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

aaron38 Jun 19, 2016 2:05 PM

Ugh, I'm assuming it was planned and not an accident as there were numerous signs up, but I-290 was completely closed last night at 1am as we were coming home from the North Ave drive-in. Would have been nice to put the signs further back so that we could have exited before we were stuck for half an hour.

orulz Jun 19, 2016 9:58 PM

I find it interesting that the Green Line extension to South Chicago got the most commentary out of anything in this. I thought the Metra->RER conversion was the most interesting.

The general concept was simplifying George Ellsworth Hooker's plan for through routes into something more achievable by reducing the trunk routes from three to two, and making it more useful for present-day Chicago by bringing regional rail further into Streeterville than was proposed back then.

All of this would hinge on a regional fare structure, of course, and completely busting the CTA/Metra silos. Perhaps something zone-based or even distance-based?

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 7474257)
Are fantasy maps allowed on this forum? Because I just made one.
See it here.

The general concept is a reconfiguration and expansion of the existing L system into 5
metro-style "L" lines, and a rework of the Metra network into 4 RER-style Regional "R". All lines run through the CBD. There are no frequency-limiting reverse branch bottlenecks - every line gets a two-track route through the core, but there is some proper branching at the outer ends of some of the lines. To the greatest degree possible, things are laid out to enable a two-seat ride from anywhere to almost anywhere.

There is no rhyme or reason to where I stopped drawing the commuter lines. I basically stopped when I felt I had drawn far enough to show my point.

Some parts are pretty foamy. Others are big but would probably be worth the investment. I tried to rely on existing infrastructure and rights-of-way, and base it on plans that actually exist in the real world, as much as possible.

Probably the two biggest items are:
1. Two new regional rail tunnels heading north from Millennium Station. One connects to the MD-N and NCS via Carroll Street, and the other connects to the UP-N via Streeterville and Chicago Ave. The UP-N, MD-N, and NCS would all be electrified at 1500VDC so they can use the tunnels and for compatibility.
2. The Brown Line wound up turning into a 40 mile "super loop" (Yikes, foam alert.) The only part of the brown line that is recognizable is the part where it already has its own route starting at Roscoe/Sheffield. Yeah, I know, it's a bit out of control. Its route, heading east from Roscoe/Sheffield, is:
(1) A new Lincoln Park Subway. East on Roscoe, South on Broadway and then Larrabee
(2) Clinton/Larrabee Subway under the North Branch
(3) West Loop Transportation Center
(4) St Charles Air Line through the South Loop
(5) IC Freight tracks through McCormick Place and Hyde Park, to 63rd
(6) West along the Green Line branches along 63rd, extended to Midway
(7) North up the Mid-City Transitway to Montrose
(8) East in a subway under Lawrence to the existing terminus.

Other things of note:
-The loop is de-looped by mothballing and/or removing the southern (Van Buren) segment.
-Tower 18 is reduced to a diamond where the Pink and Green lines cross each other, with no switching operations, and could (possibly?) be grade-separated.
-The Pink Line (formerly known as Purple) becomes a through route by taking over the Rock Island right-of-way from Lasalle to 18th, where it enters the Dan Ryan line
-Ogilvie and LaSalle stations cease to exist and their train sheds are made available for redevelopment.
-Rock Island trains are diverted to Union Station and run through to the MD-W and UP-W lines via Union Station run-through tracks.
-The BNSF is connected to UP-NW via Union Station.
-Intercity trains use the WLTC concept, with new through tracks under Clinton or Canal.
-The current yellow line is operated as an extension of the Red Line (basically, this frees up its color to be used on a Regional line.)
-The Metra Electric South Chicago branch is taken over by a southward extension of the Green Line. This would probably require rolling stock with dual current collection by both 3rd rail and pantograph, similar to the former configuration of the Skokie Swift.
-I was not really sure what to do with the Forest Park branch (current Pink Line). I just kept it as a branch of the Green Line.


ardecila Jun 19, 2016 11:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 7478944)
^ I look forward to a future holistic redevelopment of that complicated intersection, but what is this Armitage bridge of which you speak? Is this a wish list item or are the current projects at Finkl (IIRC, Sterling Bay et al) already taking it into consideration in their street grid planning? How far east would the roadway extend? Does the Cortland bridge get deprecated to cyclist use? Would twinned one-way bridges make sense?

An Armitage extension would lead its Ashland/Elston intersection into becoming another D/E/F mess. Adopting the Damen/Elston/Fullerton solution would require loads of land acquisition, so the intersection may be doomed to become a six-way. Unless the abovereferenced holistic redevelopment really coordinates something wide-ranging from the station to the river.

Yes, the Armitage bridge has been included in most of the planning efforts for Finkl redevelopment. The Sterling Bay folks are generally on board with the idea, but it requires Ozinga Concrete to move on the west bank.

I imagine that the new street would extend east to the intersection of McLean/Southport. Most of the traffic today on the Cortland bridge is coming from the Clybourn Corridor, not necessarily heading further east on Armitage (Armitage east of Racine is a relatively quiet street). I don't think planners will seek to eliminate the dogleg at Racine.

I'm not sure what happens to the old Cortland bridge; it's a City Landmark so it can't go anywhere, but it might get repurposed as a trail crossing for the 606, or just preserved as additional capacity over the river. It's not well suited for an arterial road, with low clearances and all those steel girders above the roadway deck, so I doubt CDOT would want it to be used in a one-way couplet.

The crazy intersection at Elston/Ashland is problematic no matter what happens with the bridge, but adding the bridge reduces the through-traffic on Elston considerably. In an ideal world Elston would be closed off at the intersection a la Lincoln Square, with bike lanes continuing through.

nergie Jun 20, 2016 1:46 AM

Interesting Article on TTC and CTA
 
http://http://www.chicagotribune.com...19-column.html

Not trying to start city vs city, but a piece on TTC on CTA.

CTA Gray Line Jun 20, 2016 6:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 7479154)
$3 billion? Huh? The figure I saw recently-ish was $400 million wasted. Not a small sum, but hardly $3 billion. And hopefully some day it can be used for something.

I apologize, I was typing fast and didn't spell-check; you are correct $300M+, not B! Thanks for the correction.

Kngkyle Jun 21, 2016 2:54 AM

Surprised these haven't been posted here yet. Final renderings for the new 95th street station, from curbed:

http://chicago.curbed.com/2016/6/17/...street-station

https://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/CrT...al_20Day.0.jpg

https://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/2cW...l%20(dash).jpg

https://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/aI0...%20(drone).jpg

https://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/jqr...h)%20Night.jpg

CTA Gray Line Jun 21, 2016 12:08 PM

Revamped Metra Electric could put South Side on the fast track
 
http://chicagoreporter.com/revamped-...he-fast-track/

By La Risa Lynch

"A newly formed Coalition wants the Metra Electric rail line to be reinvented to better serve the low-income
communities it runs through, connecting riders to jobs and spurring economic development....."

chicagopcclcar1 Jun 21, 2016 7:29 PM

No need to say anything….just quote the article.

“Metra covered an operating deficit of $64 million in 2015, when the line generate $46 million in revenue but cost $110 million to operate.

“When there is an area of high unemployment, that’s an area that needs more transit, not less,” Johnson said. “The problem with Metra is that it is priced out of the market.”

“State Rep. Al Riley (38), who was a member of the now-defunct House mass transit committee, says the idea has merit, along with many others aimed at sparking more economic development in disadvantaged communities. Many south suburban towns in Riley’s district are served by the ME.

“There is not a problem that we can’t solve,” he said. “The problem is making it politically feasible and that’s where we run into problems all the time. “

Did we mention the state of Illinois has no budget!!!

I vote getting a big truck and run over three big people in Springfield….won’t mention any names.

DH

CTA Gray Line Jun 21, 2016 8:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicagopcclcar1 (Post 7481459)
No need to say anything….just quote the article.

“Metra covered an operating deficit of $64 million in 2015, when the line generate $46 million in revenue but cost $110 million to operate.

“When there is an area of high unemployment, that’s an area that needs more transit, not less,” Johnson said. “The problem with Metra is that it is priced out of the market.”

“State Rep. Al Riley (38), who was a member of the now-defunct House mass transit committee, says the idea has merit, along with many others aimed at sparking more economic development in disadvantaged communities. Many south suburban towns in Riley’s district are served by the ME.

“There is not a problem that we can’t solve,” he said. “The problem is making it politically feasible and that’s where we run into problems all the time. “

Did we mention the state of Illinois has no budget!!!

I vote getting a big truck and run over three big people in Springfield….won’t mention any names.

DH

I definitely agree with you on that big truck part David -- however I prefer the French Revolution's way of handling these types of ridiculous infantile situations!

chicagopcclcar1 Jun 21, 2016 8:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 7481527)
I definitely agree with you on that big truck part David -- however I prefer the French Revolution's way of handling these types of ridiculous infantile situations!

A big "10-4." CTA language!

DH

ChickeNES Jun 23, 2016 10:33 PM

Quote:

Idea to convert Metra Electric to rapid-transit line draws mayor's interest
Mary Wisniewski - Chicago Tribune - 6/23/16
A proposal to convert the Metra Electric District Line into a rapid-transit line with more frequent stops to serve the South Side and suburbs has drawn the interest of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has asked the head of the Regional Transportation Authority to facilitate discussion on the issue, RTA officials said.

During the transit agency's monthly board meeting Thursday, Chairman Kirk Dillard told a representative of a coalition of South Side and south suburban groups that Emanuel had reached out to him about the rapid-transit idea last month, and that talks had begun.

Dillard said he spoke with Metra Chairman Martin Oberman about the proposal Wednesday.

"The RTA is working with the CTA and Metra," Dillard said after the meeting. "We need to get a handle obviously on the finances, as well as ridership numbers historically in that area. We're in the preliminary fact-finding stages."


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...623-story.html

ardecila Jun 23, 2016 11:46 PM

^ Uh... is this real life?

Could the political stars be aligned for this finally?

I mean, there's no money right now... But Emanuel wants to rebuild his cred among blacks, and the Metra Electric line overwhelmingly serves black communities (plus McCormick Place, South Loop and Hyde Park as a bonus). Even better, there's a Lincoln Park resident and Emanuel ally heading up Metra, not a suburbanite. The only risk is timing. Even assuming this project gets the mayor's full support, it will take years to get funding. Either the city and Metra can go through the multi-year process for Federal funding, or try to dig up change in the couch cushions of state and local government.

The article compared it to Toronto's effort, but Metra Electric has a leg up over GO Train in that it already has electrification and high platforms, and doesn't have to share with freight. (It also has full grade separation, but it seems like Toronto is pretty much there as well.)

orulz Jun 24, 2016 1:27 AM

Even better than the Gray line plan to operate ME as a CTA line with existing equipment would be to revise regional fare structures so in-city Metra rides on ALL lines are the same or nearly the same fare as CTA rides, and to eliminate or nearly eliminate the inter-agency transfer penalty. That would be the first step towards turning all of Metra into a regional rail service.

cyked3 Jun 24, 2016 3:39 AM

Here's my dream. Combine:

(1) A new underground O'Hare station large enough to accommodate Metra Electric airport express service AND Amtrak. Funding source - airport fees.

(2) Direct, unobstructed, double track connection from O'Hare to Union Station. Could do it through UP-N or NCS right of way. I like UP-N approach better because it won't require any cooperation by any suburbs. How to get from O'Hare to UP-N? Expand the Kennedy, add tolling (either across the whole freeway or in an express lane), and add tracks parallel to the Blue Line when expanding the Kennedy. Funding source - toll revenues and City of Chicago and general Metra bonds.

(3) Expanded Union Station, using through tracks with platforms located at the existing unused mail platforms south of Union Station. Also, build a good quality connection to the Blue Line Clinton station. Funding source - Union Station master plan revenues and TIF revenues (recall that the state gave special TIF rights to pay for improvements at Union Station).

(4) Expanded Metra Electric, with regular intervals, and using the 16th street link between the Metra Electric line and Union Station approach tracks. Funding source - City of Chicago and general Metra bonds.

This is basically CrossRail, except juiced up a bit by accommodating Amtrak at O'Hare and linking Union Station to the Blue Line. I particularly love the idea of an Amtrak station at O'Hare. That would really motivate surrounding states to improve rail links to Chicago, I think.

CTA Gray Line Jun 24, 2016 1:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7484265)
^ Uh... is this real life?

Could the political stars be aligned for this finally?

I mean, there's no money right now... But Emanuel wants to rebuild his cred among blacks, and the Metra Electric line overwhelmingly serves black communities (plus McCormick Place, South Loop and Hyde Park as a bonus). Even better, there's a Lincoln Park resident and Emanuel ally heading up Metra, not a suburbanite. The only risk is timing. Even assuming this project gets the mayor's full support, it will take years to get funding. Either the city and Metra can go through the multi-year process for Federal funding, or try to dig up change in the couch cushions of state and local government.

The article compared it to Toronto's effort, but Metra Electric has a leg up over GO Train in that it already has electrification and high platforms, and doesn't have to share with freight. (It also has full grade separation, but it seems like Toronto is pretty much there as well.)

Utilizing the MED as a CTA 'L' service is already included as a Major Capital Project in our MPO's RTP, and since the communities that would be served are mostly black as you pointed out -- maybe Rahm could seek help from the POTUS, and Sec. Foxx (both also black).

$500 to $600 Million for a new 25 mile Lakefront rapid-transit line with 35 to 40 stations, at a fraction of the $2.3 Billion cost sought for the 6 mile 4 station Red Line Extension; and leaving lots of Transit Funding for use here, and/or elsewhere in the U.S.

brian_b Jun 24, 2016 2:13 PM

The MED as a rapid transit line is great, but it would never reach full potential without connections to other lines, most likely via the 16th street ROW.

That ROW has room for 4 tracks but currently only 2 exist. They could potentially add service without impacting existing usage. And, as part of the Wells/Wentworth connector, they could build out a MED/Red Line/Rock Island Metra station, which would be huge for the planned development over there.

Mr Downtown Jun 24, 2016 4:41 PM

But how would all this new service on the SCAL cross the Rock Island? The current diamonds are potentially a pretty big problem for both lines, and grade separation would be a huge expensive project.

ardecila Jun 24, 2016 6:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7485025)
But how would all this new service on the SCAL cross the Rock Island? The current diamonds are potentially a pretty big problem for both lines, and grade separation would be a huge expensive project.

L trains cross each other at Lake/Wells all the time, with high frequency service. The key there is that high acceleration rates enable the junction to work somewhat smoothly.

At 16th Street, at least the service on SCAL would be electrified, so presumably it would have high performance acceleration (despite the Highliners' elephantine weight).

the urban politician Jun 24, 2016 8:33 PM

Wow, great to hear somebody is paying attention to this.

CTA Gray Line Jun 25, 2016 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7485147)
L trains cross each other at Lake/Wells all the time, with high frequency service. The key there is that high acceleration rates enable the junction to work somewhat smoothly.

At 16th Street, at least the service on SCAL would be electrified, so presumably it would have high performance acceleration (despite the Highliners' elephantine weight).

They may be Elephants, but they are very fast AC Powered lumbering Elephants (with comparable acceleration to CTA 'L' equipment): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pjH2AO6DCQ (Thanks to metraRI for Video)


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