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ardecila Jul 29, 2011 5:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ndrwmls10 (Post 5362353)
I was thinking about something like the streetcar map. Much less, more of a circulator and connector to each neighborhood. I know that it would never happen, but would it be a good idea and would it spur economic development?

A couple of years ago, planners envisioned something similar for Ogden Avenue. Of course, it would basically just duplicate existing service on the Pink Line.

Grand might make more sense as a light-rail line, because it fills in a gap in the rapid-transit network. Unfortunately, it's mainly an industrial corridor, so it's not very dense (the 65 is not particularly well-used).

emathias Jul 29, 2011 2:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5362281)

I'm intrigued by Point of Interest number 39 on that map. Anyone know anything about that?

emathias Jul 29, 2011 2:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5362697)
A couple of years ago, planners envisioned something similar for Ogden Avenue. Of course, it would basically just duplicate existing service on the Pink Line.

Grand might make more sense as a light-rail line, because it fills in a gap in the rapid-transit network. Unfortunately, it's mainly an industrial corridor, so it's not very dense (the 65 is not particularly well-used).

Grand is less than 1/2 mile from Lake Street and Chicago Ave at all points. I think Chicago Ave would make an excellent streetcar route (or BRT). It's a very wide street for much of its length exactly because it used to be a big streetcar route.

The only points where it would have a significant difficulty are crossing the River, where that bridge is too narrow already. That bridge needs to be redone anyway. I would think that the best solution there would be to get the two buildings next to it to make their level adjacent to the sidewalk into an arcade and build the bridge so that it's as wide as the street before and after the bridge. It would make it interesting for pedestrians and improve traffic flow and/or allow a dedicated streetcar/brt lane.

The second point is after Lasalle, and especially after Dearborn, where it narrows significantly and gets all the traffic of the Michigan Ave area. This would be ideal for a cut-and-cover "streetcar subway" that extended from maybe Lasalle turning under Fairbanks until Ohio then returning to the surface for the widened Congress. You could run them on the existing lower Columbus to Monroe and keep them running to the Museum Campus during museum hours or for Soldier Field events. A cut-and-cover subway from Lasalle/Chicago to Fairbanks/Ohio would cost a lot, and be disruptive, and a new bridge at Chicago/theRiver would cost a lot, but otherwise it wouldn't be an expensive way to tie together tourist areas, provide better service to the Ukranian Village area, and eliminate some of the congestion at Michigan/Chicago presently caused by 66/Chicago buses. You could even extend it all the way to McCormick. Running on Columbus, with signal control and a little bit of dedicated ROW, you could keep trip times between the Michigan Ave hotel district and McCormick Place pretty low.

VivaLFuego Jul 29, 2011 2:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5362924)
I'm intrigued by Point of Interest number 39 on that map. Anyone know anything about that?

It was another name for Maxwell St. Later commonly referred to as Jew Street (in high school in the 90s on the south side, classmates of mine still referred to it as Jew Street; the name lasted basically until UIC bulldozed everything to build a Jamba Juice). By 1937 I think the demographic shift to African-American was already well underway, but also remember, "ghetto" took on a much different connotation after World War II, particularly in reference to a concentration of Jews. In 1937 most wouldn't bat an eyelash at a quasi-official designation as such.

emathias Jul 29, 2011 3:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5362281)

Another cool thing about this map are the dotted-line islands that were planned off the coast of Edgewater.

sammyg Jul 29, 2011 3:41 PM

I would be ecstatic if they restored service down Elston or Clybourn.

emathias Jul 29, 2011 10:33 PM

I ran a few back-of-an-envelope numbers for streetcars in Chicago.

A system that run only along the historic boulevards would be about 18 miles long. Let's call it 20 miles.

Portland spent about $12.9 million per track mile, so about $25.8 per route mile (not exactly, since in a few places they're single-tracked, but about). So for Chicago and inflationary purposes and being fairly conservative we could say that surface trolly lines could be built for $35 million a mile. A 20-mile stretch then is $700 million. If Chicago managed to do it for the same price as Portland and kept it to 18 miles, it could be as cheap as $465 million. Portland's pricing includes trams to support 15-minute headways, so Chicago would probably need a bit more so probably somewhere between $500 and $750 million to do it right. The service area for this would be approximately 27 square miles, or about 12% of the land area of the City. The property tax revenues collected in the City proper were around $3.9 billion in 2008. Of that, around $800 million go to the City government. 12% of $3.9 billion is around $468 million, and about $115 million of that would be the City's take. To fund 30-year bonds for a $700 million trolley system would take about $45 million per year (at 5% interest). So, if we were to want to fund that entirely through induced development and real estate valuation improvement, the development and valuation in that 12% of the city would need to increase by about 40% more than the across the board city average does within about 10 year of construction. That makes a lot of assumptions, but that's about what it would take. So we're basically talking about doubling the land value for a big chunk of that area, to make up for places where it doesn't increase by that much.

Is that possible? It's not impossible. But to do that, you'd probably need about 25,000 new housing units, some amount of new industrial and some amount of new commercial development to happen in those corridors. That's hard to do when most of those areas have actually been losing population for quite a while.

It'd be cool to make a real effort toward it, though. Who knows, it might just be possible.

ardecila Jul 30, 2011 12:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sammyg (Post 5363037)
I would be ecstatic if they restored service down Elston or Clybourn.

I can envision a bus route going from Elston at Forest Glen to Belmont, then cutting over to Clybourn. It would continue down Larrabee and Kingsbury, cross the river at Kinzie, then proceed to Union Station.

Unfortunately, it's a little too circuitous to be useful.

Maybe just an Elston-Clybourn bus, crossing the river at Diversey? I don't know where a logical southern terminus is... there's really nothing of interest at Division/Clybourn.

emathias Jul 30, 2011 4:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5363632)
I can envision a bus route going from Elston at Forest Glen to Belmont, then cutting over to Clybourn. It would continue down Larrabee and Kingsbury, cross the river at Kinzie, then proceed to Union Station.

Unfortunately, it's a little too circuitous to be useful.

Maybe just an Elston-Clybourn bus, crossing the river at Diversey? I don't know where a logical southern terminus is... there's really nothing of interest at Division/Clybourn.

Take it across Division to Clark and down to Illinois and over to Navy Pier. Or into the Loop, turning around on Washington to take Dearborn back.

Speaking of bus routes, I can't be the only one who would like to see the 22/Clark extended south to Roosevelt, turning around by Roosevelt/Desplaines, and the 24/Wentworth extended to turn around in front of the Newberry Library. Each of those would add a mile or less to their routes, but would really enhance their usefulness.

orulz Jul 30, 2011 8:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5362950)
...I think Chicago Ave would make an excellent streetcar route (or BRT). It's a very wide street for much of its length exactly because it used to be a big streetcar route.

The only points where it would have a significant difficulty are crossing the River, where that bridge is too narrow already....The second point is after Lasalle, and especially after Dearborn, where it narrows significantly and gets all the traffic of the Michigan Ave area.

How about this - a way to address both of those issues and save a lot of money by leveraging other infrastructure that already exists or is planned. That is, connect a Chicago Ave streetcar / BRT line, to the Carroll Ave Transitway, using the right-of-way of the former C&NW yard that stretches from Chicago & Halsted to the bridge over the river just south of Kinzie. You gain a dedicated, fast right of way, and skip over all of those difficult spots you mention. This route would get closer to the loop but would lose its route through the gold coast and add a 2-block walk for any connection to the red line.

HowardL Jul 31, 2011 1:23 AM

I've always wondered why there is no better connection between the mid-north Lakefront and the O'Hare line. Irving would be ideal. Go much further north and you overshoot O'Hare. Much further south and it's just as easy to go south into the Loop then transfer to the O'Hare line back out.

I'm sure there is some reason, but I wonder every time I go to O'Hare and see all of the people on the Addison/Belmont/Irving bus going to the O'Hare L.

ardecila Jul 31, 2011 2:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HowardL (Post 5364384)
I've always wondered why there is no better connection between the mid-north Lakefront and the O'Hare line. Irving would be ideal. Go much further north and you overshoot O'Hare. Much further south and it's just as easy to go south into the Loop then transfer to the O'Hare line back out.

I'm sure there is some reason, but I wonder every time I go to O'Hare and see all of the people on the Addison/Belmont/Irving bus going to the O'Hare L.

And we've discussed various solutions to that problem, including a Brown Line extension to Jefferson Park and the north segment of the Circle Line. Those are cool ideas but I still tthink the most feasible solution is a pair of DEDICATED bus lanes on Irving Park (it has the roadway width). It would link into existing stations on the Red, Brown, Blue, and UP-NW lines and serve reverse commute traffic as well as airport and Cubs traffic.

Anything more expensive or complex would require years of studies and coordinated political support, so its pretty much a pipe dream.

By contrast, a bus lane could be installed overnight out of the city's existing budget, Meigs Field-style.

emathias Aug 1, 2011 2:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 5364246)
How about this - a way to address both of those issues and save a lot of money by leveraging other infrastructure that already exists or is planned. That is, connect a Chicago Ave streetcar / BRT line, to the Carroll Ave Transitway, using the right-of-way of the former C&NW yard that stretches from Chicago & Halsted to the bridge over the river just south of Kinzie. You gain a dedicated, fast right of way, and skip over all of those difficult spots you mention. This route would get closer to the loop but would lose its route through the gold coast and add a 2-block walk for any connection to the red line.

I don't like this because the point of a Chicago Ave line would be to tie the Ukrainian Village and west areas into the North Michigan Ave area, not to tie them directly to the Loop. There are already excellent services to the Loop. What doesn't exist is excellent service to North Michigan.

The route you propose would be easier, but it would not provide significant improvements over current service. I'd personally rather just not spend any money than spend it doing a half-ass sort of solution. Every time I ride the 66/Chicago bus, it's jam-packed, even as far as Western. Demand is there, and it would only increase if there were a regular streetcar with a streetcar subway under Michigan Ave. Navigating the Red Line would be hard but not impossible and I think the benefit of partially-grade-separated service linking west Chicago Ave, the Blue, Brown and Red lines to the Watertower area is a good one.

As with anything, the primary question is money.

orulz Aug 1, 2011 3:01 PM

Michigan City's South Shore Line alternatives analysis study is underway. To boil it down, the city's hope for this TIGER-funded study is essentially to identify a way to make the northern route work, without costing too much, so the destructive 11th street alternative does not have to be chosen.

These are the alternatives that have been identified so far. 3 or 3a seem to be the best to me: they have the fewest property impacts and involve no expensive bridge construction and no ugly and unnecessary elevated routes through downtown. The only question mark I can see here, is whether crossing over the Amtrak tracks at grade would be too disruptive. If not, then awesome. South Shore already crosses Amtrak at an at-grade diamond, after all.

But in order to have a grade separated crossing for Amtrak, but avoid elevated routes through the center of town and lots of property acquisition, how about this (call it 3B): relocate the Amtrak line in a way so that it can cross the South Shore line on a bridge west of town. There are power lines near there but maybe it could be done. Of course this is all just from looking at Google Maps.

ardecila Aug 1, 2011 8:23 PM

^^ I hate narrow-minded studies too, but that's how the game works.

Your idea sounds good. However, I don't understand the problem with street-running, so long as the segment is limited and well-designed.

My personal preference would be Option 3a, but with the alignment relocated to the center of Michigan Blvd between 6th and 11th Streets. This avoids costly and disruptive property acquisition. The trains could run in a landscaped median to remove the majority of traffic conflicts.

Assuming that street-running is utterly forbidden, though, Option 4 might be better... it will depend on what the costs are. It may end up being less expensive to build a new vertical-lift bridge and route the trains northeast of town (with a new overpass built on Hwy 12). That would remove most of the need for property takings.

orulz Aug 1, 2011 8:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5365746)
^^ I hate narrow-minded studies too, but that's how the game works.

Your idea sounds good. However, I don't understand the problem with street-running, so long as the segment is limited and well-designed.

Street running is not considered because
(1) It's slow
(2) It's expensive to maintain in comparison with dedicated right-of-way, particularly in somewhere as snowy as Michigan City
(3) The kicker, what actually got this project rolling when the South Shore and NICTD have been trying to accomplish this for decades: Federally mandated PTC, which cannot be implemented on a street running corridor.

ardecila Aug 2, 2011 5:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 5365782)
Street running is not considered because
(1) It's slow
(2) It's expensive to maintain in comparison with dedicated right-of-way, particularly in somewhere as snowy as Michigan City
(3) The kicker, what actually got this project rolling when the South Shore and NICTD have been trying to accomplish this for decades: Federally mandated PTC, which cannot be implemented on a street running corridor.

I'm not talking about a street-running corridor per se, I'm talking about an alignment in a new median of the roadway, separated from traffic lanes by a curb. Grade crossings would be limited and gated. The ROW would not be fenced, but I suppose you could screen it with some slender vegetation or Daley-esque wrought iron.

The intersections along Michigan Blvd would be "closed"... converted to right-in right-out access to prevent traffic from crossing the median.

ardecila Aug 2, 2011 5:36 PM

Just a reminder about the Red Line meeting tonight.

Hope some people can make it!

I'm guessing they'll present the findings of the Draft EIS, which means they'll probably have some early design work completed on the alignment (or else they couldn't properly assess the impacts).

Quote:

Open house: August 2, 2011

You’re Invited to Join the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) at an Open House on The Red Line Extension:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
St. John Missionary Baptist Church
211 E. 115th St
Chicago, IL 60628

This location is accessible to people with disabilities and is served by CTA bus routes #34, #111 and #119, and Kensington Station on the Metra Electric District.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is proposing to extend the Red Line from the 95th Street Station to the vicinity of 130th Street, subject to the availability of funding. The proposed 5.3-mile extension would include three new intermediate stops near 103rd, 111th, and 115th streets, as well as a new terminal station in the vicinity of 130th Street. Each new stop would include bus and parking facilities. This project is one part of the Your Red Program to extend and enhance the entire Red Line.

CTA Gray Line Aug 2, 2011 6:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5366580)
Just a reminder about the Red Line meeting tonight.

Hope some people can make it!

I'm guessing they'll present the findings of the Draft EIS, which means they'll probably have some early design work completed on the alignment (or else they couldn't properly assess the impacts).


Please wear some kind of ID so we will know who you are (I will be).

oshkeoto Aug 3, 2011 7:08 AM

For what it's worth, I wrote up a brief reaction to the Red Line extension, and the CTA's other extension plans that have been put on hold here: http://wp.me/phx7y-1F

The upshot is that the Red Line extension is the only one of the three that really makes any sense, if the goal is a car-independent central city.

ardecila Aug 3, 2011 1:48 PM

As far as I can tell, the only "news" at the meeting last night was that CTA now has ~8 million to move forward with the studies of the North Main and the Red extension. I guess before now, they were in a holding pattern and making virtually no progress.

As I mentioned before, there is a cool new branding of the three Red Line projects with neat names and logos. Also, this cool Jules Guerin, Plan of Chicago-like rendering:

http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/4809/redlinem.jpg

CTA Gray Line Aug 3, 2011 3:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5367496)
As far as I can tell, the only "news" at the meeting last night was that CTA now has ~8 million to move forward with the studies of the North Main and the Red extension. I guess before now, they were in a holding pattern and making virtually no progress.

As I mentioned before, there is a cool new branding of the three Red Line projects with neat names and logos. Also, this cool Jules Guerin, Plan of Chicago-like rendering:

http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/4809/redlinem.jpg

When did the South Chicago Branch start running off into Indiana?

emathias Aug 3, 2011 7:08 PM

So are they really going to remove all the stops north of 95th so it can run express straight to the Loop? :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5367496)
As far as I can tell, the only "news" at the meeting last night was that CTA now has ~8 million to move forward with the studies of the North Main and the Red extension. I guess before now, they were in a holding pattern and making virtually no progress.

As I mentioned before, there is a cool new branding of the three Red Line projects with neat names and logos. Also, this cool Jules Guerin, Plan of Chicago-like rendering:

http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/4809/redlinem.jpg


orulz Aug 4, 2011 5:25 PM

Did anyone else notice that the above map shows an extension of the ME South Chicago branch to Whiting? Is that planned?

ardecila Aug 5, 2011 4:46 AM

No, it's just incorrect.

I think they meant to show the Amtrak line and somehow connected it into the ME instead of its real route along the Skyway.

CTA Gray Line Aug 5, 2011 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5369512)
No, it's just incorrect.

I think they meant to show the Amtrak line and somehow connected it into the ME instead of its real route along the Skyway.

All of the other light Blue lines shown are Metra lines (and the South Shore), it doesn't show any (other) Amtrak lines.

I think the diagram was drawn by someone not completely familiar with the systems.

CTA Gray Line Aug 5, 2011 11:53 AM

Metra Board Meeting Friday August 12th
 
Hello all, the next Metra Board Meeting is scheduled for 9am Friday, August
12th, 2011 at Metra Headquarters; 547 W. Jackson Blvd in Downtown Chicago
(SW across from Chicago Union Station).

I will be there to testify as to how when Exec. Dir. Alex Clifford gave his
Presentation recently at the Hearing held by Sen. Sandoval and Rep. Soto
on threatened Metra Fare Increases and Service Cuts, and stated that they
had looked at all possibilities on increasing revenues and reducing costs -
but he left out consideration of some solutions from the community on how
to eliminate some very expensive and wasteful competitive practices, reduce
losses, potentially increase ridership and revenues significantly - and possibly
find a way for Metra for the first time to receive funding from The City of Chicago
for some of Metra's in-city operations.

It would be great if Sen. Sandoval and/or Rep. Soto could attend the Board
Meeting for the Public Comment period at the beginning of the Meeting about 9am,
which would allow them to hear the entire Metra Board addressed about the
CTA Gray Line Proposal, how it would eliminate waste and competition between Metra
and CTA on Chicago's South Side; and for the first time give Metra access to City Funds.

I am working with their Offices to see if they might be able to attend.

They could then later question Metra, and Metra could then explain how
"they AREN'T interested in increasing their revenues in that way".


If any of you can, please attend the Board Meeting and lend your support (or
opposition) to our efforts.

Thanks,

Mike Payne

Nowhereman1280 Aug 5, 2011 2:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5369649)
I think the diagram was drawn by someone not completely familiar with the systems.

Either that or they didn't care if it was 100% accurate since no one will be reading this as a map so they took artistic liberties to make the render more dynamic and simple?

Believe it or not, but 99.99% of people are not urbanophiles like us and would never notice or care that there is a slight inaccuracy in an artist's interpretation.

ardecila Aug 5, 2011 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5369649)
All of the other light Blue lines shown are Metra lines (and the South Shore), it doesn't show any (other) Amtrak lines.

I think the diagram was drawn by someone not completely familiar with the systems.

There aren't any other Amtrak lines within the boundaries of the map. Just the City of New Orleans/Saluki/Illini and the trains to points east.

CTA Gray Line Aug 5, 2011 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5369747)
Either that or they didn't care if it was 100% accurate since no one will be reading this as a map so they took artistic liberties to make the render more dynamic and simple?

Believe it or not, but 99.99% of people are not urbanophiles like us and would never notice or care that there is a slight inaccuracy in an artist's interpretation.


Sadly, you are exactly right.

CTA Gray Line Aug 10, 2011 5:52 AM

Metra Board Meeting this Friday August 12th
 
Metra - Board of Directors Meeting Calender for 2011:

http://metrarail.com/content/dam/met...lendar2011.pdf


If you can, please attend the Metra Board of Directors Meeting this coming Friday - August 12th at 9am;
they are seeking your input on their recently announced Fare Increases and Service Cuts.

I will be there to submit my ideas on ways to change or improve the situation.

le_brew Aug 13, 2011 7:16 PM

A few years back, I had done a study on the re-use of the traffic tunnels which are under the river @ LaSalle/Wash/VanBuren. I had visualized these tunnels refurbished and integrated into a modern subway and lightrail system, costing less than excavation for new tunnels. The experts I consulted with were not too receptive to the idea in that the old tunnels, according to them, were too far deteriorated for any renewal.

Anyhow, here was my concept:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lbrownj...18884934107282

ardecila Aug 14, 2011 6:51 AM

^^ That's crap. Even refurbishment would be cheaper than digging a whole new set of tunnels.

Also, does this look like a lost cause?

Washington St Tunnel
http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/7...progress06.jpg

CTA Gray Line Aug 14, 2011 1:58 PM

Statement to Metra Board of Directors Meeting - August 12, 2011
 
Good Morning Ladies & Gentlemen and Metra Board Members - and Thank You for this opportunity.

My name is Mike Payne, and I am the Author of the CTA Gray Line Project to convert the In-city Metra Electric District services (the South Chicago, Kensington, and Blue Island routes - and a new Hegewisch Shuttle), to a Regional integrated CTA 'L' operation.


When Exec. Dir. Clifford testified recently at Sen. Sandoval & Rep. Soto's Hearing on Fare Increases and Service Cuts, he stated that Metra had researched many options to avoid those cuts or increases.

I have addressed Metra's, CTA & RTA's Boards many times on how the Gray Line would reduce both Agencies Operating Costs by Millions; and create a Huge Increase in Ridership and Revenues.

In their present Operating Format, Metra's Electric District and CTA compete with each other directly - wasting Millions in Fuel, Labor, Power Consumption, and Repairs & Maintenance; like two Wal-Marts right across the street from each other.


I have communicated with Sen. Sandoval's and Rep. Soto's Offices in relation to both Agencies Operating Costs and Major Capital Project Local Funding; and to see if they could find a way to influence Metra and CTA to work towards more Regional Goals, both for their own benefits - and to benefit the People of NE Illinois.

CTA and Metra have many paid Lobbyists in Washington and Springfield seeking funding to implement their Major Capital Projects; I am seeking $200 Million in Capital Funds for a Chicago Area Major Capital Project that would create Thousands of New Jobs and stimulate Economic Development, and I am working more-or-less all by myself.


Next Month, The Regional Transportation Authority and the Chicago Department of Transportation will tentatively hold the second "South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study" Public Meeting - part of which studies the Gray Line proposal.

I would like to invite you Exec. Dir. Clifford - and CTA President Claypool to attend, once a date is set for the Meeting.

Since I harass both Agencies Board Secretaries regularly - Ms. Murphy here at Metra, and Greg Longhini at CTA - they will know immediately when that information is available.

Google Search: CTA Gray Line for detailed information about the Proposal, the Lakefront Corridor Study, and contact information.


Thank you all for your time - and Good Day.

M II A II R II K Aug 14, 2011 8:21 PM

Chicago drafts first-ever master plan for pedestrians


08.12.2011

Read More: http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5594

Quote:

Throughout the summer in Chicago, planners have canvassed residents for ideas big and small about what works—and what doesn't—for walkers ambling their way through neighborhoods across the city. The feedback, be it about a corner that floods over following every downpour or fundamental safety concerns walkers face in communities struggling with crime, will inform the Chicago Pedestrian Plan.

- The plan will establish specific goals on safety, pushing for an end to auto-pedestrian fatalities in 10 years, and reduce walker injuries by vehicles by 50 percent every five years. Thirty-four people were killed and 3,130 injured in pedestrian-related crashes in 2009. Both numbers are down from 2005, though the numbers do not trend consistently lower. More people were injured in walker-vehicle wrecks in '08 than '05, for example. The document also is meant to serve as a tool for neighborhood organizations seeking ways to improve local streets and will help set priorities for spending public dollars.

- Kiersten Grove, the Chicago Department of Transportation's pedestrian safety coordinator, said the plan will fit into ongoing departmental efforts to add countdown timers at all city crosswalks, deploy more "leading pedestrian intervals," where a walker gets permission to cross a street while turning vehicles stay behind a red light, and roll out road diets, which see full lanes of traffic removed from the roadway.

- The varied walking experience in different Chicago neighborhoods poses challenges for planners creating a citywide document. "We don't have the same issues across the city," de la Vergne acknowledged. "In Jefferson Park, they have tons of infrastructure issues. Talking in Little Village, we heard lots of issues about crime."

.....



http://archpaper.com/uploads/image/c...dewalks_01.jpg

CTA Gray Line Aug 15, 2011 1:58 PM

Chicago Budget 2012 - Gray Line Idea Submission
 
http://citybudget2012.ideascale.com/...de/31436-15048

emathias Aug 16, 2011 4:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5378538)
^^ That's crap. Even refurbishment would be cheaper than digging a whole new set of tunnels.

Also, does this look like a lost cause?

Washington St Tunnel
*img edited*

Speaking of the trolley tunnels, Harpers had some interesting illustrations of the LaSalle Street portals from 1890.

I couldn't find other sources, but there are some for sale on eBay (I'm not selling them, and I'm not suggesting you buy them, I'm just pointing out the cool illustrations in the listings):

South Portal

North Portal

Rizzo Aug 16, 2011 4:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 5378837)
Chicago drafts first-ever master plan for pedestrians


08.12.2011

Read More: http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5594






http://archpaper.com/uploads/image/c...dewalks_01.jpg



Road diets sound good. I'm in favor of narrowing Michigan Avenue to just 4 lanes with only busses and trolleys......
---Runs and hides---

ardecila Aug 16, 2011 7:34 AM

Michigan Avenue is fine. North Avenue in the Clybourn area is not.

ardecila Aug 17, 2011 6:13 AM

Quote:

Plan paves way for bus rapid transit system
CTA, Metropolitan Planning Council envision high-speed bus travel around Chicago


http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/5388/64029385.jpg


Interesting. My main issue is that the MPC's proposal is based on the availability of roadspace, so you end up with a ton of BRT on the Southwest Side with relatively little in the dense areas where people might actually realize decent time savings from BRT strategies.

Little thought seems to be given to the possibility of working around CTA's existing plans. For example, the Halsted BRT seems like a huge waste of money when the Red Line Extension will run only 1/2 mile away. Also, the Garfield BRT starts and ends at odd points. It would be a great way to quickly connect the Hyde Park area with Midway Airport (functionally like New York's M60 bus), but it doesn't run to either of those places.

I've maintained that Irving Park is a good candidate for BRT or LRT because of its roadspace (it was ambitiously widened in the 1920s) but also because it has numerous connections to existing rail lines, it runs through dense, economically vibrant areas, and it serves the significant seasonal traffic to Cubs games. The MPC's Irving Park proposal not only does not connect to the high-density lakefront and Wrigleyville, but it doesn't even connect to the Red Line. Unless, of course, they're envisioning the rapid buses on Irving Park continuing on to the lakefront in mixed traffic.

Besides, the jury's still out on whether Emanuel is willing to take the heat for converting auto lanes or parking lanes into full-time bus lanes. The mayor's spokesman, and Claypool, aren't really saying anything.

CTA Gray Line Aug 17, 2011 6:27 AM

10 proposed CTA bus rapid transit routes
 
The Metropolitan Planning Council has developed a plan to bring bus rapid transit to Chicago:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...612559.graphic

MayorOfChicago Aug 17, 2011 2:19 PM

http://chicago.everyblock.com/announ...forms-4186225/


Looks like people are finally starting to pay attention to the fact the platforms on the Brown Line are completely falling apart just a few short years after they were finished. I'd noticed them replacing disintegrating boards at Sedgwick the summer after it was completed, and now it appears the stations that were the first ones done are now the ones where people are already putting their feet through the boards and they're all starting to split at once.

Good work CTA! God forbid we use strong wood and SEAL it against the weather.

sukwoo Aug 17, 2011 4:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5381427)
The Metropolitan Planning Council has developed a plan to bring bus rapid transit to Chicago:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...612559.graphic

Does it really cost 13.3 million per mile for BRT?

emathias Aug 17, 2011 9:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sukwoo (Post 5381765)
Does it really cost 13.3 million per mile for BRT?

Portland paid about $26 million a mile for small streetcars. I think $13 million a mile for buses in physically separated lanes seems reasonable.

Beta_Magellan Aug 17, 2011 10:48 PM

IIRC, it’s roughly what Eugene paid for their system, which mostly one-way tracks in a grassy median with passing areas at stops. Cleveland’s BRT was more expensive—I think it was around $30 million per mile, but it also included a full do-over of their streetscape. $13 million per mile in Chicago sounds like a pretty good deal to me, though only if they include physically-separated lanes.

I haven’t read it yet, but the full report is downloadable here.

OhioGuy Aug 18, 2011 1:57 AM

If you have physically separated lanes, will they be wide enough for snow plow trucks to push snow far enough out of the way that it won't pile up on the side and prevent the buses from being able to travel in the lane?

manrush Aug 18, 2011 4:32 AM

Some of the renders in the pdf look weird. For example, what's up with the buses running on the left?

Some of the bus routes look pretty ambitious, for US-style BRT anyway.

ardecila Aug 18, 2011 5:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 5382339)
If you have physically separated lanes, will they be wide enough for snow plow trucks to push snow far enough out of the way that it won't pile up on the side and prevent the buses from being able to travel in the lane?

Snow removal and drainage is definitely a concern with any of these proposals (most established BRT systems have so far been in climates without a lot of snow).

I'm guessing that instead of a low curb, they could just paint a solid yellow line and then mill rumble strips into the road surface. That combined with a solid color fill in the bus lane should be enough to keep motorists out. They could also use the removable plastic bollards like the Kinzie cycle track has, although those would need to be removed before any plowing.

Nowhereman1280 Aug 18, 2011 2:21 PM

The actual solution will probably be much simpler: A bus is no skinnier than a snowplow so they'll just run normal snowplows (probably using the side street blades, not the LSD/arterial blades) down the bus lane and keep it clear like that. This isn't exactly rocket science, the city clears one-lane stretches of side street all the time that are often even skinnier than the bus lanes would likely have to be to allow the buses some wiggle room.

Haworthia Aug 18, 2011 2:34 PM

^^^ I was recently in Toronto. They have some lanes that are dedicated to street cars and buses. They get their fair share of snow and they seem to run their system just fine. I don't see any practical (i.e. not political) reason why this can't be done here.


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