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k1052 Jan 7, 2008 3:00 PM

And the push for the Circle Line is on.

jephweiser Jan 7, 2008 7:02 PM

Speaking of the Circle Line, where does it stand? I know they did the Alternatives Analysis in 06 and had narrowed down the route options, but I thought they were going to recommend exact route and whether it would be heavy rail, light rail or rapid bus. Has the funding crisis stopped the process in its tracks?

k1052 Jan 7, 2008 7:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jephweiser (Post 3265839)
Speaking of the Circle Line, where does it stand? I know they did the Alternatives Analysis in 06 and had narrowed down the route options, but I thought they were going to recommend exact route and whether it would be heavy rail, light rail or rapid bus. Has the funding crisis stopped the process in its tracks?

Provided they can get the Feds to pony up the capital funding I'm sure the CTA would be happy to proceed with it.

The last proposal I saw would be heavy rail that ties into the rest of the train system. The first stage (Paulina connector rehab) is already complete and in service for the Pink Line. The most expensive part will be the final subway leg up Ashland and over to North Ave/Clybourn. Taking the Brown Line underground to link up with the new Clybourn station probably won't be cheap either. I would also think the feds would have to cover some new rolling stock as well.

Mr Downtown Jan 7, 2008 9:45 PM

With Kruesi gone, common sense may prevail and the Circle Line will quietly disappear.

honte Jan 7, 2008 10:31 PM

^ Maybe Mr. Downtown won't find a use for it, but those of us in the neighborhoods outside of downtown look forward to it greatly.

ardecila Jan 7, 2008 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 3265882)
Taking the Brown Line underground to link up with the new Clybourn station probably won't be cheap either.

This was never part of the plan, I don't think.

Phase III involved building a new elevated Brown Line station at Halsted with a connection to the subway station.

VivaLFuego Jan 8, 2008 1:14 AM

In response to miketoronto's idea, there actually was a pretty serious planning effort about 4-5 years ago in regards to how to better connect the I-90 employment corridor to the regional transit network. Basically, this meant Pace studied BRT, Metra studied DMU commuter service, and CTA studied Blue Line extensions. The CTA service had far-and-away the highest ridership (but of course the greatest cost). The service would have operated at 70mph and taken between 15-18 minutes O'hare-Schaumburg Convention Center; if the Blue Line south of O'hare were also upgraded to 70mph, these are still reasonable travel times, particularly in the peak period when I-90 and I-294 are a mess.

Of course, we all know that somehow the region settled on Metra's STAR line concept, for reasons most people can't figure out (since even Pace's BRT "J-line" solution, connecting O'hare, Rosemont, Schaumburg, and Oakbrook via BRT, was projected to have much higher ridership at lower cost).

Abner Jan 8, 2008 5:10 PM

Was the 70 mph limit ever reached on the O'Hare Blue Line? If not, was it just for equipment/safety reasons?

Chicago3rd Jan 8, 2008 5:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3266296)
^ Maybe Mr. Downtown won't find a use for it, but those of us in the neighborhoods outside of downtown look forward to it greatly.

Only if we can make those areas denser. If the neighborhoods are willing to allow much more density withing 1/4 mile of an El Station (mid and highrises) then I am all for expanding the present day system.

VivaLFuego Jan 8, 2008 5:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3267820)
Was the 70 mph limit ever reached on the O'Hare Blue Line? If not, was it just for equipment/safety reasons?

No. My understanding is that as the tracks are rebuilt (at least the ties and fasteners) from Addison-O'hare under the current project, they will be built to a 70mph standard. I believe the running rail from Jeff Park-O'hare was also at a 70mph. However, running trains at that speed would require a greater maintenance expenditure, both for the rail cars and the tracks, so I'm not sure if/when it might happen. CTA rail cars can, in theory, go 70mph, though for now they are limited to 55.

k1052 Jan 8, 2008 7:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3266338)
This was never part of the plan, I don't think.

Phase III involved building a new elevated Brown Line station at Halsted with a connection to the subway station.

That's not what I recall. They wanted to build a tunnel to cut out the curves over Clybourn/Halsted/North and link up directly with the new station.

I'm not sure there is sufficient track length over Halsted to construct a station that will accommodate the upcoming 8 car Brown Line service.

VivaLFuego Jan 8, 2008 7:34 PM

Not directly transit related, but rather showing us where our state places priorities for transportation projects. $480 million for an uneeded, duplicative interchange.

http://www.southtownstar.com/news/73...change.article

Quote:

The long-awaited, long-stalled plans for an interchange between Interstates 57 and 294 will enter the new year with a whopping new price tag.

In the works for nearly two decades, the project now is expected to cost at least $480 million, state transportation officials disclosed at a hearing Monday in Oak Forest.
$480 million could substantially modernize the north branch of the Red Line, rehabilitated aging track/structure through the system, bring the bus fleet fully up to modern standards....need I go on. Is it really such a calamity that right now, people wanting to transfer between 57 and 294 need to travel on 80 for a couple miles?

bjorda1 Jan 8, 2008 9:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3268179)
Is it really such a calamity that right now, people wanting to transfer between 57 and 294 need to travel on 80 for a couple miles?

Yes.

ardecila Jan 8, 2008 11:40 PM

This interchange is ridiculous. Out of the full complement of ramps (8) they only really need 4 (SB 57->SB 294, NB 294->NB 57, SB 294->NB 57, SB 57->NB 294). These 4 ramps shave 6-12 miles off trips. Unfortunately, 2 of them require costly flyovers or speed-reducing cloverleafs.

Any of the other 4 ramps would cut less than a mile from any journey.

If they want full connectivity, then the best way to do it is to build a 294 entrance at 147th. People switching highways can exit at 147th, drive 0.6 miles to the interchange at the other highway, and get on. Hell, they even could do a ton of improvements to 147th to make it limited-access for that 0.6 miles (removing two stoplights and widening), and still spend less than $480 million.

Busy Bee Jan 9, 2008 3:30 AM

$480 million is appalling. I don't really have a stinging remark or anything. I'm sort of in shock. DISGRACEFUL.

the urban politician Jan 9, 2008 3:54 AM

Study: Ill. Amtrak line could draw 111K
| 08 Jan 2008 | 07:10 PM ET
CHICAGO (AP) - Train feasibility studies don't normally elicit much excitement from casino executives like Bill Renk.

But an Amtrak report released this week gives casino operators in Illinois plenty of reason to smile, concluding that a proposed passenger-train route between Chicago and the Quad Cities could carry 111,000 riders a year.

Many of those riders would likely be Chicago gamblers heading to casinos along the Mississippi River, the study concludes.

"We're very much delighted," Renk, vice president for sales and marketing at the Jumer's Casino Rock Island, said Tuesday. "What this would do is put us in a good position to expose Chicagoland to what the Quad Cities have to offer." There's also good news for longtime advocates of a Chicago-Quad Cities line who feared the project might be too pricey.

The upbeat study estimates costs of upgrading existing track for passenger-train use at between $14 million and $23 million -- lower than earlier estimates of around $30 million. State operating costs would run about $6 million a year, it says.

More at link:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/22562432/

Rail Claimore Jan 9, 2008 8:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3268820)
This interchange is ridiculous. Out of the full complement of ramps (8) they only really need 4 (SB 57->SB 294, NB 294->NB 57, SB 294->NB 57, SB 57->NB 294). These 4 ramps shave 6-12 miles off trips. Unfortunately, 2 of them require costly flyovers or speed-reducing cloverleafs.

Any of the other 4 ramps would cut less than a mile from any journey.

If they want full connectivity, then the best way to do it is to build a 294 entrance at 147th. People switching highways can exit at 147th, drive 0.6 miles to the interchange at the other highway, and get on. Hell, they even could do a ton of improvements to 147th to make it limited-access for that 0.6 miles (removing two stoplights and widening), and still spend less than $480 million.

There'd be great benefit from SB 294 to SB 57 and NB 57 to NB 294 as well... though the Tollway would lose some money from traffic that uses WB 80 to get to SB 57.

It's been in the works for 20 years though, you don't plan for something that long and not build it. I take it most of the benefits for the new interchange would be seen by truck traffic. The fewer local roads trucks are forced to use, the better.

One complaint I do have though is that if they're going to spend money on updating the expressway/tollway system, they need to modernize existing interchanges by eliminating cloverleafs, such as 90/290 in Schaumburg and the Hillside Strangler. 294/55 could also use some work.

aaron38 Jan 9, 2008 2:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 3269348)
Study: Ill. Amtrak line could draw 111K
An Amtrak report released this week gives casino operators in Illinois plenty of reason to smile, concluding that a proposed passenger-train route between Chicago and the Quad Cities could carry 111,000 riders a year.

I was about to post that after seeing it this morning. As a former Quad Cities resident with family there, I think that's pretty excting. I can easily see myself taking the train as gas prices keep rising.
And I have a grandfather in Moline who's too old to drive to Chicago now, and an Aunt who always gets lost, a train is a great option.
There's also the Augustana College students.

The article also mentions the posibility of extending the line to Iowa City. That makes the most sense of all. Lots of Chicagoland kids go to college at the University of Iowa

Busy Bee Jan 9, 2008 4:02 PM

Quote:

Lots of Chicagoland kids go to college at the University of Iowa.
They do?

bjorda1 Jan 9, 2008 4:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rail Claimore (Post 3269804)
There'd be great benefit from SB 294 to SB 57 and NB 57 to NB 294 as well... though the Tollway would lose some money from traffic that uses WB 80 to get to SB 57.

It's been in the works for 20 years though, you don't plan for something that long and not build it. I take it most of the benefits for the new interchange would be seen by truck traffic. The fewer local roads trucks are forced to use, the better.

One complaint I do have though is that if they're going to spend money on updating the expressway/tollway system, they need to modernize existing interchanges by eliminating cloverleafs, such as 90/290 in Schaumburg and the Hillside Strangler. 294/55 could also use some work.

Yes, I hope they eventually create a flyover from SB I55 to S I294. As it is right now, you have to get off on La Grange. I'm all for this work on the I57/I294. It's retarded that there isn't a interchange already. While we're at it, lets extend Lake Shore drive both north and south.

VivaLFuego Jan 9, 2008 4:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 3270181)
They do?

Tons. Where else would the students come from, Iowa?

Dr. Taco Jan 9, 2008 6:53 PM

^ yeah, definitely. If you go by bars alone, two of my favorites are "hawkeyes" bars (right in wrigleyville and little italy)

j korzeniowski Jan 9, 2008 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 3270181)
They do?

yup, all the one's who couldn't get into illinois ...

anyways, so when is the big vote gonna happen today? i'm on tenterhooks here after a day of emailing and calling and checking google news and local news sites.

ps that interchange story is sickening.

Abner Jan 9, 2008 11:07 PM

One would hope there would be some sort of cost-effectiveness analysis weighing, say, the aggregate time savings and other benefits allowed by a $480 million interchange compared to the benefits of, say, an equivalent investment in mass transit. I would hazard a guess that more people are delayed for more time on the north branch of the Red Line than are delayed because of the absence of that interchange.

ardecila Jan 9, 2008 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rail Claimore (Post 3269804)
One complaint I do have though is that if they're going to spend money on updating the expressway/tollway system, they need to modernize existing interchanges by eliminating cloverleafs, such as 90/290 in Schaumburg and the Hillside Strangler. 294/55 could also use some work.

The cloverleaf from NB 294 to NB 290 is horrible. Tons of trucks use it to go northwest from the industrial belt along the Tri-State. It's one lane, and because of the geometry of the interchange, the round cloverleaf becomes an ellipse with even tighter turns. The traffic for that one backs up for miles. It takes me less time to continue north on 294 to O'Hare and then take 90 to Schaumburg. A fly-under would be awesome here.

I've never noticed huge issues on the 90/294 cloverleaf in Schaumburg. Construction on IL-53 has caused some congestion near the southbound exit to Algonquin Road, but that's about it.

j korzeniowski Jan 9, 2008 11:39 PM

oddly buried on the trib home page considering how much news this issue has generated:

House passes mass transit funding plan

Link, Chicago Tribune

VivaLFuego Jan 10, 2008 5:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3271224)
I would hazard a guess that more people are delayed for more time on the north branch of the Red Line than are delayed because of the absence of that interchange.

Wouldn't be too hard to figure out, but unfortunately for us planner types, it's fantasy to think such rational considerations factor into capital project (i.e. pork) planning.

Taft Jan 10, 2008 1:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j korzeniowski (Post 3271300)
House passes mass transit funding plan
Link, Chicago Tribune

Followed shortly by:

Transit-aid legislation hits bumps
Link, Chicago Tribune

Basically, the original bill passed by the House came up for a vote in the Senate and fell one vote short of passing.

As a personal gripe, I offer this quote from the article:

Quote:

House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego said it was "absurd" to pass transit bills without addressing other transportation needs throughout Illinois.

"It is the Chicago power grab," Cross said.
To think of the insane amounts of money the state has spent in the last ten years on maintaining, repairing and adding roads boggles the mind. Compare that to the relative pittance allotted to the RTA. This guy's got nerve.

Taft

j korzeniowski Jan 10, 2008 1:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taft (Post 3272518)
Followed shortly by:

Transit-aid legislation hits bumps
Link, Chicago Tribune

Basically, the original bill passed by the House came up for a vote in the Senate and fell one vote short of passing.

As a personal gripe, I offer this quote from the article:



To think of the insane amounts of money the state has spent in the last ten years on maintaining, repairing and adding roads boggles the mind. Compare that to the relative pittance allotted to the RTA. This guy's got nerve.

Taft

and round and round we go!

as frustrating as the state dems have been, the repubs have been just as revolting.

jpIllInoIs Jan 10, 2008 2:35 PM

Yeah Tom Cross (R) is Dennis Hasterts sock puppet FWB. What he means by "Illinois other transportation needs" is the Prairie Parkway freeway.

If you really want to get sick check out the IDOT web page for project planning;

There is a plan for a 4 lane highway connecting Peoria to Macomb (pop. 18,000) A 60 mile- $640 millino dollar project.
http://www.peoriatomacomb.com/

Or the "Gateway Connector" project. Which is bassically a 3rd ring road FREEWAY around the Illinois side of the the St.Louis metro. Meanwhile Chicago still does not have a completed 2nd ring and ours are tollways.
http://dot.state.il.us/gateway/maplink2.shtml

But the best is the 209.5 mile route that would eventually link Davenport,IA to Alton,IL by a four lane freeway. Est cost $1.295 billion not including the 58 mile section between Jacksonville and Alton.
http://dot.state.il.us/us67/Map.html

I would love to see them complete those projects with Zero dollars from the Chicago 6-7 county region.

aaron38 Jan 10, 2008 2:50 PM

In other news with Springfield gridocked:

EJ&E railway plan met with protests
http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=110309&src=12

Barrington is up in arms it seems. And this is moving past NIMBYism. Rep. Don Manzullo objected, as did my Congresswoman, Mellissa Bean, who is from Barrington. The big guns are getting involved.

But this line from the article was telling:
CN intends to move freight trains from some of its more congested lines to the EJ&E. Overall, the changes mean 34 towns will see more freights and 80 will see fewer.

But the communities this benefits aren't the rich exurb sprawl communities, so it's not going to matter that this is an overall good for the region.

the urban politician Jan 10, 2008 3:13 PM

^ What's the best cure against NIMBIES? A taste of their own medicine. Bwahahahahahahaaa!!!

Railway deal opens up debate on noise, traffic
Switching tracks to skirt Chicago irks some suburbs
By Richard Wronski, Tribune staff reporter. Freelance reporter Robert Channick contributed to this report
January 10, 2008
The proposed sale of a short-line railroad whose tracks arc around the Chicago area, from Waukegan to Gary, threatens to pit suburb against suburb in a battle over noisy and congestive freight train traffic.

On one side of the tracks, so to speak, are those who bitterly oppose the purchase, fearing it will bring more trains, noise and blocked grade crossings to their communities. On the other are those who see welcome relief from the never-ending line of freight cars that already tie up vehicle traffic in their towns.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...ck=2&cset=true

MayorOfChicago Jan 10, 2008 3:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38 (Post 3270007)
The article also mentions the posibility of extending the line to Iowa City. That makes the most sense of all. Lots of Chicagoland kids go to college at the University of Iowa

I'm from Iowa City - it would be awesome if they started rail service for me to go back home!

It' almost disturbing how many people from the Chicago area are in Iowa City. I actually see people in Iowa City walking around with shirts that say "Welcome to Iowa City, the westernmost suburb of Chicago". As it stands now around 11,000 students at Iowa (34%) come from Chicagoland. There have also been many thousands of people from the inner city of Chicago that have moved to Iowa City during the past 5 years, because of all the public housing in Chicago being torn down. The local paper said during an 8 month period of 2007, over 300 new students from the city of Chicago started going to school in Iowa City. As of 2008 school year, around 8% of the students in the local school district are from the city of Chicago. In 2000 that number was 0%.

I think they could get a very high ridership between the thousands of Iowans who moved to Chicago after college, the college students from Chicago going to school in Iowa City, and the new transplants who might opt for a cheaper train ride than driving cars back and forth to Chicago.

MayorOfChicago Jan 10, 2008 3:45 PM

So do you think they'll actually fix this by Jan. 20th? I just can't imgaine them actually going through with the cuts, the city would go into chaos. I know I wouldn't be able to get to work without the #11 Lincoln, the #76 Diversey, and having the Diversey brown line shut down.

I'd have to walk 20 minutes to Fullerton, and then fail to board any of the horribly overcrowded trains that come through there. Hell, I normally have to wait through 4 of them as it is....yesterday the platform was so crowded I sat for 4-5 minutes before even getting up the stairs, let alone on a train.

pip Jan 10, 2008 4:13 PM

I am confident that a transit funding bill will be passed at some point.

I don't understand how downstate thinks is is a Chicago power grab. The sales tax increase would have been for Chicago and its suburbs. It would have in no way effected downstate. But yet they voted against it. I am getting tired of them.

jpIllInoIs Jan 10, 2008 5:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pip (Post 3272769)
I am confident that a transit funding bill will be passed at some point.

I don't understand how downstate thinks is is a Chicago power grab. The sales tax increase would have been for Chicago and its suburbs. It would have in no way effected downstate. But yet they voted against it. I am getting tired of them.

Downstate Politicos know this is not a power grab, but it makes good local headlines. "Joe Schmoe Senator from Crabapple Cove stands up to Chicago Machine..and delivers local highway funds".. Meanwhile he is well aware that he suckles at the teat of Chicago...why do you think Madigan has the entire state under his thumb. These locals can not get squat without Madigan. This entire fiasco is a standoff between Madigan and Blago.

aaron38 Jan 10, 2008 7:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 3272857)
Downstate Politicos know this is not a power grab, but it makes good local headlines. "Joe Schmoe Senator from Crabapple Cove stands up to Chicago Machine..and delivers local highway funds"..

Yep, that is exactly what's going on. Everyone knows the bill MUST pass. Therefore, everyone's vote is in high demand, and high demand brings high prices.

Everyone in Springfield wants their share of the bacon to bring home for the re-election effort. They especially don't want to be the only one without bacon, when everyone else is getting some.

One Senator's holding out for a bigger bribe.

pip Jan 10, 2008 7:45 PM

so would these down state senators vote for a sales tax increase on the whole State or is on on the shoulders of metro Chicago?

The latest proposal, the tax increase, was for metro Chicago only.

Dr. Taco Jan 10, 2008 8:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 3272593)
Yeah Tom Cross (R) is Dennis Hasterts sock puppet FWB. What he means by "Illinois other transportation needs" is the Prairie Parkway freeway.

If you really want to get sick check out the IDOT web page for project planning;

There is a plan for a 4 lane highway connecting Peoria to Macomb (pop. 18,000) A 60 mile- $640 millino dollar project.
http://www.peoriatomacomb.com/

Or the "Gateway Connector" project. Which is bassically a 3rd ring road FREEWAY around the Illinois side of the the St.Louis metro. Meanwhile Chicago still does not have a completed 2nd ring and ours are tollways.
http://dot.state.il.us/gateway/maplink2.shtml

But the best is the 209.5 mile route that would eventually link Davenport,IA to Alton,IL by a four lane freeway. Est cost $1.295 billion not including the 58 mile section between Jacksonville and Alton.
http://dot.state.il.us/us67/Map.html

I would love to see them complete those projects with Zero dollars from the Chicago 6-7 county region.

GREAT GREAT GREAT point!

j korzeniowski Jan 10, 2008 8:15 PM

Lawmakers send transit funding to governor

Link, Chicago Tribune

Please, please, please call the governor's office!

(217) 782-6830

Edit: I guess it is not quite a done deal. New provision for DuPage Co. may hold it up in the House, but if they only need a simple majority, I pray it still passes. Then what Blago does is anyone's guess.

j korzeniowski Jan 10, 2008 8:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j korzeniowski (Post 3273327)
Lawmakers send transit funding to governor

Link, Chicago Tribune

Please, please, please call the governor's office!

(217) 782-6830

Edit: I guess it is not quite a done deal. New provision for DuPage Co. may hold it up in the House, but if they only need a simple majority, I pray it still passes. Then what Blago does is anyone's guess.

Ok, it is with the governor! Please call (217) 782-6830!

honte Jan 10, 2008 9:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jstush04 (Post 3273280)
GREAT GREAT GREAT point!

Yeah, those figures make you really sick to your stomach.

I've just jumped off the secession bandwagon because now I've got a better idea: Move the capital to Chicago and make those porkers suffer.

Chicago3rd Jan 10, 2008 9:14 PM

So anyone think BagofAir will screw this one up? Or will he finally heal?

pip Jan 10, 2008 9:25 PM

blago won't sign it

update in the Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...i_breaking_500

VivaLFuego Jan 10, 2008 9:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pip (Post 3273524)
blago won't sign it

update in the Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...i_breaking_500

O. M. G...

j korzeniowski Jan 10, 2008 9:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3273547)
O. M. G...

i cannot believe it. i cannot fucking believe it.

has he mentioned this before today? what the hell is this?????????????

pip Jan 10, 2008 9:39 PM

he sucks, there is no other way around it. Asks law makers for this and that. They provide it then he changes the rules again and won't sign the bill. Then you got downstate to contend with.

Nowhereman1280 Jan 10, 2008 9:48 PM

That's it, I'm registering to vote in Illinois specifically so I can vote AGAINST that dumbass Blagovich...

tintinex Jan 10, 2008 9:50 PM

He's signing it...

http://www.wbbm780.com/Blagojevich:-...ailout/1457370

"Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Thursday he'll sign a measure increasing Chicago-area sales taxes to pay for metropolitan mass transit systems sent to him by the state Legislature"

pip Jan 10, 2008 10:00 PM

no he isn't until his provisions are met.

The link is from an AM Radio Station that was last updated before the gov refused to sign the bill.

The Tribune is up to dat.


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