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ardecila Sep 17, 2013 7:00 AM

Clark/Division

new mosaic tiles
http://imageshack.com/scaled/800x600/42/9mo6.jpg

the big hole's been filled (elevator shaft at center)
http://imageshack.com/scaled/800x600/19/bn60.jpg

new south entrance (SE corner LaSalle/Division)
http://imageshack.com/scaled/800x600/199/jnfc.jpg

new north entrance (NE corner LaSalle/Division)
http://imageshack.com/scaled/800x600/545/3jzr.jpg

ardecila Sep 25, 2013 3:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UPChicago (Post 6278755)
I've heard of it I was only kidding, but I've seen the older plas that only connected the blue line from Lake to Congress nothing as far south as 18th street. Also I'm pretty sure those plans are dead.....unless there is something you aren't telling us! :P

Nope, not dead, just on the back burner. The West Loop Transportation Center is on CMAP's Fiscally Constrained List, which makes it a high priority and makes it eligible for New Starts Federal funding. The only other major CTA projects on the list are the Red Line Extension on the South Side and the Red/Purple Modernization on the North Side.

Right now, CTA is investing majorly in bringing the current system into a state of good repair with track work, station renovations, and rebuilds of selected transit hubs (Wilson, 95th, etc). Once our system is in better repair, CTA will be a very competitive candidate for funding from the Feds.

I'm actually optimistic about the WLTC getting built. Traffic in Union Station is only growing, and offices are increasingly moving to the West Loop. The WLTC project provides lots of benefits to city-dwellers riding CTA to West Loop jobs and suburbanites riding Metra to the same, not to mention the ever-growing ridership of Amtrak.

Pilton Sep 25, 2013 4:04 AM

^ I thought the Clinton Street Subway and the West Loop Transportation Center died when the Olympics went to Rio. The whole 2020 Plan depended on massive federal financing. The projected cost of the subway was around $3B (IIRR).

I thought the Carroll St. Transitway is the only 2920 Plan project that has a reasonable chance of being developed because it would cost much less.

oshkeoto Sep 25, 2013 4:16 AM

Ardecila, what would the routes look like through the Clinton subway? Would some Blue Line trains be diverted, or would they run a sort of 42nd St.-style shuttle?

ardecila Sep 25, 2013 5:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pilton (Post 6278790)
^ I thought the Clinton Street Subway and the West Loop Transportation Center died when the Olympics went to Rio. The whole 2020 Plan depended on massive federal financing. The projected cost of the subway was around $3B (IIRR).

I thought the Carroll St. Transitway is the only 2920 Plan project that has a reasonable chance of being developed because it would cost much less.

The Olympics was an easy way to get cash, but the need for a West Loop Transportation Center has not gone away. Already, Michigan/Minnesota/Missouri are planning Amtrak improvements that will send more trains into Union Station. Metra's planning improvements that will send more trains into Union Station. The West Loop continues to see job growth at a breakneck pace, and it'll only accelerate once Google moves out to Fulton Market.

More trains and more jobs mean a lot more people, and parts of Union Station are already at capacity. Something will be done, even if it's not a stacked tunnel.

In the medium term, a flyover at 75th Street will shift SouthWest Service (15 weekday trains) to LaSalle Street, which will free up some capacity at Union, but that extra capacity will not last very long.

Quote:

Originally Posted by oshkeoto (Post 6278805)
Ardecila, what would the routes look like through the Clinton subway? Would some Blue Line trains be diverted, or would they run a sort of 42nd St.-style shuttle?

The original, very loose concept for a West Loop Transportation Center was just a Blue Line loop between Lake and Congress. However, tying a new tunnel into the Blue Line at either end would be extremely costly (there's already a flying junction at Lake, pointing the wrong way, and at Congress you'd need to underpin the Eisenhower viaduct).

I think planners realized they could probably get a lot more bang for their buck by building a much longer subway from North/Clybourn to Clinton to Cermak/Chinatown, and running either the Red Line, Purple Line, or a Brown/Orange fusion through it.

http://chicago.straightdope.com/clinton_subway.JPG
Straight Dope Chicago

Pilton Sep 25, 2013 12:27 PM

It is not a question of need or of a bad plan. It is a question of money not being available to fund the 2020 Plan. I agree that the City still may have not given up.

Here's what you posted in 2011:

Quote:

I'm not sure. I don't think the flying junction would have an effect (the structure is one block further east), but I could be wrong.

I suppose if the Clinton subway was designed properly, it could be linked into the Blue Line using the Lake Street tunnel stubs. Even if they don't run revenue service, a connector between the Red and Blue Lines downtown would be invaluable.

I do know that an infill station on the Blue Line will never happen. Underpinning the existing tunnels to slip another tunnel underneath is hard enough.
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show....php?p=5311902

Are you sure that the huge block of concrete poured earlier this year at River Point was not designed to stabilize/protect tunnel stub connections to facilitate a later connection and that the doors at grade level leading into River Point indicated on some of the renderings are not to facilitate connections to Metra?

Mr Downtown Sep 25, 2013 2:22 PM

^Huh? There's no room left for platforms, and Metra certainly wouldn't build a new station on a curve only 1000 feet north of Union Station.

The Milwaukee-Dearborn-Congress subway tunnels are at -80 CCD where they cross under the Union Station north approach tracks.

ardecila Sep 25, 2013 9:04 PM

Yeah, I'm not sure about that. I believe there are emergency exits and ventilation shafts in this area for the Blue Line, which may affect River Point. :shrug:

CTA Gray Line Sep 26, 2013 9:44 AM

Fitzgerald questions transit agencies’ training on taking politics out of hiring
 
http://www.suntimes.com/22790619-761...of-hiring.html


Corruption-busting former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald Wednesday voiced concern that the region’s four transit agencies seem to have dropped the ball on adequately training staff on how to remove politics from hiring.

Fitzgerald’s comments came during the second meeting of a transit task force formed in the wake of allegations by ex-Metra CEO Alex Clifford that two Metra Board members conspired to dump him because he would not “play ball” on patronage requests — two of them supposedly originating with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).


Fitzgerald said his observations were based on the written responses of all four transit agencies to 25 detailed questions he had posed involving ethics issues.

The answers of the Regional Transportation Authority and the three agencies it oversees — Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace — indicate that the agencies provide “lots of training” on avoiding discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, national origin or a disability, Fitzgerald said.

Some agencies reported training about gift-giving, ethics and avoiding nepotism, he said.

But, Fitzgerald said, he didn’t see a lot of training based on “removing politics from hiring.’’


“There’s not a lot of training on whether people can be hired based on political affiliation,’’ Fitzgerald said during the meeting of Gov. Pat Quinn’s Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force. “I have concerns about that.”

During the first requested appearance of all four transit agencies before the task force, Fitzgerald questioned whether there should be a “firewall” between elected officials and the hiring process.

In an exchange with RTA executive director Joseph Costello, Fitzgerald asked whether the RTA keeps any record of politicians who call the RTA to say they’d like someone hired.

Costello said no such record is kept because all such callers are referred to the agency’s website for directions on how to apply for jobs.

During questioning by task force member Ashish Sen, leaders of the RTA and Pace conceded their agencies have doled out severances to employees who were not under contract.

Pace executive director Thomas Ross said Pace has awarded “maybe one week’s pay for every year of service” to a departing employee, but such deals were “nothing of the magnitude” of the up to $871,000, 26-month separation agreement given Clifford. Clifford’s deal, and the circumstances surrounding it, spawned investigations by two inspectors general and the formation of Quinn’s task force.

Also Wednesday, RTA Chairman Robert Gates Jr. charged that the RTA was being “required to provide oversight without the tools.’’ RTA officials have said they did not know about Clifford’s buyout deal until after it occurred, and under current rules, Metra was not required to run hiring or separation decisions past the RTA.

Gates recommended that the RTA be given more power over Metra, the CTA and Pace or, as an alternative, all four agencies should be consolidated into one that would set policy and revenue for the region. Such an agency could be divided into a light rail, heavy rail and bus division, he said.

The concept didn’t sit well with Ross, executive director of Pace, which provides suburban bus service. Ross said Pace has bus contracts with 90 different communities, and “they expect to control how the service looks if they are paying for it.’’ For example, he said, changes are currently being made in Lake County based on its requests.

“You get everything in one location in some ivory tower, and all you’re going to get is criticism,” Ross said.

Under an executive order signed in August by Quinn, the task force has been asked to consider streamlining or restructuring the four agencies, to address patronage and ethics issues raised by the Clifford case, and to create a blueprint for a “world class” transit system. Its initial recommendation are due in mid-October.

CTA Gray Line Sep 26, 2013 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6280145)
http://www.suntimes.com/22790619-761...of-hiring.html


Corruption-busting former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald Wednesday voiced concern that the region’s four transit agencies seem to have dropped the ball on adequately training staff on how to remove politics from hiring.

Fitzgerald’s comments came during the second meeting of a transit task force formed in the wake of allegations by ex-Metra CEO Alex Clifford that two Metra Board members conspired to dump him because he would not “play ball” on patronage requests — two of them supposedly originating with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).


Fitzgerald said his observations were based on the written responses of all four transit agencies to 25 detailed questions he had posed involving ethics issues.

The answers of the Regional Transportation Authority and the three agencies it oversees — Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace — indicate that the agencies provide “lots of training” on avoiding discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, national origin or a disability, Fitzgerald said.

Some agencies reported training about gift-giving, ethics and avoiding nepotism, he said.

But, Fitzgerald said, he didn’t see a lot of training based on “removing politics from hiring.’’


“There’s not a lot of training on whether people can be hired based on political affiliation,’’ Fitzgerald said during the meeting of Gov. Pat Quinn’s Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force. “I have concerns about that.”

During the first requested appearance of all four transit agencies before the task force, Fitzgerald questioned whether there should be a “firewall” between elected officials and the hiring process.

In an exchange with RTA executive director Joseph Costello, Fitzgerald asked whether the RTA keeps any record of politicians who call the RTA to say they’d like someone hired.

Costello said no such record is kept because all such callers are referred to the agency’s website for directions on how to apply for jobs.

During questioning by task force member Ashish Sen, leaders of the RTA and Pace conceded their agencies have doled out severances to employees who were not under contract.

Pace executive director Thomas Ross said Pace has awarded “maybe one week’s pay for every year of service” to a departing employee, but such deals were “nothing of the magnitude” of the up to $871,000, 26-month separation agreement given Clifford. Clifford’s deal, and the circumstances surrounding it, spawned investigations by two inspectors general and the formation of Quinn’s task force.

Also Wednesday, RTA Chairman Robert Gates Jr. charged that the RTA was being “required to provide oversight without the tools.’’ RTA officials have said they did not know about Clifford’s buyout deal until after it occurred, and under current rules, Metra was not required to run hiring or separation decisions past the RTA.

Gates recommended that the RTA be given more power over Metra, the CTA and Pace or, as an alternative, all four agencies should be consolidated into one that would set policy and revenue for the region. Such an agency could be divided into a light rail, heavy rail and bus division, he said.

The concept didn’t sit well with Ross, executive director of Pace, which provides suburban bus service. Ross said Pace has bus contracts with 90 different communities, and “they expect to control how the service looks if they are paying for it.’’ For example, he said, changes are currently being made in Lake County based on its requests.

“You get everything in one location in some ivory tower, and all you’re going to get is criticism,” Ross said.

Under an executive order signed in August by Quinn, the task force has been asked to consider streamlining or restructuring the four agencies, to address patronage and ethics issues raised by the Clifford case, and to create a blueprint for a “world class” transit system. Its initial recommendation are due in mid-October.


POLITICS will be removed from Public Transit in the Chicago area -- The day AFTER a Snowball deposes Satan to Rule Hell.

J_M_Tungsten Sep 26, 2013 8:24 PM

Does anyone know why the Wells street bridge is only half done or why it is taking so long to complete?

emathias Sep 26, 2013 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten (Post 6280815)
Does anyone know why the Wells street bridge is only half done or why it is taking so long to complete?

It's on schedule the last I heard, so I suppose it's because rebuilding a bridge in place is a lot more complicated than just floating in some new girders.

J_M_Tungsten Sep 26, 2013 10:11 PM

Structural, it's been in place for months. The north half of the bridge looks completed, but the south half and sidewalks are dragging. Maybe it's just my perception, but it seems like a long time.

ardecila Sep 27, 2013 5:53 AM

More Eisenhower news...

First, there will be a joint IDOT/CTA meeting on October 7 at the Ashland/Harrison Marriott. Officials will present design concepts for the highway, pedestrian connections, and Blue Line station rebuilds (the goal is to do this work in tandem to create decent environments around stations).

Right now, it's looking like the most likely alternative is to add a fourth lane through "The Avenues" and restrict it to HOV. The left lane between Central and Racine would also be converted to HOV, giving a continuous carpool lane from Mannheim to the Circle.

They've chosen interchange designs for 25th Avenue and 1st Avenue. Although the designs for Harlem and Austin are innovative and will provide strong pedestrian connections across the highway, the other designs are crap (SPUIs, diverging diamonds). If/when the Blue Line is extended, it will dump riders into pedestrian-unfriendly traffic islands (which is exactly the problem we're trying to solve at Harlem/Austin).

http://imageshack.com/scaled/800x600/706/39qw.jpg

http://imageshack.com/scaled/800x600/843/2m0n.jpg

On the other hand, IDOT is strongly considering a plan that would extend the Illinois Prairie Path down the Eisenhower ROW through Oak Park. A potential later phase would then extend the trail deep into Chicago using an abandoned rail line, CSX's Altenheim Sub. That would take it almost to Western, where there are several on-street paths continuing furhter downtown. Other than the Lakefront Trail, this would be the first major regional trail to run through Chicago.

http://imageshack.com/scaled/800x600/194/pqkt.jpg

Via Chicago Sep 27, 2013 2:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6280943)
It's on schedule the last I heard, so I suppose it's because rebuilding a bridge in place is a lot more complicated than just floating in some new girders.

Well sure but I dont think anyone would deny that things have slowed to a crawl on that thing. The original bridge was floated into place and opened in what....a couple weeks? I dont have the numbers at hand but I know it was extremely fast compared to today. I dont really understand why with modern construction techniques its taking 7 months to lay down a road bed...if the same flurry of activity that accompanied the demo was maintained throughout te project this thing would have been finished months ago. As it stands theres usually just a couple of people working at any time.

wierdaaron Sep 30, 2013 3:22 PM

Renderings revealed for new $75m Washington/Wabash L station.

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130...-elevated-stop

News to me. It sounds like this one station will be replacing both Randolph/Wabash and Madison/Wabash.

Via Chicago Sep 30, 2013 3:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6284529)
Renderings revealed for new $75m Washington/Wabash L station.

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130...-elevated-stop

News to me. It sounds like this one station will be replacing both Randolph/Wabash and Madison/Wabash.

interesting. so i assume this concept is out?

http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/im...ndering02t.jpg
http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/im...ndering02t.jpg

spyguy Sep 30, 2013 5:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6284529)
Renderings revealed for new $75m Washington/Wabash L station.

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130...-elevated-stop

A Calatrava knockoff? Nice.

BrennanW Sep 30, 2013 5:34 PM

Did anybody hear about the CTA crash again today? It appears another example of a parked train rolling out of the yard into a station. This could have been much worse.

http://l1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/8e...4449340780.jpg

http://news.yahoo.com/chicago-train-...152224274.html

ardecila Sep 30, 2013 6:03 PM

The new station looks amazing. Nice open feeling, beautiful/simple design. I like how the lighting is integrated into the steel fins and the tubular girder instead of being surface-mounted. That should reduce a lot of clutter.

Reminds me of Boston's Fields Corner station a bit. I think the undulating was added so that the canopy would have a low profile at Washington, to avoid blocking the sight lines to Pritzker Pavilion down that street.

I'm curious what the street access points will look like. Will there be a mezzanine, or will they build compact stationhouses on the sidewalk like at Morgan?

wierdaaron Sep 30, 2013 7:10 PM

Looking through the eyes of a visitor, I've never been really happy with the payment/onboarding process for CTA stations. The vending machines, turnstiles, and signage all seem to be built with the idea that you already know how the CTA works.

I always cringe when I see visitors or tourists standing in front of those kafka-inspired machines trying to figure out what kind of pass they need and how to get it.

Now that they're starting to publicly admit that CTA stations are important for driving tourists around the city (with the new Cermack/McCormick station and now this one intended to be a "gateway to Millennium Park"), I really hope they're putting some thought into clear signage and layouts so that people fresh into town can figure out how to get on a train.

This isn't a Chicago problem, either. I've visited many cities and been bewildered by their transit systems and how/what to buy and where to go. LA's subway is probably the worst at it, but LA doesn't really try.

Chi-Sky21 Sep 30, 2013 7:53 PM

El Station
 
I also think it helps by eliminating 1 el stop. This also needs to be done on the north end of the red line. Condensing the stops will help speed up the trains and cost less in the long run to maintain less stops also. My gripe is they are going to refurb the redline stops on the north end, THEN decide if they are going to eliminate any, seems like a big waste of money to do it that way!

Via Chicago Sep 30, 2013 7:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrennanW (Post 6284692)
Did anybody hear about the CTA crash again today? It appears another example of a parked train rolling out of the yard into a station. This could have been much worse.

http://l1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/8e...4449340780.jpg

http://news.yahoo.com/chicago-train-...152224274.html

i dont understand how something like this happens. somehow a train rolls out of a maintenance yard AND the failsafe switches dont activate either? that should give you a warm fuzzy feeling.

k1052 Sep 30, 2013 8:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 (Post 6284920)
I also think it helps by eliminating 1 el stop. This also needs to be done on the north end of the red line. Condensing the stops will help speed up the trains and cost less in the long run to maintain less stops also. My gripe is they are going to refurb the redline stops on the north end, THEN decide if they are going to eliminate any, seems like a big waste of money to do it that way!

Eliminating stops on the north side Red line is politically impossible, all will be retained. There is a shitstorm when the CTA even mentions it as an option.

ardecila Oct 1, 2013 12:33 AM

Yeah, I think stop elimination is out. Instead, CTA's now considering turning the Purple Line into a full-fledged express service like the ones in New York. That's why Wilson is being rebuilt as a proper transfer station and eventually, Loyola as well. Doing it that way allows far Northsiders a quick trip to downtown while preserving the local stops on the Red Line.

I hope they move Purple back to the center tracks south of Belmont... Diversey and Wellington already have 8-car Brown Line service and they're maxed out on ridership for awhile unless there is some serious TOD.

There's also been some discussion over moving the Purple Line into the State Street Subway instead of the Loop, but that might be more difficult and it requires a turnback siding somewhere.

Chi-Sky21 Oct 1, 2013 2:02 AM

The red line is brutally slow when you get farther north, Granville could be easily eliminated in my opinion. I lived in Rogers park for a long time and always wished there was a faster way, i discovered the express bus to late!! I would think instead of making purple the express route, maybe have it stop at one of the red line stops, then eliminate Granville. I would think shaving off those 2 stops would save a lot of time. Oh well, what do i know.

CTA Gray Line Oct 1, 2013 6:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 6284655)
A Calatrava knockoff? Nice.


This "Project" shows why there should be ONE Agency running ALL of Chicago's Public Transit.

CTA could have placed the North end of the Station near Randolph St., so it would be close to the Millennium Park Station entrance on the SW corner of Michigan & Randolph (and possibly connected to the Pedway).

NOW instead of being 600 ft from Millennium Park station -- it is 2 blocks away ( NO Coordination between the Agencies CTA and Metra ).

I'm sure a Mother alone with 3 small kids will Thank the Powers-That-Be ( CTA ) when it's 5 below zero in February and she has to walk 2 Blocks outside, instead of an enclosed connection!

It would have been better (from the rider's point-of-view) to have closed and demolished the old station, then build the new station in it's place.

Connection with the Pedway would give an all-weather enclosed direct access to Millennium Park station, and the Red Line -- But what Urban Planner would consider something like that?

Other cities (San Fran., Toronto, Boston, etc...) integrate their Transit Systems Regionally.

In Chicago IT'S ALL P O L I T I C S (See: Recent Transit Board Member Mess)

CTA Gray Line Oct 1, 2013 6:20 AM

Retired CTA vice president is Preckwinkle pick for Metra board
 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...tra-board.html

Updated: September 30, 2013 7:09PM

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says her next pick to served on the Metra board is a retired CTA vice president.

Romayne Brown has more than 30 years of work experience at the CTA, moving up from conductor to vice president of operations, according to a statement from Preckwinkle’s office.


As vice president of the CTA, Brown developed and administered policies and procedures to “ensure the timeliness and safety of rail transit service to more than 500,000 customers daily,” according to the Preckwinkle statement.

“Romayne Brown’s job was to make sure the trains ran safely and on time. Her decades of transportation experience will be a great asset to the Metra board, which needs someone who knows what it takes to operate a mass transit rail line,” Preckwinkle is quoted as saying in the statement.

While at the CTA, Brown also held the titles of superintendent of rail personnel and general manager of rail operations, overseeing functions for the Red, Purple and Yellow lines, according to Preckwinkle.

Brown, a South Side native who has lived in Dolton more than 20 years, retired from the CTA in 2010.

“There are few opportunities that could lure me out of retirement,” Brown said in a statement. “Taking on this new challenge appealed to me. I want to help Metra, one of the largest commuter rail systems in the country, return to its primary focus of providing more than 300,000 passenger trips a day to commuters.”

If Brown’s appointment is approved, she would replace Stanley Rakestraw, who resigned in August. Preckwinkle asked for Rakestraw’s resignation after learning he moved to a downtown Chicago condo after his home in suburban Flossmoor burned down.

Several Metra board members have resigned amid controversy over former Metra CEO Alex Clifford’s $718,000 buyout. Clifford resigned June 21, citing the pressure he was under to make political appointments.

Rakestraw held a seat on the Metra board representing the city’s suburbs.

Contributing: Associated Press

ardecila Oct 1, 2013 6:39 AM

Yeah, the lack of connection sucks. This plan's been kicking around for decades, though... I guess there was too much inertia to overcome.

On the other hand, I'm guessing most of the Metra Electric riders are either transferring to buses that take them further north at Randolph St, or transferring to buses that take them further west at Van Buren or Roosevelt. The demand for a direct connection between Millennium Station and the Loop just wasn't there. I'm still glad there's an underground connection to the Red/Blue Lines, and you can actually take the pedway to the corner of Washington/Wabash if you cut through the Macy's basement and come up in the 25 E. Washington lobby (25 E. Washington used to be Field's Mens Store, so they needed a direct connection).

CTA Gray Line Oct 1, 2013 9:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6285583)
Yeah, the lack of connection sucks. This plan's been kicking around for decades, though... I guess there was too much inertia to overcome.

On the other hand, I'm guessing most of the Metra Electric riders are either transferring to buses that take them further north at Randolph St, or transferring to buses that take them further west at Van Buren or Roosevelt. The demand for a direct connection between Millennium Station and the Loop just wasn't there. I'm still glad there's an underground connection to the Red/Blue Lines, and you can actually take the pedway to the corner of Washington/Wabash if you cut through the Macy's basement and come up in the 25 E. Washington lobby (25 E. Washington used to be Field's Mens Store, so they needed a direct connection).

NOBODY used to transfer from the Red Line to the Green/Orange Lines at Roosevelt via the street (before they built the transfer tunnel) -- Does anyone use that transfer tunnel now?

LouisVanDerWright Oct 1, 2013 1:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 (Post 6285371)
The red line is brutally slow when you get farther north, Granville could be easily eliminated in my opinion. I lived in Rogers park for a long time and always wished there was a faster way, i discovered the express bus to late!! I would think instead of making purple the express route, maybe have it stop at one of the red line stops, then eliminate Granville. I would think shaving off those 2 stops would save a lot of time. Oh well, what do i know.

Granville would make no sense to eliminate. It is smack dab in the middle of the second densest neighborhood in the city and acts as a Southern entrance to Loyola University and their recent Southward expansion. Maybe you could pick off a station or two on the Redline, but really I don't think it makes any sense to reduce service to such a dense part of town. If anything rebuild a few of the stations that were removed and restore skip stop A/B service to increase travel times.

ardecila Oct 1, 2013 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6285623)
NOBODY used to transfer from the Red Line to the Green/Orange Lines at Roosevelt via the street (before they built the transfer tunnel) -- Does anyone use that transfer tunnel now?

I think the tunnel at Roosevelt is pretty well used, yeah - but a lot of the users are Red Line riders heading to the Roosevelt bus stop, which is mid-block at the Orange Line and not at State.

Like I said, I don't know whether there is a lot of demand for a direct connection from Millennium to the Loop. Building the connection might stimulate demand, but it's hard to say. Right now, Metra Electric riders have lots of other possibilities for transferring to CTA around downtown, usually by getting on a bus at Michigan/Randolph or at Congress Plaza.

CTA Gray Line Oct 2, 2013 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6285576)
http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...tra-board.html

Updated: September 30, 2013 7:09PM

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says her next pick to served on the Metra board is a retired CTA vice president.

Romayne Brown has more than 30 years of work experience at the CTA, moving up from conductor to vice president of operations, according to a statement from Preckwinkle’s office.


As vice president of the CTA, Brown developed and administered policies and procedures to “ensure the timeliness and safety of rail transit service to more than 500,000 customers daily,” according to the Preckwinkle statement.

“Romayne Brown’s job was to make sure the trains ran safely and on time. Her decades of transportation experience will be a great asset to the Metra board, which needs someone who knows what it takes to operate a mass transit rail line,” Preckwinkle is quoted as saying in the statement.

While at the CTA, Brown also held the titles of superintendent of rail personnel and general manager of rail operations, overseeing functions for the Red, Purple and Yellow lines, according to Preckwinkle.

Brown, a South Side native who has lived in Dolton more than 20 years, retired from the CTA in 2010.

“There are few opportunities that could lure me out of retirement,” Brown said in a statement. “Taking on this new challenge appealed to me. I want to help Metra, one of the largest commuter rail systems in the country, return to its primary focus of providing more than 300,000 passenger trips a day to commuters.”

If Brown’s appointment is approved, she would replace Stanley Rakestraw, who resigned in August. Preckwinkle asked for Rakestraw’s resignation after learning he moved to a downtown Chicago condo after his home in suburban Flossmoor burned down.

Several Metra board members have resigned amid controversy over former Metra CEO Alex Clifford’s $718,000 buyout. Clifford resigned June 21, citing the pressure he was under to make political appointments.

Rakestraw held a seat on the Metra board representing the city’s suburbs.

Contributing: Associated Press


I will be attending the Fri. Oct. 18th Metra Board Meeting (and also the Weds. Oct. 9th CTA Board Meeting) to testify and do my "Tilting at Windmills" thing again.

Please come (if you can), watch, and be entertained.....

sammyg Oct 2, 2013 6:06 PM

Good God, Romayne Browne?

I worked with her once, and it was a nightmare.

CTA Gray Line Oct 2, 2013 9:53 PM

Another former CTA official named to Metra board
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,3511674.story

By Richard Wronski
Tribune reporter
2:16 p.m. CDT, October 2, 2013

Cook County Commissioners representing north and west suburban townships said they have unanimously appointed retired CTA executive John Plante to the Metra board of directors.

Plante, 68, of Wilmette, becomes the second former CTA official named to Metra’s board.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Monday nominated former CTA official Romayne Brown from Dolton to serve on the scandal-plagued Metra board.

According to a statement from the commissioners’ office, Plante has served in a variety of capacities over a 35-year career with the CTA. Most recently, Plante served as the senior manager for system safety emergency preparedness. In that capacity, Plante coordinated the CTA’s planning and training for responding to emergencies.

Plante was appointed by commissioners representing Evanston, Leyden, New Trier, Niles, Northfield, Norwood Park, Maine, Oak Park and River Forest Townships.

Commissioner Larry Suffredin said Plante was the unanimous choice from a field of 14 individuals.

“ John has the experience and skills to ensure that Metra has what it needs to prevail over its difficulties,” Suffredin said in a statement. “His emergency preparedness work and legal background will help Metra to work through its current problems and foresee any potential future problems. He is an excellent choice.”

Plante will replace Metra board member William Widmer III of Evanston.

His appointment does not need confirmation by the entire Cook County Board.

Preckwinkle’s appointment of Brown to replace Stanley Rakestraw will need confirmation.

Six of Metra’s board members stepped down since June when the board negotiated a controversial $871,000 exit package for ousted CEO Alex Clifford.

Clifford has alleged that he was pushed out because he would not go along with patronage hiring requests and interference in contracts by the board.

CTA Gray Line Oct 4, 2013 8:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Via Chicago (Post 6284933)
i dont understand how something like this happens. somehow a train rolls out of a maintenance yard AND the failsafe switches dont activate either? that should give you a warm fuzzy feeling.


http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/10/...t-train-crash/

(CBS) — Investigators are much closer to pinpointing the cause of Monday’s CTA Blue Line collision involving a runaway train that was supposed to be standing still waiting for repairs.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

The National Transportation Safety Board and CTA investigators have virtually ruled out sabotage. And now they believe the runaway train actually stopped and started several times before the crash because of some kind of control problem.

A CTA bulletin posted Thursday in all train yards orders employees to isolate all defective cars and put chocks on all wheels to make sure the defective cars can’t move.


Witnesses, CBS 2 is told, have reported that the four-car train –- two defective cars and two others towing them — stopped and started several times on the run from the Forest Park yard to the crash site at Harlem. The cars were stopped by the interlocks on both sides of the Forest Park Station, which worked as they should have, but then powered back up, starting up again apparently on their own.The bulletin has led to concern among employees that the control problem may not be limited to the cars involved in the crash, but could be something that affects the computer control systems of other cars as well.

The eastbound rogue train collided with a westbound train with 40 passengers aboard.

Surveillance cameras showed no one was aboard the runaway train either that morning or the preceding 24 hours.

Thursday’s bulletin caught CTA workers by surprise, something that probably wouldn’t have happened had there not been a government shutdown and all the NTSB communications personnel on furlough.

The NTSB is well known as one of the most transparent government agencies, with daily briefings constantly updating investigators’ findings.

CTA Gray Line Oct 5, 2013 6:18 AM

Small Business in the City Featuring Bill Kurtis, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mario Batali
 
https://www.chicagoideas.com/events/279

Just got my Ticket to this event -- This is going to be a TRULY interesting Adventure, and I will be bringing the MED EMU Prototype, and Gray Line literature to distrbute: http://www.grayline.20m.com/photo3.html

Any suggestions as to how to handle the Game?

Chicago3rd Oct 5, 2013 2:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 (Post 6285371)
The red line is brutally slow when you get farther north, Granville could be easily eliminated in my opinion. I lived in Rogers park for a long time and always wished there was a faster way, i discovered the express bus to late!! I would think instead of making purple the express route, maybe have it stop at one of the red line stops, then eliminate Granville. I would think shaving off those 2 stops would save a lot of time. Oh well, what do i know.

The L isn't an express route to anywhere. It is part of a comprehensive system. The north side Red line borders some very dense areas and serves many people who already live more than 1/2 mile away from each of those inconvenient stops you think are in your way. A great denser city was built on an L with even more stops. Wish our culture would realize it is all about what is between A and B and not just getting from A to B on public transportation. P.S. Yes I use Granville frequently...lol

Chi-Sky21 Oct 5, 2013 2:29 PM

My point was not to get rid of Granville just to get rid of it. You have Granville and Thorndale stops only a few blocks from each other. Get rid of them both and put a new stop inbetween them would be my idea. It allows you to do construction without much interruption. Gets rid of a station and reduces cost over the long run. I guess you may need them on the main streets for the bus routes to drop passengers off at though. Also, the idea of alternate A/B stops would work also. I thought that was not well received by some though. I did not mind since my stop was not one of the ones alternated. 8)

Chicago Shawn Oct 5, 2013 4:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6285623)
NOBODY used to transfer from the Red Line to the Green/Orange Lines at Roosevelt via the street (before they built the transfer tunnel) -- Does anyone use that transfer tunnel now?

Yes, a few hundred people do every weekday morning, its very well utilized. Orange Line trains empty out at Roosevelt with people transferring for travel to points north of the Loop.

I do believe there is a plan to build an elevator connection to the Pedway with the new station at Washington/Wabash. It was certainly discussed before. They have to build elevators anyway for ADA compliance.


I for one though believe it is mistake to eliminate a station on the Wabash side of the Loop. Grant Park/Millennium Park festivals require lots of CTA capacity, I seriously wonder if 2 stations can handle the load of 3. Those stations are packed when the events empty out for the evening.

Rizzo Oct 5, 2013 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 6291878)
Yes, a few hundred people do every weekday morning, its very well utilized. Orange Line trains empty out at Roosevelt with people transferring for travel to points north of the Loop.

I do believe there is a plan to build an elevator connection to the Pedway with the new station at Washington/Wabash. It was certainly discussed before. They have to build elevators anyway for ADA compliance.


I for one though believe it is mistake to eliminate a station on the Wabash side of the Loop. Grant Park/Millennium Park festivals require lots of CTA capacity, I seriously wonder if 2 stations can handle the load of 3. Those stations are packed when the events empty out for the evening.

I would think it would allow more strategic boarding on wider and longer platforms. It would seem unreasonable to me to cram a bunch of people on one train and then have another mass crowd waiting at another station close by that can't board, or is just trying to push on causing delays. Better to manage very large crowds at one big station.

ardecila Oct 6, 2013 12:46 AM

Yeah, I think this will be more efficient. Washington/Wabash has the same kind of long, wide platforms, and exits galore, and it also sees heavy usage (being the closest Brown Line station to West Loop offices).

I like having busy stations that are fairly crowded... it justifies retail concessions inside the station, generous staircases, and a high level of maintenance. It will suck losing the historic Inner Loop stationhouse at Madison/Wabash, though.

CTA Gray Line Oct 6, 2013 4:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 6291878)
Yes, a few hundred people do every weekday morning, its very well utilized. Orange Line trains empty out at Roosevelt with people transferring for travel to points north of the Loop.

I do believe there is a plan to build an elevator connection to the Pedway with the new station at Washington/Wabash. It was certainly discussed before. They have to build elevators anyway for ADA compliance.


I for one though believe it is mistake to eliminate a station on the Wabash side of the Loop. Grant Park/Millennium Park festivals require lots of CTA capacity, I seriously wonder if 2 stations can handle the load of 3. Those stations are packed when the events empty out for the evening.

Somebody please check, and correct me if I'm wrong - but I believe the Northern entrances to the proposed station will be on the SE and SW corners of the Washington/Wabash intersection (600ft from Randolph), unless they build a block-long walkway alongside the tracks -- there is NO WAY to connect it with the Pedway, and that is what I am whining about.

btw - Check out this Tribune article (and my comments): http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/o...,6715609.story Does anyone know if Mayor Emanuel has appointed his Member to the Metra Board yet?

CTA Gray Line Oct 6, 2013 12:17 PM

Constant tension catenary...
 
Does anyone have any idea of the Capital Costs to install Constant Tension Catenary over the Metra Electric District and Kensington & Eastern system?

Everybody knows about the problems with catenary caused by temperature extremes Winter and/or Summer: http://bit.ly/195ZJ1p

This NE Alliance article says about $450M for 24 miles on the NJ Transit: http://bit.ly/pJY6eZ

OhioGuy Oct 7, 2013 8:52 PM

Putzin' along on the 81 westward down Lawrence to the blue line. Oh how I wish the brown line was extended in a subway under Lawrence to Jefferson Park and out to O'Hare. A one seat ride to the airport for the north side of Chicago would be so wonderful compared to this pathetic stop & go every 2 blocks bus ride.

ardecila Oct 8, 2013 7:28 AM

Yeah, we could use a few of these outer links. I'm really hoping the next BRT project after Ashland is on 55th or 63rd. It would be great to get a connection from Hyde Park to Midway, and bring stronger transit service to some areas that are really struggling.

On the North Side, a Peterson or Irving Park BRT would be useful as well.

ardecila Oct 9, 2013 6:24 PM

Quote:

Illiana Corridor proposal fails to win over planning board
By Richard Wronski
Tribune reporters
1:02 p.m. CDT, October 9, 2013


A planning group this morning refused to support plans for a controversial toll road that would run through Will County and into Indiana.

The Illiana Corridor failed in a 10-4 vote to get the backing of the Chicagoland Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

The decisive vote on the proposed $1.3 billion road will be taken Oct. 17 by the Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee.

Ten voted against the proposal, including those from the city of Chicago, Lake County, McHenry County and four of the five Cook County representatives. Supporters represented DuPage, Kane/Kendall and Will counties, as well as the remaining Cook County vote. The proposed 47-mile road would run from Interstate 55 near Wilmington to Interstate 65 near Lowell, Ind.
Lots of political intrigue here. Quinn is supportive because he needs Will County votes, but Emanuel and Preckwinkle have now come out against it and everybody connected to the City or Cook County will vote against it. Hopefully this gets defeated at the final vote next week, just like the equally boneheaded Prairie Parkway before it.

Busy Bee Oct 9, 2013 8:01 PM

While I agree that the Illiana is largely politically driven and will inevitably encourage sprawl, I actually think there is a need for a new E- W roadway. Instead of on the edge of south suburban sprawl I can see an E-W or NE-SW road further downstate being useful for those wanting to avoid driving through the Chicago metro entirely. Just looking at a map a rout from Dwight or even further south Pontiac over to Kankakee over to 65.

This actually reminds me of a wish list interstate I've had since of my days growing up in Peoria and that's a Interstate-ified US-24 from Fort Wayne (or even Toledo) to Peoria (onward through to Quincy and KC, Missouri via IL-336 and US-24), filling a large swath of 2 states with inconvenient non diagonal E-W highway connections.

ardecila Oct 9, 2013 10:23 PM

Well, it's not a terrible idea. I just don't think it needs to be an interstate. Lay out a 4-lane divided highway with intersections at-grade and bypasses of major towns. This is what Ohio and Indiana did to US-24 between Ft. Wayne and Toledo or US-30 between Valpo and Ft. Wayne.

There's also gotta be some cost control. Ohio built its Fort to Port project (the segment between between Napoleon and Waterville) for $8M/mile, to expressway standards, on a greenfield alignment. Illiana is projected to cost at least $27M/mile, even though there are virtually no differences when it comes to terrain, and the economies of scale should make it cheaper than the Ohio project.

The way I see it, with construction costs so absurdly high and no movement to bring them down (higher costs = more jobs, right?) we need to be building only the highest priority things, and Illiana is not that important.

OrdoSeclorum Oct 10, 2013 1:25 PM

It sounds like the Ashland BRT environmental assessment is going to be delayed due to the government shutdown.

On that topic, this Sun Times article... (hyperlink not working): http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhal...r-emanuel.html

...makes is sound like Rahm is backing away from the proposal a bit. Does anyone more familiar with City Hall and CDOT have an idea about the level of support for the Ashland BRT and its prospects? It's a project I really want to see move forward, but I know a lot of cranks ad NIMBYs have been agitating against it.


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