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

nomarandlee Nov 26, 2008 5:42 AM

I alluded to this over in SSC. With the new HOV/HOT lanes does anyone think there will or should be required to be point to point suburb-loop buses as part of the program? Burb to Downtown buses make much more sense with new HOV express lanes as opposed to now where such buses provide no time savings. I remember when I first visited NYC back in the mid-90's and they had nice charter buses from the Meadowlands NJ (though they didn't have dedicated lanes at the time) that seemed to work rather well. There could also be a few drop off points downtown instead of just the West Loop like Metra. Given that there seems to be a capacity crunch on at least some Metra routes it could help as a viable alternative to driving.

VivaLFuego Nov 26, 2008 6:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 3935626)
I alluded to this over in SSC. With the new HOV/HOT lanes does anyone think there will or should be required to be point to point suburb-loop buses as part of the program? Burb to Downtown buses make much more sense with new HOV express lanes as opposed to now where such buses provide no time savings. I remember when I first visited NYC back in the mid-90's and they had nice charter buses from the Meadowlands NJ (though they didn't have dedicated lanes at the time) that seemed to work rather well. There could also be a few drop off points downtown instead of just the West Loop like Metra. Given that there seems to be a capacity crunch on at least some Metra routes it could help as a viable alternative to driving.

Running buses downtown presents two main problems:

1. the HOT lanes end where the tollway ends (with possible exception of the eventual I-290 widening from Oak Park to Mannheim, with the added lane being HOV/HOT). In short, where the travel time savings would be most needed - the congested urban expressways leading downtown - the buses would have no priority or benefit.

2. Potential to cannibalize ridership of existing commuter and rapid rail services.

I think the more likely scenario resulting from HOT lanes would be some sort of hybrid BRT/Express Bus distribution system to connect to CTA rail terminals, specifically with Rosemont feeding to the I-90 corridor northwest and I-294 north, and Forest Park feeding to I-88 west.

Generally, the only corridors that are strong candidates for enhanced express suburb->downtown commuter service (I-55, southeast suburbs, NW Indiana) don't involve the tollway system and might yet see enhanced commuter rail service.

lawfin Nov 26, 2008 7:23 AM

JUst out of curiosity what are the compartative cost say per mile for a 1. subway in a city in chicago, 2. an elevated line similiar to what we have 3. an elevated line that instead uses a monorail or other light rail solution, and 4. an at grade light rail solution

I you know please post with sources preferably

electricron Nov 27, 2008 5:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 3935743)
JUst out of curiosity what are the compartative cost say per mile for a 1. subway in a city in chicago, 2. an elevated line similiar to what we have 3. an elevated line that instead uses a monorail or other light rail solution, and 4. an at grade light rail solution

I you know please post with sources preferably

Costs vary depending upon geographical conditions. As a general rule of thumb, light weight modern streetcars are the cheapest solution, just lay tracks in existing streets. Most streets have sufficient bases to carry their weight, so little street reconstruction is required. Next in line in costs, at more than twice streetcar costs, as a minimum, are rapid light rail trains. Since they are heavier, the streets will need stronger road beds to support the light rail trains, and much longer construction schedules including the street modifications, which is the main reason why they are more expensive. Light rail trains are very flexible, capable of street running, elevated above and depressed under. Elevated is twice as expensive as running at grade. Subways are twice as expensive as elevated tracks.

Modern elevated monorails and elevated light rail trains have approximately the same capital costs. Monorail switches (turnouts) are much larger in size that conventional rail base turnouts, which is their main disadvantage. Monorail cars are usually smaller in size than light rail cars, and carry less passengers. Monorails are very popular with the public until they see the huge stations 30 feet above city streets. The public dreams a Disneyland experience, but forget Disney places stations within buildings. The monorail station is usually contained within a building's lobby. It works at Disney because the buildings and monorail were designed and built at the same time, which an existing city can't do everywhere along the line.

All elevated tracks block sunlight, it doesn't matter if it's light rail or monorail, which is another sore point with the public. Grade separate tracks should only be considered in very dense areas with high traffic congestion. Once the tracks leave downtown and uptown areas, it's far cheaper to build the rest of the line at grade. Monorails must always be grade separated. Another advantage for light rail trains, which aren't limited.

The cheapest solution by far is commuter rail, which you forgot to list. Using the existing freight railroad right of ways really saves a whole lot of capital.

lawfin Nov 27, 2008 10:16 AM

^^^Thank you, I was wondering thought about the $ price per mile.

Also in Chicago what would be the political possibility of increasing allowable density levels in areas "near" transit to help defray the capital and operating costs

VivaLFuego Nov 27, 2008 3:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 3937836)
Also in Chicago what would be the political possibility of increasing allowable density levels in areas "near" transit to help defray the capital and operating costs

Within city limits, approximately zero. Dozens of suburbs seem eager to increase density around their rail transit infrastructure, though.

the urban politician Nov 27, 2008 5:15 PM

^ Well, within the city we just need some people to hurry up and die.

It'll happen eventually, I hope..

Berwyn Nov 27, 2008 5:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3938076)
Within city limits, approximately zero. Dozens of suburbs seem eager to increase density around their rail transit infrastructure, though.


That's a shame. I wish there was a way to stick it to the NIMBYs in the form of higher property taxes. :laugh: Just kidding...

In all seriousness, the CTA needs to have it's own planning authority to allow for high density development, where appropriate.

Mr Downtown Nov 27, 2008 6:11 PM

Opposition to increased density has proven to be an intractable problem everywhere in the US, preventing Portland MAX and BART and Washington Metro from doing more to reconfigure their respective regions. And the opponents are not entirely misguided. For all our wishful thinking, increased density does lead to increased congestion, because in an affluent free society transit only captures journey-to-work and a few other easily made trips. Those are a relatively modest proportion of all trips.

the urban politician Nov 27, 2008 6:26 PM

^ But if you allow density to increase enough, you reduce car-dependency. Hence people can walk to do their day to day tasks (more density justifies a grocery store every 2-3 blocks instead of every half a mile). The problem is that few NIMBY's have the brain power to look that far ahead and actually recognize such a potential benefit, and not enough people take the time (or have the desire) to educate them.

Berwyn Nov 27, 2008 7:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3938310)
Opposition to increased density has proven to be an intractable problem everywhere in the US, preventing Portland MAX and BART and Washington Metro from doing more to reconfigure their respective regions. And the opponents are not entirely misguided. For all our wishful thinking, increased density does lead to increased congestion, because in an affluent free society transit only captures journey-to-work and a few other easily made trips. Those are a relatively modest proportion of all trips.

Increases in population lead to increases in congestion. It's far more efficient (for reasons urban politician has stated) to have people live near where they work and shop along with easy access to transit. This acts as an alternative to the automobile, and it helps reduce automobile trips.

Residents of Transit Oriented Developments are also high users of the transit system. Also, increases in ridership from TODs does not increase operating costs to the transit agency since infrastructure already exists; The transit agency would be taking advantage of excess capacity within the system. On that basis alone, transit agencies should be fighting tooth and nail for the right to allow for higher density development near stations.

Mr Downtown Nov 27, 2008 10:19 PM

Live closer to the wife's job or the husband's? His job now or his job three years from now?

Unfortunately, theory and practice are pretty far apart on TOD and trip generation rates. I challenge you to find a peer-reviewed study anywhere that shows a significant correlation. Robert Cervero at UC Berkeley has demonstrated that the only differences are easily explained by self-selection: people who are inclined to an urban walkable lifestyle choose to live there and those who aren't, don't.

Berwyn Nov 27, 2008 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3938756)
I challenge you to find a peer-reviewed study anywhere that shows a significant correlation.

You're challenging me to find a study showing a correlation that residents in a TOD are more likely to take transit?

We obviously live in a free country. Those who desire an urban lifestyle are free to have one as are those who desire a suburban lifestyle. The assumption being made about TODs is that they appeal to some segment of the population, otherwise there would be no interest in constructing them from the development community. It's not just some cooky invention by a group of planners to push an agenda.

The issue at hand is whether NIMBYism can prevent higher density developments near transit stops. Developments that represent good planning and be a boon for the transit operator in the form of increased ridership. I believe this is the case. By no means am I suggesting that this is an ideal transportation solution for everyone or it should be forced on anyone. You're example of the married couple is a prime example. However I do take issue when NIMBYism gets in the way of good, responsible planning.

VivaLFuego Nov 27, 2008 10:44 PM

edit

VivaLFuego Nov 27, 2008 10:46 PM

edit...dp

VivaLFuego Nov 27, 2008 10:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3938756)
Robert Cervero at UC Berkeley has demonstrated that the only differences are easily explained by self-selection: people who are inclined to an urban walkable lifestyle choose to live there and those who aren't, don't.

Indeed. Who cares if it's largely due to self-selection? It's still fewer auto trips per capita than at non-TOD sites, so why not provide more options for people to self-select themselves into, rather than mandate endless suburbia so we can maintain precious precious Level-of-Service C at all times of the day? I don't get why it's a given in this country that it's a constitutional right to make it through every intersection in the first light cycle at all times of day on every day of the year.

You even said yourself that housing location decisions have to balance the work locations of all workers in the household. Why not ensure that as many locations as possible give the option for the urban lifestyle, so couples aren't forced to live in transit- and pedestrian-hostile neighborhoods as a result of balancing husband and wife's commutes?

Berwyn Nov 27, 2008 10:52 PM

A deviation from the discussion at hand... Is there any newspaper articles regarding the new infrastructure stimulus being discussed, and what it would mean mean for the Chicago CTA, if anything?

Could Chicago finally see funding for a major expansion project like the Circle Line?

the urban politician Nov 27, 2008 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3938756)
Live closer to the wife's job or the husband's? His job now or his job three years from now?

Unfortunately, theory and practice are pretty far apart on TOD and trip generation rates. I challenge you to find a peer-reviewed study anywhere that shows a significant correlation. Robert Cervero at UC Berkeley has demonstrated that the only differences are easily explained by self-selection: people who are inclined to an urban walkable lifestyle choose to live there and those who aren't, don't.

^ What is this? This is more of your hoogly googly garbage. In argument after argument, all you try to do is wrap people up in some scenario in which you ask them to provide some arcane study that answers a particular question that nobody in his right mind has the time to answer, putting the burden on everybody else as you enjoy Thanksgiving with your family. How about explaining to me how common sense doesn't apply here?

As you're eating your turkey leg, let me ask you this: compare a married couple living in a) 20,000 people per square mile versus b) 3,000 people per square mile community. In both cases, the husband and wife work in different locations. Perhaps those work sites are poorly accessible to transit in both scenarios, just to eliminate that from the discussion. All things equal, in which scenario is the couple going to be more car-dependent? I imagine it's nearly impossible to have a 20,000/sq mile environment without significant concentration of resources, so it goes without saying that couple a) will likely be doing a heck of a lot less driving than couple b).

Dense environments are congested because a lot of people visit these places from outside, and many of them inevitably arrive by car or taxi, or bus. Manhattan's ridiculous traffic congestion has nothing to do with Manhattanites owning cars and driving every which way to get to their jobs; it has to do with millions of people entering Manhattan by various means of transportation every hour of every day, trying to gain access to the incredible resources that such a rich, dense environment is capable of providing.

Mr Downtown Nov 28, 2008 12:28 AM

You gotta love transportation discussions that can be summed up as "OK, so it doesn't work so well in reality, but how's it work in theory?"

The reason I asked for a study is that—as far as I can determine—all the studies done so far (roughly a dozen) have found no significant reduction in VMT for people living in compact/neotraditional/TOD environments. This is a subject I've been following pretty closely since the early 1990s when I served on an ITE subcommittee studying the topic, but there might be some study out there that I'm unaware of.

Berwyn Nov 28, 2008 1:16 AM

How about some background on the studies. What cities were involved? Were "compact" or "neotraditional" neighborhoods included along with TODs?

The reason I ask is because there are a lot of so-called "Smart Growth" neighborhoods being built that are compact and neotraditional but lack any sort of transit component. If those types of communities were included in the ITE study, I could see how the results could be skewed.

While I'm not prepared to go search for a study linking TODs to reduced automobile trips, I have a really hard time believing that a residential development next to the El station would have the same transit ridership as single family homes in Palatine.


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