00- 8:00pm
Chicago Urban LeagueCenter
4510 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL60653
773.258.5800

^ Did anyone by chance happen to go (or plan to go)?

Chicago Shawn Jun 23, 2009 2:35 PM

^I am planning on going tonight, and will provide details later.

ardecila Jun 24, 2009 4:26 AM

To continue the discussion from the O'Hare thread regarding the Kennedy corridor...

The point is really moot, isn't it, because ANY sort of highway improvement would be ridiculously expensive, and IDOT is not considering any such project in their long-term plans.

This could change, but I haven't even heard any plans or political will mentioned that would change the status quo. Nor have I heard any practical solutions pitched. A double-decker highway sounds great as a congestion relief tool, but try building one through a residential neighborhood. Area residents will scream bloody murder, and I don't think it could get through environmental review.

lawfin Jun 24, 2009 6:20 AM

H+T index has a few new features

http://htaindex.cnt.org/mapping_tool.php?theme_menu=0

Tom Servo Jun 24, 2009 6:36 AM

our system needs a massive overhaul in managing, planning, and infrastructure.

it seems as though they keep repairing these slow zones over and over again.

why does it seem like the cta is run by boobs?

nomarandlee Jun 24, 2009 10:59 AM

Quote:

http://www.suntimes.com/business/roe...eder24.article


Old post office 'perfect' for train hub

REAL ESTATE | Building has access already to all major rail lines serving

June 24, 2009

DAVID ROEDER droeder@suntimes.com

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Postal Service said it plans to auction its old main post office in Chicago. Ever since, I've been struggling with the futility of the agency's backward process.

After years working with Walton Street Capital to establish that the redevelopment prospects are daunting, the agency now wants a buyer to assume an estimated $2-million-a-year cost just to keep the huge old place secure, plus get assessed a few million dollars more in property taxes each year. It isn't a stretch to suggest the Postal Service might have to pay a buyer for its trouble.

Then I heard from Reuben Hedlund, zoning lawyer and former Chicago Plan Commission chairman, who had a great idea. "Location, location, location" is the classic real estate mantra, but his suggestion for the post office comes down to location, opportunity and actual money.

President Obama wants to pass out $8 billion to localities to start high-speed rail passenger lines. For Chicago, what better hub is there than the post office, Hedlund asked. He explained his idea last week in accepting the Daniel H. Burnham Distinguished Service Award from Lambda Alpha International.

"The old post office building would be the perfect central station for high-speed rail, given its unique collection of railroad tracks with access to all of the trunk lines serving Chicago, with indoor parking available for more than 400 automobiles," Hedlund said. He said it's available for express trains to O'Hare Airport, as well as light rail service connecting McCormick Place to Streeterville and Navy Pier, an idea akin to the unbuilt downtown circulator.

Seriously, anything you need for light rail is already there. The idea is fabulous and, with federal help, promises less fiscal risk and maybe greater rewards than a 2016 Olympics.

.....Unrelated in same article about prospects for real estate upticks....

As for the commercial market, it won't be much good until 2017, the head analyst for commercial mortgages at Deutsche Bank Securities told Reuters news service. "We are currently in something which is comparable to what we saw in the 1990s and potentially worse," Richard Parkus said. He said commercial property values would fall by more than 50 percent from a 2007 peak.

k1052 Jun 24, 2009 2:04 PM

The west loop doesn't need a 3rd separate train station in the form of the old post office (one that is even further out of position for a Monroe St. or Carroll Ave. circulator at that).

emathias Jun 24, 2009 2:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AdrianXSands (Post 4323098)
...

it seems as though they keep repairing these slow zones over and over again.

why does it seem like the cta is run by boobs?

For the Blue Line subway anyway, they repaired the slow zones using "normal" repairs with the money they had, then they were able to get stimulus money to make more permanent reconstruction, which is why they're "re-repairing" those slow zones. Once they complete this round, for the subway at least, there shouldn't be more than minor repair work needed for slow zones for decades.

emathias Jun 24, 2009 2:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 4323309)
The west loop doesn't need a 3rd separate train station in the form of the old post office (one that is even further out of position for a Monroe St. or Carroll Ave. circulator at that).

I generally agree, although if the Post Office were the Amtrak+new high speed service station, and they also rework tracks at Union Station to run more Metra routes through the station instead of terminating there (they wouldn't have to run both directions for the whole route at rush hour, just move to be held in yards outside of downtown), you could free up some space to do other things with, and greatly increase Metra capactiy and service to a wider part of downtown (imagine trains that stopped at Roosevelt and on the south side of Union Station and at Kinzie Station, instead of only at Union Station.)

For a circulator, the Post Office would just be one more stop on the line, and if it were primarily for Amtrak and/or high speed rail, being only a few blocks further from the core really wouldn't be any worse than Union Station for that sort of trip. It'd be worse for a commuter station, sure, but not for inter-city travel.


As with a lot of things, though, that woudl require some good, strongly coordinated planning, which Chicago isn't especially good at.

emathias Jun 24, 2009 3:09 PM

From the Trib:
CTA Service Cuts Loom

Quote:

A second round of budget cuts this year is on the way for Chicago-area mass transit agencies because of the recession, greatly increasing the prospect that commuters will face cuts in service, officials warned Tuesday.

The Regional Transportation Authority board will be asked Thursday to approve operating cuts totaling $61 million at the CTA, Metra and Pace to make up for a deepening drop in sales-tax revenue to pay for transit, officials said.

Entire CTA bus routes could be terminated and bus and rail service overall reduced by as much as 20 percent, CTA officials said.
We're far from the only agency with this issue - seems like Obama ought to step in and provide 1 or 2 year operating subsidies to transit agencies until the economy picks up again.

k1052 Jun 24, 2009 3:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4323353)
I generally agree, although if the Post Office were the Amtrak+new high speed service station, and they also rework tracks at Union Station to run more Metra routes through the station instead of terminating there (they wouldn't have to run both directions for the whole route at rush hour, just move to be held in yards outside of downtown), you could free up some space to do other things with, and greatly increase Metra capactiy and service to a wider part of downtown (imagine trains that stopped at Roosevelt and on the south side of Union Station and at Kinzie Station, instead of only at Union Station.)

For a circulator, the Post Office would just be one more stop on the line, and if it were primarily for Amtrak and/or high speed rail, being only a few blocks further from the core really wouldn't be any worse than Union Station for that sort of trip. It'd be worse for a commuter station, sure, but not for inter-city travel.


As with a lot of things, though, that woudl require some good, strongly coordinated planning, which Chicago isn't especially good at.

I'd much prefer they just build the WLTC/Clinton St Subway and finally integrate CTA rail access with Metra/Amtrak/intercity bus services and the potential circulator(s).


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