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

Nowhereman1280 Dec 10, 2009 12:45 AM

^^^ I really wish Apple would just restore the station to exactly how it was when constructed so we know that at least one Art Moderne station will survive...

OhioGuy Dec 10, 2009 1:21 AM

^^ When is the Apple remodeling of North & Clybourn scheduled to begin? Or has it already begun? (I don't live in Chicago anymore, so I'm out of date on what's happening)

Also, has station construction begun on the green/pink lines at Morgan?


Finally, where do people feel the possible extension of the brown line to Jefferson Park ranks in importance to other projects like the red line further south, the orange line to Ford City, the yellow line to Old Orchard, and the circle line? It seems like such a great way to connect the north side to O'Hare without forcing people to either ride the el to downtown or take an east/west bus that can get stuck in rush hour traffic (or even worse... rush hour traffic combined with Cubs game traffic which I dealt with on several occasions). On top of that, a 2 mile extension of the brown line would serve a relatively dense area of the city.

J_M_Tungsten Dec 10, 2009 1:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4599419)
I really wish Apple would do this when they "freshen up" North/Clyborn:

http://www.on-a.es/newsletter/090423/ona_06.jpg
From the Arquitechura website. Click on the image for more info about their station update at the Drassanes station in Barcelona.

This would be awesome!! The only problem I see is vandalism on white walls and floors. Anything nice is usually ruined by someone being an unappreciative ass.

ardecila Dec 10, 2009 1:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 4599813)
Finally, where do people feel the possible extension of the brown line to Jefferson Park ranks in importance to other projects like the red line further south, the orange line to Ford City, the yellow line to Old Orchard, and the circle line? It seems like such a great way to connect the north side to O'Hare without forcing people to either ride the el to downtown or take an east/west bus that can get stuck in rush hour traffic (or even worse... rush hour traffic combined with Cubs game traffic which I dealt with on several occasions). On top of that, a 2 mile extension of the brown line would serve a relatively dense area of the city.

In the latest round of Alternatives Analysis for the Circle Line, CTA looked at a Brown Line extension and added it into their long-term plan.

OhioGuy Dec 10, 2009 1:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4599854)
In the latest round of Alternatives Analysis for the Circle Line, CTA looked at a Brown Line extension and added it into their long-term plan.

I remember reading about that, but I was just curious of the opinions of people on this forum regarding where they'd rank the various proposed extensions in levels of importance/impact.

Busy Bee Dec 10, 2009 2:01 AM

I'd rank it the top five. I've got a graphic I drew up a couple years back of a brown line extension to JP before any official talk of such a thing. So I guess if I thought of it, it ranks high for me;)

emathias Dec 14, 2009 1:53 PM

People are catching on to the possibilities of BusTracker
 
CTA's online Bus Tracker rolls into sight at Wicker Park shops

Quote:

Commuters stopping at the Red Hen Bread bakery on North Milwaukee Avenue in Bucktown can also check to see when the next CTA bus will pull up at the corner, without leaving the cinnamon-toasty warmth of the store.

Estimated bus-arrival times sent directly from the Chicago Transit Authority's Bus Tracker system stream across the bottom of a flat-screen monitor installed at Red Hen and eight other businesses by the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce. Community news and information about upcoming events fill the rest of the screen.

...

emathias Dec 14, 2009 2:11 PM

December Board Meeting Notes
 
I was reading the CTA's December Board presentations online and noticed a couple things.

The construction report showed (on page 3) that the repair/expansion of the Cermak Red Line stop started in November and should be done by December, 2010. They'll first build out the new auxillary entrace on Archer (which I'm glad about - I wrote them just after the truck crash suggesting they do that), then redo the Cermak entrance.

The President's Report, on page 13, shows that, after starting to fall relative to last year over the late summer/early fall period, ridership re-stabilized in November being overall equal to last year in the month of November (still down for the year, though). That's a good trend - I think. The big ridership increases are off-peak and weekend - rush hours is still down. More about this after my next note:

In the Budget Report (page 3, fifth paragraph), I caught this snippet: "The average fare for the current month was $0.91 and was $0.09 less than budget due to higher ridership on passes relative to pay for ride fare media. Year to date fare revenue was $425.1 million and was $11.6 million less than budget primarily due to lower ridership. The average fare for the year was $0.97 and was $0.02 less than budget."

Looking at those last two items together, it appears that this ridership increase is coming primarily from people who upgraded to monthly passes and then ride more on the weekends to stretch their savings. I'm pretty surprised that the average fare per ride has dropped so much, though - a 9% drop from budget is very substatial, especially considering fares went up a little in January.

Chicago3rd Dec 14, 2009 2:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4596198)
Well, it's only a short walk from Ravenswood Metra to Damen on the Brown Line... about 1/4 mile, platform-to-platform.

And about as far to the Wilson stop on the brownline. I started taking the 49B(or 49 or 49X or 11) to Lawrence then the Larwrence bus to Damon (1/2) mile to catch Metra. The time from door to door (my place 5400 block western to 100 N Riverside Plaza) 45 minutes normally. If I went bus to CTA the best I could get was 60 minutes most of the time 70 minutes. 1/2 hour a day saved 10 hours a month saved commuting was well worth paying CTA and Metra fares. Petersen stop will be great! Now they just need to add and Addison transfer - to CTA and it will be a perfect line.

nomarandlee Dec 14, 2009 2:36 PM

Quote:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...ride14.article

Modern train service slowed by freight

December 14, 2009

BY MARY WISNIEWSKI Staff Reporter
High speed rail is a glamorous idea -- it's fun to imagine a train streaking through the cornfields from Chicago to St. Louis in four hours.

Less glamorous are some of the fixes that need to be made to Chicago's notoriously slow freight rail system. Talk about projects like "signalize interlocking" and "grade separation," and eyes glaze over.

But the promise of faster passenger rail is inextricably linked to the down-and-dirty business of freight. To make passenger and commuter trains move faster, you have to get the boxcars out of the way.

And to do that, there needs to be more work done on the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program to improve freight, passenger and automobile traffic, according to U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski.

"You cannot have efficient passenger train service without the freight rail out of the way," Lipinski said. "They're all using the same track."

Rick Harnish, executive director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, agrees that finishing the CREATE projects is essential for higher speed passenger rail and for the freight industry. Demand for freight rail service is expected to double in the next 20 years, and Chicago is still the country's freight hub.

"It's kind of invisible and hard to describe, but [CREATE] is really critical to the future of almost anything that moves by train in the country," Harnish said.

Lipinski's father and congressional predecessor, William Lipinski, was a champion of the CREATE program, which got started in 2003. Since the project is regarded as Bill Lipinski's child, Dan Lipinski jokingly calls CREATE "my brother."

The 71 CREATE projects are intended to make freight traffic more efficient, through track and signal upgrades, and to keep freight, passenger rail and road traffic out of each other's way. One project under construction in Blue Island, for example, involves building a third line from Broadway and 131st Street to 115th Street, to allow easier flow-through for freight, says Blue Island Mayor Don Peloquin.

The $2.5 billion CREATE program got off to a slow start -- its private and government partners had hoped Congress would appropriate about $900 million in the 2005 transportation funding bill, but the law gave less than $100 million. Freight railroads kicked in another $116 million, and the City of Chicago has committed $30 million. As of now, six projects have been completed, and five are under way.

The money picture has gotten brighter over the last year, said Lipinski. The State of Illinois included $300 million for CREATE in its capital bill, along with $150 million for Amtrak expansion and $400 million for high speed rail. CREATE supporters hope for $300 million in federal stimulus money through a grant, as well as money from the next federal surface transportation bill.

The Obama administration has promised $8 billion for high speed rail projects around the country. Illinois hopes to get a piece of that, and Lipinski says he thinks Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood understands Chicago's freight rail issues and the importance of high speed passenger rail in the Midwest. High speed rail money can be used for CREATE.

Eight Midwest states have cooperated to promote a high speed network, with Chicago as its hub, that would link 12 metropolitan areas within 400 miles.

Lipinski points to 10 specific CREATE projects that need to get done to make way for high speed rail. They include the Englewood rail-over-rail flyover at 63rd Street, which would cut rail delays between Metra's Rock Island District, Amtrak, and proposed new freight operations. This also would help high speed rail corridors to the east.

Other key projects are grade separations of the BNSF freight line from Belmont Road in Downers Grove, Harlem Avenue in Berwyn and Maple Avenue in Brookfield.

"The future is very bright," Lipinski said, though he wants the Obama administration to move faster on the next transportation bill, which Lipinski says will create millions of jobs. U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) has a six-year bill ready to go, but the Obama administration has said it wants to delay writing a new bill for 18 months.

..

emathias Dec 14, 2009 2:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 4606559)
And about as far to the Wilson stop on the brownline. ...

I assume you mean either the Montrose stop (which is a little further than Damen) on the Brown Line (hasn't been a stop at Wilson in decades :-) ) or the Wilson Red Line stop, but that's nearly three times as far from the Ravenswood Metra stop as the Damen Brown Line is.

emathias Dec 14, 2009 2:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 4606564)
CREATE

For something that's so plainly critical for the country as a whole, I really don't understand why the Feds don't just guarantee the $2.5 billion as, say, $250 million/year for ten years and be done with it. Even at $2.5 billion, t's a relatively small investment with huge dividends. If Boston can get $15 billion to build a highway tunnel that has limited benefit outside of Boston, or at least outside of New England, why can't Chicago get 1/6th of that to do things that have clear benefits for the entire country?

I know politics can be brutal, but don't politicians still just do the right thing sometimes?

Nowhereman1280 Dec 14, 2009 3:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4606537)

Yawn, the dirty hipsters over in Wicker Park are just catching on to this now? My building installed a flat screen MiniMac on the wall with the sole purpose of showing BusTracker only a month or two after our routes (151, 147, and 136) were added to the system and I live in stodgy old Edgewater, no edgy Wicker Park...

Dr. Taco Dec 14, 2009 6:02 PM

^ yeah, i noticed that in your building. it's actually a really nice thing on a cold day.

maybe the new thing is an actual business putting the monitor inside their store?

Mr Downtown Dec 14, 2009 6:11 PM

^In September, I installed one in my condo building's lobby as well.

Pandemonious Dec 14, 2009 7:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jstush04 (Post 4606858)
^ yeah, i noticed that in your building. it's actually a really nice thing on a cold day.

maybe the new thing is an actual business putting the monitor inside their store?

Yes, it is actual businesses. W Grocer has had it for a while now, as there is a North Ave stop right outside their door.

electricron Dec 15, 2009 5:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 4606564)
The 71 CREATE projects are intended to make freight traffic more efficient, through track and signal upgrades, and to keep freight, passenger rail and road traffic out of each other's way.
As of now, six projects have been completed, and five are under way.
Lipinski points to 10 specific CREATE projects that need to get done to make way for high speed rail.

Some math:

71(total)-11(completed and underconstruction)-10(new for HSR)= 50(left to do)

Answer this question please, is the $2.5 Billion for 10, 21, or all 71 CREATE projects?

ardecila Dec 15, 2009 7:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 4608024)
Answer this question please, is the $2.5 Billion for 10, 21, or all 71 CREATE projects?

No one is quite sure. $2.5 billion was the total cost estimate for all CREATE projects, but that was several years ago. Every year that the projects are delayed, the cost only goes up.

It's possible that projects have been completed at roughly the same rate as inflation, so while the total cost for all 71 projects was $2.5 billion several years ago, the cost of the remaining 60 projects is still $2.5 billion because of inflation.

CREATE projects are all intended to work together as a system, too, so a particular project might not have any benefit until another is completed. Projects are bundled into functional units for this reason, but there may not be enough money at any given time to complete entire groups of projects.

Part of the reason for the confusion is Canadian National's decision to leave CREATE and take their own actions to avoid Chicago congestion. This forced an entire overhaul of the CREATE plan to eliminate unneeded projects and reduce the total cost without reducing the benefits provided to the other railroads. Several projects, including almost the entire Central Corridor, were axed. Some cost estimates still use the total price of CREATE from before CN exited.

BWChicago Dec 16, 2009 7:24 AM

You all probably know more about this kind of stuff than me, so I'll lodge it here. I've heard some criticism of the state public works money going to reconstruct metra stations when the north side red line is in such bad shape. What's the rationale? Also, why is the Clybourn Metra not getting anything? Truly a horrible place to wait for a train for up to an hour in the winter.

ardecila Dec 16, 2009 10:26 AM

I'm not sure... I do know that a renovation of the North Main Line, if done properly, would be a massive and costly project, renovating dozens of stations and miles of crumbling viaduct all without shutting down the L service.

However, it seems that CTA is going for a piecemeal approach. A major renovation of Wilson has been simmering behind the scenes for awhile. Granville is getting a few million from TIF to perform renovations there.

Maybe CTA decided to use their political capital to push for state assistance to prevent the service cuts or fare increases, while Metra approved a fare increase without batting an eyelash, and then proceeded to ask for its share of capital dollars from the state.


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