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denizen467 May 7, 2010 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4829124)
The cost would probably be enormous, though - as a low-level subway, relocating utilities would be an incredible pain in the ass. A regular deep subway requires you to relocate utilities only in station zones, but this would require complete relocation along the entire length of Monroe from Clinton to Columbus.

Hasn't Monroe Street been developed over the years with very minimal utilities underneath it, for the very purpose of a future transitway?

10023 May 7, 2010 3:27 PM

Whoa.

Quote:

Metra Phil Pagano killed in suicide: report

By: Greg Hinz May 07, 2010

(Crain's) — The longtime chief of Metra apparently committed suicide Friday morning, just as his employer was expected to fire him for financial irregularities.

Metra abruptly canceled its board meeting Friday morning and officials did not explain why.

A report on the Web site of the Northwest Herald newspaper cited sources who said Mr. Pagano apparently walked in front of a Metra train in Crystal Lake this morning.
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...?id=38143&ba=1

k1052 May 7, 2010 3:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4829283)
Hasn't Monroe Street been developed over the years with very minimal utilities underneath it, for the very purpose of a future transitway?

That's the story anyway but they never actually know what will turn up once they start moving dirt.

VivaLFuego May 7, 2010 3:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4829124)
Of course people would use it. It would be extraordinarily popular. The cost would probably be enormous, though - as a low-level subway, relocating utilities would be an incredible pain in the ass. A regular deep subway requires you to relocate utilities only in station zones, but this would require complete relocation along the entire length of Monroe from Clinton to Columbus. You'd also have to carve out a new river tunnel, since there isn't an old one at Monroe, and said tunnel would also have to go beneath the tracks at Union Station. You might be able to get away with an at-grade intersection with Lower Wacker, but that might cause safety concerns.

The 1990s iteration of the distributor plan (the "circulator") used street-running light rail -- I forget if the final routing was down Monroe or Madison, but I'm pretty sure it was Madison -- which could operate fairly quickly and efficiently if coupled with intelligent traffic signal systems. Much more affordable than subway construction, but still not cheap, as obviously there'd still be the issue of the river; I seem to remember a figure in the $700 million range, which would put the present day cost at around double.

In the meantime, we can think about what might have been, circa 1965....
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...tor_Subway.jpg

EDIT: the cross-loop routing was down Madison, with the north/south artery being State Street; north of the river, the line extended north along Wabash, and there was the Carroll Ave component that then continued along Grand/Illinois to Navy Pier. Lines extended along lower Randolph and Columbus to service Illinois Center, and to the south, the line turned from State to Roosevelt, then south along Indiana to serve McCormick Place. The yard was to be at the end of a southward extension of the Canal/Clinton route, located a bit south of Roosevelt. Along with the LRT routes, there were a few planned complimentary bus routes to fill in holes in the distribution capability of the LRT, such as a bus circulator to northern Streeterville. Total capital cost was $689 million in 1994. The plan completed alternatives analysis and final EIS, being at the preliminary engineering stage before being killed.

schwerve May 7, 2010 5:02 PM

all of this has essentially remained intact in the long term city planning for 60 years, of course its just shifted from heavy rail (1960s) -> light rail (1990s)-> BRT (currently).

OrdoSeclorum May 7, 2010 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 4824719)
We have accepted a level of inertia that is appalling to me. It seems that Chicago has a mayor who seeks to appease unions and is uninterested in rail transit. Or maybe there has been too much depopulation in the outlying neighborhoods to justify expansion. Or perhaps we have invested in other areas like school buildings and tiff's for high rises. I don't know, but as a transit fan the current state of affairs at the CTA is troubling and depressing.

I am always happy to see new transit service and would like to see more. I'd love to see a circle line and Clinton subway.

That being said, transit isn't a contest where the city with the most lines wins. I feel that way sometimes, but it's an emotional response due to my chauvinistic feelings for my city. Transit is about quality of life for it's residents and making cities work. If we want to make our city work better via transit, building a bunch of new rail lines probably isn't the first thing on our list. It's making transit work better in the areas that already have good rail service. We should encourage denser development and discourage car use near rail stops on the Blue, Pink and Green lines and try to make transit more attractive to people who already have access to it. We should build dedicated bike lanes separated from traffic. We should build high-quality BRT/streetcars going North-South on the West side of the city and East-West on the North and South sides of the city.

Here are my personal development priorities: 1) Any transit solutions that makes getting around the central area easier, this makes taking transit to the central area more attractive and the whole system benefits. 2) Increased development density and improved transit quality along the existing system. 3) Low-cost, high impact improvements like BRT (*good* BRT) and attractive, safe bike lanes. 4) Circle Line and a South Lake Shore line.

Nowhereman1280 May 8, 2010 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4829282)
Someone tore down Italian Village and built a new tower. Maybe this is the mystery tower that Pandemonius teased us about once upon a time...

What? Thats looking to the East from Chase Plaza. That is Inland Steel building with the green and silver.

ardecila May 8, 2010 4:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4830379)
What? Thats looking to the East from Chase Plaza. That is Inland Steel building with the green and silver.

Inland Steel is in the background. The building on the right side, in front of the Xerox Center, is a modern glassy tower on the site of Italian Village.

denizen467 May 8, 2010 4:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4830379)
What? Thats looking to the East from Chase Plaza. That is Inland Steel building with the green and silver.

Yes, and then Xerox is to Inland's right (catercorner), and Italian Village, just west of Xerox, is gone (as is the whole corner lot, with the weather bell thing).
Its replacement reminds me of Harris Bank, but that's further west, so I still wish Pandemonius would let us in on his mystery.

Nowhereman1280 May 8, 2010 3:23 PM

Oh I see what you are talking about...

spyguy May 8, 2010 7:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4830692)
(as is the whole corner lot, with the weather bell thing).
Its replacement reminds me of Harris Bank, but that's further west, so I still wish Pandemonius would let us in on his mystery.

Didn't the city say it wanted to buy the Bell Federal Building? So it might not matter...

Taft May 12, 2010 7:21 PM

More El "Garden Car" information from the the guy pushing the project:

http://chicagoist.com/2010/05/12/chi...ldwin_an_1.php

Quote:

Chicagoist: So what’s the update with the mobile garden?

Joe Baldwin: CTA’s approved with conditions.

C: For when?

JB: We’d like to launch it next spring. We have to get it paid for, insured (as part of the budget), and indemnified for legal risk. It's not a CTA project nor is any part of it being paid for by the CTA - that's typically the first misinformation to come up or be misread. The budget is close to $200,000 but I’m in Chicago so I’m doubling that. I know things will go over and I’d rather plan for it than have to wait another year. Our fundraising goal is closer to $400,000.

...

C: So what’s next?

JB: My next step is to get face time with companies and foundations and institutes to get the leverage to start getting the funds together, to work on a main corporate sponsor. I’m working with Pivotal Productions for a side event for the project I want to do called Take A Plant to Work Day. We’re gonna try to get a local grower to donate 10,000 plants and on the outer stops of the L and on the Metra, maybe even out in the suburbs, pass out a couple hundred plants per stop and then find a vacant space downtown close to a main exit point. People can leave the plants there or take them home or whatever. Some of the parts are still in the air but that’s one of the projects that will fold back into the campaign to get people interested in supporting the mobile garden. It’s experiential marketing. The point is to get people on board with the idea. Because tons of people love the idea but it’s one of those bipolar issues with art and nature: people love it but nobody supports it.

lawfin May 13, 2010 5:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taft (Post 4836552)
More El "Garden Car" information from the the guy pushing the project:

http://chicagoist.com/2010/05/12/chi...ldwin_an_1.php

This is just a plain bone-headed idea on several levels

Ch.G, Ch.G May 13, 2010 9:53 AM

^ It really, really is. I love installation art... when it's intelligent and well thought out. But this? Oy. The experience-- the artist writes that he wants it to "stop traffic"-- relies heavily on visual punch. But it appears the CTA is requiring that the car be covered, which sounds to me like it would make the whole thing DOA. Even if it weren't covered, plants take time to grow into their "container"/space. Maybe they would pack it full of mature specimens? Even then, I have a hard time imaging the garden would turn out as robust as it is in the renderings. The artist writes that he wants to use native plants and I can't help but think the end result may just appear to the average CTA user as a railroad car filled with dirts and weeds when it could otherwise be serving the real need for greater capacity.

Still, if it could be done on the cheap (and it does sound like an inexpensive project), sure-- give it a shot. But the artist is setting $400,000 as his fundraising goal. Wait-- what? Four hundred thousand? Really? How much did the Burnham pavilions cost? Shouldn't that amount lead to something, well... better?

And then there's the substantive question: What's the point? Is it supposed to be ironic because plants are sedentary? Is it some kind of environmentalist commentary? I don't see any hint of in-depth analysis in his interview; the guy actually sounds kind of vapid.

schwerve May 14, 2010 12:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 4837483)
This is just a plain bone-headed idea on several levels

if he wants to raise the money on his own to pay for it, he can have whatever he wants piggybacked on the end of an El train for all I care.

ardecila May 14, 2010 6:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 4837638)
Wait-- what? Four hundred thousand? Really? How much did the Burnham pavilions cost? Shouldn't that amount lead to something, well... better?

IIRC, the Burnham pavilions were $5 million apiece. $400,000 isn't too much for an installation that has to withstand 55-mph travel.

ardecila May 21, 2010 7:05 AM

Skokie Swift Oakton Station at last
 
It look long enough...

Quote:

Skokie Swift station groundbreaking set for June
May 17, 2010
By MIKE ISAACS


http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/1...stationren.jpg

The village next month will finally break ground and begin the construction phase of the new downtown Skokie Swift project, which is expected to conclude in the fall of next year.

A groundbreaking ceremony has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. June 21 near Oakton Street and Skokie Boulevard where the station will be built. Construction on the long-awaited downtown station will be on-going for the next 15 to 20 months, officials say.

In the fall of 2011, another ceremony is likely to take place when the station is completed, officials sad.

Village trustees earlier this month approved three mandatory agreements -- one with ComEd and two with the CTA -- that clear the way for the project to move forward.

Officials had expected construction of the Skokie Swift station to begin last fall, but a delay in receiving federal grant money pushed the schedule back.

The process was also slowed down because the federal grant had to be processed through the Illinois Department of Transportation and did not come directly to the village.
As usual, it's IDOT's fault.

Ch.G, Ch.G May 21, 2010 6:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4839177)
IIRC, the Burnham pavilions were $5 million apiece. $400,000 isn't too much for an installation that has to withstand 55-mph travel.

Really? I thought they were 500k. Anyway, I don't think they're fabricating a car from the ground up but salvaging one. So, yes, 400k is too much, especially for the initial concept.

SkokieSwift May 21, 2010 9:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4848236)
It look long enough...



As usual, it's IDOT's fault.

Ardecila, thanks for posting. When I was in town last week visiting my old stomping grounds, I was disappointed to see construction had yet to commence. I know a lot of anti-suburban forumers think this station is a waste of resources, but between downtown Skokie to the west and the relatively dense neighborhoods (where I grew up) around Oakton Park to the east, this station has a lot of potential to help revitalize the area. It will shave 20 minutes or so off the current bus commutes from downtown Skokie to the Howard station.

On a semi-related note, when I took the Skokie Swift last week, I clocked the trip from Dempster to Howard @ 7 minutes! There used to be some slow zones around downtown Skokie, but the train seemed to fly the entire way except on the Howard approach. At this speed, a commuter could potentially get from Oakton to Howard in 5-6 minutes!

OhioGuy May 21, 2010 11:55 PM

Good news on the Oakton station! Hopefully it will attract news businesses, shops, & restaurants to downtown Skokie in the future.


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