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ardecila Dec 7, 2011 7:07 PM

^^ Creative solution.

Nowhereman posted a link in the General Developments thread that inadvertently showed me something I wasn't aware of. It's well-known that CTA plans to use the UP's alignment through Roseland for the Red Line Extension. However, UP's line is at-grade and has quite a few grade crossings, which pose a problem for station access, as both a major inconvenience and potential safety hazard.

Therefore, the city is exploring the idea of relocating the UP entirely between 87th and 101st Streets. The new alignment would follow the existing CRL/CN lines, which are fully grade-separated and under-capacity, and could be linked together with a new flyover and two track connections. Freeing up the UP corridor would also allow the city to avoid any property takings along the new Red Line route. The city could then build the Red Line more cheaply on the former UP alignment, and potentially re-connect streets to fill in the missing links in the grid.

http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/4843/updiagram.jpg

M II A II R II K Dec 7, 2011 11:12 PM

Three Years Down, 72 More to Go On Chicago Parking Meter Lease by Michelle Stenzel


December 6th, 2011

Read More: http://www.urbanophile.com/2011/12/0...g-meter-lease/

Quote:

December 4, 2011 marks the three-year anniversary of our city council approving the deal that traded our right to collect revenue on parking meters in exchange for a large-but-not-large-enough lump sum of money. Why are we talking about this parking meter deal on a bike/walk blog? We’ll get to that.

- According to most recent documents posted on the city’s website, as of June 30, 2011, 2.5 years into the deal, we had already spent $879 million of the money we received. It’s true that much of the money was used to pay off big debts the city had incurred in the years prior to 2008, including projects like building Millennium Park. That’s money that we owed, and paid off, and is now off the books. However, it’s disheartening to realize that three-quarters of the money from the lease deal is already spent, with 96% of the lease term still in front of us (72 more years!).

- Most disturbing is that $400 million was specifically earmarked to be a “revenue replacement fund”, the investment earnings on which was to provide a steady stream of approximately $20 million a year to make up for the fact that we’re not earning that money any longer from our parking meters. Unfortunately, in 2010, contrary to the stated plan, $210 million was transferred out of that fund for other uses, so we only had $178 million left, as of June 30, 2011. That’s not going to earn enough to replace our lost parking meter revenue. Again, for the next 72 years.

- But here’s the part that affects us most as pedestrians and bicyclists: Under the lease deal, the city retains ownership of the actual street, the physical land on which people park. However, CPM LLC now has the lawful right to earn parking fees on every single 20-foot stretch of curb that was already a metered parking space on December 4, 2008. So now, if the city planners feel there’s a need to eliminate a metered parking space, they cannot do so unless they create a new comparable space nearby to make up for the lost one, or they need to negotiate with CPM LLC and pay cold, hard cash to make up for CPM LLC’s lost revenue.

First, let’s review some basics:

• Under the lease agreement, Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, paid the city $1,156,500,000 in exchange for the right to keep the revenue earned from Chicago’s parking meters for the following 75 years.

• Chicago Parking Meters, LLC (CPM LLC) was an entity formed for the purpose of the deal. The name makes it sound like a local entity, but in fact it is made up mostly of investors from Morgan Stanley and Abu Dhabi.

• Mayor Daley’s administration had been working on the possible deal for about 18 months but pressured the aldermen to pass the proposed deal within 48 hours of ever bringing it to their attention.

• There was no public input or review process.

• Only two bids were submitted, and the higher bid was quickly accepted.

• Six months later, the city’s Inspector General released a detailed financial analysis of the bids and concluded that even using conservative estimates, we should have received nearly $1 billion more than what was accepted.

• Most of the $1.1565 billion we received from the deal is already spent and gone.

• We have 72 years left to go on the contract.

• It’s grim.

.....

CTA Gray Line Dec 9, 2011 2:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5508128)
^^ Creative solution.

Nowhereman posted a link in the General Developments thread that inadvertently showed me something I wasn't aware of. It's well-known that CTA plans to use the UP's alignment through Roseland for the Red Line Extension. However, UP's line is at-grade and has quite a few grade crossings, which pose a problem for station access, as both a major inconvenience and potential safety hazard.

Therefore, the city is exploring the idea of relocating the UP entirely between 87th and 101st Streets. The new alignment would follow the existing CRL/CN lines, which are fully grade-separated and under-capacity, and could be linked together with a new flyover and two track connections. Freeing up the UP corridor would also allow the city to avoid any property takings along the new Red Line route. The city could then build the Red Line more cheaply on the former UP alignment, and potentially re-connect streets to fill in the missing links in the grid.

http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/4843/updiagram.jpg

If the freight railroad operation were eliminated from the equation, the Red Line Extension could be placed in a trench, or cut-and-cover subway (best) - for MUCH less cost than an aerial structure.

sammyg Dec 9, 2011 2:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5510424)
If the freight railroad operation were eliminated from the equation, the Red Line Extension could be placed in a trench, or cut-and-cover subway (best) - for MUCH less cost than an aerial structure.

Freight is worth alot more money, and it employs alot more people in the city than the CTA does.

Nowhereman1280 Dec 9, 2011 3:04 PM

I still don't understand all the fretting about the parking meter deal. It's wonderful to see parking rates downtown on the meters go up up up where they belong. I know it makes me think twice about taking my car downtown and makes taking the Blue Line in, even if I have to transfer to Chicago bus or something, a LOT more appealing. That would never have happened without taking the pricing out of the control of the city where the political reality of "free parking as a constitutional right" reigns.

Mr Downtown Dec 9, 2011 3:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5510424)
the Red Line Extension could be placed in a trench, or cut-and-cover subway (best) - for MUCH less cost than an aerial structure.

Where on earth are you getting your construction cost estimates? Retained cut is twice as expensive as elevated structure, and that's without filling back over it. Actual subway is more than four times as expensive. Any time you go below grade you have utility relocation, soil stabilization, dewatering, and construction of bridges for all the overcrossing streets.

VivaLFuego Dec 9, 2011 3:55 PM

The 2007 city budget proposal included purchasing the payboxes (around $35m investment) and raising rates itself, but as Nowhereman points out, the aldermen balked. By the 2009 budget, money was so tight that there wasn't even anything to spare to buy the payboxes, and they needed the one time infusion to plug the budget hole.

From a purely financial, it wasn't a terrible price paid (just run the numbers yourself using a reasonable discount rate). The crime was using what should have been $1bn in capital reserve to gain interest and fund construction projects over 75 years to pay ~3 years of operating expenses.

harveyk400 Dec 9, 2011 7:07 PM

For one, a costly railroad relocation adds to the cost of the Red Line.
Proposed UP relocation could make CREATE proposal for Amtrak Grand Crossing re-connection redundant.
Proposed high-speed rail corridor to Saint Louis would need most of the available right of way and the raising of the existing UP overhead bridge south of Kensington to ease the vertical curve in electric power catenary.
The Metra Electric Kensington Junction also needs to be expanded, increasing use of the right of way.

jpIllInoIs Dec 9, 2011 8:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harveyk400 (Post 5510758)
For one, a costly railroad relocation adds to the cost of the Red Line.
Proposed UP relocation could make CREATE proposal for Amtrak Grand Crossing re-connection redundant.
Proposed high-speed rail corridor to Saint Louis would need most of the available right of way and the raising of the existing UP overhead bridge south of Kensington to ease the vertical curve in electric power catenary.
The Metra Electric Kensington Junction also needs to be expanded, increasing use of the right of way.

Welcome to the forum Harveyk400. You put alot of random fact statements out there. Care to address them in a little more digestible form?

For Instance: construction of Create P4 is currently unfunded so while the UP relo and alignment with CN-IC is redundant it is not a bad thing in regards to Create P4.

ardecila Dec 9, 2011 9:43 PM

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. You're offering reasons but no main argument.

Anyway... it may in fact be cheaper overall to relocate UP than for CTA to seize all the properties adjacent to UP and create their own ROW. Plus, relocating UP doesn't displace any residents (except for maybe around 95th/Cottage Grove when they build the flyover).

The IC right-of-way is eight tracks wide. It is wide enough to accommodate both passenger and freight demands for the next 100 years. With proper management, four tracks is more than enough for the future high-speed trains, Metra Electric commuter operations, and the South Shore. CN reserved four tracks in that area for freight operations - two tracks for mainline freight and two tracks for storage. With CN shifting more and more of their traffic onto the EJ&E, their sidings and main lines within the city will see much less usage. The storage tracks can become a new UP mainline while the two CN mainline tracks can be saved for super-express and high-speed intercity trains.

untitledreality Dec 10, 2011 7:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5510424)
If the freight railroad operation were eliminated from the equation...

Just stop right there.

Freight built this city and continues to ensure our economic status both now and in the future... and you want to just eliminate a line? For the sake of (supposedly) saving (doubt it) a couple hundred million dollars in construction costs? Care to guess on how much it would cost to buy that ROW (without providing an alternative) off of Union Pacific? Im betting a lot more than whatever possible saving you would have on the Red Line extension... and it would simply add to the freight rail clusterfuck that is the SouthEast side of the city.

Yeah, sounds good.

CTA Gray Line Dec 10, 2011 8:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 5511489)
Just stop right there.

Freight built this city and continues to ensure our economic status both now and in the future... and you want to just eliminate a line? For the sake of (supposedly) saving (doubt it) a couple hundred million dollars in construction costs? Care to guess on how much it would cost to buy that ROW (without providing an alternative) off of Union Pacific? Im betting a lot more than whatever possible saving you would have on the Red Line extension... and it would simply add to the freight rail clusterfuck that is the SouthEast side of the city.

Yeah, sounds good.


When I said "freight railroad eliminated from the equation" - I was talking about the UP ROW between I-57 at 99th and the MED ROW at 119th.

I meant that if freight trains were re-routed (as per the image) onto the MED ROW at 95th, they would be "eliminated" from the ROW of the Red Line Extension, instead of having to share it; I did NOT mean getting rid of the freight services altogether, which is how you seem to have interpreted what I said.

And while the Red Line Extension seems to be a done deal (or it will be), I obviously favor the 25 MILE 40 STATION Gray Line Conversion of the in-city Metra Electric District services (from the Downtown Millenium Park Station at Randolph & Michigan - to [93rd & Brandon], [115th & Cottage Grove], [Downtown Blue Island] and [Hegewisch]) at a TOTAL Capital Cost of approx. $200 Million: Grayline.20m.com

That 200 MILLION Dollars is ONE S E V E N T H of the 1.4 B I L L I O N Dollar Total Capital Cost to extend the Red Line only 6 miles with only 4 stations (ALL South of 95th St. - and now add the cost of re-routing the UP freight trains).


btw: I believe these same UP tracks will also be carrying the new Metra SouthEast Service: http://metraconnects.metrarail.com/ses.php http://metraconnects.metrarail.com/p...ap09012010.pdf

chicagopcclcar1 Dec 10, 2011 2:43 PM

CHICAGOTRANSIT@yahoogroups
 
I have just discovered this group and many of your discussions are repeated on CHICAGOTRANSIT@yahoogroups. I am only a member there but you might find additional and interesting discussions there, so here's an invite to come take a look. I have just posted a response from CTA sources about wheel truing and the new AC5000 cars, for instance.

Meanwhile I am enjoying going through your past pages.

David Harrison

CTA Gray Line Dec 10, 2011 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicagopcclcar1 (Post 5511586)
I have just discovered this group and many of your discussions are repeated on CHICAGOTRANSIT@yahoogroups. I am only a member there but you might find additional and interesting discussions there, so here's an invite to come take a look. I have just posted a response from CTA sources about wheel truing and the new AC5000 cars, for instance.

Meanwhile I am enjoying going through your past pages.

David Harrison


Welcome David, you will be a valuable asset to this forum; here is a link to the CHICAGO TRANSIT forum for all to use: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/CHICAGOTRANSIT/

untitledreality Dec 10, 2011 9:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5511505)
I obviously favor the 25 MILE 40 STATION Gray Line Conversion of the in-city Metra Electric District services...at a TOTAL Capital Cost of approx. $200 Million

Where does this magical $200mm number come from? At the very minimum this project requires 40 station rehabs, or complete rebuilds. Add to that the changes that would be made to the HighLiner cars (removal of bathrooms, plastic seats, signage), acquisition of HighLiner maintenance facilities/machinery and new staff trained to work on the HighLiners. No way even a fraction of that gets accomplished for $200mm.

ardecila Dec 10, 2011 10:19 PM

I'll let Mike defend his own idea, but the pricetag seems very realistic. If you assume that every station must be accessible, then the cost would go up substantially. But if you don't, then the Grey Line can be implemented as soon as they re-install the missing turnstiles and purchase new rolling stock to allow for the higher service frequency.

emathias Dec 13, 2011 10:24 PM

Maybe someone already mentioned it, but the CTA now publishes Open Data on the web. It's a lot of data! Included in the ridership statistics are "L" ridership numbers for over a half-million station-days (a specific day at a specific station).

There are some interesting numbers in that big pile of numbers, for example:

The four busiest station-days are at the Belmont Red/Brown/Purple station for the last Sunday in June for 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The 2011 day was 15% busier than the 2nd-place day despite the station being closed down for several hours. For those of you who don't know, the last Sunday in June in Chicago's Gay Pride Parade, and Belmont station is the closest "L" station to the middle of the route. Also the biggest Sunday ever for Addison, and biggest-ever days for Sheridan, Wellington and Diversey. Altogether, 2011 Gay Pride Parade resulted in at least 73,000 riders across the stations within 1/2 mile of the Parade route. A typical weekday for those five stations together would be less than half that - around 35,000.

Obama's 2008 Election Day rally in Grant Park is the likely reason Clark-Lake takes the 24th-busiest station-day.

The Stanley Cup rally on June 11, 2010 gave Clark/Lake and Lake/State Loop stations the 5th and 9th-busiest station-days ever.

Not surprisingly, 7 of the busiest 100 station-days are related to Independence Day fireworks (the stats I have only cover 11 years, so 7/11 are in the top 100. 6/11 are in the top 50 and 2 are in the top 10 busiest station-days.

Those were just some ones I could picking pick out with a spreadsheet. I'm sure ever more interesting data could be mined with a little scripting.

M II A II R II K Dec 14, 2011 4:17 PM

New Connection Between Chicago and Quad Cities


December 13, 2011

By Ellen Cannon

Read More: http://www.examiner.com/homeland-sec...nd-quad-cities

Quote:

The Quad Cities has long considered passenger rail service connecting it to Chicago a goal that might never happen. Well, it happened yesterday due in no small part to the efforts of Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood. Secretary LaHood announced that Illinois will receive more than $177 million from the Department of Transportation (IDOT) for a passenger rail project that will operate twice daily providing roundtrip service between the two cities. Intermediate stops along the way will include the towns of Geneseo, Princeton, Mendota, and Plano, Illinois. The expected completion date of the project is 2014.

- Senator Durbin, a member of the Senate Transportation Appropriation Subcommittee considers federal funding of transportation systems and infrastructure a key element to sustained economic investment in Illinois, job creation, and improved public health. Senator Durbin has repeatedly said that,” For every $1 billion spent in transportation infrastructure, it is estimated that 24,000 new jobs are supported.” Illinois has more than 10% unemployment. The expected employment opportunities resulting from this investment are considerable.

- Paul Rumler, executive director of Quad Cities Rail Coalition, is ecstatic. He told Katie Jones of cbs4 Quad Cities News, “We look at this as being able to put the QC on the map not only in the Midwest but globally to be able to attract a qualified work force.” Rumler said, “The straight shot to and from the windy city will bring in jobs, business, and tourists. It is going to improve our transportation options, help with our quality of life and really create some jobs that are much needed in this area to stimulate economic growth. It is something we can all be excited about.”

.....

Mr Downtown Dec 16, 2011 4:44 AM

The Union Station Master Plan meeting drew a good crowd. No earthshaking ideas (or funded projects). When Canal Street is rebuilt (next few years) it might be done with the east curb lanes for buses, and a taxi dropoff island in the middle of the street (but no access to that island except at the Adams and Jackson crosswalks). The offstreet bus facility south of Jackson was described as "for CTA buses," which probably means no Megabus or private shuttles. "Medium-range" ideas to someday create additional through tracks and to shift some of the south side tracks over a bit, widening passenger platforms enough to allow escalators up to Jackson by eliminating the underused baggage platforms.

Here's a PDF of the presentation.

ardecila Dec 16, 2011 7:20 AM

Yea, the same stuff I garnered from the animated GIF they had a few weeks ago.

One new thing is that the city is considering adding new tracks under Canal instead of Clinton. Adding intercity or regional trains under Canal with CTA under Clinton may be cheaper than the crazy 4-level WLTC concept under Clinton. It could greatly simplify junctions and underground clearance issues. Plus, it would divorce the Clinton Street Subway from the expansion of Union Station, allowing them to be funded separately.


If you look closely, both alignments include four tracks. Clinton has them in a stacked arrangement, while Canal has them on the same level.
http://img846.imageshack.us/img846/851/westloop.jpg


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