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Chicago Shawn Jul 16, 2008 9:34 PM

^That sounds pretty good. I think it will be a successful bet. An interesting tidbit in the article was that senior ridership is up 25% since March's initation of free rides; overcourse with no extra state help thanks to Gov. Ass Clown.

ardecila Jul 16, 2008 10:12 PM

As soon as I saw that headline on the Trib website, I thought I could hear the shit hitting the fan faintly in the background. 15 minutes after the article was posted, there were over 100 irate comments on the comment page.

At the time when transit services have a GOLDEN opportunity to convert drivers to straphangers, they keep making all these cuts that are turning trains and buses into ever-more-inhumane places. Chicagoans are not Tokyoans and we won't put up with such ridiculous crowding. It's not gonna happen.

emathias Jul 16, 2008 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 3677279)
seatless Brown Line cars..

I've thought about this as a good temp solution, but given that by the end of the year we'll be back to 4-tracks anyway, why the rush to rip out seats?

To run that effectively anyway, you'd really need 3 doors on the cars, like they have on the short cars in New York, otherwise you're extending trip times while people work their way in and out of the cars. It's bad enough as it is, let alone if you had 12-20 more people in the center of the car away from the doors.

spyguy Jul 16, 2008 11:52 PM

http://yourcta.com/news/ctaandpress....ticleid=130446

CTA to Expand Park & Ride Program on the Red Line
07/16/08


The Chicago Transit Board today approved an intergovernmental agreement with City Colleges of Chicago for the sale of a surplus parcel of land adjacent to the Wilson Red Line station. City Colleges’ Truman campus will build a facility which will include a parking garage with approximately 1,100 parking spaces – 200 of which will be licensed to the CTA for use as Park & Ride spaces.

the urban politician Jul 17, 2008 1:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3677403)
At the time when transit services have a GOLDEN opportunity to convert drivers to straphangers, they keep making all these cuts that are turning trains and buses into ever-more-inhumane places. Chicagoans are not Tokyoans and we won't put up with such ridiculous crowding. It's not gonna happen.

^ :rolleyes: Yeah, because 2 seatless cars on a rush-hour train that is already packed to the brim anyhow (seats or no seats) somehow diminishes the "humanity" so immensely.

But then, I guess it's more humane to just have more people wait a few more minutes for the next train, so that they can be packed in like sardines then.

Some people just have to criticize the CTA no matter what. I applaud Huberman for at least trying to make changes according to this apparently rapid rise in ridership, esp since there is NO STATE HELP in the foreseeable future. How about giving the guy a wee bit of credit for at least trying to be creative?

Seatless cars increase capacity without costing a dime. Fuller trains fill downtown sidewalks. Full downtown sidewalks fill shops & offices. Full offices serve other offices. This attracts more offices. And that's what brings companies like MillerCoors to town... :)

VivaLFuego Jul 17, 2008 2:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3677453)
I've thought about this as a good temp solution, but given that by the end of the year we'll be back to 4-tracks anyway, why the rush to rip out seats?

CTA is running out of railcars. CTA would probably not have enough railcars to restore Brown Line to the same frequency (albeit with 8-car trains) as before 3-tracking, and might not even have yard capacity at Kimball.

The problem is in the peak of the peak, when the vehicle requirement nearly maxes out your entire fleet assuming you keep a reasonable spare ratio.

CTA really needs to look at non-capital-intensive ways to increase capacity in the peak of the peak, and this sounds like a decent idea to me. Though maybe they could only eliminate seats in the middle of the cars, and leave the seats at the ends, or something to that extent.

emathias Jul 17, 2008 2:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 3677598)
http://yourcta.com/news/ctaandpress....ticleid=130446

CTA to Expand Park & Ride Program on the Red Line
07/16/08


The Chicago Transit Board today approved an intergovernmental agreement with City Colleges of Chicago for the sale of a surplus parcel of land adjacent to the Wilson Red Line station. City Colleges’ Truman campus will build a facility which will include a parking garage with approximately 1,100 parking spaces – 200 of which will be licensed to the CTA for use as Park & Ride spaces.

I have to admit that this sort of thing infuriates me. A nice, dense neighborhood with two rail stations (Wilson and Lawrence) and a number of express buses, and what's the best idea the CTA and City have for improving the area? PARKING LOTS? Not office space, not residences, not retail, not even governmental services, but PARKING?

I can't even express how angry this makes me. If people are at the Wilson stop, they're 1/2 mile (at most) from LSD, and they should probably just drive to the Loop. To get to the Red Line from the west, they'd have already braved a bunch of local streets, why would they then NOT get on the virtual-expressway that is LSD, only a few more blocks? Why would they hop on the Red Line, and if they did, why would you want to crowd out the thousands of car-free riders already on the trains? This is just the latest example of how stupid our regional planning is. To put a park-and-ride not in a suburban-type area, but a dense, urban neighborhood is damn near unforgivable.

VivaLFuego Jul 17, 2008 3:06 AM

^ It's more like, Truman College "needed" parking, and another city agency happened to have land that could serve as parking . Everyone knows that everyone drives, and parking around there is tight, after all. Netting $1.1 million for the budget and devoting some of the garage spaces to Park n Ride is making lemonade with this rancid lemon of a situation from a transit ridership standpoint.

But yeah, I agree with you, it's an incredibly awful place for a Park n Ride and I wouldn't have agreed to sell the land for a parking lot, but unfortunately, CTA is a political organization and thus subject to political whimsy (and thus one of many reasons why I'm not CTA President or board member). And don't you know how tough parking is around Truman? People's parking rights are being violated, dude.

At least that $1.1 million will make up for a decent chunk of the net present value of the ridership revenue lost when ridership drops as more students drive to Truman instead of taking the L or bus. In an ideal world, CTA would have ran some mode split calculations and determined how this would impact ridership, and factor that into the selling price so that the sale price compensates for future lost revenue.

Either Huberman is indeed trying to make lemonade out of lemons (those press release quotes are rather... ebullient), or he actually believes this is a good development for CTA.

For future reference for the Jones Lang LaSalle wizards who are taking over CTA real estate operations...

Red Line stations that would make good Park n Ride locations:
Anywhere along the Dan Ryan.

Red Line stations that make lousy Park n Ride locations:
Everywhere else except Howard.

the urban politician Jul 17, 2008 3:31 AM

^ On another note, I just Google Streetviewed the area around that L stop and DAMN that area could so use some development, especially east of Broadway. What's with the strip mall and the one story retail store?

BTW, what exactly will this garage be replacing? The article mentions that the first floor will serve some College functions, so it won't completely be useless

alex1 Jul 17, 2008 6:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 3677334)
^That sounds pretty good. I think it will be a successful bet. An interesting tidbit in the article was that senior ridership is up 25% since March's initation of free rides; overcourse with no extra state help thanks to Gov. Ass Clown.

i dislike Blago as much as the next person but giving seniors free rides was one of the best things he's done in years.

but I understand that isn't your complaint. it's the lack of state funds to cover the effects of overcrowding due to extra seniors crowding the system. Unfortunately you're right on this one. Blago held the system hostage and the result was a good program without a responsible move by Illinois politicians to make the CTA better, more viable and safer.

pip Jul 17, 2008 7:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 3677938)
^ On another note, I just Google Streetviewed the area around that L stop and DAMN that area could so use some development, especially east of Broadway. What's with the strip mall and the one story retail store?

BTW, what exactly will this garage be replacing? The article mentions that the first floor will serve some College functions, so it won't completely be useless

haha I work at Truman College.

Are you sure east of Broadway? Just west of Broadway maybe. Or you could be viewing the immediate area of off Wilson near Broadway. Immediately east of the tracks and west of Broadway is the old Wilson Yards, a repair and maintennce building for CTA trains which burned down and has been vacant for years and years. Just west of the tracks before Truman College is vacant land that the CTA owns and has leased/sold or something to the City Colleges for a student center and parking garage. This all put together along with the Wilson Yards development is a huge project, about $200 million dollars. All this replaces acres of surface level parking.

With regards to the strip malls. Well, the city was desperate. The 70's and 80's were not good for Uptown as Edgewater was once part of Uptown but succeded to form their own neighborhood. How often does that happen? Skid row on Madison street in downtown was 'moved' to Uptown. The strip malls was Uptown taking anything it could get.


Look at it this way. Lakeview to the south is 31,000 people a square mile, Edgewater to the north is 37,000 people a square mile and Uptown imbetween those two is 20,000 people a square mile. Uptown got hit hard. The density of the housing is very high but it has so many vacant lots which lower the average especially right off of Broadway.

This parking garage is consolidating all that acres of vacant land and surface parking to a multilevel garage. On this vacant land will be a multi level street fronting Super Target, parking for Truman college which has 24,000 students annually taking classes, condos and apartments on the vacant land. If anything there will not be enough parking.

I am not advocating more parking, but lets get realistic. 1100 spots for a 24,000 student college and faculty/staff, a Super Target, condos, apartments, commuter parking and other retail on what is now vacant or surface level parking on top of a growing in popularity neighborhood. I will tomorrow find out tomorrow how much parking there is now and was before this construction started taking up space. I think you will find there will not a much of a net increase in parking spots after the $200 millions dollars in development going on.

It was suggested here that why would a driver not continue driving to their job in downtown if they are already got to Truman. Because to park in downtown is expensive to put it plainly.

Uptown is a different animal from other neighborhoods as much of area is socail services, highest concentration in the city so private for profit developers do not own much of the land right on Wilson and Broadway streets. Just walk off any area off of Wilson and you will see condos. Strange contrasts so fast.

As for students commuting by car. With gas proces the way they are, its done. The popularity of students actually using their UPasses is amazing in contrast to what it was before and students that don't qualify are asking how to get to Truman by CTA. Biking is the thing that has blown me away the most. Our new bike racks are beyond capacity, and yes Truman College devoted a whole chunk of area to bike parking so its not just a few bike racks. So many people bike now.

Uptown is just different fron a gentrification standpoint, to a community social services point, to everything lol. But if people are concerned about transit ridership and people actually walking around, growing businesses, etc you really have nothing to worry about. Uptown just does things, differently, and Uptown is everything you can imagine from the good to the bad to every demographic to every mindset to many nationalities and from the good and bad of American society in about 3 square miles. No joke. Just people watch. The snooty yuppy to the gay couple to the ghetto to immigrants, from the poor to the rich. From an expensive gut rehab next door to scattered sight housing next door to an apartment complex full of poor immigrants, next door to a methodone clinic. It just does it own thing. Uptown is Uptown.

Time for me to put the beer down and call it a night. :) Got to go to Uptown in 7 hours.

honte Jul 17, 2008 7:36 AM

^ Thanks for that dose of reality.

And you know what? In this case, the reality is better than the fantasy we cooked up here. I dig Uptown.

the urban politician Jul 17, 2008 2:10 PM

'L' may stop in food aisle
CTA looking into stores on its routes
By Robert Manor | Chicago Tribune Reporter
July 17, 2008
The Chicago Transit Authority is hoping that some day you will pick up milk and bread or perhaps a six-pack of beer without ever stepping outside an "L" stop.

The CTA wants to investigate having some "L" trains stop inside supermarkets, or perhaps host mini-banks and restaurants on its property, as it seeks to more fully benefit commercially from its far-flung network of rail and bus routes.

k1052 Jul 17, 2008 2:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3677787)
CTA is running out of railcars. CTA would probably not have enough railcars to restore Brown Line to the same frequency (albeit with 8-car trains) as before 3-tracking, and might not even have yard capacity at Kimball.

The problem is in the peak of the peak, when the vehicle requirement nearly maxes out your entire fleet assuming you keep a reasonable spare ratio.

CTA really needs to look at non-capital-intensive ways to increase capacity in the peak of the peak, and this sounds like a decent idea to me. Though maybe they could only eliminate seats in the middle of the cars, and leave the seats at the ends, or something to that extent.

There is always the speculation that the Orange and Brown Lines would merge to take advantage of the yard capacity at Midway once the Brown Line construction is complete.

The CTA is faced with ridership growth beyond its wildest dreams due to oil prices and they can't just run out to the store and buy more rolling stock with money they don't have.

Personally I think this is a good solution. I almost never sit during my rush commute and the vast majority of my fellow commuters don't appear to be disabled (other than trying to juggle a cell phone/blackberrry/book/headphones at the same time) and should have no problem standing for a 20-30 minute ride.

VivaLFuego Jul 17, 2008 2:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3678292)
^ Thanks for that dose of reality.

And you know what? In this case, the reality is better than the fantasy we cooked up here. I dig Uptown.

It's just odd that CTA would actively participate in something that would negatively impact its mode share and ergo, revenue. I am definitely not under the impression that all of these developments are holding steady the amount of parking in the area; the Target will have it's own very large parking facility. I'm also not under the impression that this parking won't be subsidized at the point of consumption (underpriced), and thus overconsumed. Will Truman faculty/staff/students have to pay to use the lot?

The development in total might be positive for the area but bad for CTA. Some interesting issues, here. Since ultimately, good for the area = the right decision, but should CTA participate in that?

woodrow Jul 17, 2008 4:01 PM

Seatless cars - brilliant! I know the CTA has been looking at this idea recently, determining how to introduce it. There are significant numbers of people who don't sit, even when seats are available. The CTA knows this. You will probably see alot of these riders ( I'm one ) gravitate to these cars.

VivaLFuego Jul 17, 2008 4:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodrow (Post 3678710)
Seatless cars - brilliant! I know the CTA has been looking at this idea recently, determining how to introduce it. There are significant numbers of people who don't sit, even when seats are available. The CTA knows this. You will probably see alot of these riders ( I'm one ) gravitate to these cars.

Me too. I'm close enough to the loop that my main concern is getting on a train - period - since they are usually pretty full by the time they get to me. Hopefully, the seatless cars will consistently be in the same position on the train, and then appropriate signage can be placed along the platforms to indicate where the SRO cars will berth.

Chicago3rd Jul 17, 2008 5:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3677207)
Tough call. I've also noticed that CTA is making an effort to run fewer cars during off-hours and increasing the load factor. This is great, as long as there aren't any passengers getting left behind, which is very, very bad news at off-peak headways.

I've also noticed very high loads on the Brown Line all evening until 9:30-10pm, though I suspect things got screwed up because of the canceled Red Line reroute, which sent enough people to the L to overwhelm Brown Line service along the Wabash and Lake legs of the loop while the Red Line was probably being underutilized underground.

Yes, because they were running the red line on the loop they had cut back on the brown line trains. I waited about 25 minutes when they should have been running every 10-12 minutes and two trains were packed. It didn't make sense to get on the red line just to have to get off and transfer wait at Fullerton or Belmont for a packed brownline to show up...behind me.

Chicago3rd Jul 17, 2008 5:23 PM

Quote:

stupid article about pulling all the seats out of the CTA..
What a quack idea! I thought putting seats along the windows...length wise was great and that is what I used in NYC and SEOUL (cities with far higher ridership per car). Where the hell did they get this stupid ass idea? What city has no seats in its cars?

alex1 Jul 17, 2008 6:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3678898)
Where the hell did they get this stupid ass idea? What city has no seats in its cars?

well, chicago will have no seats in its cars apparently. Does that answer your question?

It's quite sad that the richest country on earth needs to resort to tearing out seats to accommodate riders. But if it needs to be done, do it. When I lived off the Chicago Blue line stop, this would have helped. It was very common to wait 3 trains at that time for a stinking train that could be boarded.


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