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

VivaLFuego Mar 10, 2008 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3406125)
Is that permitted? Is there even a mechanism for FTA and CDOT to get in bed with a private developer? There must be a reason I can't think of a single US example of a rapid transit station being part of a new (nongovernment) development.

There is, though it's pretty restrictive. Example: The new CTA headquarters building, which was developed by Fifield (or was it Smithfield? Whatever.) The HQ has retail space on the first floor, and was built with excess capacity on the office levels to be leased out (as far as I know, Floor 12 is still vacant in search of a tenant). I do know that FTA grant guidelines are the reason the HQ building was only 12 stories tall and no larger, but I'm not familiar with the intricate regulations controlling that.

aaron38 Mar 10, 2008 5:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 3406283)
Now if you really want to suffer depression over station design, check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgiFJysMx4c

Yeah, there was a photo thread posted on those stations. The only thing missing is the violin quartet.

Abner Mar 10, 2008 7:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 3406283)
The Pink and Green line renovations look fantastic. The Pink Line stations are really spectacular given the budget constraints.

I think the Pink Line stations look great too, and with many of them they did a good job of incorporating the historic elements of the old stations, although I do wish the new canopies covered the whole length of the platform. They're nice to look at, but some of the stations with longer stretches of naked lightposts (like Damen) look kind of odd. It's nice that they managed to reuse some of the original canopies though.

Dale Mar 10, 2008 7:54 PM

I just perused the Brown Line website, and I must say that I'm impressed with what they're doing.

MayorOfChicago Mar 11, 2008 6:03 PM

Was this posted? How did I miss this?

1) Diversey Brown Line to open 3 months early with a temporary station on March 30th

2) Southport Brown Line to open upgraded station on March 30th

3) Belmont/Fullerton Stations to be reduced to 1 track southbound March 30th

4) Paulina Station to close March 30th

5) Wellington Station to close March 30th

6) CTA to start using 8-car Brown Line trains immediately upon closure of Paulina and Wellington on March 30th


A station opening early?? I'm amazed. Looking forward to seeing the 8 car trains too, it'll be good for people's mentality. Progress! They're cutting down the # of morning rush trains though, so capacity will be the same...

OhioGuy Mar 11, 2008 9:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 3408904)
Was this posted? How did I miss this?

Reply #2469 addressed this back in mid February. ;)

emathias Mar 11, 2008 11:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3403699)
Also, the costs seem exorbitant... $34 million for construction? Why can we build huge luxury homes in the suburbs for $1 million, but a new station with far less square footage and cheaper finishes costs 34 times that?

I wish/think that the CTA could do it for less money, too, but a $1,000,000 home is built with the expectation of at most a dozen people using it regularly with a few dozen on a really busy night.

A transit station has to be built to accommodate a thousand times that many people using it every day, so while the finish of the materials may be lesser, the bones of them are much, much higher-end. A station also has to be built to withstand the elements of nature, while a million-dollar home can put one roof over everything so the majority of things in a million-dollar home don't have to be able to stand being exposed to nature.

The price of both steel and concrete have skyrocketed in the past 10 years primarily due to the global building boom spiking demand. China's part of that, but the rest of the world is building a lot, too.

Then there's the simple fact of competition. Only a few companies even bother to bid on CTA projects, whereas if you're building a house you have probably hundreds of general contractors to select from and they have thousands of tradespeople to bid out to. While escalating costs for steel, concrete and wood hit homebuilders and public works projects more or less proportionally, the lack of competition in public works bidding makes it harder to control costs because there just aren't a lot of bidders willing to compete on price.

At least that's my take. I'm sure there are other factors, but in my opinion those are the most significant ones.

ArteVandelay Mar 12, 2008 6:01 PM

Working around an active transit system, with specific work hours and non work hours also significantly impacts costs. While obviously work can be done underneath the elevated structure pretty much whenever, once work advances to track level, rush hours trains cannot be impacted. Consequently there is a significant loss or productivity that contractors must account for in there bids.

CTA specs also contain a slew of items to increase the quality of construction that serve to jack up the price. How effective some of these are is a different topic, but suffice to say that not to many houses are built with 6000 psi concrete, epoxy coated rebar, galvanized structural steel, 100% American made materials, 100% union labor etc. Obviously many of these requirements are actual federal requirements, not CTA requirements.

MayorOfChicago Mar 12, 2008 6:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 3409254)
Reply #2469 addressed this back in mid February. ;)


Ha, I went back to page 125 looking, I guess I missed it by 1 page.

I must have missed it the first time round since it was just a link...


I'm for some reason really excited about seeing the 8 car trains finally start running

Chicago3rd Mar 12, 2008 9:48 PM

I was worried that we would lose some of the character of our stations along the Brownline, but am so thankful for the ones that have been finished. Addison is great! Wilson is great! Have to say I am very happy with CTA's overall job on the brownline. I hope when we go back to 4 tracks next year that they CTA can keep the great timing it has now on three up! We all know the service got a hell of a lot better between Fullerton and Belmont ever since they took a 4th track out.

pip Mar 12, 2008 10:29 PM

CTA jockeys schedules to boost West Side service

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=28567

Marcu Mar 12, 2008 11:58 PM

^ About time.

ardecila Mar 13, 2008 1:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ArteVandelay (Post 3411191)
Working around an active transit system, with specific work hours and non work hours also significantly impacts costs. While obviously work can be done underneath the elevated structure pretty much whenever, once work advances to track level, rush hours trains cannot be impacted. Consequently there is a significant loss or productivity that contractors must account for in there bids.

CTA specs also contain a slew of items to increase the quality of construction that serve to jack up the price. How effective some of these are is a different topic, but suffice to say that not to many houses are built with 6000 psi concrete, epoxy coated rebar, galvanized structural steel, 100% American made materials, 100% union labor etc. Obviously many of these requirements are actual federal requirements, not CTA requirements.

Thanks for the overview... where does the rule about American-made materials come into play? For certain things (e.g. lumber) US products are cheaper, but for many materials, foreign-made products come in at a much lower price. Steel, glass, and several other materials could probably give CTA greatly reduced prices if foreign products were chosen.

Of course, the union labor requirement probably adds significant cost, too... but how much cheaper is it to hire non-union labor, where extensive training might be needed? Is non-union labor even available en masse in Chicagoland?

I'm generally in favor of unions, but I have some viewpoints on them that may provoke some off-topic argument, so I'll keep those to myself.

I imagine the problems with working on an active transit line also affect highways, where rebuilding costs are jacked up by having to keep the highway open - I drove the northern Tri-State yesterday, which is completely messy-looking, varying between 2 and 5 lanes with all sorts of crazy pavement changes and erratic temporary jersey barriers. All the lane changes over the course of construction (barrier placement, signs and lane painting) probably requires a whole dedicated crew.

OhioGuy Mar 13, 2008 5:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pip (Post 3411914)
CTA jockeys schedules to boost West Side service

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=28567

I didn't see this posted yesterday, so I didn't know this was happening. Then this morning I looked at the ABC7 website and it had this heading, "CTA plans to close one branch of Blue Line." I screamed "WHAAAAAAAAT?" :haha:

Then I realized it was just the branch that's already served by the pink line (that didn't enter my brain for about the first 5-10 seconds) and I calmed down. ;)

honte Mar 13, 2008 6:10 PM

^ I didn't get it at first either.

UChicagoDomer Mar 16, 2008 2:48 PM

viva,

a couple of weeks ago, when i asked if there was anything in the works re: a south loop el stop, you mentioned off-hand a potential construction of an entrance at the Chinatown stop on Archer. was that speculation or is the CTA actively considering that?

additionally, the plan commission recently (i.e. january) considered a re-zoning request right at Clark and Archer for a 15-story hotel (175 rooms + 69 parking spaces) + ground floor retail. I don't know if it went through or not. and i also don't know whether the city considered seeking concessions from the developer, such as, oh, I don't know, improvements to the el stop?? is that something that chicago (like n.y.) bothers to do, or do station improvements not really ever factor into the zoning/variance calculus?

ardecila Mar 16, 2008 8:41 PM

The hotel project did go through, but I'm pretty sure that See Wong (the developer) will not be paying for any station improvements.

Wong bought the land from Metra, so the Chicago transit system is already getting several million dollars out of this deal. Of course, Metra isn't going to transfer the money to CTA.. *chuckle* It'll probably just go towards padding conductors' retirement benefits.

VivaLFuego Mar 17, 2008 3:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3419503)
viva,

a couple of weeks ago, when i asked if there was anything in the works re: a south loop el stop, you mentioned off-hand a potential construction of an entrance at the Chinatown stop on Archer. was that speculation or is the CTA actively considering that?

Was considered as part of the overall station work as part of the Circle Line project. Who knows if/when that could happen. To my knowledge, no one is hot to build a north entrance at Cermak-Chinatown at this time...

Quote:

additionally, the plan commission recently (i.e. january) considered a re-zoning request right at Clark and Archer for a 15-story hotel (175 rooms + 69 parking spaces) + ground floor retail. I don't know if it went through or not. and i also don't know whether the city considered seeking concessions from the developer, such as, oh, I don't know, improvements to the el stop?? is that something that chicago (like n.y.) bothers to do, or do station improvements not really ever factor into the zoning/variance calculus?
I've never seen the city or an alderman request transit improvements in exchange for density bonus etc, though some developers have volunteered to make transit improvements. It's really not something that's been on the city's radar, at least for most (all?) of my lifetime...

UChicagoDomer Mar 17, 2008 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3420741)
Was considered as part of the overall station work as part of the Circle Line project. Who knows if/when that could happen. To my knowledge, no one is hot to build a north entrance at Cermak-Chinatown at this time...


I've never seen the city or an alderman request transit improvements in exchange for density bonus etc, though some developers have volunteered to make transit improvements. It's really not something that's been on the city's radar, at least for most (all?) of my lifetime...


my god, chicago is so second-rate when it comes to transit. that i have to spend the rest of my life in a city where i'm treated like a second class citizen because incompetent aldermen want their campaign war-chests and wallets padded is enough to induce mild depression.

why is it that charlotte, denver, and dallas (Dallas??!!!) can build miles of new rail and - in Dallas' case - overhaul their entire zoning codes to make them TOD-friendly, while commuters in chicago face gridlock and ugly strip malls no matter where they go or what mode of transportation they use?

the urban politician Mar 17, 2008 1:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3421232)
why is it that charlotte, denver, and dallas (Dallas??!!!) can build miles of new rail and - in Dallas' case - overhaul their entire zoning codes to make them TOD-friendly, while commuters in chicago face gridlock and ugly strip malls no matter where they go or what mode of transportation they use?

^ Aren't you being a wee bit extreme here?

Have you noticed a difference between Charlotte or Dallas versus Chicago? I have--and the amount of TOD in existence in Chicago today is staggering compared to both of those cities combined times 10.

You guys in Chicago are way too damn pessimistic. Yeah, things are far from perfect, but you act as if everybody else has gotten it right and that you exclusively are living under the reign of morons. Hello--we live in America, people, and we have to accept that transit is simply not high on the list of our leaders' priorities and probably won't be for quite some time.

And lets be reminded that Chicago's central-area highrise boom of the past decade has been one of the greatest examples of TOD in the nation.


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