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

emathias Jul 29, 2008 4:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3700356)
I'm not sure I understand. Both the Green and Blue Lines (especially Green) are actually really fast between downtown and Oak Park, some of the most problem-free track in the city. The Green Line takes 20-25 minutes!

No "L" or subway style line will ever compete with a smoothly-flowing expressway. It's not possible for a train that tops out at even 70mph, but only between widely-spaced stops to beat a car going 70mph with no stops. Then when you count the walk from the Loop to Streeterville, it's a no-brainer that driving from Oak Park to Streeterville in all but the worst traffic congestion is going to be faster, when they can just drive to Congress, take Wacker to Columbus and be right where they need to be.

Nowhereman1280 Jul 29, 2008 6:34 PM

^^^ You have to remember what happens after you get downtown, I regularly spend 15 minutes just trying to find parking alone, not considering the costs of said parking.

Haworthia Jul 29, 2008 6:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3701659)
^^^ You have to remember what happens after you get downtown, I regularly spend 15 minutes just trying to find parking alone, not considering the costs of said parking.

I forget to take that into account. We have a subsidized spot in Streeterville (~$400 a year!) so parking isn't an issue for us. If we didn't have that spot, we would most certainly take the train for probably 95+% of trips.

the urban politician Jul 31, 2008 1:48 AM

Amtrak's future in Illinois: a commentary
 
Hinz: Trek to the future — Amtrak's time has come
By: Greg Hinz July 30, 2008
(Crain’s) — A funny thing is happening on the trains between Chicago and Springfield: They’re running out of seats.

The Amtrak route still requires 3¼ to 3¾ hours of your time — when it’s on schedule, that is — the equipment is ancient, the food awful and the seating often filled to capacity, but ridership on the route was up 67% last year. It’s risen another 15% this year, along with the price of gas.

Now imagine what would happen if they put a little more money into new trains, tracks and signals, enough to cut the travel time to Springfield to 2½ hours, and to St. Louis to just four hours — faster than driving.

Some of the brighter lights in local government are beginning to dream that dream. And some of those dreams may be coming true.

aaron38 Jul 31, 2008 2:03 AM

Good article. Let's hope Sen. Durbin can pull it off, maybe with an assist from Obama....

emathias Jul 31, 2008 4:02 AM

I went to Chinatown from the Loop tonight on the Red Line, and it went very smoothly - very nice. But that's not what I'm posting about.

Just south of the portal into the subway between Roosevelt and Cermak, there are work crews on the east side of the tracks. Both ways, it really looked to me like they'd built some sort of rail connector to the CTA tracks. On the way there, I thought so, so on the way back I watched more closely and it still looked that way to me.

The only other rails around there are freight and Metra, so I'm not sure why there'd be connections, though.

This image on Google Maps is the area I'm talking about. I think the images are from a year ago, so they don't show any rails, but they clearly show some sort of prep work.

Anyone know if I'm mistaken or, if not, what the heck is being done there?

k1052 Jul 31, 2008 2:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3705251)
I went to Chinatown from the Loop tonight on the Red Line, and it went very smoothly - very nice. But that's not what I'm posting about.

Just south of the portal into the subway between Roosevelt and Cermak, there are work crews on the east side of the tracks. Both ways, it really looked to me like they'd built some sort of rail connector to the CTA tracks. On the way there, I thought so, so on the way back I watched more closely and it still looked that way to me.

The only other rails around there are freight and Metra, so I'm not sure why there'd be connections, though.

This image on Google Maps is the area I'm talking about. I think the images are from a year ago, so they don't show any rails, but they clearly show some sort of prep work.

Anyone know if I'm mistaken or, if not, what the heck is being done there?

I saw that last week. It looked like they had built a short spur where they were staging equipment and materials for the work in the subway.

emathias Jul 31, 2008 3:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 3705751)
I saw that last week. It looked like they had built a short spur where they were staging equipment and materials for the work in the subway.

Ahh, that makes sense.

emathias Jul 31, 2008 3:38 PM

BTW, the CTA has resumed with the ridership reports, now in a unified bus/rail report.

CTA Ridership Reports

Chicago3rd Aug 2, 2008 2:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3701334)
No "L" or subway style line will ever compete with a smoothly-flowing expressway. It's not possible for a train that tops out at even 70mph, but only between widely-spaced stops to beat a car going 70mph with no stops. Then when you count the walk from the Loop to Streeterville, it's a no-brainer that driving from Oak Park to Streeterville in all but the worst traffic congestion is going to be faster, when they can just drive to Congress, take Wacker to Columbus and be right where they need to be.

So how would you propose we have "smoothly-flowing expressways"? I know this doesn't happen much in the freeways/tollways around Chicago.

honte Aug 2, 2008 6:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SolarWind (Post 3710454)

Solarwind's great photo reminds me of something that's been on my mind for a while:

Does anyone know what the little off-ramp "stub" off of Lake Shore Drive was planned or used for? (It's not in the photo but it exists directly west of the curving off-ramp. You can see it very well on foot from underneath the LSD bridge.) Thanks - I've always wondered what this was about.

SuburbanNation Aug 3, 2008 3:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3710313)
So how would you propose we have "smoothly-flowing expressways"? I know this doesn't happen much in the freeways/tollways around Chicago.

I'd estimate around 2-3 times as much freeway capacity as downtown Chicago is currently serviced by, just going by St. Louis, which to my horror built its way out of congestion with 4 freeways rammed through victorian neighborhoods from downtown (Mark Twain Expressway, Daniel Boone Expressway, Ozark Expressway, and I-55).

LA21st Aug 3, 2008 4:08 PM

Took the Green Line to Harlem/Lake last week (Oak Park Hospital visit) and was kind of suprised. I didnt see bombed out hoods as described on these forums. Maybe I was expecting something worse, but it didnt look that bad. The housing stock is aging and some areas are in decay, but that potential is vast. I didnt realize there were so many old brick wharehouses that are in the 5-7 story range west of Ashland. This looks like a future West Loop/Fulton Market neighborhood.

honte Aug 3, 2008 4:57 PM

^ Yep, nearly endless potential on the West Side. And a lot of improvement happening too.

Abner Aug 3, 2008 5:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st (Post 3711766)
Took the Green Line to Harlem/Lake last week (Oak Park Hospital visit) and was kind of suprised. I didnt see bombed out hoods as described on these forums. Maybe I was expecting something worse, but it didnt look that bad. The housing stock is aging and some areas are in decay, but that potential is vast. I didnt realize there were so many old brick wharehouses that are in the 5-7 story range west of Ashland. This looks like a future West Loop/Fulton Market neighborhood.

Looks can be deceiving. Ashland and Lake used to be real tough but gentrification has spread out to there. East Garfield Park has been on people's lists of "neighborhoods to watch" for the last decade, but redevelopment really hasn't taken off there yet. Most of Austin, though, is still one of the worst-off neighborhoods in the city, even though its architecture is very nice and it doesn't have as many vacant lots as, say, North Kenwood. If you doubt the West Side is that bad, just take the Green Line late at night--it's a huge problem area for crime on the CTA.

honte Aug 3, 2008 5:21 PM

^ This is getting off-topic.... but, while I agree with you, Austin has seen a lot of investment too. There are many people there trying to make it better. Oak Park is a major stabilizing factor, obviously.

I would probably say that West Garfield Park is the worst section.

LA21st Aug 3, 2008 5:30 PM

Ah. I went to OP in the morning and came back downtown around 3 on a Friday. I know crime is a problem, but I just expected a complete shit hole "bombed out" area from Ashland all the way to OP. Didnt really see it, even if the area isnt exactly safe. What I like about is its gritty urban scenery pretty much the whole length.
In other parts of the city, a suburban feel takes hold near the city limits (North, Southwest, Northwest) but not the westside. I thought that was awesome. Oak Park doesnt really have a suburban feel, as least not near Metra/CTA.

You have to wonder with Metra following the CTA route, how much potential this area really as. Metra can build new stations right next to existing CTA stations, as Oak Park does, possibly creating massive TODs. That being said, I dont see this happening until these areas become (or appear) safer for new Chicago residents coming from other hoods or the burbs.

OhioGuy Aug 3, 2008 5:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st (Post 3711766)
Took the Green Line to Harlem/Lake last week (Oak Park Hospital visit) and was kind of suprised. I didnt see bombed out hoods as described on these forums. Maybe I was expecting something worse, but it didnt look that bad. The housing stock is aging and some areas are in decay, but that potential is vast. I didnt realize there were so many old brick wharehouses that are in the 5-7 story range west of Ashland. This looks like a future West Loop/Fulton Market neighborhood.

Have people been describing that part of the green line as bombed out? It's the areas along the southern portion of the green line that are more problematic than the western portion. That's why I've voiced my concern on several occasions about the Olympic Stadium proposal for Washington Park. Olympic spectators won't have the best image of our city when they're riding the green line between downtown and the Garfield exit. It's probably too much to hope for rapid development in that area within the next 8 years.

jjk1103 Aug 4, 2008 12:01 AM

.......I rode the Ravenswood all the way from the Loop to Kimball today (Sunday).....it was REALLY GOOD !!!! ........no slow zones and 25 minutes from the M Mart to Kimball !

VivaLFuego Aug 4, 2008 1:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 3711879)
Have people been describing that part of the green line as bombed out? It's the areas along the southern portion of the green line that are more problematic than the western portion. That's why I've voiced my concern on several occasions about the Olympic Stadium proposal for Washington Park. Olympic spectators won't have the best image of our city when they're riding the green line between downtown and the Garfield exit. It's probably too much to hope for rapid development in that area within the next 8 years.

Right. But most of the people on the bid committee and hizzoner haven't actually ridden the transit system they are hyping up in the bid book, which is why there was basically no apparent coordination between the venue plan and the transportation plan. Unfortunately, to most of our elite transit is still somewhat of a niche or novelty (maybe the kids who moved to the north side take it to work, just like grandpa used to). But hey, if the Olympic bid is what it takes the city elite to take transit seriously, I'm all for it. Maybe the mayor will actually ride some of the system downtown and be taken aback at how atrocious many of the station facilities are compared to any peer city. Or, see how difficult intermodal transfers are. Maybe.


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