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ardecila Jun 19, 2008 4:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 3621838)
Looks like Metra is taking bids for the 35th St station.

Has anyone seen any renders?

Chicago: Metra Rail Station: Rock Island District, 35th Street, new commuter rail station, August 2008.

http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...age.pl?id=2166

Why would you need renders? As far as I know, this is just a couple of platforms with stairs. They probably won't even have a roof on the platform, since the Sox don't play in the winter.

honte Jun 19, 2008 5:16 AM

^ Right. And no one works or lives near there either.

spyguy Jun 19, 2008 7:01 AM

Surprisingly, I came across something:
http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/5...bsox2bsus0.jpg

nomarandlee Jun 19, 2008 9:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanpln (Post 3621716)
I also believe that street cars or some type of light rail could happen if we are the host city for the olympics. There are some discussions happening about this issue.

After listening to Mr.Downtown and Viva I am torn between wanting to see BRT or light rail in some of the new transit corridors in the city where heavy rail isn't possible.

.......On another topic the "upgraded" airprot express service gave me an idea about Metra. Would it benefit Metra to have a a first class car (or half a car which would be easy on Metra car sets) of sorts on a few lines that would obviously charger a higher fee. A nicer interior, electric sockets, free newspaper coffee/orange juice perhaps, cushier individual seat, etc Does anyone know if this had been considered by Metra if there are commuter lines anywhere that have different class scales?

honte Jun 19, 2008 1:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 3622727)
Surprisingly, I came across something:
http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/5...bsox2bsus0.jpg

Whoa, that is f-ed up. Is this the north side of 35th Street? If so, there is currently a small and forgotten Mies van der Rohe-designed structure on that site. Great, another senseless loss. Has anyone heard anything about this? Relocation, moving the station to the vacant South side of 35th, etc?

The Mies building is not a masterpiece - or even really a building, just a "little shack" as I'm sure it will be called. But it is a Mies, for Christ's sake, part of the largest collection of his work anywhere. I will look into this...

Mr Downtown Jun 19, 2008 1:22 PM

Easy to see how that 35th Street station would cost $800,000 just to design. At $150/hour, that's 2.6 staff years.

the urban politician Jun 19, 2008 1:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3622599)
^ Right. And no one works or lives near there either.

^ Hello? IIT? Also don't forget about the huge mixed-income housing development going up nearby known as Park Boulevard

honte Jun 19, 2008 1:55 PM

^ Yo, that was total sarcasm. I live near there too.

the urban politician Jun 19, 2008 2:14 PM

^ Ahh, sorry.

Sometimes sarcasm is hard to catch in these forums

VivaLFuego Jun 19, 2008 2:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3622957)
Whoa, that is f-ed up. Is this the north side of 35th Street? If so, there is currently a small and forgotten Mies van der Rohe-designed structure on that site. Great, another senseless loss. Has anyone heard anything about this? Relocation, moving the station to the vacant South side of 35th, etc?

The Mies building is not a masterpiece - or even really a building, just a "little shack" as I'm sure it will be called. But it is a Mies, for Christ's sake, part of the largest collection of his work anywhere. I will look into this...

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...____&encType=1
Seriously? That could be a Da Vinci and it'd still be fair game, in my book... :)

I'll note this isn't just a Sox station. It also serves IIT (who were the primary advocates for it, actually), and it is a federal pork project so Metra is only out the local 20% match (since Federal money comes out of thin air, natch). For a handful of passengers per day, it also provides a pretty good transfer point between the Red and Green lines and the RI and eventually the SWS - potentially useful for downtown distribution of inbound Metra commuters or collection of outbound reverse commuters if there were ever to be any jobs to the southwest.

cbotnyse Jun 19, 2008 4:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 3623318)
^ Have you listened to even a word anybody has said about this, or are you just skimming everybody's posts? Many people have correctly explained why building the tunnel NOW was an excellent opportunity. Go to the Transit Developments thread, backtrack to that discussion, and you'll have your explanation as clear as daylight.

Now we're on the wrong thread for this topic, too, so I'll stop now.

just answer me one question, was the plan at B37 to develop the infrastructure of a super station, or was the plan to complete the entire project?

aaron38 Jun 19, 2008 5:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3619283)
So a bus that gets 8 mpg would actually use less fuel than individual cars with an average of only four passengers on board? Or is there more to it than that?

I found this amazing chart on a blog, exactly the info I was looking for. Since it was already on a blog, I'm hoping it's fair game. Props to the Sightline Institute.
http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r...nfootprint.jpg
http://www.cooltownstudios.com/mt/archives/001295.html

The chart is for Carbon Footprint, which I'm assuming correlates farily well to fuel per passenger mile. Your assumption is correct, a bus is very sensitive to passenger load, and a carpool does beat out a 1/4 full bus, but not a 3/4 full bus.

So what is the effect of a 2nd gen hybrid bus? By raising fuel economy from 2mpg to 8mpg, fuel efficiency is quadrupled and the carbon/fuel footprint of a transit bus is cut 75%.

So the 1/4 full hybrid bus goes from 0.8 to 0.2, beating out the carpool. The 3/4 bus goes from 0.25 to 0.0625, 2nd only to walking. And of course, all the compounding variables and economies of scale all work in the bus' favor for adding passengers.

EDIT: Photobucket's being flaky, just follow the link if you get the red x of death.

VivaLFuego Jun 19, 2008 8:11 PM

^I'd consider arguing against walk/bike being at 0, seeing as those actions requiring the burning of calories, which requires the consumption food, which... well, you get the idea.

10023 Jun 19, 2008 9:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3623853)
^I'd consider arguing against walk/bike being at 0, seeing as those actions requiring the burning of calories, which requires the consumption food, which... well, you get the idea.

And I'd retort that there is strong empirical evidence to argue that people who walk around a lot don't consume any more food than those that don't. For evidence, go stand in the middle of a crowded part of Paris for an hour, then do the same in Kansas City, MO.

honte Jun 20, 2008 1:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3623078)
http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...____&encType=1
Seriously? That could be a Da Vinci and it'd still be fair game, in my book... :)

I'll note this isn't just a Sox station. It also serves IIT (who were the primary advocates for it, actually), and it is a federal pork project so Metra is only out the local 20% match (since Federal money comes out of thin air, natch). For a handful of passengers per day, it also provides a pretty good transfer point between the Red and Green lines and the RI and eventually the SWS - potentially useful for downtown distribution of inbound Metra commuters or collection of outbound reverse commuters if there were ever to be any jobs to the southwest.

Obviously, it's not Crown Hall. But why sacrifice it - trust me, it is important - when there are obvious alternatives?

Is the current render the most up-to-date proposal, Viva? Why can't the station be built on the other side of 35th, or at least the primary entrance, so that the hordes of Sox fans don't have to cross the street when they get out?

jpIllInoIs Jun 20, 2008 2:10 AM

^ It seems as though the Meis structure could be reused as a station with coffee, newspaper vending and offer some protection for commuters from the elements.

VivaLFuego Jun 20, 2008 2:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10023 (Post 3624055)
And I'd retort that there is strong empirical evidence to argue that people who walk around a lot don't consume any more food than those that don't. For evidence, go stand in the middle of a crowded part of Paris for an hour, then do the same in Kansas City, MO.

I know that when I work out, my metabolism is such that for each calorie I burn in exercise I must consume approximately an additional 3 calories in food to maintain body mass. The times when I've been in good shape, my food budget has gone up 50% or so.

But yeah, I'm with you on walking (which is fairly leisurely and not too intense from a calorie-burning standpoint), but not so much on biking. Unless you're biking slowly and leisurely, in which case you're contributing to traffic congestion and ergo wasting energy from an externality standpoint...

Abner Jun 20, 2008 4:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3624597)
But yeah, I'm with you on walking (which is fairly leisurely and not too intense from a calorie-burning standpoint), but not so much on biking. Unless you're biking slowly and leisurely, in which case you're contributing to traffic congestion and ergo wasting energy from an externality standpoint...

I have read somewhere that bicyclists actually do use fewer calories per mile than pedestrians, on average. Of course it does depend on how fast you bike. The externality depends on the traffic you're biking in and the ability to separate bikes from traffic. The effect of increased food consumption from walking or biking of course depends on what you're eating; if it's predominantly red meat, your calories cost a whole lot of GHGs.

Ch.G, Ch.G Jun 20, 2008 4:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3624457)
Obviously, it's not Crown Hall. But why sacrifice it - trust me, it is important - when there are obvious alternatives?

Is the current render the most up-to-date proposal, Viva? Why can't the station be built on the other side of 35th, or at least the primary entrance, so that the hordes of Sox fans don't have to cross the street when they get out?

I don't disagree, but, just to be clear (which this photo I nabbed from Google Maps unfortunately is not), we are talking about this building, yeah?

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/3403/picture2gs8.png

honte Jun 20, 2008 5:24 AM

^ Yes, that is the "building." I don't believe it ever even had any utlities beyond lighting. It's a kind of shed-like structure.

One of the most interesting things about the IIT campus is that there is a handful of small "folly" buildings that Mies did there. That really completes the picture of the campus as Mies's laboratory and not just another place where he inserted his buildings into a foreign landscape, such as at Toronto or Houston.

I don't know the exact history of why it's there or what it was used for... but it is called the "Test Cell" and I presume the IITRI used it to conduct some kind of experiments we'd maybe rather not know about. ;)

ardecila Jun 20, 2008 8:54 AM

Well, it looks like they hired Gensler to design the station - the platform canopy matches the cladding on the 35th Street overpass.

the urban politician Jun 20, 2008 2:07 PM

I'm sorry, but maybe I just need to see the Mies "shed" in person. But to me, it really seems to lack any distinction whatsoever. I think a plumber could have designed something similar.

Honte, I guess I'll take your word for it that it's worth preserving. But if a wrecking ball accidently bumps into it, I won't exactly be "shedding" any tears.. (pun intended)

ardecila Jun 20, 2008 5:06 PM

I guess I see the value of the shed, but only as part of a larger composition. It's like taking a Salvador Dali painting and cutting out the burning giraffe in the background. Most people won't notice it's missing, but it was part of the original artistic vision. However, in this case, I think the benefit to the neighborhood justifies the small loss.

On the other hand, there's a good reason why the station has been placed where it is. That site allows for a generous, attractive plaza, which may attract riders, along with amenities like benches and bike racks. The plaza allows for enough space to possibly expand the bike racks or add a stationhouse, too, if traffic levels call for it. (I think that little ghosted building in front of the smokestack IS a stationhouse, since there's no building there right now).

There's not enough room on the west side of the railroad tracks, and putting the station on the south side of 35th means that transit riders making a transfer to the Red Line have to wait for a crossing signal across a relatively busy street. Also, if they were to add a canopy over the LaSalle Street/Ryan onramp crosswalk, then the transfer would be protected from rain, since the Red Line station and the Ryan overpass sidewalk already are covered.

Mr Downtown Jun 20, 2008 6:11 PM

Carbon footprint is an interesting metric, but the usual source for comparing energy use among modes is The Transportation Energy Data Book published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/8...tensityxd8.png

The national picture for transit buses is a little bit skewed by all the small-city systems with dismal numbers of riders per bus. CTA's numbers would be somewhat better than this average.

VivaLFuego Jun 20, 2008 7:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3625915)
Carbon footprint is an interesting metric, but the usual source for comparing energy use among modes is The Transportation Energy Data Book published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/8...tensityxd8.png

The national picture for transit buses is a little bit skewed by all the small-city systems with dismal numbers of riders per bus. CTA's numbers would be somewhat better than this average.

Yep, and of course it varies route-to-route, but could probably best be compared system by system as a function of passenger-miles and vehicle-miles. Part of what's cool about transit is that at the margin, an additional trip has close to zero marginal increase in energy expenditure/pollution. Of course, many additional marginal trips would require more transit service, so it would be a stepped curve.

For personal transport, that is one person making a single trip for a given O-D pair, it's very hard to beat moped/scooter for energy efficiency. Transit takes the lead when the volume for a given O-D pair is high enough to fill a transit vehicle.

Cars, well, are more comfortable I guess, but generally not the most efficient means except where a handful people make a trip, e.g. 5 people packing into a smaller car for a unique O-D pair vs. 5 scooters or an empty buses.

lalucedm Jun 20, 2008 8:10 PM

The new Metra station at 35th is an SOM design.

The building that Honte points out is more than just a regular rectangular yellow brick building. It leads to an underground shooting range under the Dan Ryan. I don't know for sure that it's a Mies building. It is certainly possible, because the power/heating plant down the street is and the historical significance of that yellow brick wall fronting that junkyard along Federal was in question, and the following research/negotiations with the IHPA may well be what held the Metra project up. If the rendering is correct (I've never seen it before) then the ultimate decision was that the wall (and, I guess, the building) were not significant.

My first guess is that the shooting range was built when the Dan Ryan was - since the Dan Ryan leveled a neighborhood and it was unlikely that a shooting range was previously under that neighborhood. If it was in fact built at that time, the mid 60s, then this building is not a Mies building and not historically significant - otherwise, it was likely built when the IIT power plant was in 1949, a time when IIT was a major military training ground, and in that case it may well be a Mies. Either way, I'd love to get down into that shooting range. I bet it's cool.

While the little building is ugly, in my opinion, IIT has caught some flack for tearing down the Mies gas station that stood where the McCormick Tribune Campus Center currently stands, so it would probably be unwise (as a matter of legacy) to tear down any more Mies buildings, no matter how small.

Sorry, I'm in Paris right now, otherwise I could access IIT's extensive archives on this topic and give you answers for sure. I'll ask some people though and let you guys know if I find anything.

Mr Downtown Jun 20, 2008 9:24 PM

An underground shooting range under a below-grade superhighway built 15 years after the war ended? Maybe there's a revolving bookcase in the back that leads to Judge Crater's hideout and from there you can walk through the Keebler Elves' hollow tree to come out in Toontown.

lalucedm Jun 21, 2008 8:34 AM

Well, if the underground range exists, it was most likely built for the Cold War, not World War II. But it may well have been built earlier. I'll leave that because I can't prove its existence yet...though I have heard of its existence from decently reliable sources.

But no Mies building should be torn down, even if it is not great architecture. There are plenty of lesser Mies buildings on IIT's campus and they need to be preserved to get a full picture of his rise to prominence, and his ability to fuck up just like anyone else. If they're not preserved at IIT, there's nowhere else in the world they can be.

honte Jun 21, 2008 4:31 PM

^ That's a pretty interesting spin on it.

Abner Jun 21, 2008 4:34 PM

The problem with preserving bad buildings is that you're condemning people to be forced to use them every day. It's especially problematic when you're forcing a school to live with them. (I'm more concerned about this argument in UIC's context than in IIT's--I don't know that IIT suffers greatly from its lesser Mies buildings.)

honte Jun 21, 2008 5:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3627645)
The problem with preserving bad buildings is that you're condemning people to be forced to use them every day. It's especially problematic when you're forcing a school to live with them. (I'm more concerned about this argument in UIC's context than in IIT's--I don't know that IIT suffers greatly from its lesser Mies buildings.)

I don't agree that any of those buildings are "bad buildings," but we should discuss that in a different thread.

BVictor1 Jun 21, 2008 5:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 3624880)
I don't disagree, but, just to be clear (which this photo I nabbed from Google Maps unfortunately is not), we are talking about this building, yeah?

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/3403/picture2gs8.png

It's a bland, boaring brick box

It's not a landmark or memorable.

Tear it down

VivaLFuego Jun 21, 2008 7:21 PM

Sounds like the Mies shack provides a perfect, very fundamental example of the perpetual dichotomy of architecture as functional real space versus work-of-art versus historical relic. It's a dreadful, atrocious use of real estate, it's hideous, but it's done by an important architect and its context is of historical significance in the history of architecture.

That said, a bunch of picketers marching to Save The Shack would seriously demean the preservation movement and further harm chances of being taken seriously for more serious preservation causes.

Wright Concept Jun 21, 2008 8:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3627864)
Sounds like the Mies shack provides a perfect, very fundamental example of the perpetual dichotomy of architecture as functional real space versus work-of-art versus historical relic. It's a dreadful, atrocious use of real estate, it's hideous, but it's done by an important architect and its context is of historical significance in the history of architecture.

That said, a bunch of picketers marching to Save The Shack would seriously demean the preservation movement and further harm chances of being taken seriously for more serious preservation causes.

I doubt it, all Metra should do is present/create a design charette to the IIT College of Architecture (my alma-mater) or even an IPRO within all of the engineering/design majors at IIT and all of those issues would fall by the wayside. If anything if Mies were around he would be pleased to get the students involved in designing and building integral pieces of the campus because it proves that the College of Architecture is providing a true real-life design labratory for it's students.

ardecila Jun 21, 2008 8:44 PM

Alright, all this discussion of underground shooting ranges is pretty awesome.

Is it still in use? I'd love to go down there and (hopefully) shoot some pictures. Obviously, they went to the huge expense of building it underground to keep it secret, so is it still a clandestine thing? Do the Men in Black practice shooting down there? There's probably a mock "grassy knoll", complete with blow-up doll of JFK! :haha:

honte Jun 21, 2008 8:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3627864)
Sounds like the Mies shack provides a perfect, very fundamental example of the perpetual dichotomy of architecture as functional real space versus work-of-art versus historical relic. It's a dreadful, atrocious use of real estate, it's hideous, but it's done by an important architect and its context is of historical significance in the history of architecture.

That said, a bunch of picketers marching to Save The Shack would seriously demean the preservation movement and further harm chances of being taken seriously for more serious preservation causes.

I suppose I see where you're coming from, but I still think this argument is ridiculous - exactly the kind of thing that made us lose countless buildings across the nation and still does. Sounds a lot like their justification for tearing down Lake Meadows, doesn't it?

I for one would never want to live in a city where every square inch was the highest and best use, because it would be frightfully boring.

The building could be put to a perfectly good use that enhances the Metra station. Ticket stand, concession stand, hot dog stand, warming shelter, wing of a coffee house, entrance to a shooting range to get out your after-game aggression, whatever. What is a "dreadful, atrocious" waste of space is the boring plaza Metra is proposing that erodes the street wall for no good reason and will sit there unused until someone who is disabled needs to use the offramp.

BVictor1 Jun 21, 2008 9:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3627980)
I suppose I see where you're coming from, but I still think this argument is ridiculous - exactly the kind of thing that made us lose countless buildings across the nation and still does. Sounds a lot like their justification for tearing down Lake Meadows, doesn't it?

I for one would never want to live in a city where every square inch was the highest and best use, because it would be frightfully boring.

The building could be put to a perfectly good use that enhances the Metra station. Ticket stand, concession stand, hot dog stand, warming shelter, wing of a coffee house, entrance to a shooting range to get out your after-game aggression, whatever. What is a "dreadful, atrocious" waste of space is the boring plaza Metra is proposing that erodes the street wall for no good reason and will sit there unused until someone who is disabled needs to use the offramp.

Just because the structure was designed by a renowned architect doesn't make every structure he/she did good...

People need to stop intertwinning the relationship of architect and period and start judging on merrit, functionality and individual design.

honte Jun 21, 2008 9:50 PM

^ Being that this is a transit thread, I did not spend time explaining why the structure is important. Not to sound snide, but I can virtually guarantee you I know more about this structure and Mies's work than you do. My judgments are not based solely on the name behind the building, but on what it means as a work of architecture.

VivaLFuego Jun 21, 2008 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3627980)
What is a "dreadful, atrocious" waste of space is the boring plaza Metra is proposing that erodes the street wall for no good reason and will sit there unused until someone who is disabled needs to use the offramp.

No argument from me there.

I disagree with the Lake Meadows comparison though, as those constitute thousands of occupied housing units in a stable community. In that case, "highest and best use" is very highly subjective, depending upon who you ask. Depending on what the Mies shack is used for, I'm open to convincing, but I have doubts judging by the pictures.

"Highest and best use," literally, further isn't what I'm advocating, but I think depending on the proposed replacement, just about any architectural work could be considered for being either replaced or moved and reassembled.

In this instance, yeah the Metra station is hardly inspiring, but my broader point is that realistically, the preservation movement would demean itself to make a stink about the loss of this, even if they have a few meritorious arguments that could warrant some sort of adaptive reuse. There are so many more important fish to fry for which the case would resonate with broader spectra of the population (Lake Meadows, Prentice, etc.)

the urban politician Jun 21, 2008 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3628047)
^ Being that this is a transit thread, I did not spend time explaining why the structure is important. Not to sound snide, but I can virtually guarantee you I know more about this structure and Mies's work than you do. My judgments are not based solely on the name behind the building, but on what it means as a work of architecture.

^ I'm curious what you think makes this structure so important. If you can answer this question in the 'General Developments' thread, I'd appreciate it.

ardecila Jun 22, 2008 7:39 AM

Why does everybody love to hate on plazas so much? If I've learned anything from European cities, it's that thoughtfully-placed and planned public space can really enrich a city.

The problem with the "public space" created by the modernist planners who wreaked havoc with the Near South Side is that it wasn't really public. All those little grassy strips in front of the Taylor Homes, or in the center of circular drives, weren't really functional, nor were they spaces people could enjoy. They were merely useless greenspace. Also - and this is important - not all of the problems in public housing were caused by planners. The problems with crime, drug abuse, and poverty were present in the slums that the housing projects replaced. They are problems that accompany all sites of concentrated poverty, regardless of what the built environment is. So, what were poorly-planned parks to begin with were made worse by the problems of crime and poverty in the neighborhood.

The new townhouse developments going in on the South Side seem to be repeating the same mistake in their pocket parks - because of the brick walls and fencing that surround and cordon the neighborhood, and the homogenous architecture surrounding the parks, the parks don't feel public, but more like something for the exclusive use of the neighbors.

It seems like the Metra plaza, because it serves as a gateway to a public service, and is beholden to no particular private development, will be a successful plaza.

Dr. Taco Jun 22, 2008 4:08 PM

SOOOoooooo...how 'bout that blue line? sure is a lot of work being done on it these days. Both tracks were out of commission yesterday night from jeff park to...cumberland maybe. it was crazy. There had to have been hundreds of workers in that stretch all busting their balls. I'll be a happy camper once they're done

Nowhereman1280 Jun 22, 2008 6:14 PM

^^^ Yes, they have been shutting down whole segments of it on the weekends and just ripping it up. The places they have already hit sure are nice, refurbished stations (no more crumbling over hangs) and fresh tracks make the ride much nicer!

ardecila Jun 23, 2008 6:19 AM

I heard on the radio today that the stretch of the Blue Line between Rosemont and O'Hare will be completely shut down for 3 weeks to perform track work. A bus shuttle will be substituted until the tracks are back online. The report claimed that this is the last major piece of track work to be performed on the Blue Line.

EDIT: This will happen July 8-28.

Marcu Jun 24, 2008 5:13 AM

^ In addition, the red line will operate on the brown line tracks around the loop all week after 9pm as they work on the slow zones in the subways. A year or so from now, we'll have slow zone free red and blue and a completely revamped brown.

On a different note, has there been any progress in extending the Metra Kenosha line to Milwaukee? Is WI (and local entities) paying for that? Also, when is the Oakton Yellow line stop scheduled to open (if ever)?

ardecila Jun 24, 2008 8:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 3632050)
On a different note, has there been any progress in extending the Metra Kenosha line to Milwaukee? Is WI (and local entities) paying for that? Also, when is the Oakton Yellow line stop scheduled to open (if ever)?

Wisconsin is supposed to pay for the Kenosha-Milwaukee rail project (usually called "KRM" for Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee), in combination with the federal government. The federal funds have already been awarded.

However, Wisconsin legislators can't decide if they want it or not, since they haven't identified a local funding source. Certain Republicans are adamantly opposed to the project, unless it can be funded without a tax increase of any kind. Sales tax increases were tried and defeated. The most recent plan was a stiff rental car tax, but that too was defeated. Finally, legislators just gave up and did not budget any money for KRM in the 2008 budget.

I'm not sure how long the federal funds are available, but if Wisconsin lets them expire, the rail plan will truly be dead.

As for the Oakton CTA station - there's been very little news on that. My guess is that Skokie is still trying to scrape together the money for design and construction. Skokie got embroiled in an eminent-domain battle with some local businesses, and they may still be in litigation.

EDIT: Skokie did indeed get into a legal battle over eminent domain, but not on the properties for the CTA station. According to a January 2008 article, groundbreaking is expected in the fall sometime once plans are completed.

OhioGuy Jun 24, 2008 12:54 PM

The dumbf*cks in Wisconsin need to get their acts together and figure out some type of funding. This rail connection will be especially advantageous for them if Chicago manages to win the Olympics.

Mr Downtown Jun 24, 2008 1:18 PM

^How so? Is Olympics traffic congestion expected to be especially bad for folks commuting from Racine into downtown Milwaukee? And if it is, couldn't they just run the trains for those two weeks?

brian_b Jun 24, 2008 2:24 PM

I would imagine the rail connection would be very advantageous to General Mitchell International Airport. That is, if this extension was planned to connect it (does anyone know?). Being connected to downtown Milwaukee and downtown Chicago on a rail line that runs more often than Amtrak is a clear benefit.

OhioGuy Jun 24, 2008 2:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3632326)
^How so? Is Olympics traffic congestion expected to be especially bad for folks commuting from Racine into downtown Milwaukee? And if it is, couldn't they just run the trains for those two weeks?

Well I wasn't thinking about Amtrak. They maybe could run more trains between Milwaukee & Chicago during that time period. I just figured that with the rail connection, hotels & businesses in communities along the Wisconsin lakefront, including Milwaukee & Racine, would see some nice benefits in the form of tourism dollars (I would imagine staying in hotels up there would overall be more affordable than down here).

(but regardless of that, I just want it so that I can travel up to Milwaukee at a cheaper price than Amtrak offers... even if it is a little more time consuming than riding Amtrak)


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