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VivaLFuego Sep 23, 2006 6:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st
Instead of Cottage Grove being the last stop, how about adding future stations at 63rd/Woodlawn and 63rd/Stony Island?

Ha ha, you mean like it did before Bishop Arthur Brazier got it torn down?
http://www.chicago-l.org/maps/route/...5swift-map.jpg

Not likely....I think actually enacting something like the "Gray Line" proposal (i.e. making the Metra Electric South Chicago branch something closer to rapid transit) is far more plausible. Further, the new Washington Park stadium would already be pretty well served by the 51st and Garfield stations on the Green Line, provided the areas around those stations and the main thoroughfares were cleaned up significantly. Alot can happen in 10 years of course, but the city would have get pretty serious about it.

i_am_hydrogen Sep 25, 2006 5:11 PM

Circle Line News
 
CTA to detail a Circle Line
Series of hearings planned for this week

By Virginia Groark
Tribune staff reporter
Published September 25, 2006

The CTA will provide new details this week on its proposed Circle Line, which would connect all elevated train and Metra lines in the city.

The details will be offered at a series of hearings that are designed to help the agency pick a final route and mode of transport for the $1 billion proposal.

The hearings--which will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday--are part of a mandated process the CTA must undergo to recommend a preferred path, which will be announced early next year.

In May, the CTA said it had narrowed the options for the project to three corridors and three modes of travel: light rail, bus rapid transit or a train system like it currently runs. It also was evaluating whether the system should be at street level, a subway or an elevated system.

At the hearings this week, officials will present more details on those options.

The Circle Line is one of five projects Congress authorized in a transportation bill passed last year. But those projects must still secure federal funding.

The CTA is promoting the Circle Line as a way to improve connections between all "L" and Metra lines in the city limits so people would not have to travel into the Loop to transfer between them. The path, which is expected to create an outer ring, would be bordered by Pershing Road on the south, Fullerton Avenue on the north, Rockwell Street on the west.

But the project has raised concerns in some neighborhoods, where people are worried about the demolition of homes and businesses or the impact of constructing new elevated tracks.

In one North Side ward, an alderman will ask residents on the Nov. 7 ballot to say whether they would want the transit line to be a subway system in their neighborhood. "A lot of people are concerned in my ward about an elevated rail line," said Ald. Ted Matlak (32nd), who noted the CTA could reduce the impact by building a subway.

In May, the CTA unveiled three proposed corridors for the route, all of which would start on Archer Avenue along the existing Orange Line.

In the so-called Ashland corridor, the route would then cut north in the vicinity of Ashland Avenue and travel east between Fullerton and North Avenues to connect with the North/Clybourn station on the Red Line. In the Ashland/Ogden corridor, the route would travel north on Ashland, head northeast on Ogden Avenue and turn north near Halsted Street to the North/Clybourn station. The Western corridor proposal would take the route north on Western Avenue before heading east between Fullerton and North Avenues.

The meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Bucktown/Wicker Park Chicago Public Library, 1701 N. Milwaukee Ave; Wednesday in the National Teachers Academy, 55 W. Cermak Rd.; and Thursday in the First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 W. Washington Blvd.

----------

vgroark@tribune.com

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

the urban politician Sep 25, 2006 11:22 PM

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=22210
Sept. 25, 2006

Amtrack to add trains from Chicago to St. Louis, Quincy
Service to begin Oct. 30
(AP) — Amtrak trains will be chugging across Illinois more often, thanks to a bigger state subsidy, and local officials said Monday they hope increased service translates into economic growth.

State support for Amtrak is doubling to $24 million this year. The money will support seven round-trip trains from Chicago to St. Louis, Carbondale and Quincy, up from three trains now. For the cities along those routes, more trains mean more connection to Chicago - something that can help local businesses and even attract new ones.

"We would definitely use that as a marketing tool to demonstrate a little more accessibility and convenience, both for the businesses and their customers," said Charles Bell, manager of the entrepreneurship center at Quincy's Great River Economic Development Foundation.

The current Amtrak schedule is terribly inconvenient for Quincy travelers, he said. The most practical arrangement is to go up one day, attend meetings the next and come home on a third day. But the new service should make shorter trips more feasible, Bell said.

Advertisement


Related Article Topics | Related Industry News
Jeff Doherty, the city manager in Carbondale, said travelers there no longer will have to choose between leaving for Chicago at 3 a.m. or at 4 p.m. Now there will be a much more useful 7:30 a.m. option.

Businesses will take advantage of the new train, he said, but it's most important for college students.

Southern Illinois University attracts many students from the Chicago area. Easier travel to and from Chicago will keep them coming to Carbondale and keep the university healthy, Doherty said.

In fact, the added Carbondale train will be named the Saluki in honor of the SIU mascot. Names for the new trains to St. Louis and Quincy have not been announced yet.

The new service is to begin Oct. 30.

St. Louis will have three state-supported trains to and from Chicago, up from one now. Carbondale and Quincy each will have two, instead of one. In addition, Amtrak has other trains passing through those cities that don't get any state support.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich noted that demand for the rail service is increasing.

Nearly 1 million passengers used Amtrak lines subsidized by the state last year, setting a new record. The total was up 12.5% from a year earlier and 40.8 percent from 2003.

"Amtrak is an affordable travel option, and in many communities it's the only form of public transportation," Blagojevich said in a statement.

Mr Roboto Sep 26, 2006 1:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by i_am_hydrogen

In May, the CTA unveiled three proposed corridors for the route, all of which would start on Archer Avenue along the existing Orange Line.

In the so-called Ashland corridor, the route would then cut north in the vicinity of Ashland Avenue and travel east between Fullerton and North Avenues to connect with the North/Clybourn station on the Red Line. In the Ashland/Ogden corridor, the route would travel north on Ashland, head northeast on Ogden Avenue and turn north near Halsted Street to the North/Clybourn station. The Western corridor proposal would take the route north on Western Avenue before heading east between Fullerton and North Avenues.

I didn't realize they had narrowed it to three, I think their website still shows 4 or 5. Anyway, Im in favor of the western corridor proposal. Even though it would probably be more expensive, I simply think the further west they can stretch it, the more purpose it would serve in cutting down commute times. Still, I wonder if more downtown development would be generated if the lines are closer to the loop...

aaron38 Sep 26, 2006 5:36 PM

Is there progress being made in adding a new El stop at the United Center on the Pink Line?
This is part of the Circle Line plans, but I'd think they'd get that station online soon to increase traffic and revenue.

VivaLFuego Sep 26, 2006 5:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38
Is there progress being made in adding a new El stop at the United Center on the Pink Line?
This is part of the Circle Line plans, but I'd think they'd get that station online soon to increase traffic and revenue.

Short answer, "no". I -think- the hope is that this would be a phase in the Circle Line project, i.e. eligible for significant federal funding.

nomarandlee Sep 27, 2006 11:24 AM

CTA Circle Line down to 2 options
 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/7...rcle27.article

CTA Circle Line down to 2 options
Both alternatives might involve new underground rail


September 27, 2006
BY MONIFA THOMAS Transportation Reporter
For the first time, the CTA also floated potential locations for new Circle Line stations, including stops at United Center and Cermak/Blue Island and connections to four Metra lines on Ashland Avenue.

At a public meeting Tuesday, CTA officials said the Circle Line will likely run along one of two routes. The proposed Ashland corridor follows the existing Orange Line along Archer to Ashland, where it heads north and then east on North Avenue before connecting with the Red Line at North and Clybourn.



The second option, known as the Ashland/Ogden corridor, follows almost the same path but cuts from Ashland to Division via Ogden Avenue.

Both proposed routes would potentially involve building new underground rail from the United Center north to the area of North and Clybourn.

The final route won't be chosen until next year.

Light rail streetcars ruled out
In addition, the CTA decided against using light rail streetcars for the Circle Line, opting instead for either bus rapid transit or heavy rail like the trains currently in use.
Bus rapid transit would involve using buses in dedicated lanes.

Before it can apply for federal funds to build the Circle Line, the CTA must complete a thorough analysis of potential routes and modes of transit -- a lengthy process of which Tuesday's meeting was a continuation.

A final proposal, complete with ridership projections and a detailed cost analysis, isn't expected until next year.

Until these details are ironed out, it's too soon to tell how fares and schedules might be affected or how much time the new routing could shave off commuters' trips.

Two more Circle Line meetings are scheduled for this week. See transitchicago.com for information


http://media1.suntimes.com/nixoncds/...5.imageContent

VivaLFuego Sep 27, 2006 2:18 PM

Cost projections are key here. I think the Ashland corridor is far more desireable than the Ashland/Ogden, as Ashland is pretty vibrant all the way from Grand, through Chicago, Division, up to North Avenue. Lots of retails, mid-density residential, and hits some key intersections like Ashland/Division/Milwaukee in Wicker Park. But it would cost more. I think that's what it will come down to.

Wright Concept Sep 27, 2006 4:07 PM

I think they'll have to go with Ashland since it could potentially continue along the right-of-way next to the Metra tracks and could potentially tie into the Brown Line. Creating an Ashland corridor from close to Lawrence down to Archer.

But then again the Ogden portion has more potential in terms of a developmental standpoint.

the urban politician Sep 27, 2006 4:20 PM

They never explained why they narrowed it down to heavy rail and BRT? Why not light rail?

It seems odd to me, since logically light rail and heavy rail have more in common than heavy rail and BRT..

Anyway, I just don't think BRT will get the same ridership that a train would, even if it were on a designated ROW; plus it's so un-Chicago-like. Just my opinion, though..

VivaLFuego Sep 27, 2006 5:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician
They never explained why they narrowed it down to heavy rail and BRT? Why not light rail?

It seems odd to me, since logically light rail and heavy rail have more in common than heavy rail and BRT..

Anyway, I just don't think BRT will get the same ridership that a train would, even if it were on a designated ROW; plus it's so un-Chicago-like. Just my opinion, though..

I -think- its because using heavy rail would be able to leverage significant portion of already existing infrastructure, i.e. light rail wouldn't be worth the cost because of how much would need to be constructed from scratch. BRT is of course much cheaper all around, depending how far you go with the technology. the BRT routes proposed don't form a complete circle though, rather just an arc around downtown.

Mr Roboto Sep 27, 2006 5:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
Cost projections are key here. I think the Ashland corridor is far more desireable than the Ashland/Ogden, as Ashland is pretty vibrant all the way from Grand, through Chicago, Division, up to North Avenue. Lots of retails, mid-density residential, and hits some key intersections like Ashland/Division/Milwaukee in Wicker Park. But it would cost more. I think that's what it will come down to.

Theres also an article from the tribune; http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

Yes, I agree, the Ashland corridor looks way better to me, and will serve a greater population. I hope that they dont choose the Ogden one just to cut costs; if there would be greater development then I would understand. However, there is a sizeable population that could use the Ashland corridor Circle line system, like that woman in Ukanian village, who would be cut out of it. Also, the city, as a whole, would benefit from having a wider circle line.

I also dont understand why light rail was cut out and they are still considering BRT. I personally dont like BRT for Chicago, they should go with what is compatible with the existing el & metra lines.

Wright Concept Sep 27, 2006 5:18 PM

^ I think VivaLaFuego said it best. With LRT with an existing extensive HRT/3rd Rail network it would be more cost effective overall to go with HRT considering that part of the plan is to improve and refurbish the existing Infrastructre of the State Street Tunnel and Orange Line right-of-way. Also when building grade separated right-of-ways Light Rail and Heavy rail cost the same amount.

The big difference is with LRT they will need to figure out where to build the maintenance yard and shops. With the Circle Line they could get vehicles spread across a couple of sites and only upgrade maybe one or two of them with extra tracks to store the trains to operate the route.

the urban politician Sep 27, 2006 5:23 PM

^ For those of you who attended the meeting (if any), did they mention whether they were leaning in any direction (BRT vs. elevated rail)?

Another thought: is it possible to start out with BRT but eventually convert the ROW into an elevated train, perhaps as a multi-year "phase in" so to speak as more funding becomes available?

VivaLFuego Sep 27, 2006 7:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician
^ For those of you who attended the meeting (if any), did they mention whether they were leaning in any direction (BRT vs. elevated rail)?

Another thought: is it possible to start out with BRT but eventually convert the ROW into an elevated train, perhaps as a multi-year "phase in" so to speak as more funding becomes available?

The way the federal grant process works, its basically a one-shot deal. In all likelihood, I suspect the "Locally Preferred Alternative" will be found to be one of the heavy rail options, with the decision basically coming down to one having higher ridership, the other having lower cost. The trick then is completing the environmental impact study to the satisfaction of the FTA. the FTA looks at cost/benefit when deciding whether to fund projects, and has no problem awarding TONS of money if the project warrants it.

Certainly, the BRT options proposed don't included grade-seperated rights of way, but rather bus-only lanes in streets, signal priority, etc, so "converting" to HRT would basically be the same as doing HRT from the onset.

Regarding which they are leaning towards, it is too early to say other than they have narrowed it down to those 4 options, which will be compared relatively amongst eachother to produce a final ranking for the next round of public comment coming around Spring/Summer '07

the urban politician Sep 30, 2006 10:36 PM

A call out to Mayor Daley in this week's Crains
 
Oct 02, 2006
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...ticle_id=26583
Mayor, take the wheel as CTA veers off course
Mayor Richard M. Daley has a crisis on his hands at the Chicago Transit Authority.
It's a crisis every bit as pressing as the one he faced a decade ago with the city's schools. If he doesn't move as decisively to address it, his legacy as the mayor who brought the middle class back to the city is in jeopardy.

Chicago's middle-class renaissance has come mainly in neighborhoods with access to Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train and bus lines. Residents of these neighborhoods depend on the CTA to get them to work every day.

But the CTA isn't doing its job. Last Thursday's meltdown on the Brown, Red and Purple lines, though larger in scale, was only the latest in a series of similar incidents. Elevated trains routinely stop for long, unexplained delays between stations. "Express" trains take 1½ hours to reach the Loop. Buses break down, bunch up, then disappear altogether.

No great city of Chicago's size can thrive for long with such a sub-par transit system. Efficient, reliable public transportation is the linchpin of urban living. Cities like New York and Washington, D.C., manage to provide it. If Chicago can't, we'll lose people and jobs to cities that can.

Money, of course, is needed to fix the CTA, which is a financial basketcase. But state legislators are understandably reluctant to give more cash to the current CTA administration, run by Frank Kruesi.
The agency's president spins out grandiose visions of a new Circle Line and below-grade busways but can't make the trains run on time. Meanwhile, he blows hundreds of millions on an ill-conceived "super station" at Block 37 and tries to sneak through secret pension sweeteners for himself and other top brass.

Clearly, this is not the crew to take the extraordinary action needed. An outsider with proven expertise in repairing broken transit systems must be brought in with authority to overhaul the CTA from top to bottom, both financially and operationally. Only Mayor Daley can make that happen.

Steely Dan Sep 30, 2006 10:38 PM

^ A-FUCKING-MEN!

the urban politician Sep 30, 2006 10:41 PM

^ About f-king time, isn't it? :yes:

Busy Bee Oct 1, 2006 12:30 AM

They need to bring in that Ken Livingstone guy(is that his name?) who is an the American that overhauled London Transport. He did and is doing a killer job of making what is now Transport for London one of the BEST systems in the world.

Rational Plan2 Oct 1, 2006 9:38 AM

Ken Livingstone is the Mayor of London. Bon Kiley is the former New York Transit official he hired to help transform 'Transport For London'. He is now no longer the boss of TFL, but is still kept on as an advisor basis. It is unlikely that he would be interested in taking on the Job as he is now 75 and wants to slow down a bit.


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