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le_brew Jan 30, 2014 4:53 PM

fare collection
 
metra conductors do not even verify half of passengers payment once close to destined arrival station. yesterday i witnessed at least 15 people board that he did not verify. i am not a regular metra rider so i pay with 10-ride or cash. i disclose that i rode free on a few occasions due to a lazy conductor that does not do his/her job. however i hope that conductors does their job and not to rely on honors system where none exist.

point is: they need to design a ticketing system using either proof-of-payment or turnstiles

electricron Jan 30, 2014 6:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by le_brew (Post 6429771)
point is: they need to design a ticketing system using either proof-of-payment or turnstiles

Then free-loaders would find another way to get past those turnstiles or proof-of-payment systems. Ever pulled up to a toll gate on a turnpike with a free-loader waiting just in front waiting on you to pay and turn the light green and open the gate? If there's a will to cheat, cheaters will find a way to do it.

le_brew Jan 30, 2014 9:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 6429884)
Then free-loaders would find another way to get past those turnstiles or proof-of-payment systems. Ever pulled up to a toll gate on a turnpike with a free-loader waiting just in front waiting on you to pay and turn the light green and open the gate? If there's a will to cheat, cheaters will find a way to do it.

i wouldn't think that it is possible on highways with all the surveillance. and to emphasize, i do not free-load, i am fully prepared with fare but will not flag you down to get you to collect it.

as stated --metra needs modernization.

Nexis4Jersey Jan 30, 2014 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by le_brew (Post 6430216)
i wouldn't think that it is possible on highways with all the surveillance. and to emphasize, i do not free-load, i am fully prepared with fare but will not flag you down to get you to collect it.

as stated --metra needs modernization.

They often don't go after toll cheats unless you rack up 1000s or sometimes 10000s in back tolls.

le_brew Jan 31, 2014 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 6430347)
They often don't go after toll cheats unless you rack up 1000s or sometimes 10000s in back tolls.

i can only speak for illinois tollway where you would not get away with owing $1. . . .your plates are recorded throughout the system with automated all-electronic i-pass overhangs and devices.

i guess tollway auth. deserves credit in terms of modernization

ardecila Jan 31, 2014 12:58 AM

If we're swapping anecdotes, then my experience is that my Metra ticket is punched 90% of the time. The conductors are really trying to catch downtown-bound passengers, though. Conductors take advantage of the long station gaps in the city to get tickets checked, but intra-suburban or non-downtown-oriented trips are often missed. For better or worse though, these passengers are a minority of Metra ridership.

MultiModal Jan 31, 2014 8:52 PM

http://my.chicagotribune.com/#sectio.../p2p-79119167/

New Metra CEO named

jpIllInoIs Feb 4, 2014 3:15 PM

$100million available in RTA Bonds
 
I dont know how much can be done with $100m especially spread across 7 counties and 3 agencies.

RTA Bonds

Quote:

The bonding will fund projects that benefit the region’s public transit riders through enhancements to CTA, Metra and Pace capital assets, specifically tied to State of Good Repair, in the following categories:
Rolling Stock
Track and Structure
Electric Signal and Communications
Stations and Passenger Facilities

Qualifying projects would include:
Projects that upon completion would have a useful life of at least 20 years.
Projects that will reduce the Region’s State of Good Repair (SGR) backlog.
Projects that replace assets which fall into the category of “worn” or “marginal” as identified in the Capital Asset Condition Assessment.

Mr Downtown Feb 4, 2014 3:35 PM

New CDOT Commissioner Scheinfeld is looking at alterations to the Ashland BRT plan.

“We’re specifically contemplating the possibility of adding more left-turns back into the concept design for the corridor,” Scheinfeld said.

Sun-Times story here.

k1052 Feb 4, 2014 4:03 PM

*sigh*

The BRT plan wasn't fantastic to begin with and this will just reduce the effectiveness even further. When it fails to deliver based on the compromises made the NIMBYs will point to it and say "I told you so".

A point has to be reached where the mayor just says "screw it" and refocuses the CTA on rail only improvements/infill stations that people can't bitch endlessly about.

ardecila Feb 4, 2014 4:18 PM

As I mentioned before, the island platforms for BRT exist only on one side of any given intersection. The other side, the center lane is occupied by a planted median that could easily be swapped for a turn lane. The only loss is a pedestrian refuge and a few bushes. At signalized intersections without stations, it's even easier. Exclusive lanes can still be maintained for buses with a crossover design (like bike lanes at right turn lanes).

Then the only concern is the extra time consumed by the protected left signal phase, and the effect it has on bus speeds.

wierdaaron Feb 4, 2014 4:21 PM

People so in love with their left turns should spend some quality time in Michigan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_left

k1052 Feb 4, 2014 4:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6436155)
As I mentioned before, the island platforms for BRT exist only on one side of any given intersection. The other side, the center lane is occupied by a planted median that could easily be swapped for a turn lane. The only loss is a pedestrian refuge and a few bushes. At signalized intersections without stations, it's even easier. Exclusive lanes can still be maintained for buses with a crossover design (like bike lanes at right turn lanes).

Then the only concern is the extra time consumed by the protected left signal phase, and the effect it has on bus speeds.

Cars and trucks will undoubtedly block the crossovers stacking up to turn left. Plus the extra time lost in the cycle to left turns.

the urban politician Feb 4, 2014 5:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6436072)
New CDOT Commissioner Scheinfeld is looking at alterations to the Ashland BRT plan.

“We’re specifically contemplating the possibility of adding more left-turns back into the concept design for the corridor,” Scheinfeld said.

Sun-Times story here.

:deal:

He he he..... my master plan is slowly coming to fruition. http://www.librum.us/smileys/evil.gif God bless the bait and switch. Seems as if people in positions of power are truly reading this thread...

ardecila Feb 5, 2014 1:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 6436187)
Cars and trucks will undoubtedly block the crossovers stacking up to turn left. Plus the extra time lost in the cycle to left turns.

San Francisco's Van Ness BRT does it a different way, eliminating the right turn lane and shifting through-traffic into the right-most lane to allow for a left turn pocket without the crossover. This eliminates curbside parking within a block of the intersection, but preserves the planted medians and pedestrian refuges. (NOTE: Van Ness is wider than Ashland)

http://imageshack.com/a/img845/1957/j6bv.jpg

Eventually, the only people turning left will be tourists and suburbanites, as locals will learn not to drive on Ashland.

Side note: I am wholly in favor of a full left-turn ban for semi trucks. The city needs to spend a lot of time and effort re-thinking the system of truck routes, actually... We are starting to see serious conflicts pop up, on Ashland, on Elston, etc. I want to keep industrial businesses in the city but the truck problem needs to be addressed.

Rizzo Feb 5, 2014 1:39 AM

Just throwing this out there, but I've always believed that signaling can solve most traffic issues, particular streets of heavy mode share. So if you had a case with BRT or a streetcar line in the center and also wanted left turns, you could have both left turning vehicles and public transit vehicles sharing the same center lanes. After all, center turn lanes tend to be least used and most quickly vacated.

So if you had a bus or train approaching behind a bunch of stacked up cars, a green left arrow would be given to all vehicles ahead until the transit vehicle cleared the intersection. Plain and simple, it's giving lane priority.

Regardless, I do not object to any plan that calls for reducing passenger traffic lanes in attempt to reduce traffic speeds. I've crossed Ashland on foot many times. It's an indisputable fact that Ashland is a dangerous street to cross or turn a vehicle onto and something has to change.

CTA Gray Line Feb 6, 2014 5:59 AM

'Transit deserts' in Chicago region's mass transit system: report
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,6565285.story

By Richard Wronski
Tribune reporter
7:05 p.m. CST, February 5, 2014

The Chicago area’s mass transit agencies are doing a poor job of serving the commuting needs of the region -- portions of which are “transit deserts” — while planning efforts are haphazard, a new report says.......

emathias Feb 6, 2014 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6437187)
...
So if you had a bus or train approaching behind a bunch of stacked up cars, a green left arrow would be given to all vehicles ahead until the transit vehicle cleared the intersection. Plain and simple, it's giving lane priority.
...

I've seen left turn lanes unable to be cleared because there simply wasn't anywhere for the cars to go in the cross street. In heavy gridlock, like rush hour where Ashland crosses major east-west streets, that would probably happen fairly often, greatly impacting the bus travel times.

LouisVanDerWright Feb 6, 2014 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6440022)
I've seen left turn lanes unable to be cleared because there simply wasn't anywhere for the cars to go in the cross street. In heavy gridlock, like rush hour where Ashland crosses major east-west streets, that would probably happen fairly often, greatly impacting the bus travel times.

Yeah, I was gonna say...

Sometimes the lanes get clogged just because some idiot apparently doesn't know that green arrows exist.

Mr Downtown Feb 7, 2014 1:46 AM

I can't find anything on CNT's website to explain the methodology for the maps that accompanied the Tribune story:

http://i.imgur.com/fvhWQxN.png

(The maps in today's print editions had all the dark gray mistakenly printed in red, making it look like most of the North Side was a transit desert.)

ardecila Feb 7, 2014 5:45 AM

I saw a similar map that tried to claim the old interurban lines offered frequent service comparable to an L line. Is that the case?

I know the two modes shared tracks, but I thought the interurbans were a scheduled service every 30-60 minutes - definitely not frequent by most urban definitions.

Mr Downtown Feb 7, 2014 6:02 AM

^Yeah, I found that funny, too. The interurbans, at least in later decades, were functionally commuter railroads. Here's a 1955 CA&E timetable, for instance. A couple trains an hour, except at rush hours.

http://i.imgur.com/ZAE4Qzw.png

le_brew Feb 9, 2014 9:18 PM

At Issue - CTA President Forrest Claypool
 
February 9, 2014
WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore speaks with Forrest Claypool, President of the Chicago Transit Authority, about the challenges of rebuilding the CTA's Blue Line to O'Hare and some success for the new Ventra Fare Card System. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/show/at-issue/#

According to the interview, Ashland BRT is far from a "done deal."

Thanks be to God!

nomarandlee Feb 12, 2014 7:58 AM

Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,4141283.story

Civic group proposes closing parts of 20 Chicago streets

Active Transportation Alliance seeks more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly zones in city


By Jon Hilkevitch, Tribune reporter

February 12, 2014

That group, which for years has advocated pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly Chicago streets, is releasing a proposal Wednesday for 20 car-free areas and public plazas across the city.

The Active Transportation Alliance's objective is to make downtown and the neighborhoods more attractive places to live and shop, and to help residents get around easily and safely by promoting more bicycling and walking while also reducing traffic accidents, officials at the alliance said.

"Chicago's shortage of parks and playgrounds away from the lakefront is well documented," said Ron Burke, the group's executive director, "but the city also comes up short for open space in the form of car-free public plazas and streets."..........

The group has shared its proposals with the city and contends they can be brought to life without imposing extreme hardships on drivers.

Some of its ideas would:..........
..........

Vlajos Feb 12, 2014 2:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 6448007)
..........

Are there really a shortage of parks and playgrounds?

emathias Feb 12, 2014 2:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlajos (Post 6448195)
Are there really a shortage of parks and playgrounds?

Statistically Chicago is low on parkland per resident compared to other cities. Whether it really has a shortage is a different question, although there are definitely areas that are low on parkland.

MayorOfChicago Feb 12, 2014 6:20 PM

Monroe through Grant Park I can see, that makes sense.

Dearborn or Clark through the Loop I think are fine as they are. There are parks downtown and that's the business district, it's suppose to be bustling.

Rush/Oak - maybe a one block section of them, I wouldn't recommend shutting down large blocks long sections or it will seem quiet.

Michigan Ave - no way, keep it as it is.

Wrigleyville, I think it's actually ok, especially with the road diet coming along with the renovations. The only street that you wouldn't notice closing as a car is Waveland, but it also by far has the least amount of pedestrian coverage and things to do. I think it would be a waste. Possibly expanding the sidewalks on Clark and eating away the parking lanes, but of course then the city would have to pay for the meters because of that stupid deal.

Segments of Broadway in Lakeview. Again, maybe turning it into a one-way or taking away parking one side of the street to increase the sidewalks, but not just shutting down large sections of the street. I'd rather just shrink it, although honestly it's a pretty narrow street as it is.

Milwaukee is too much of a traffic artery going towards the northwest, i would say to just leave it.

Clark Street in Andersonville, I would be for this from a traffic point of view since Ashland can handle the traffic and is less than a block away. Maybe from Catalpa down to Winona. I wouldn't really say shut the entire street down, but maybe just have it one-way and lose some of the parking. I'd be more inclined to lose the parking along Broadway where an overwhelming people who shop there are walking/transit compared to Andersonville where there are probably a few more drivers along Clark who want to park.

Webster in Lincoln Park sounds good to close off near the zoo.

wierdaaron Feb 12, 2014 6:28 PM

If I had to close down any streets it would be Monroe and Columbus through the park. Monroe is a good start, though. Magmile is a nice thought, but I'm sure there would be too much opposition to that. Michigan is too major of an artery north of the river (which I guess is the problem).

the urban politician Feb 12, 2014 6:31 PM

I'm all in favor of closing roads through Grant Park

wierdaaron Feb 12, 2014 6:32 PM

Maybe they could flood Columbus, and use BP Bridge to fish off of :)

Chi-Sky21 Feb 12, 2014 6:34 PM

I have long thought they need to close at least 1 road through Grant park, maybe sink the roadway and cap it for access from the fountain to the lake. I like that option better than a tunnel for pedestrians to Queens landing.

Vlajos Feb 12, 2014 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6448209)
Statistically Chicago is low on parkland per resident compared to other cities. Whether it really has a shortage is a different question, although there are definitely areas that are low on parkland.

Interesting, I didn't know that.

sammyg Feb 18, 2014 6:55 PM

A Rock Island rider has posted an update on the Englewood Flyover. There's lots of progress on the bridge itself, but widening the embankment west of the Dan Ryan has a ways to go.

Video Link

untitledreality Feb 19, 2014 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 6448682)
I'm all in favor of closing roads through Grant Park

+1

The vast majority of roadways through Chicago's parks should be removed in my opinion. Completely unnecessary, spoil the park setting, and hazardous.

Heck, I'll just copy/paste my quick list from curbed:

Quote:

As far the park roads? Most should be removed IMO.

- Simonds between Foster and Montrose
- Cannon and Stockton between Diversey and Fullerton
- Luis Munoz, entirely, from Humboldt Park
- Washington/Schrader/Woodward/Music Court from Garfield Park
- Sacramento/Farrar from Douglas Park
- Damen from McKinley Park
- Sherman from Sherman Park
- Ellsworth/Best from Washington Park
- Cornell/Hayes/Richards from Jackson Park
- Redfield from Marquette Park

Every single one of those could be eliminated without affecting access for disabled, schools, or fieldhouses.

ardecila Feb 19, 2014 2:22 AM

Seem like the retaining walls are taking forever on that flyover. On the south end they actually had to move a street, including all of the utility lines underground. Hopefully the work will accelerate once the weather warms up.

This project should allow for an increase or at least a rescheduling of Amtrak service to Michigan and points east, relieving the Norfolk Southern line of heavy freight congestion. It's a crying shame that we aren't ready to start work on the next pieces of CREATE... 75th St Corridor, Grand Crossing, etc.

Randomguy34 Feb 20, 2014 1:38 AM

Just wondering, did anyone attend the Wilson Station public meeting yesterday and if so, did they announce anything new about the project?

LaSalle.St.Station Feb 20, 2014 5:51 AM

I'm not for the total conversion of parkland thru streets into green space, but I can see a reduction in their footprint and reprogramming their infrastructure with natural materials that integrate into the surrounding park. Columbus in Grant Park would be the first on my list.

ardecila Feb 20, 2014 1:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 6459848)
Just wondering, did anyone attend the Wilson Station public meeting yesterday and if so, did they announce anything new about the project?

Nothing new. Wilson will be built exactly as it was presented last year. The only reason CTA had another meeting was to discuss construction impacts and present the final design for the overpass at Broadway, which shift some columns around to placate some fussy landowners.

untitledreality Feb 21, 2014 4:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LaSalle.St.Station (Post 6460179)
I'm not for the total conversion of parkland thru streets into green space, but I can see a reduction in their footprint and reprogramming their infrastructure with natural materials that integrate into the surrounding park. Columbus in Grant Park would be the first on my list.

Narrow it slightly, add another edge row of trees, remove the curbs, replace asphalt with permeable pavers... done.

UPChicago Feb 21, 2014 3:16 PM

I think for sure all the east-west roads in Grant Park can be removed and maybe depress Columbus.

CTA Gray Line Feb 24, 2014 6:12 AM

CTA moves up Blue Line rehab
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...2203386.column

Jon Hilkevitch
Getting Around
February 24, 2014

The four-year overhaul of the CTA Blue Line O'Hare branch will be getting underway a few months early, the transit agency will announce Monday, with sections closing over 10 weekends between late March and August........

wierdaaron Feb 24, 2014 10:59 PM

Interesting proposal for protected intersections for cyclists. http://www.protectedintersection.com/

The video explains it pretty well. This would probably be very welcome here, and we've got wide enough streets that we could probably pull it off, but I don't see us being too innovative in the field considering how long it took to get any kind of bike lanes.

emathias Feb 25, 2014 12:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6466342)
Interesting proposal for protected intersections for cyclists. http://www.protectedintersection.com/

The video explains it pretty well. This would probably be very welcome here, and we've got wide enough streets that we could probably pull it off, but I don't see us being too innovative in the field considering how long it took to get any kind of bike lanes.

It's already the recommended way to do turns for cyclists, however it also means cyclists will often have to wait through two light changes for a left turn, which is obnoxious. I don't really support this sort of system

BVictor1 Feb 25, 2014 5:48 AM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7253433.story

Improving portion of high-speed rail corridor could cost $1.5 billion


By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune reporter
3:58 p.m. CST, February 24, 2014

Quote:

Improving passenger service on the slowest portion of Illinois' emerging 110-mph rail corridor, between Chicago and Joliet, will cost an estimated $1.5 billion, officials said Monday.

It's roughly the same amount the state is spending so far to develop the rest of the high-speed corridor south of Joliet to St. Louis, according to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

No funding has been secured yet to modernize the Chicago-to-Joliet segment, where trains often creep along due to heavy congestion and rail slow zones.

And officials said it's too soon to know whether 110 mph trains are feasible on any portion in the Chicago area.

hygge Feb 25, 2014 7:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6458325)
Seem like the retaining walls are taking forever on that flyover. On the south end they actually had to move a street, including all of the utility lines underground. Hopefully the work will accelerate once the weather warms up.

This project should allow for an increase or at least a rescheduling of Amtrak service to Michigan and points east, relieving the Norfolk Southern line of heavy freight congestion. It's a crying shame that we aren't ready to start work on the next pieces of CREATE... 75th St Corridor, Grand Crossing, etc.

The two projects that you mentioned, are they they work that will be done between Porter, Indiana and the Englewood flyover? Are those the official names? Do you have any information on the status of the Porter Junction work and the additional siding between Porter and Illinois? I believe that once that work is done Amtrak will see a large increase on all three lines from Michigan as reliability is increased and total trip time is reduced.

untitledreality Feb 26, 2014 3:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6465383)

The four-year overhaul of the CTA Blue Line O'Hare branch...

Maybe I missed it before, but I am excited to hear of the turn-back tracks being built at Jefferson Park and UIC-Halsted. More service where it is currently needed, better ability to manage rush loads, and the ability to manage future ridership spikes.

ardecila Feb 26, 2014 4:18 AM

Uh, there are already holding tracks at these locations... that's why you occasionally see UIC or Jefferson Park as the destination of a Blue Line train. I think the UIC one needs to be moved west of Western to increase service to the busier part of the Forest Park branch.

CTA Gray Line Feb 26, 2014 8:26 AM

Public input sought on transportation priorities
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7616396.story

By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune reporter
5:19 p.m. CST, February 25, 2014

Cook County residents and business owners are being asked to weigh in on setting transportation priorities for future projects – from roads to bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways.......

chiguy123 Feb 26, 2014 3:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6468977)
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7616396.story

By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune reporter
5:19 p.m. CST, February 25, 2014

Cook County residents and business owners are being asked to weigh in on setting transportation priorities for future projects – from roads to bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways.......

Just did this! I really tried to focus on reinvesting in what we have and improving inter-neighborhood travel (i.e. Ashland BRT).

ardecila Feb 27, 2014 1:38 AM

Count me as somebody with planning fatigue. We don't need more wish lists and magical thinking; we need political will, cooperation, and resources.

It's pretty well-known where the needs are. We've got failing railcars and buses, crumbling viaducts, and ramshackle stations. We've got agencies that won't even talk to each other, let alone cooperate and share ideas. We've got prominent Metra executives accused of rampant corruption and incompentence. How is one more planning exercise gonna solve any of it?


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