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

ardecila Apr 1, 2010 8:47 AM

No, that's my point. The Blue Line doesn't even remotely serve the 355 corridor. Pace used to run an express bus, but they just canceled it a few weeks ago - not that it would have really assisted me. I'm not driving into the city, but I do drive down 355 quite a bit, to other suburban areas.

I am glad they're repaving 355... the pavement from the 290 interchange to Army Trail has gotten pretty bad lately. That doesn't mean I can't engage in Chicago's national pastime and complain about it, though.

youngregina Apr 1, 2010 10:39 AM

i guess, im actually surprised the blue line doesn't go as far as Manheim.

emathias Apr 1, 2010 1:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 4775312)
I've commented before on my desire for a bus tunnel, similar to Seattle's downtown transit tunnel, under Michigan Ave. There's just way too much congestion on Michigan Ave for good quick service between the north side and the loop.

In my long wish-list a few pages back, I suggested center, counter-flow lanes on Michigan for buses (I also suggested additional rail subways that would serve the north lakefront be built over the next 30 years, but center counterflow lanes could be done cheaper and with at least somewhat less controversy hence quicker).

Mr Downtown Apr 1, 2010 4:18 PM

Yikes! Can you imagine center contra-flow lanes on a two-way street with millions of clueless tourist pedestrians? Or did you mean a single reversible lane like we used to have on Ridge? Would you board from safety islands?

emathias Apr 1, 2010 4:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4776585)
Yikes! Can you imagine center contra-flow lanes on a two-way street with millions of clueless tourist pedestrians? Or did you mean a single reversible lane like we used to have on Ridge? Would you board from safety islands?

Yeah, safety islands. There are plenty of other streets in other cities that manage similar things. Some of San Francisco's streetcars have boarding islands. I actually do like a bus subway, it's just so expensive and disruptive to build one - even a shallow one.

In my long proposal, the reason I didn't go with a bus tunnel was that I combined additional rail subway downtown with deliberate density enhancements. I'm not anti-bus, but sometimes rail's worth the extra effort.

Also, if you did create a bus subway, a cross one should perhaps be added at Chicago Ave, extending from between Chicago/Lasalle to Chicago/Fairbanks, so that a Chicago Ave BRT line could navigate the Mag Mile area quickly. Of course that would conflict with the Chicago Ave subway station ...

Mr Downtown Apr 1, 2010 8:17 PM

^San Francisco doesn't have slush and salt spray. Chicago had safety islands in streetcar days (even used for buses on State Street), which prompted the old ditty about how "there's no geese on Goose Island and no safety on a safety island."

ardecila Apr 1, 2010 11:16 PM

As long as we're fantasizing about bus subways, I don't think it would be too disruptive to actually build under Michigan. Chicago has the luxury of an existing lower level on Michigan all the way north to Grand, which takes care of about 1/3 of the route already. You could bore two tunnels from a launch pit on Lower Michigan, and then an incline in the park space near Oak Street Beach. Both excavation sites avoid disrupting traffic.

If you were to build stations, they would only need 150-foot platforms, long enough for two 60-foot articulated buses plus breathing room. Even for three stations, that's only two short Mag Mile blocks' worth of cut-and-cover construction. If the tunnels had a big enough radius, you could even squeeze platforms into them, and you wouldn't need to use cut-and-cover, except for the elevator/stair shafts. Extensive mezzanines are unnecessary, but you could put turnstiles and a fare machine at sidewalk level at the top of each escalator.

Busy Bee Apr 1, 2010 11:20 PM

Not bad. But these things take vision on the part of CTA and of course funds to actually get built. In a perfect world where over-imaginative and under-applied forumers like ourselves are in chargeā€”I'm with ya.

OhioGuy Apr 2, 2010 12:32 AM

Or maybe only use a tunnel boring machine to get from Lake Shore Drive to Rush Street (at Chicago Ave) and then do the cheaper cut & cover the rest of the way along Rush Street to the river. If only there was room to get back to the surface to take the Wabash Street bridge across the river and then proceed either west toward State Street or east toward Michigan Ave.

left of center Apr 2, 2010 5:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4777380)
As long as we're fantasizing about bus subways, I don't think it would be too disruptive to actually build under Michigan. Chicago has the luxury of an existing lower level on Michigan all the way north to Grand, which takes care of about 1/3 of the route already. You could bore two tunnels from a launch pit on Lower Michigan, and then an incline in the park space near Oak Street Beach. Both excavation sites avoid disrupting traffic.

If you were to build stations, they would only need 150-foot platforms, long enough for two 60-foot articulated buses plus breathing room. Even for three stations, that's only two short Mag Mile blocks' worth of cut-and-cover construction. If the tunnels had a big enough radius, you could even squeeze platforms into them, and you wouldn't need to use cut-and-cover, except for the elevator/stair shafts. Extensive mezzanines are unnecessary, but you could put turnstiles and a fare machine at sidewalk level at the top of each escalator.

how would you reroute Wacker Drive though? Severing the connection between 290 and LSD that Lower Wacker provides would lead to insane amounts of congestion on the surface

Mr Downtown Apr 2, 2010 1:37 PM

^Wacker wouldn't be affected. It's south of the river.

Chicago Shawn Apr 2, 2010 2:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 4777492)
Or maybe only use a tunnel boring machine to get from Lake Shore Drive to Rush Street (at Chicago Ave) and then do the cheaper cut & cover the rest of the way along Rush Street to the river. If only there was room to get back to the surface to take the Wabash Street bridge across the river and then proceed either west toward State Street or east toward Michigan Ave.

We can't use a TBM in Chicago unless your more than 150 feet below grade. TBMs are designed to bore through stone, not clay and the first 100 feet of depth is nothing but clay and hard pan. A bored tunnel has to be done with smaller machines and by hand as was done in the Depression with the Blue and Red Lines.

emathias Apr 5, 2010 3:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 4778079)
We can't use a TBM in Chicago unless your more than 150 feet below grade. TBMs are designed to bore through stone, not clay and the first 100 feet of depth is nothing but clay and hard pan. A bored tunnel has to be done with smaller machines and by hand as was done in the Depression with the Blue and Red Lines.

I was under the impression they used pressurized TBM to build the subway in Bangkok.

Taft Apr 5, 2010 4:25 PM

This seemed relevant to the train tracker discussion a few days ago:

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/cta-...val-signs.html

Quote:

...
The CTA pilot project to display next-train-arrival times on digital ad screens didn't work out so well. The CTA shut down the pilot last June.
...
Read the article for more details...though the details that are there are light on specifics and come second hand. Not sure when we can reasonably expect train tracking for the CTA...

ardecila Apr 5, 2010 7:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4780854)
I was under the impression they used pressurized TBM to build the subway in Bangkok.

I'm pretty sure you can bore through mud if you use ground freezing.

M II A II R II K Apr 8, 2010 6:50 PM

Want High Speed Rail to Fail? Don't Fund Local Transit


04.08.10

Ted Rosenbaum

Read More: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/elev...l-transit.html

Quote:

On March 18, the Illinois State Senate approved the formation of a High Speed Rail Commission for Illinois. While the bill still has to be passed by the State House and signed by Gov. Quinn, the bipartisan vote in the Senate seems to make its eventual passage a foregone conclusion. This is great news for a number of reasons. One of the biggest in my view is the proscription for studying and designing truly high-speed trains, that is, trains that top out over 200 mph. Let's be completely clear: current rail travel between Chicago and St. Louis, even when the enhancements funded by the US Department of Transportation's $1.13 billion stimulus infusion earlier this year are complete, will only speed trains up to 110 mph. That's not high speed rail, and the ridership levels on the current line flounder because of it. Really, that's regional rail at a regional scale that's too large for the train to gain any market share.

A true HSR line would serve a market with similar demographics to the outstanding Paris-Lyon TGV line. It would serve more than 3 million riders annually and help grow the regional economy. The next step will be to integrate the planned Milwaukee-to-Madison HSR line into a full Midwest Line running from St. Louis through Chicago and Milwaukee to the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

There are, however two fundamental problems with a high speed rail proposal like the Chicago-St. Louis line, though both are entirely solvable. The first, of course, is the price tag: on the order of $12 billion to fully build out the line. Whether it's through a Public-Private Partnership (hopefully more artfully executed than the Chicago parking meter debacle,) taxes, bonds, or some combination of all three, the people of Illinois--and Chicago in particular--will have to decide if we have the will to bear a cost that may take a generation to be repaid. I believe there is, or at least should be.*

The second, more fundamental problem is what all these people will do when they arrive in Chicago--and especially how they will get there. Part of the case for HSR is that, unlike an airport, it can bring people directly to the center of the city. They'll arrive at Union Station ready to work, ready to spend, ready to enjoy and add to Chicago's vibrant city life. At least, that's the idea. But that supposes that everything they want to do in and around Chicago is accessible without a car. Put bluntly, Chicago must be a livable city, or else high-speed rail will fail. The CTA and Metra must meet their--and our--needs. Walkable, mixed-use development around stations means that whether people are coming to Chicago to re-unite with their friends and family or seal a business deal, they won't need a car. Dense, beautiful architecture will keep them coming back. Otherwise, all these people will take the high-speed line to its proposed terminus at O'Hare, rent a car, and add to our congestion and pollution more than our economy.

Via Chicago Apr 9, 2010 7:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taft (Post 4781403)
This seemed relevant to the train tracker discussion a few days ago:

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/cta-...val-signs.html



Read the article for more details...though the details that are there are light on specifics and come second hand. Not sure when we can reasonably expect train tracking for the CTA...

Theres also this:

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/cta-tattler/

Quote:

We've all been waiting patiently for the CTA to work out the kinks in the digital signs displaying next-train arrival times at rail station and platforms.

And they're getting closer. So close that the CTA is doing some "pre-testing" for a second pilot at select stations, including the Chicago Brown and Purple line station. Cheryl shares this video from there. About halfway through you'll see times pop up on the sign for when the next Brown and Purple line trains arrive....
Someone in the comments made a great point regarding the awful graphic design compared to Berlin's system (which this is supposedly modeled after). At the very least they should justify the columns/rows of data.

Look at the comparison:

Chicago
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/...7e5b7d0f_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/...7e5b7d0f_b.jpg

Berlin
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2687/...559aa921_b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2687/...559aa921_b.jpg

Theres a big difference in readability and aesthetics. I dont understand why its so difficult for us to get these simple, but important, details right. It does make a difference.

Taft Apr 9, 2010 8:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Via Chicago (Post 4788390)
Theres a big difference in readability and aesthetics. I dont understand why its so difficult for us to get these simple, but important, details right. It does make a difference.

Agreed that the test sign is awful. Thankfully, the sign appears to be a big, low-resolution screen. Reduce the number of trains displayed and redo the rendering and that would look a lot better.

That's assuming the software can be easily changed/upgraded...

Mr Downtown Apr 9, 2010 11:17 PM

I'll just say that the CTA guy now in charge of these things is pretty savvy about such design concepts. Look again at that Fullerton display, though. It looks like the idea is to show the inner track arrivals differently from the outer track arrivals. It didn't work out quite right, but it's not just some techie mindlessly centering the lines because that's the default.

Ch.G, Ch.G Apr 10, 2010 12:25 AM

^ Well, Mr Downtown, in light of the evidence I'd say he can't possibly be that savvy.


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