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ardecila Dec 13, 2013 11:53 PM

I have also had nothing but good Ventra experiences, although I admittedly don't ride everyday. I'm guessing it has to do with certain routes/garages where the readers and software are not yet up to snuff.

Rizzo Dec 16, 2013 6:43 AM

Even if people haven't had problems with swiping or overcharges (I've only had few issues with that) my biggest problem was well stated by a friend of mine.

With Ventra you have to do things

There's more work involved with a new fare system that in theory should be invisible and 99.99% reliable.

The plus card was almost there with the id in your wallet and the balance on the machine. I could walk without stopping at the turnstile. Now everyone has to pause to enter. Why? Shouldn't we all be able to breeze through? This is Chicago, we are busy people with places to be. Why does the reader say processing then go? It should never say neither, just my card balance and release the bar the moment I swipe.

Maybe folks never experienced the plus card system but it was nice. 4 years and I never had to go online for anything like Ventra. Never had to walk up to vending machine either. It's weird using those again to check balances. Or how about Ventra being non-compatible with other services like unlocking carshare vehicles? Nope, had to order a new fob, meaning more stuff to carry.

My philosophy is new technology should save time and be less invasive in our lives. I also believe technology should be tested and proven, redesigned, tested again, and proven by sample customers until it's ready for the masses.

MayorOfChicago Dec 16, 2013 7:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6373508)
It's worked perfectly for me and everyone I've seen use it on my bus routes and train entrances. I see anecdotes like this in multiple sources, but just haven't witnessed it myself. It's working fine for me, and for my boyfriend and other people I see use it.

Yeah, i've never had a problem on the trains at all, but buses are a mess every time. This morning the 151 took over 6 seconds of thinking before it said "go". I finally kinda glanced at the driver and she just laughed and shrugged. People behind me had problems too, I think maybe it's the cold since it's right by the door?

Steely Dan Dec 16, 2013 8:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6375525)
Maybe folks never experienced the plus card system but it was nice.

i HATED the chicago plus card. every 6 months or so my card would be mysteriously zapped and unable to work, and then i'd have to bitch about it to the CTA, they would drag their feet, then send me a new one after i sent them a "replacement" fee (i never lost the damn cards, they would just stop working). it was so frustrating that after like 4 chicago plus cards i just went back to the old system of the reloadable dip cards.

emathias Dec 16, 2013 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 6376081)
Yeah, i've never had a problem on the trains at all, but buses are a mess every time. This morning the 151 took over 6 seconds of thinking before it said "go". I finally kinda glanced at the driver and she just laughed and shrugged. People behind me had problems too, I think maybe it's the cold since it's right by the door?

I'm not sure why the cold would affect solid-state electronics.

ardecila Dec 16, 2013 11:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6375525)
My philosophy is new technology should save time and be less invasive in our lives. I also believe technology should be tested and proven, redesigned, tested again, and proven by sample customers until it's ready for the masses.

The CEO of Cubic pretty much admitted in a San Diego news article that the problems were caused by CTA's unreasonably short timeframe for rollout.

Normally the company would have spread the process out over 6-12 months, testing the system under various conditions and solving bugs before the general public got access to the system. Instead CTA pretty much forced everyone to adopt the new card overnight, and Cubic was forced to play catch-up.

sammyg Dec 17, 2013 1:18 AM

I don't think blaming the other party is "admitting" anything.

ardecila Dec 17, 2013 4:30 AM

You won't find me praising Cubic - the debit card business is still very shady - but the successful rollout of similar Cubic technology in cities around the world suggests that Cubic can avoid such problems when it has the time to do so.

ardecila Dec 18, 2013 2:33 AM

Details for the Blue Line project were posted.

http://www.transitchicago.com/yournewblue/

Logan Square TOD estimated at 5 stories, fwiw

Rizzo Dec 18, 2013 3:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 6376177)
i HATED the chicago plus card. every 6 months or so my card would be mysteriously zapped and unable to work, and then i'd have to bitch about it to the CTA, they would drag their feet, then send me a new one after i sent them a "replacement" fee (i never lost the damn cards, they would just stop working). it was so frustrating that after like 4 chicago plus cards i just went back to the old system of the reloadable dip cards.

Put in perspective though, the hiccups with the plus card were nothing compared to negative features and use of Ventra. And I'm not speaking of malfunctions. Assume they'll get fixed. At the end of the day, Ventra is still a slower clunkier system to use. If the greater goal over decades in fare payment technology evolution are reliability and speed I think we've dipped from previous technology. Regardless if the old system "used the same technology as gameboy," it was still reliable and fast. Unfortunately we've positioned our systems with the rest of the country which, in my opinion, have some disadvantages.

denizen467 Dec 18, 2013 6:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6377834)
Details for the Blue Line project were posted.

That's a good amount of detail there. Also, for anybody interested, that webpage contains the following invite (and deadline strangely less than three weeks away):
Quote:

Note: There is presently a Call for Artists for works related to this project, with submissions due by January 6, 2014.

the urban politician Dec 18, 2013 1:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6377834)
Details for the Blue Line project were posted.

http://www.transitchicago.com/yournewblue/

Logan Square TOD estimated at 5 stories, fwiw

^ 5 stories is a bit of a letdown as I think Logan Square, given the size of that park, is deserving of a more substantial building. Nevertheless, I hope at least the unit count is fairly high

Steely Dan Dec 18, 2013 8:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6377913)
Regardless if the old system "used the same technology as gameboy," it was still reliable and fast.

perhaps for you, but in my case the chicago card plus system was anything but reliable.

if my ventra card continues to work flawlessly for me without having the cards crap out every 6 months for no reason what-so-ever, then i will consider it a vastly superior system.

jc5680 Dec 21, 2013 2:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 6378660)
perhaps for you, but in my case the chicago card plus system was anything but reliable.

if my ventra card continues to work flawlessly for me without having the cards crap out every 6 months for no reason what-so-ever, then i will consider it a vastly superior system.

Vastly superior? Give me a break. At best we are at status quo. With the old system, I definitely experienced the decay in the card issue. At least it worked and billed me appropriately.

Ventra cards worked sporadically at launch, have gotten better, but are far from perfect. You can no longer just swipe your wallet or whatever you cary your card in because your debit card might ring up a fair as well. I have yet to have my monthly renewal actually renew. Try calling their mess of a call center. Your options are generally 1 . "sorry we can't help, can we have someone who can call you back" 2. "We are experiencing a higher than normal call volume, would you like some one to call you back withing the next 24-48 hours." 3 disconnected.

Frankly, I don't see why the there was a change in the first place or why a second rate outside company was needed to be brought in to handle it. In my experience it has been worse. Add in the complete scam the whole ventra debit card is, this is a net loss and not even by a small margin.

ardecila Dec 21, 2013 5:01 AM

Which second rate outside company are you referring to? Cubic designed both the Chicago Card and Ventra systems.

jc5680 Dec 22, 2013 6:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6381750)
Which second rate outside company are you referring to? Cubic designed both the Chicago Card and Ventra systems.

Fair enough. I, admittedly, did not know that. Still, "Vastly Superior" seems like an absurd notion to me. In my experience it has been significantly worse. I am trying be objective in knowing that my experience isn't the norm (although not uncommon), but I have a real hard time seeing any quality that is better.

ardecila Dec 22, 2013 7:12 AM

Yeah, I haven't had any Ventra problems but I also haven't seen any benefits over the old Chicago Card days. Both systems have worked well for me.

However, I still recognize the theoretical customer benefits of moving everyone onto a touch card. Faster boarding, opportunities for prepaid boarding, rear-door boarding, etc. Those haven't materialized yet because the lag time on each bus swipe is still too damn long and because riders haven't yet developed the proper habits. It's pretty clear that the problems here are in the implementation, not the concept.

I wonder if the reader cycles could be designed to overlap, so the next rider can tap while the first rider continues onto the bus. If he has insufficient balance, he can still ride that one time but his card will be locked for all subsequent attempts until he reloads.

CTA Gray Line Dec 30, 2013 6:57 PM

Ventra failures cost CTA $1.2 million in free rides
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1183238.story

By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune reporter
12:38 p.m. CST, December 30, 2013

The CTA gave out an estimated $1.2 million in free rides due to failures with Ventra fare-collection equipment over a 2 ½-month period, the transit agency said Monday....

....From Oct. 1 through Dec. 19, some 909,121 free bus rides -– amounting to $1.18 million in lost fare revenue -– were provided because of issues related to Ventra, the CTA said. The CTA estimated that 20,940 free rides were provided over the same period on the rail system as the result of failures with the Ventra system, representing $32,458 in lost revenue.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com

Twitter @jhilkevitch

J_M_Tungsten Dec 30, 2013 8:01 PM

^Wow! So who pays that back? The company responsible for Ventra?

emathias Dec 30, 2013 8:45 PM

I'd be interested to know how much they lose in a typical quarter to faulty equipment. I know the number is not zero.

Also, how much loss was budgeted and/or who is responsible for the losses?

EDIT:
From Jon Hilkevitch:
Quote:

Early in the Ventra rollout, CTA provided very selective data that purported to show fare leakage from Ventra was less than uncollected fares using the legacy system. The Ventra sample was extremely small and heavily weighted to rail.

I asked today for updated comparable numbers but haven't received them yet.

As for the contract, Cubic is responsible for reimbursing CTA for all lost fares. But the actual figure will ultimately be decided through negotiations, Claypool has said. My updated story for Tuesday print editions will include a statement from Cubic that is a bit murky regarding CTA claims it will be fully compensated for Ventra-caused lost fare revenue.

k1052 Jan 2, 2014 3:06 PM

Didn't see this posted here so...

Mayor Emanuel names new transportation chief

http://www.suntimes.com/news/2469005...ion-chief.html

I don't think there is going to be any backsliding on the initiatives Klein began and transit is probably going to play an even bigger role going forward. I look forward to sampling delicious anti-Ashland BRT NIMBY tears when they find out the new head of CDOT is (at least in part) responsible for that project.

Baronvonellis Jan 2, 2014 6:09 PM

Anyone seen an updated list of the speed cameras? I thought there was going to be 50 but they must be putting in alot more. There are now 3 or 4 cameras along Peterson Ave. It's like one block is 20 mph and then the next block is 30mph. It's supposed to give you tickets when school is in session? How do you know when they are in school?

Peterson is designed as a suburban 4 lane arterial road, these are just speed traps.

ardecila Jan 8, 2014 10:11 PM

Is it just me, or is this cost absurd? All this money spent and there won't even be a direct or convenient connection to the Ashland BRT.

It would also be a good chance to try out those ideas in the Blue Line Vision Study, like wider platforms and more direct station access points, but if a "safe and dry" level of renovation costs this much, I don't want to think about the cost for those.

Quote:

CTA poised to rehab Medical District L station
BY ROSALIND ROSSI Transportation Reporter January 7, 2014 9:41AM


The CTA Blue Line station that serves the Illinois Medical District’s four hospitals will get $23 million in improvements — many focused on making the site more wheelchair-accessible — under a plan approved Tuesday by the CTA board.

The City Council now must OK the deal to tap tax increment financing funds from the Central West TIF to bankroll the project.

Ridership at the Illinois Medical District station has increased by 53 percent in the last five years, making it the third-busiest of the Blue Line’s West Side Forest Park branch, CTA officials said. Yet other than a 1998 renovation of the Damen entrance, the station has only received “minor patchwork repairs” since its opening 55 years ago, city officials said.

The project will make all three station entrances — at Ogden, Damen and Paulina — accessible to the disabled. The stationhouse on Ogden will get an elevator and new stairs. Plus, the two auxiliary entrances will see reconstruction of station-to-platform ramps.

Other planned improvements include new lighting; more security cameras; CTA Bus and Train Tracker displays; new flooring and customer assistant kiosks.

Construction would begin in mid-2015 and be completed in mid-2016, said CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase.


emathias Jan 8, 2014 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6399067)
Is it just me, or is this cost absurd? All this money spent and there won't even be a direct or convenient connection to the Ashland BRT.

It would also be a good chance to try out those ideas in the Blue Line Vision Study, like wider platforms and more direct station access points, but if a "safe and dry" level of renovation costs this much, I don't want to think about the cost for those.

I think all the CTA projects seem overly expensive, however in the context of other CTA projects the described budget seems appropriate, even somewhat lower than I might have guessed. Certainly compared to the quarter-billion dollars allocated for the 95th Street Red Line station, it's cheap.

untitledreality Jan 9, 2014 4:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6399067)
All this money spent and there won't even be a direct or convenient connection to the Ashland BRT.

I would imagine that rebuilding the Douglas ramp to allow for an at grade platform, access ramps, and an Ashland headhouse would be a much larger project requiring a much much larger amount of Federal money that just isn't there.

Maybe one day.

N830MH Jan 9, 2014 5:39 AM

What about Yellow Line extension? Hasn't they gotten approved yet? Will they consider it?

the urban politician Jan 9, 2014 5:40 PM

Does anyone know when work on the downtown BRT is supposed to start?

ardecila Jan 9, 2014 7:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 6399513)
I would imagine that rebuilding the Douglas ramp to allow for an at grade platform, access ramps, and an Ashland headhouse would be a much larger project requiring a much much larger amount of Federal money that just isn't there.

Maybe one day.

No doubt, although I was imagining side platforms centered under Paulina with ramp entrances to Ogden and Ashland. Then the "Angels Flight" incline could proceed with only minor modifications. A later phase could include Pink Line platforms.



Anyway, if the money isn't there yet, then why do anything? A deep cleaning and patchwork repairs are welcomed, and maybe an elevator, but what CTA is proposing is much extensive than that, and it just seems pretty obvious that the planners aren't talking to each other. Why not use the opportunity to create a link between the city's second busiest rail line and its first BRT line?

ardecila Jan 9, 2014 7:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 6400085)
Does anyone know when work on the downtown BRT is supposed to start?

Construction on the Central Loop BRT should begin this spring and wrap up by the end of the year. IIRC, work on the Union Station Transportation Center will last into 2015.

CTA recently released a rendering of the shelters for this project. This is a tweaked version of a competition-winning design, although the original design was glass-enclosed while this is open. I like how the design references the bronze and copper accents on downtown buildings while remaining modern. Apologies to Busy Bee for the compass rosette.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7333/1...ff1a6421_b.jpg
credit: John Greenfield

Rizzo Jan 10, 2014 6:10 AM

I just hope other vehicles don't drive in those lanes. You can tell the lane on Adams used to be a bright red, but the last remaining flakes came off last year. The lane has been a free for all now. Though signs and marking say it's a restricted lane for buses. People are allowed to park vehicles on it. So simply said, people are parking in bus lanes and no action is taken by law enforcement.

I hope the new lanes are enforced, but I'm not expecting it to be strict. The lanes should be pavers or stamped concrete....something to at least to permanently delineate this from the rest of traffic.

ardecila Jan 10, 2014 6:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6401089)
The lanes should be pavers or stamped concrete....something to at least to permanently delineate this from the rest of traffic.

I was curious, so I did some googling... NYCDOT actually evaluated numerous different types and brands of pavement coloring to find the best product for their red bus lanes. Some products are much better than others, although none will last permanently. I believe CDOT will take advantage of this research but I can't be sure.

Tinted asphalt or concrete would be the best way to go if the budget allows. They could mill the existing street surface and lay down a tinted overlay.

k1052 Jan 10, 2014 3:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6401089)
I just hope other vehicles don't drive in those lanes. You can tell the lane on Adams used to be a bright red, but the last remaining flakes came off last year. The lane has been a free for all now. Though signs and marking say it's a restricted lane for buses. People are allowed to park vehicles on it. So simply said, people are parking in bus lanes and no action is taken by law enforcement.

I hope the new lanes are enforced, but I'm not expecting it to be strict. The lanes should be pavers or stamped concrete....something to at least to permanently delineate this from the rest of traffic.

Given how friendly the mayor is to automated traffic/parking enforcement technology I should think that it would be feasible to implement either a fixed system or one on the buses that cites drivers ers who use/park in the lane.

I did immediately think when I saw the rendering that it's missing 3 cabs with hazards on, a couple parcel delivery trucks, and the bus struggling to merge in and out of the lane to avoid them....

LouisVanDerWright Jan 10, 2014 4:26 PM

^^^ There is an easy enforcement solution here. Just make the entire damn lane a tow zone and set the yellow tow trucks loose on them. The city loves towing cars because it is wildly profitable. They tow them in as quickly as 5 minutes. Anyone who stops their car here should be subjected to a ticket or tow.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6400253)
Construction on the Central Loop BRT should begin this spring and wrap up by the end of the year. IIRC, work on the Union Station Transportation Center will last into 2015.

CTA recently released a rendering of the shelters for this project. This is a tweaked version of a competition-winning design, although the original design was glass-enclosed while this is open. I like how the design references the bronze and copper accents on downtown buildings while remaining modern. Apologies to Busy Bee for the compass rosette.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7333/1...ff1a6421_b.jpg
credit: John Greenfield

This deserves to be bumped to this page. I love this design and am so excited to see these projects continue to move forward. I hope they use this design for all the BRT projects to generate a unified brand.

PS: there is a really good presentation on BRT embedded at this website: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en...idtransit.html

the urban politician Jan 10, 2014 6:45 PM

^ I agree, but I do wish this was extended to Streeterville and not just used in the Loop.

k1052 Jan 10, 2014 6:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6401529)
^^^ There is an easy enforcement solution here. Just make the entire damn lane a tow zone and set the yellow tow trucks loose on them. The city loves towing cars because it is wildly profitable. They tow them in as quickly as 5 minutes. Anyone who stops their car here should be subjected to a ticket or tow.

I was more focused on the idea of how to make enforcement most reliable, thus more effectively discouraging that activity.

I really wish the city would got a lot further in addressing the roadways for loading, standing zones, etc. It seems kind of pointless to stripe all these bike lanes (and soon bus lanes) if you're going to let tractor trailers and all other manner of vehicles park in them and just put their hazards on.

marothisu Jan 10, 2014 9:49 PM

Random question, but is there any hope for the Brown Line to be extended north to say NE Illinois University or even around Kedzie & Devon, ever?

OhioGuy Jan 10, 2014 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marothisu (Post 6402056)
Random question, but is there any hope for the Brown Line to be extended north to say NE Illinois University or even around Kedzie & Devon, ever?

For me, if the brown line is to be extended, I would prefer to see it extended under Lawrence to connect to the blue line at Jefferson Park, with stations at Pulaski and Elston (and possibly Lawndale). Given the fact there isn't an east/west rail line on the north side, it seems like such a logical extension to better connect areas like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, North Center, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, and Albany Park with O'Hare and other locations along the O'Hare branch of the blue line. Much more convenient than forcing everyone to either hop on a slow bus likely to get stuck in traffic (rush hour traffic sucked on the 81 on Lawrence and don't get me started on buses crawling along the streets on Cubs game days which I've experienced a number of times) or riding the L all the way downtown to transfer to the blue line.

marothisu Jan 10, 2014 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 6402120)
For me, if the brown line is to be extended, I would prefer to see it extended under Lawrence to connect to the blue line at Jefferson Park, with stations at Pulaski and Elston (and possibly Lawndale). Given the fact there isn't an east/west rail line on the north side, it seems like such a logical extension to better connect areas like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, North Center, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, and Albany Park with O'Hare (as opposed to forcing everyone to either hop on a slow bus likely to get stuck in traffic (such as on Cubs game days) or riding the L all the way downtown to transfer to the blue line.

I understand what you're saying and agree that would be good too.

I'm going more from the point that there's over 70,000 people in West Ridge and almost 20,000 people in North park with 0 train lines with. That's a pretty big population to be without it IMO and would probably bring in more people due to Devon being up there. You can take buses to the red or brown line, but I think it would be a good opportunity to serve more of the population. I guess you could always branch off the Yellow Line too instead.

I do agree that the Cubs transit stuff is a pain though.

Segun Jan 11, 2014 4:30 PM

^ A Good fix for that would also be to extend the Western Ave BRT (or future light rail) all the way down to Howard (and possibly Asbury in Evanston). They could even extend the 49 bus to Howard, giving that area another 24 hour option. Why they have it a separate 49B bus I don't know.

Chicago Shawn Jan 11, 2014 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Segun (Post 6402878)
^ A Good fix for that would also be to extend the Western Ave BRT (or future light rail) all the way down to Howard (and possibly Asbury in Evanston). They could even extend the 49 bus to Howard, giving that area another 24 hour option. Why they have it a separate 49B bus I don't know.

CTA separates the north/south streets into xx,xxA, xxB is because the streets are very long. Western Avenue's reach alone is over 17 miles within city limits. The longer the bus route, the greater likelihood for the bus to fall behind schedule and screw up times for vehicle turnarounds, thus starting the route in the opposite direction already late. 49B covers the north end of western quite efficiently, but because its a separate route, its serves as more of a Brown Line shuttle and local route rather than crosstown service.

BRT would help the situation as with it removed from street traffic, there are fewer variables to delay buses; but I am very skeptical of BRT on urban streets, as I have seen plenty of examples were it does not live up to promises. I have witnessed bus bunching and a 30 minute wait time on Cleveland's Health Line for example. Western is probably the best city street to run BRT if we are going that route, because its wide enough (especially the Boulevard stretch) hits all the CTA rail lines (although the Green Line needs a station put back) and 4 Metra lines (potentially 9 with extensions to Evanston and Blue Island and new infill stations on the Southwest Service and Heritage Corridors). However, I really wish we would pursue a true north-south heavy rail line, as has been planned and pitched for a century now. Sad to think of how much more ambitious we were as a nation years ago, now we just throw our hands up and gripe 'too expensive'.

Randomguy34 Jan 11, 2014 7:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 6402120)
For me, if the brown line is to be extended, I would prefer to see it extended under Lawrence to connect to the blue line at Jefferson Park, with stations at Pulaski and Elston (and possibly Lawndale). Given the fact there isn't an east/west rail line on the north side, it seems like such a logical extension to better connect areas like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, North Center, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, and Albany Park with O'Hare and other locations along the O'Hare branch of the blue line. Much more convenient than forcing everyone to either hop on a slow bus likely to get stuck in traffic (rush hour traffic sucked on the 81 on Lawrence and don't get me started on buses crawling along the streets on Cubs game days which I've experienced a number of times) or riding the L all the way downtown to transfer to the blue line.

Funny you should mention that. When I was looking at the "Circle Line Screen 3 Alternatives Analysis" archives, the CTA proposed that the Brown Line should be extended to Jefferson Park with the Mid-City Transitway built as well. Here's an image of the proposal.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7414/1...1dee353f_o.jpg
CTA Circle Line/ Mid-City Transitway by david.zegeye, on Flickr

Sorry for the low quality image, this was the only one the CTA posted.

Standpoor Jan 11, 2014 9:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marothisu (Post 6402056)
Random question, but is there any hope for the Brown Line to be extended north to say NE Illinois University or even around Kedzie & Devon, ever?

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 6402120)
For me, if the brown line is to be extended, I would prefer to see it extended under Lawrence to connect to the blue line at Jefferson Park, with stations at Pulaski and Elston (and possibly Lawndale). Given the fact there isn't an east/west rail line on the north side, it seems like such a logical extension to better connect areas like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, North Center, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, and Albany Park with O'Hare and other locations along the O'Hare branch of the blue line. Much more convenient than forcing everyone to either hop on a slow bus likely to get stuck in traffic (rush hour traffic sucked on the 81 on Lawrence and don't get me started on buses crawling along the streets on Cubs game days which I've experienced a number of times) or riding the L all the way downtown to transfer to the blue line.

Why not both?

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3766/1...2c3d4e1c_z.jpg

the urban politician Jan 11, 2014 9:41 PM

I think one of the reasons so little transit in this city gets built is because nobody can agree on what to build

ardecila Jan 11, 2014 11:45 PM

LOL fair enough. I mostly agree with Emanuel's focus on upgrading the current system. Our transit system is 100 years old and in a sorry state overall. The North Side Main Line (Red/Purple) needs to be rebuilt and the same for the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line. Thankfully both are in planning stages, and both should be high priorities.

The push for BRT is necessary I think. It will dramatically change the environment along Ashland and other streets, with some good and some bad side effects. Auto-oriented businesses will close, while denser development will pop up around the stations and bring new residents/businesses along. Drivers will have a hard time with more traffic and turning restrictions, but transit will be more convenient.

the urban politician Jan 12, 2014 1:15 PM

Sorry to be the guy who just comes in here to ask questions, but I was wondering what the general feeling about the Ashland BRT is. I know there is some vocal opposition to it, but is it the general consensus among those on the "inside" that this is basically going to happen? Also, has anybody announced a start date for this project or is it still years away?

Thanks

ardecila Jan 12, 2014 5:47 PM

Emanuel is still strongly in favor of the BRT, so it will keep rolling along unless one or several aldermen manage to stop it. Certainly Emanuel will try to ram it down their throats, so it really depends on his political skill.

The level of opposition will probably depend on how the design of the BRT line evolves. Right now, the plans call for eliminating all left turns except at expressways. Adding more left turn lanes would either water down the effectiveness of the bus line or eliminate even more parking.

By the standards of most planning processes, the BRT is proceeding at lightning speed. Final designs should be issued in the spring/summer and then Emanuel will start looking for money in Washington and Springfield.

the urban politician Jan 12, 2014 6:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6403697)
Emanuel is still strongly in favor of the BRT, so it will keep rolling along unless one or several aldermen manage to stop it. Certainly Emanuel will try to ram it down their throats, so it really depends on his political skill.

The level of opposition will probably depend on how the design of the BRT line evolves. Right now, the plans call for eliminating all left turns except at expressways. Adding more left turn lanes would either water down the effectiveness of the bus line or eliminate even more parking.

By the standards of most planning processes, the BRT is proceeding at lightning speed. Final designs should be issued in the spring/summer and then Emanuel will start looking for money in Washington and Springfield.

^ I think they should allow more left turns to appease the NIMBY's. Then, a few months after the BRT system opens, close the left turn lanes at all intersections except the ones you mentioned above.

It's sneaky but it's the Chicago way and it'll work.

Ch.G, Ch.G Jan 12, 2014 7:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 6403719)
^ I think they should allow more left turns to appease the NIMBY's. Then, a few months after the BRT system opens, close the left turn lanes at all intersections except the ones you mentioned above.

It's sneaky but it's the Chicago way and it'll work.

Haha, that would be amazing.

untitledreality Jan 13, 2014 4:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 6403719)
^ I think they should allow more left turns to appease the NIMBY's. Then, a few months after the BRT system opens, close the left turn lanes at all intersections except the ones you mentioned above.

It's sneaky but it's the Chicago way and it'll work.

Midnight backhoe excursions?

the urban politician Jan 13, 2014 5:52 AM

^. Or something. We need to get the mayor in on this.. ;)


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