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VivaLFuego Feb 3, 2008 4:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rail Claimore (Post 3328014)
I will say though, that the $2 cash toll ($1 I-pass) at Spring Creek is ridiculous, but that's what to expect with a fresh new tollway.

Smart to start the toll out high, since they know it'll be 20 years until they can pass another toll increase; if they had kept the toll at 50 cents, the road would have crumbled away like the rest of the system. The joys of having an allegedly semi-autonomous entity operating like a business that doesn't actually have the power of setting its own pricing without going through politicians...

ardecila Feb 4, 2008 8:46 AM

I have a question about the Orange/Yellow line extensions. Both are planned to service major shopping centers (Ford City/Old Orchard, respectively).

The Orange Line only was feasible because it used unused/lightly-used railroad right-of-way. However, the Chicago Belt Railroad (which is parallels at Midway) doesn't go all the way to Ford City, but turns off into the railyards near 68th Street. Would the Orange Line be extended over the railyards and onto its own right-of-way to bring it right into the mall parking lot?

Likewise, the old North Shore Line right-of-way is several blocks away from Old Orchard. I'm not sure I see the point of extending the line another mile if the station won't even be in the mall complex, and mall visitors face a long walk down narrow sidewalks on Golf through a low-density neighborhood. It would be far cheaper to do signalling upgrades and bus lanes on Skokie Boulevard to carry people to the mall, and those actually WOULD go directly to the mall itself; buses could drop people off right at the pedestrian entrances.

Both of these projects seem like really short extensions that are pointless without direct access to their respective malls. The Orange Line shouldn't be too hard to do properly; just build a bridge over the railyard, seize one or two industrial properties, and there's enough to build directly into Ford City.

The Yellow Line extension is more tricky; either you build a short subway under Lawler Avenue to a terminal on the site of Old Orchard's retention pond, or you build an elevated line to a terminal in the same location, thereby eviscerating a neighborhood.

UChicagoDomer Feb 4, 2008 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3310411)
I thought the planning for the Circle Line included some vision of an Orange/Green/Circle transfer station at 18th. The track geometry there looks challenging though.

apologies for changing the subject from orange/yellow to green, but are there any plans to construct a new south loop station somewhere south of roosevelt?

Marcu Feb 4, 2008 3:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j korzeniowski (Post 3327786)
guh ...

no way of taking amtrak??

you're right freeways, and freeway expansions are ridiculous, but as you live in palatine, i am not surprised at your thinking of the new (and pointless) i-355 stretch as "sweet."

i guess this region and country still has a ways to go.

Why would anyone take Amtrak to Champaign (unless there's no access to car) when (1) it ends up being about $20 more expensive even with a fuel efficient car, (2) the time you'll get into and out of Union Station is a complete crap shoot, (3) living in Palatine, he/she would not have saved any time and would've spent an additional 3 hours in a train (maybe 2 trains) with the need to use a car and park overnight. It's just too much of a hassle.

Oh yeah and how was he to get around Champaign? Rely on cabs?

And 355x is sweet. Why the need to inject political commentary into every statement about US infrustructure? This type of radical reaction to a statement about having to drive on a stretch of an interstate just hurts the legitimacy of those in favor of smart planning. Quite frankly, it's a bit immature.

VivaLFuego Feb 4, 2008 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 3329928)
Oh yeah and how was he to get around Champaign? Rely on cabs?

I actually took Amtrak to Champaign about a year ago. The Illinois Terminal rail station is also the hub of their bus network, which is excellent for a small town (most routes are on a 15-30 minute headway, and the ones subsidized by the University are often even more frequent). Buses very reliably on schedule, serving any destination, with LED NextBus signs at most major stops. The whole thing was a very seamless car-free experience; better than arriving in Chicago, dare I say. Hop off the grade-seperated rail line, go downstairs to the bus terminal to see the route map and glance at the signs indicating next bus arrivals. I had a choice of a couple routes, and a 5 minute wait. Alternatively, if the weather's nice and baggage isn't much of an issue, the station (located in the heart of downtown) is walking distance (within a mile) of much of the U of I campus. It also always has taxis waiting, which charge a flat $5 fare to any destination.

With advance purchase, roundtrip Amtrak is in the $30-40 range, and the travel time is comparable to driving as the trains go 80mph (when on time, which I've heard has generally improved over the last several years.....my train was 4 minutes late arriving in Champaign). Gas cost alone Palatine-Champaign would be about $40, and that's not including wear/tear on the vehicle and the value of passenger travel time (I hate looooooong drives, personally, and would rather kick back and sleep or read).

Just saying....trips to Champaign are exactly the sort of trips that should be encouraged to be taken by rail as a more efficient mode choice than driving or flying.

Your strongest argument is in the initial access time, i.e. getting from Palatine to Union Station. This is typically the single biggest cost component that consistently puts transit trips (outside of taxi or other demand response service) at a disadvantage to private transport, especially for non-work trips that will have little or no parking expense; of course, it is also highly dependent upon land use policies, which can contribute to make auto-dependence a self-fulfilling prophecy.

All of the above is a more economic-minded analysis.....bottom line, for me the train is just fun; in contrast to the mind-numbing drive on I-57, you ride the Illinois Central route through dozens of towns spaced literally every few miles along the rail line; there's actually alot to look at from an urbanist's perspective; the historic downtowns and housing stock, the old railway stations, the freight (typically grain) facilities, etc. 2 hours and 15 minutes, I was glued to the window almost the whole time on the daytime leg of my trip.

j korzeniowski Feb 4, 2008 6:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 3329928)
This type of radical reaction to a statement about having to drive on a stretch of an interstate just hurts the legitimacy of those in favor of smart planning. Quite frankly, it's a bit immature.

Yikes. You always seem to have an equally heated response to people advocating the use of public transportation whenever possible. (This being at least the second time of my being on the receiving end of one of your rants.)

Your points are almost all incorrect or misinformed. Anyone who has been to Champaign knows that the have the "Best Little Transit System in the Country," to paraphrase their slogan, and that it is quite easy to get around C-U sans automobile. (As I did during my time there.) Your quotes on Amtrak ticket pricing are also way off, when one does a little planning prior to purchasing the ticket.

As for the rest, I will acknowledge I ranted myself in my response to aaron38, for which I apologize. Otherwise, I defer to VivaL's post immediately above in more eloquently stating the point I was trying to make.

Cheers.

aaron38 Feb 5, 2008 3:07 AM

Hey no problem J.

Why is Midway shut down? The news didn't mention any equipment breakdowns, simply that the entire airport was closed due to the fog.

Midway doesn't have instrument landing capability?

Marcu Feb 5, 2008 3:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j korzeniowski (Post 3330170)
Yikes. You always seem to have an equally heated response to people advocating the use of public transportation whenever possible. (This being at least the second time of my being on the receiving end of one of your rants.)

Your points are almost all incorrect or misinformed. Anyone who has been to Champaign knows that the have the "Best Little Transit System in the Country," to paraphrase their slogan, and that it is quite easy to get around C-U sans automobile. (As I did during my time there.) Your quotes on Amtrak ticket pricing are also way off, when one does a little planning prior to purchasing the ticket.

Cheers.

I certainly did not mean to rant. I just get frustrated with what I percieve to be pie in the sky arguments about complete dependency on transit. I just don't see us winning over many people by advocating against 355x (especially since it's no more than a completion of a bipass that should've been part of the original decision to build the highway, just as 294 merges back with 94) or urging travelers to an unfamiliar town to navigate an unknown transit system, especially if traveling with others where costs add up. From personal experience, arguments that advocate for transit to catch up with or overtake auto travel are a lot more successful than arguments that advocate a roll back in time to pre model T days. The car will never completely go away, just as it hasn't in transit-dependent European or Asian cities. Trips like those to Champaign (unpredictable, usually with multiple people, and through sparsely populated areas) are just a lot more convenient to take by car.

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3330017)
I actually took Amtrak to Champaign about a year ago. The Illinois Terminal rail station is also the hub of their bus network, which is excellent for a small town (most routes are on a 15-30 minute headway, and the ones subsidized by the University are often even more frequent). Buses very reliably on schedule, serving any destination, with LED NextBus signs at most major stops. The whole thing was a very seamless car-free experience; better than arriving in Chicago, dare I say. Hop off the grade-seperated rail line, go downstairs to the bus terminal to see the route map and glance at the signs indicating next bus arrivals. I had a choice of a couple routes, and a 5 minute wait. Alternatively, if the weather's nice and baggage isn't much of an issue, the station (located in the heart of downtown) is walking distance (within a mile) of much of the U of I campus. It also always has taxis waiting, which charge a flat $5 fare to any destination.

I've taken Amtrak to and from Champaign a number of times when I went to school there. Usually when I travelled by myself and couldn't find anyone to split gas with. It was usually a huge hassle and I'd get into union station anywhere from an hour to 3 hours late. My car was fairly fuel efficient so even when travelling alone I'd save 5 or 10 dollars on a round trip. Although this was pre-latest Illini Line boost so not sure how it is now. The C-U bus system doesn't run as often on weekends and outside of the campus shuttle bus operates more like a commuter system with 30-60 minute headways.

k1052 Feb 5, 2008 3:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3329701)
I have a question about the Orange/Yellow line extensions. Both are planned to service major shopping centers (Ford City/Old Orchard, respectively).

The Orange Line only was feasible because it used unused/lightly-used railroad right-of-way. However, the Chicago Belt Railroad (which is parallels at Midway) doesn't go all the way to Ford City, but turns off into the railyards near 68th Street. Would the Orange Line be extended over the railyards and onto its own right-of-way to bring it right into the mall parking lot?

Likewise, the old North Shore Line right-of-way is several blocks away from Old Orchard. I'm not sure I see the point of extending the line another mile if the station won't even be in the mall complex, and mall visitors face a long walk down narrow sidewalks on Golf through a low-density neighborhood. It would be far cheaper to do signalling upgrades and bus lanes on Skokie Boulevard to carry people to the mall, and those actually WOULD go directly to the mall itself; buses could drop people off right at the pedestrian entrances.

Both of these projects seem like really short extensions that are pointless without direct access to their respective malls. The Orange Line shouldn't be too hard to do properly; just build a bridge over the railyard, seize one or two industrial properties, and there's enough to build directly into Ford City.

The Yellow Line extension is more tricky; either you build a short subway under Lawler Avenue to a terminal on the site of Old Orchard's retention pond, or you build an elevated line to a terminal in the same location, thereby eviscerating a neighborhood.

I don't see mall access as all that of an attractive goal compared with other places in the system capital funds could be spent.

The Orange Line extension to Ford City would probably have the most merit since the location would provide a goodly amount of park and ride capacity which seems to be one of the Orange Line's strengths already.

The northern suburbs are already well served by Metra. Besides perhaps adding a couple intermediate stations on the Yellow between Skokie and Howard I don't think this line should be altered.

Chicago3rd Feb 5, 2008 6:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 3332266)

The Orange Line extension to Ford City would probably have the most merit since the location would provide a goodly amount of park and ride capacity which seems to be one of the Orange Line's strengths already.

More parking garages and more dense shopping at Ford Center...make it a vital stop for commuters....not just a place to store their card. A few hotels....some condos on the mall property. Create Urban dense to support the station.

emathias Feb 5, 2008 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3332615)
More parking garages and more dense shopping at Ford Center...make it a vital stop for commuters....not just a place to store their card. A few hotels....some condos on the mall property. Create Urban dense to support the station.

I think a lot of you are either forgetting or simply unaware that Ford City is more than just a mall, it's a rather large employment district, too. Surrounding the mall is a commercial and (I think) industrial area that, while off its period of peak employment, could probably be helped along with better transit access (i.e. the Orange Line extension and/or the MidCity Transitway).

As for the route it would take, I think the original plans for the MidCity Transitway was for it to turn east between 71st and 79th along the rail ROW there until it got to the Red Line. Whatever they decided to do with an Orange Line extension would likely support that eventual addition.

aaron38 Feb 6, 2008 3:52 PM

I can't believe it...
 
So my wife is at a conference at WaterTower this week. She's taking Metra, and on Monday took a cab to WaterTower and back (Ogilvie), which set her back $20.

So Monday night she pulled up the bus schedules and yesterday took the WaterTower Express (the 125). She said it was great, saved $16, and will be riding it the rest of the week.
I've never even taken a CTA bus, mostly because I like to walk, but still.

It's just strange, my wife LOVES her car, and there she is, happy to take the bus.
Go CTA.

pip Feb 6, 2008 6:37 PM

^The CTA's reliability and quality of its service has improved so much recently, at least when and where I take it. I don't own a car so I'm on the CTA everyday.

For example Sunday I went from Lakeview to Hyde Park. Took the Redline to Jackson, got off and hopped on the number 6 express buss. Comin back I got the number 6 bus to Waker/Michigan and took the 146 to Belmont. Painless, quick wait times, and I got there and back in no time. Often after work I take the CTA late night, usually an express bus or the 151 whichever comes first, I never wait that long. It seems no matter where I go service has been very good lately.

This is all unlike late last summer and before. I used to write books just about here online bitchin' about the CTA.

Haworthia Feb 6, 2008 7:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3329770)
apologies for changing the subject from orange/yellow to green, but are there any plans to construct a new south loop station somewhere south of roosevelt?

I've never heard any mention of this, but I think such a stop is needed now that the area has significantly increased in density. I have a friend on 16th and Prairie and it's a bit of a hike. A stop at 16th or 18th (for either the Red or Green line) would be wonderful.

Chicago3rd Feb 6, 2008 7:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3333300)
I think a lot of you are either forgetting or simply unaware that Ford City is more than just a mall, it's a rather large employment district, too. Surrounding the mall is a commercial and (I think) industrial area that, while off its period of peak employment, could probably be helped along with better transit access (i.e. the Orange Line extension and/or the MidCity Transitway).

As a person who is a pedestrian very little of what is shown on the map below is acceptable:
http://WilBSnodgrassiii.smugmug.com/...1605259-XL.jpg
If they make it denser...I am 100% behind the extension. That goes for every extension to be made and every improvement to be made. There must be more density. There is no reason there cannot be more housing, retail, industrial located in this area in a denser fashion.

Running the El down along Cicero from the blue line to the orange line would be more of a priority for me.

VivaLFuego Feb 6, 2008 7:16 PM

^pip and aaron38,
I think that at least on the bus side, a very big reason for the overall improved experience is the better bus fleet. The oldest buses from '91 are continually getting replaced by the 1000-series New Flyers, which are pretty nice, smooth, quick, and above all RELIABLE. Also, the NABI articulated buses developed a bunch of serious systematic defects within a couple years of original delivery in 2003: the suspensions wore out, and something in the particulate filter design caused the buses to stall out and die, alot. Finally over the last year, the issue with the NABIs is getting rectified so their overall reliability is improving. All of these contribute to improving service reliability since fewer bus runs are missed as a result of defective equipment.

And rail, well, slow zones and all that...huge difference, nuf said. I'd still like to see a major anti-graffiti effort on the Orange Line, which is starting to get out of hand with vandalism. And I don't think the Red Line will be clean until it is actually patrolled by the transit police.

in re: South Loop stop, the last I've heard of anything was a general plan to do a Cermak Green Line stop. Despite it's location relatively close to the Red Line, Cermak came in with the highest ridership estimates due to its proximity to McCormick Place and overall better bus connectivity. That was several years ago, so plans could change; the only green line infill station that is in advanced stages is Morgan/Lake on the west side, which is likely to happen within the next few years.

In other highly speculative potential south loop rapid transit improvements, the other ideas that have been floated in recent years are:
1. an Archer entrance for the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line station, possibly as part of the Circle Line project, though I don't get the point of an expensive transfer connection here given Roosevelt already exists;
2. Reopening the Polk Street entrance of the Harrison stop. I think a major factor here is whether or not it would need to be made handicap-accessible; if so, then obviously it won't be happening.

I think connecting McCormick place to the L network is a good idea, and honestly, it's likely that much of South Loop's transit needs could be met if there were something of a BRT implementation for the 3/X3.

Abner Feb 6, 2008 7:58 PM

Speaking of bus problems, I have a question for those who are knowledgeable about them. I often take the 6, 2, and X28. I don't know why sometimes the bus moves at the speed of traffic on Lake Shore Drive and sometimes can't seem to exceed maybe 40 mph, getting passed constantly by faster traffic. I don't think it has anything to do with bus age, because I've been on newer buses that crawled and ancient buses (the ones with the fake wood paneling) that were fine. Is this something that depends on the driver?

By the way, is there any guess about when someone might deign to make the next uttering about the Mid-City Transitway? There was that jawboning last year about using the right-of-way for a Crosstown Expressway and then nobody mentioned it again.

chicagoguy1 Feb 6, 2008 8:15 PM

I my option there needs to be a lakefront El Line, From Hyde Park, up to Mccormick Place, Musuem Campus/ Roosevelt to Streeterville, up to Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, Edgewater to Loyola.

UChicagoDomer Feb 6, 2008 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3335548)


in re: South Loop stop, the last I've heard of anything was a general plan to do a Cermak Green Line stop. Despite it's location relatively close to the Red Line, Cermak came in with the highest ridership estimates due to its proximity to McCormick Place and overall better bus connectivity. That was several years ago, so plans could change; the only green line infill station that is in advanced stages is Morgan/Lake on the west side, which is likely to happen within the next few years.

In other highly speculative potential south loop rapid transit improvements, the other ideas that have been floated in recent years are:
1. an Archer entrance for the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line station, possibly as part of the Circle Line project, though I don't get the point of an expensive transfer connection here given Roosevelt already exists;
2. Reopening the Polk Street entrance of the Harrison stop. I think a major factor here is whether or not it would need to be made handicap-accessible; if so, then obviously it won't be happening.

I think connecting McCormick place to the L network is a good idea, and honestly, it's likely that much of South Loop's transit needs could be met if there were something of a BRT implementation for the 3/X3.


thanks for the response.

k1052 Feb 6, 2008 8:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicagoguy1 (Post 3335690)
I my option there needs to be a lakefront El Line, From Hyde Park, up to Mccormick Place, Musuem Campus/ Roosevelt to Streeterville, up to Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, Edgewater to Loyola.

There is nowhere for a train line to run above ground north of Millennium Park so you'd be talking going subway most of the way north. Given the chance to spend billions on a new line I don't think this is near the top of their priorities since it would be redundant to the Red Line and bus routes in many areas.

Chicago3rd Feb 6, 2008 8:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 3335734)
There is nowhere for an train line to run above ground north of Millennium Park so you'd be talking going subway most of the way north. Given the chance to spend billions on a new line I don't think this is near the top of their priorities since it would be redundant to the Red Line and bus routes in many areas.

There are rail lines......so their are already places the EL could feed into the park. And not recongnizing the actual density of areas along the lake and just making judgments by how far apart lines are on the map is a huge backwards way that many in Chicago look at things. If a new line popped up magically along the whole length of Lake Shore drive over night.....it would be a huge success and the Redline would retain its ridership....more people would ride because it is less congested......

k1052 Feb 6, 2008 8:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3335746)
There are rail lines......so their are already places the EL could feed into the park. And not recongnizing the actual density of areas along the lake and just making judgments by how far apart lines are on the map is a huge backwards way that many in Chicago look at things. If a new line popped up magically along the whole length of Lake Shore drive over night.....it would be a huge success and the Redline would retain its ridership....more people would ride because it is less congested......

I'm talking about north of Millennium Park, there is no additional room to build a surface line paralleling the lake front between there and Loyola. They'd have to build subway, period.

I live in Lakeview half a block from where this line would potentially be. As nice as it would be its just not realistic.

Nowhereman1280 Feb 6, 2008 9:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3335746)
There are rail lines......so their are already places the EL could feed into the park. And not recongnizing the actual density of areas along the lake and just making judgments by how far apart lines are on the map is a huge backwards way that many in Chicago look at things. If a new line popped up magically along the whole length of Lake Shore drive over night.....it would be a huge success and the Redline would retain its ridership....more people would ride because it is less congested......

How much time have you spent in the far north neighborhoods? You do realize that up in Edgewater and Roger's Park the Red Line runs between one and 4 blocks from the lake, I don't care how dense it is, you don't need an El every other block...

Even In the Gold Coast there would be no point, At Clark and Division and Chicago it is only about 4-5 blocks from the lake...

Also, don't forget that it would be a huge waste of capacity to run a line right along the lake, say under LSD. You would have all of the riders on one side of the line and 0 population on the East side. It is much more practical to run a line through the very center of the densest areas, I.E. Red Line, than along the edges like a line under LSD would do...

That said a Circle line that would run out along the N/S Pink line, down along Cermak to Mccormick, Up along the lake, under Streeterville, and then back across under Division or north, then back south to the pink line, would work since I would slice around the edges of the city center through some of the densest neighborhoods.

ardecila Feb 6, 2008 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3335548)
In other highly speculative potential south loop rapid transit improvements, the other ideas that have been floated in recent years are:
1. an Archer entrance for the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line station, possibly as part of the Circle Line project, though I don't get the point of an expensive transfer connection here given Roosevelt already exists;
2. Reopening the Polk Street entrance of the Harrison stop. I think a major factor here is whether or not it would need to be made handicap-accessible; if so, then obviously it won't be happening.

These seem like good ideas. I had no idea there was a Polk Street exit to Harrison.

I would personally wait until the parking lot at the NW corner of Polk/State has a development proposal, and then work with the developer to incorporate a station entrance that includes an elevator. This way, the turnstiles and unpaid area can be kept at ground-level, and the tiny underground mezzanine turned into just a connecting hallway.

Mr Downtown Feb 7, 2008 3:01 AM

NWC State/Polk will be the Jones HS expansion. Or, on the last renderings I saw, that will be the Jones HS teacher parking lot.

But CDOT/CTA seems to have an aversion to doing building entrances like you find in Washington and even (occasionally) in New York. They put in a sidewalk elevator at Roosevelt/State instead of incorporating it into State Place. Only Merchandise Mart and Thompson Center come to mind.

ardecila Feb 7, 2008 3:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3336879)
NWC State/Polk will be the Jones HS expansion. Or, on the last renderings I saw, that will be the Jones HS teacher parking lot.

But CDOT/CTA seems to have an aversion to doing building entrances like you find in Washington and even (occasionally) in New York. They put in a sidewalk elevator at Roosevelt/State instead of incorporating it into State Place. Only Merchandise Mart and Thompson Center come to mind.

I don't understand their hesitation. Being confined to the envelope of the street right-of-way means that things necessarily have to be shrunk and distorted, making station facilities more cramped and less enjoyable.

As a widespread policy, it could lead to some headaches (especially when dealing with private developers) but it shouldn't be too difficult when the neighboring lot is owned by CPS.

VivaLFuego Feb 7, 2008 3:59 PM

Just wanted to put this out there, the aldermen who voted against the real estate transfer tax to fund CTA:

Bob Fioretti (2nd)
Sandi Jackson (7th)
Sharon Dixon (24th)
Rey Colon (35th)
Brian Doherty (41st)
Bernard Stone (50th)

pip Feb 7, 2008 5:13 PM

Bob Fioretti (2nd). I'm getting really sick of this guy.

If the City Council did not pass this then all that hundreds of millions of State money a year for the CTA would be cancelled. That was the deal the State of Illinois came up with. Also the pensions of CTA employees would not have been reformed if this did not pass.

What does Bob Fioretti want? no CTA? Oh sure I'm sure he would say of course not but his actions speak loader than his words.

VivaLFuego, I do have one more question for you. You have often talked about those new articulated busses. My concern or question is about the center part that bends. When those busses go over even the smallest of potholes sometimes let alone large bumps it sounds like they are going to fall apart in the center. It is one hell of a banging noise. Its extremely load and I wonder how sturdy those center circle things are.

Chicago3rd Feb 7, 2008 5:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3335884)
How much time have you spent in the far north neighborhoods? You do realize that up in Edgewater and Roger's Park the Red Line runs between one and 4 blocks from the lake, I don't care how dense it is, you don't need an El every other block...

Because my dream line turns west at Hollywood and joins the brown line.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3335884)
Even In the Gold Coast there would be no point, At Clark and Division and Chicago it is only about 4-5 blocks from the lake...

Again I don't think in suburban terms like distance...rather density. Look at areas of Manhattan and Seoul and notice they don't go by the 4-5 block rule in areas that are dense. We need to either be a city or Dubuque. Spend our money and planning on already dense areas or areas that are zoned to become dense..encouraged....no more 1-2 story buildings next to any station on the line...if they want to be upgraded or added. If they want to stay the same then we just move past them....


Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3335884)
Also, don't forget that it would be a huge waste of capacity to run a line right along the lake, say under LSD. You would have all of the riders on one side of the line and 0 population on the East side. It is much more practical to run a line through the very center of the densest areas, I.E. Red Line, than along the edges like a line under LSD would do...

Redline is run on the west side of the uber-density and not thru it. I would like a line on the west side of the park for the most part. Actually my preference for the lake front is light rail.

emathias Feb 7, 2008 6:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3338117)
Because my dream line turns west at Hollywood and joins the brown line.

To join the Brown Line, you'd want to turn west under either Wilson or Lawrence. Ideally for the long term, replacing the northmost east-west segment of the Brown Line with a subway under Lawrence all the way from the lakefront to Jefferson Park might be the best solution. Of course to make that work, it would be best to rezone everything within 1/2 mile of the Jefferson Park station as high-density land, which would be extremely unpopular with most J.P. residents I'd think.

Really, though, the whole J.P. area is ripe to become a "downtown" for the NW side even as it is, with Metra and Blue line connections. If the MidCity Transitway got built, and the Brown Line extended to about J.P., then the city would be stupid not to turn Jefferson Park into "downtown NW" because of all the transportation that would be feeding into it. In 50 years, I'd hope to see it a reality. With this, you could even explore a commuter rail shuttle between Skokie and J.P. over or along the Edens, connecting with the MidCity Transitway.

The South Side equivalent would be to either turn Hyde Park into "downtown South" (the more scenic but less popular with locals solution) or do something with the underutilized land around where the Green Line flies over the Dan Ryan (better transportation access, especially if you created an east-west shuttle over the green line between Jackson Park and Ashland).

To do either or both, though, we'd have to really gear up attracting businesses to the city.

emathias Feb 7, 2008 7:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3335884)
How much time have you spent in the far north neighborhoods? You do realize that up in Edgewater and Roger's Park the Red Line runs between one and 4 blocks from the lake, I don't care how dense it is, you don't need an El every other block...

I don't think anyone has ever proposed a lakeshore line going north of about Wilson - they almost all turn west at about Wilson to connect to the Brown Line or at least the Red Line.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3335884)
Even In the Gold Coast there would be no point, At Clark and Division and Chicago it is only about 4-5 blocks from the lake...

3/8 of a mile (about 3 walking blocks) is the distance most transit planners estimate to be a functional draw area for a rail station. From Clark/Division, that does put you at the Inner Drive at Division, but by that standard, the Hancock Tower and everything east of there is out of range, as is nearly everyone in the Gold Coast north of about Schiller unless they're actually on Clark, as well as most of Old Town. A rail station at Clark and North Ave would redefine transportation for the Gold Coast and Old Town residents year-round and likely also be extremely well-used by beach and park-goers in the summer months.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3335884)
Also, don't forget that it would be a huge waste of capacity to run a line right along the lake, say under LSD. You would have all of the riders on one side of the line and 0 population on the East side. It is much more practical to run a line through the very center of the densest areas, I.E. Red Line, than along the edges like a line under LSD would do...

As I said, I don't think anyone would touch LSD with a line - as you say it wouldn't be worth it and even the most optimistic planners know that would be a bad location for a line. The only reason express buses work for there is that they pick people up in the neighborhoods before driving over to the Drive.

If it were my line, I'd run a Streeterville subway (under Columbus/Fairbanks) west from Chestnut, turning north under Clark (with the turn a broad one accomodating long cars under Washington Square) in a cut-and-cover trench under Clark north to North Ave. Cut and cover lines are closer to the surface so they're slightly noisier, but they're easier to access for pedestrians and therefore result in faster trips and higher utilization. Plus, in areas full of clay, they can be cheaper to build unless utility relocation is onerous. Certainly in the a section from LaSalle to Armitage, you could just temporarily put Clark along the edge of the Park as you dug in to place the line.

Then, depending on funding tolerance, either turn west to become the Circle Line route or continue north under Clark until Diversey, then under Broadway or Claredon to Wilson, then west to Jefferson Park under Lawrence. For that stretch, you could make it an express from Jefferson Park with stops at Kimball, Damon/Ravenswood, Wilson/RedLine - almost a shuttle to bring Uptown Residents fast, easy access to NW jobs. I'd also stagger the stops compared to the Red Line, so maybe put them at Burton, Menomonee, Webster, Wrightwood, Wellington, Roscoe, Waveland, Buena, Wilson, Clark, etc.

It'd be expensive, but it would be used as long as headways were relatively frequent. The Streeterville subway could follow the Carrol Street alignment to the West Loop train stations.

Alternately, it could be done with lightrail north of North Avenue, run on Lincoln Park West or on the very edge of the Park. This would be less efficient, but probably an order of magnitude cheaper.

emathias Feb 7, 2008 7:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3335536)
As a person who is a pedestrian very little of what is shown on the map below is acceptable: ...map of Ford City Mall snipped for space...
If they make it denser...I am 100% behind the extension. That goes for every extension to be made and every improvement to be made. There must be more density. There is no reason there cannot be more housing, retail, industrial located in this area in a denser fashion.

Running the El down along Cicero from the blue line to the orange line would be more of a priority for me.

First, look at where existing rail is - the stops would likely be in that (hopefully on the south side of it).

Second, remember that for the most part outer stops on Chicago "L" lines are supported primarily either by feeder buses or park-and-ride or both. While I, too, am car-free and pedestrian oriented, it's not realistic for Ford City to become highly pedestrian-oriented anytime soon. The likely solution would be to extend the rail so that the line doesn't terminate next to a high-traffic destination like the region's second-busiest airport, and then link in circulator and feeder bus lines. Bringing in some pedestrian-friendly development will be nice, but for this location it would be secondary to making it a functional feeder system for access to downtown and reverse access from the inner city to jobs in that area.

schwerve Feb 7, 2008 8:05 PM

as to the current discussion on a lakefront line I'll throw in my two cents. I could never see the benefit of running a line directly north-south along the lakefront because it doesn't offer any connectivity to other lines in the system. What I would like to see is a combination of the grey line, monroe subway, and carroll avenue transitway. It would be a light rail because of the realities of the current system. It would take over the existing metra electric, turn west at monroe and run at grade (could be a subway but that's alot of dough) through the city to clinton, and follow the proposed carrol ave. transitway. From the michigan avenue spur it could follow the lsd frontage road up through lincoln park. it would accomplish linking the south side, lakefront, mccormick place, soldier field, field museum, and navy pier/lincoln park directly into the current system without the costs of heavy rail.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2021/...d38bb52625.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2257/...db1ae7b7d7.jpg

Nowhereman1280 Feb 7, 2008 8:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3338117)
Because my dream line turns west at Hollywood and joins the brown line.

Hollywood? Are you kidding me, the Red Line is like 2 or 3 blocks from the lake there, what a waste of transit dollars that would be.

Quote:

Again I don't think in suburban terms like distance...rather density. Look at areas of Manhattan and Seoul and notice they don't go by the 4-5 block rule in areas that are dense. We need to either be a city or Dubuque. Spend our money and planning on already dense areas or areas that are zoned to become dense..encouraged....no more 1-2 story buildings next to any station on the line...if they want to be upgraded or added. If they want to stay the same then we just move past them....
Since when is distance a suburban term? I'm pretty sure that I don't decide how long it is going to take me to go from downtown to Roger's Park in terms of Density. This is a matter of putting lines where they will serve the most people. Lets say people will walk up to three blocks to get on the train. If the densest area is along lincoln park and then it gets exponentially less dense as you move away, then you would put the train line 3 blocks from the park since all of those people in those highrises would still be willing to walk those three blocks as well as the people in the less dense areas three blocks to the west. If you built it right through the center of the densest area then you would build it a block from the park wasting two whole blocks of range to the East since no one lives in the middle of the park.

Also, knowing a lot of people who live along LSD, no one wastes time with the train anyhow, everyone uses the 145, 146, 147, and 151 to get places since they are just as frequent and much closer and efficient. Even with the train right next to the lake at the Loyola campus it is about 15 minutes faster to get on the 147 than the train since 147 goes express.

Quote:

Redline is run on the west side of the uber-density and not thru it. I would like a line on the west side of the park for the most part. Actually my preference for the lake front is light rail.
Like I just said, it may be your preference, but it makes no sense and the people who live there will still just use the express buses anyhow since they are faster and will always be faster than rail.

pip Feb 7, 2008 8:59 PM

express busses are often way slower than trains. When I have rode them during rush hour or the bottle neck at the entrance to Michigan ave coming from the north can take upwards of 20 minutes sometimes just to go those last few hundred feet.

Dr. Taco Feb 7, 2008 9:42 PM

^ what about traffic, nowhere? I've been up in rogers park and down in streeterville and everywhere in between, and it just kind of sort of sucks. Sure, express buses are nice.... at 8pm or later. other than that, they're about as express as any other car in bumper-to-bumper.

You know, its just the worst at night when youre by the lake on the northside, and you happen to live on the northwest side, and your only option at times is to walk 5 blocks to the redline so you can take it all the way to lake and take the blue line north.

I mean, I can live without any rail additions, but it sure would be nice. and streeterville? So far away from the rail!


____________________________
I really like your maps, schwerve! :tup:

emathias Feb 7, 2008 11:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jstush04 (Post 3338739)
^ what about traffic, nowhere? I've been up in rogers park and down in streeterville and everywhere in between, and it just kind of sort of sucks. Sure, express buses are nice.... at 8pm or later. other than that, they're about as express as any other car in bumper-to-bumper.

You know, its just the worst at night when youre by the lake on the northside, and you happen to live on the northwest side, and your only option at times is to walk 5 blocks to the redline so you can take it all the way to lake and take the blue line north.

I mean, I can live without any rail additions, but it sure would be nice. and streeterville? So far away from the rail!

Ideally, Chicago would take a page from London, Madrid, Paris, etc., and, create a mesh of grade-separated or otherwise traffic-mitigated options instead of just neighborhoods-to-downtown feeders. A few shorter lines, like something close to and roughly parallel to (assuming a subway is out of the question for price reasons) Halsted from central Bridgeport to the North/Clybourn corridor would be useful and greatly enhance the near west side. A line from Pilsen/Douglas along 16th to the south lakefront around McCormick could become useful.

I've always thought it would be cool to put streetcars along the Boulevard system. It would be easy in some places, harder in others, but it would easily supplement the Circle Line concept and, if coupled with targeted zoning, could really enhance life and boost development in a diverse collection of neighborhoods.

Another thing the city does half of (the preserve portion), but should probably do more of from a rezoning standpoint, is preserving corridors for future transit while at the same time zoning the areas along those routes to encourage the need for that future transit. It should also make sure that when it zones areas to allow big-box stores that it doesn't do that in places what will make future transit less useful for pedestrians, since pedestrians in the U.S. aren't the biggest users of big-box stores.

It's not like we're the only city that is missing obvious links, though - what would it do for the New York region if there were some real east-west lines across Manhattan from New Jersey to Long Island? :-)

Mr Downtown Feb 8, 2008 5:20 AM

You will notice that London, Madrid, Paris, etc. don't have a single concentrated CBD. They have widely dispersed suburban train termini that give rise to a number of office districts.

It would be better for regional transit to reinforce Chicago's highly centralized office employment district than to enable it to spread out.

Chicago3rd Feb 8, 2008 3:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3338325)
To join the Brown Line, you'd want to turn west under either Wilson or Lawrence. Ideally for the long term, replacing the northmost east-west segment of the Brown Line with a subway under Lawrence all the way from the lakefront to Jefferson Park might be the best solution. Of course to make that work, it would be best to rezone everything within 1/2 mile of the Jefferson Park station as high-density land, which would be extremely unpopular with most J.P. residents I'd think.

Sounds great to me. Hell its that or we could put the northsouth freeway through J.P. running parallel to Cicero. If we could massacre our cities in the 1950's for freeways...we can improve them with mass transportation.

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3338325)
Really, though, the whole J.P. area is ripe to become a "downtown" for the NW side even as it is, with Metra and Blue line connections. If the MidCity Transitway got built, and the Brown Line extended to about J.P., then the city would be stupid not to turn Jefferson Park into "downtown NW" because of all the transportation that would be feeding into it. In 50 years, I'd hope to see it a reality. With this, you could even explore a commuter rail shuttle between Skokie and J.P. over or along the Edens, connecting with the MidCity Transitway.

The South Side equivalent would be to either turn Hyde Park into "downtown South" (the more scenic but less popular with locals solution) or do something with the underutilized land around where the Green Line flies over the Dan Ryan (better transportation access, especially if you created an east-west shuttle over the green line between Jackson Park and Ashland).

To do either or both, though, we'd have to really gear up attracting businesses to the city.

Love all your ideas!

VivaLFuego Feb 8, 2008 3:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3339788)
You will notice that London, Madrid, Paris, etc. don't have a single concentrated CBD. They have widely dispersed suburban train termini that give rise to a number of office districts.

It would be better for regional transit to reinforce Chicago's highly centralized office employment district than to enable it to spread out.

Generally concur. The city and region are really built for a hub-and-spoke rail system (supporting the one major mega high-employment-density district) supplemented by -roughly- a developed grid of scalable BRT. That would include the usual arterial suspects in Chicago (Western, Irving Park, Cicero, etc.), Pace's "J-Line" proposal as well as partial implementation of their large "PARTNER" BRT network from some time back.

Really, the north branch of the Red Line (connecting with Purple service to Davis St) is the only Chicago line that functions remotely like a "European"-style line, with high residential and employment density along much of its length and thus highly varied trip patterns. To some extent, the Blue Line O'hare branch serves varied trip patterns, with some employment concentrated at the Cumberland, Rosemont, and O'hare stations; but even this, when considered as riders-per-route-mile, are fairly low. There is -some- commuter traffic to the Medical District, but in terms of overall volume it is minor. All other lines serve non-CBD trips more or less incidentally, with non-CBD trip densities being massively outweighed by the peak direction volume.

A rail "grid" would only make sense if there were significantly dispersed major employment districts: something on the west side along the Ike, along Cicero near Midway and I-55, at the 95th junction, a majorly expanded Medical District and Ashland corridor.

honte Feb 8, 2008 4:31 PM

^ As a total transit novice, it really seems that the power of a revamped CTA train / rapid transit system would be to break up the grid, not reinforce it. I think you would see more of the "European style" ridership, which would be a great thing, if Chicago could figure out what centers it wants to enforce, and bring the people to them more directly. That's why I really love the Circle Line concept, even though I think its route is flawed.

I don't buy the fear that Chicago's CBD is going to be hurt by better interconnectivity. Sure, if you put a line from O'Hare to Oakbrook with no stops in between... But there are other logical reasons to have a dense and clustered downtown area besides the fact that people can't get anywhere else on the train.

VivaLFuego Feb 8, 2008 5:52 PM

^ I don't think a grid system would hurt downtown, so much as just not be very cost-effective. It would be a great thing to have, but given relatively low employment densities, it would require a truly massive subsidy to support it given the very capital costs for rail.

emathias Feb 8, 2008 8:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3339788)
You will notice that London, Madrid, Paris, etc. don't have a single concentrated CBD. They have widely dispersed suburban train termini that give rise to a number of office districts.

It would be better for regional transit to reinforce Chicago's highly centralized office employment district than to enable it to spread out.

I'm not saying we want to (or even could) change the current pattern overnight. I also don't believe that it's an either/or question. We can have a dense office district AND a high-density central city like Paris/Madrid/London, etc. It's already trending that way where zoning allows, so really all it would take to continue that trend of dual patterns is to keep zoning things in such a way as to keep it possible. If London and Paris can create a high-density office center as part of their already high-density city centers (Canary Wharf and La Defense, respectively), then there's really no reason we can't do the reverse - create a high-density city center to augment our high-density office center. Besides, since the Loop is the second-biggest office district in the U.S. (the first and third being midtown and downtown Manhattan), even a "concentrated" district is pretty geographically big. The central part of Paris - the part most people think of when they think "Paris" is only 6-7 miles across - essentially, if it were squished square, it could fit in an area from Diversey on the north, the Lake on the east, Pulaski on the west and 26th Street on the south. In that model, a conversion of Jefferson Park to "downtown NW" would be very similar in scope and proximity to La Defense.

The draw of the Lake in Chicago forces us into a shape that's not as circular as Paris, but adding the Circle Line and some sort of downtown circulator/distributor system would go a long way toward enabling the sort of dense, meshed neighborhoods that people think of when they think of European capitals or even cities like Tokyo or Buenos Aires.

Old Town, the Gold Coast, and the eastern portions of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Uptown, Edgewater, all are already not far off the densities found in european central cities.

The South Loop and Near North are, for the most part, filling in at densities not that far below those found in central Paris. The West Loop can support that trend, too, if the City keeps the johnny-come-lately residents from preventing the efficient use of that area (with either 1 or 3 major expressways depending on whether you include the Dan Ryan and the Kennedy, and two major rail lines (and the possibility of a commuter rail connection if Metra ever added stops) and lot of buses, and it should be allowed to be even more dense than Streeterville).

The Ukranian Village, Humbolt Park, Garfield Park, Wicker Park, Pilsen, Hyde Park, Chinatown and maybe even Bronzeville, McKinley Park, Lawndale and Jefferson Park could handle densities like those that already exist along the north lakefront with just a few choice investments in rail transit linking them both better to downtown and to neighboring areas.

Downtown is great for larger businesses that require proximity to a lot of similar services or need to draw from the entire region for workers, but there are hundreds of businesses that don't need to be in a dense office district - that maybe are even more efficient if they're not. Allowing the mixed use and European density to develop over the next 50 years, while planning for transit to support it, doesn't mean abandoning the Loop. If anything, it would probably mean bolstering it by creating a strong urban environment that pulls in people, businesses and taxes that keep the city vibrant and attractive.

emathias Feb 8, 2008 9:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3340431)
...

A rail "grid" would only make sense if there were significantly dispersed major employment districts: something on the west side along the Ike, along Cicero near Midway and I-55, at the 95th junction, a majorly expanded Medical District and Ashland corridor.

I very intentionally used the word "mesh," as opposed to "grid" to indicate that transit solutions shouldn't only align with the existing street grid. Even at the surface street level, transit competes even more poorly with the automobile if you put them in direct route competition. Transit should primarily supplement a walking lifestyle and not compete against the auto when possible. In that regard, Chicago's grid street system actually benefits certain possibilities with transit, as it's easier (or less disruptive anyway) to make a (deep tunnel) diagonal subway than it would be to create a new diagonal street. Doing that when the only surface possibilities involve right-angle turns cuts distance traveled by about 1/3 and gives transit an advantage the auto won't often have.

Chicago Shawn Feb 9, 2008 10:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3341234)
I'm not saying we want to (or even could) change the current pattern overnight. I also don't believe that it's an either/or question. We can have a dense office district AND a high-density central city like Paris/Madrid/London, etc. It's already trending that way where zoning allows, so really all it would take to continue that trend of dual patterns is to keep zoning things in such a way as to keep it possible. If London and Paris can create a high-density office center as part of their already high-density city centers (Canary Wharf and La Defense, respectively), then there's really no reason we can't do the reverse - create a high-density city center to augment our high-density office center. Besides, since the Loop is the second-biggest office district in the U.S. (the first and third being midtown and downtown Manhattan), even a "concentrated" district is pretty geographically big. The central part of Paris - the part most people think of when they think "Paris" is only 6-7 miles across - essentially, if it were squished square, it could fit in an area from Diversey on the north, the Lake on the east, Pulaski on the west and 26th Street on the south. In that model, a conversion of Jefferson Park to "downtown NW" would be very similar in scope and proximity to La Defense.

The draw of the Lake in Chicago forces us into a shape that's not as circular as Paris, but adding the Circle Line and some sort of downtown circulator/distributor system would go a long way toward enabling the sort of dense, meshed neighborhoods that people think of when they think of European capitals or even cities like Tokyo or Buenos Aires.

Old Town, the Gold Coast, and the eastern portions of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Uptown, Edgewater, all are already not far off the densities found in european central cities.

The South Loop and Near North are, for the most part, filling in at densities not that far below those found in central Paris. The West Loop can support that trend, too, if the City keeps the johnny-come-lately residents from preventing the efficient use of that area (with either 1 or 3 major expressways depending on whether you include the Dan Ryan and the Kennedy, and two major rail lines (and the possibility of a commuter rail connection if Metra ever added stops) and lot of buses, and it should be allowed to be even more dense than Streeterville).

The Ukranian Village, Humbolt Park, Garfield Park, Wicker Park, Pilsen, Hyde Park, Chinatown and maybe even Bronzeville, McKinley Park, Lawndale and Jefferson Park could handle densities like those that already exist along the north lakefront with just a few choice investments in rail transit linking them both better to downtown and to neighboring areas.

Downtown is great for larger businesses that require proximity to a lot of similar services or need to draw from the entire region for workers, but there are hundreds of businesses that don't need to be in a dense office district - that maybe are even more efficient if they're not. Allowing the mixed use and European density to develop over the next 50 years, while planning for transit to support it, doesn't mean abandoning the Loop. If anything, it would probably mean bolstering it by creating a strong urban environment that pulls in people, businesses and taxes that keep the city vibrant and attractive.

Love the idea, I have had very similar thoughts myself, but Its just not going to happen. Particularly with Jefferson Park and West Loop Gate.

Jefferson Park has alderman fat-fuck Levar, the biggest pander hack in the city usually opposing everything outside of single family homes. This guy actually tried to downzone the ENTIRE stretch of Milwaukee Avenue through the 45th ward from Irving Park to Devon. The neighborhood is also filled with a major suburban mentality, where most household obsessively need to have at least two cars, drive everywhere and pray to the parking god daily. The place is a lost cause until that worthless alderman retires, and the neighborhood undergoes a generational change coupled with a severe energy crises.

West Loop Gate, well I harp on that one enough. But its a lost cause as well until the realm of planning is striped from the alderman's fingers. I have been to a WLCO meeting were people demanded single family homes 6 bocks from Sears Tower.

Dr. Taco Feb 9, 2008 3:22 PM

^ I just can't understand how he wins eeeevvvverryy single time! I saw him wandering down my street in some stupid mini-parade after he won again last year, and i just wanted to throw something at him. Problem is, you go down any business street and EVERYBODY has Levar signs up

I can't wait to make a photo thread of what he's done to my neighborhood :yuck:

Eventually...Chicago Feb 9, 2008 4:08 PM

The one thing we do have going for us is that the downtown area of chicago (central area+ south loop, gold coast, river north and bits of the west loop) is growing at a great rate. As long as we can keep the new buildings in this area increasing in size, they will force surrounding areas to become more dense. It may not be the 5-6 story block busters that a european city has, but as long as there is a healthy demand for downtown residences and the general population of the city grows, we'll be fine.

The one thing that has to power to cream WLCO and any other community group is unbridled demand and money. Because as powerful as those people may be, when a new 12 story building is on the blocks for the west loop, there are 100's of new voters waiting behind. And not one politician can resist getting more power.

Mr Downtown Feb 9, 2008 4:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eventually...Chicago (Post 3342893)
when a new 12 story building is on the blocks for the west loop, there are 100's of new voters waiting behind. And not one politician can resist getting more power.

First, the anger of current residents is much more palpable and politically powerful than a vague sense of appreciation from new residents--who, by the time of the next election, will themselves be mad at the alderman for something like letting a highrise go across the street from them.

Second, wards get reconfigured every decade to keep them the same size.

the urban politician Feb 9, 2008 5:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 3342683)
Jefferson Park has alderman fat-fuck Levar, the biggest pander hack in the city usually opposing everything outside of single family homes. This guy actually tried to downzone the ENTIRE stretch of Milwaukee Avenue through the 45th ward from Irving Park to Devon. The neighborhood is also filled with a major suburban mentality, where most household obsessively need to have at least two cars, drive everywhere and pray to the parking god daily. The place is a lost cause until that worthless alderman retires, and the neighborhood undergoes a generational change coupled with a severe energy crises.

^ Damn you FAT FUCK LEVAR!!

http://www.charybdisarts.com/Images/facesoflevar.jpg

Chicago Shawn Feb 9, 2008 7:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jstush04 (Post 3342835)
^ I just can't understand how he wins eeeevvvverryy single time! I saw him wandering down my street in some stupid mini-parade after he won again last year, and i just wanted to throw something at him. Problem is, you go down any business street and EVERYBODY has Levar signs up

I can't wait to make a photo thread of what he's done to my neighborhood :yuck:

Yeah, I lived there for three years, and I know it all too well. You see the billboard yard signs because his precinct captains bully and intimidate people to put them up. They did it on my old block and gave everyone a hard time who signed a petition to put Boykie on the ballot. Outside of election season he uses zoning issues to gather support by always keeping the neighborhood the same and "friendly to families", which means very few condos and never any new apartments or rental homes. If a parcel has a zoning higher than R3, he will work to downzone it, just so any changes must come before him where he can provide favors to the developer (only the ones he has a friendship with though), to the neighbors or to anyone who shrieks the loudest in the name of votes. He refuses to draft a compressive plan with DPD, because "outsiders should not make decisions about our neighborhood" (campaign slogan). He represents everything that is wrong about the old school ward boss politics, and he is one of the last relics around from that era.

TUP, where did you find that?:haha: Its actually an older image, his face has even more blubber wrinkles in it today. It is a perfect analogy for what he does for the neighborhood, absolutely nothing while he sits around on his fat ass getting his aldermanic discounts at local restaurants.

The things he has done around the Jefferson Park Metra-CTA station are deplorable. Including a big vacant lot because he ordered two older homes demolished but refuses to allow any condos to be built there. He tried to block four flats being developed as-of-right and force a down zone of the block, until the law department told him to back off. He forced developers to do only single family homes on the site of an old concrete truck yard, which sat abondoned for years as a result, because condos across from the Metra station were too intense for the site, never mind the existing industrial use. Then there was the whole shenanigans on Lawrence Avenue with the big TOD project that failed, after he led the developer (Mega, owned by a close friend) on to draft a certain plan and then back-stabbed him a community meeting where the neighbors acted like an angry mob. I could go on and on, but this is the transit thread and is veering off-topic. Long story short, there will never be a high or even moderate density TOD strategy in Jefferson Park within the near future.


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