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BVictor1 May 16, 2014 1:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rigby (Post 6579190)
Coming from someone that used live the Roseland area and visit for family , I don't see the need for the extension. Roseland and West Pullman are low density areas, more a residential area with houses. Also to top it off, the area's population is declining

Which could be a good reason for the extension. Plug the leak of population of the area and rezone parcels along the line higher density.

I'm sick of the southside being written off.

pip May 16, 2014 3:31 AM

I have keep forgetting to ask this. When on the Brown Line going towards the Loop just south of the Armitage stop to the right of the Brown Line tracks when looking South towards the Loop are new tracks being placed. What is going on there?

BVictor1 May 16, 2014 4:12 AM

New Metra station approved at plan commission 05/15/14

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a4...D720/ry%3D480/

emathias May 16, 2014 4:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BVictor1 (Post 6580025)
Which could be a good reason for the extension. Plug the leak of population of the area and rezone parcels along the line higher density.

I'm sick of the southside being written off.

Wouldn't $2.2 billion be better spent making it safe and attractive to live near the EXISTING South Side rail system? People don't live on the South Side because they're either scared or tired of poor service. Adding a white elephant to the cost structure of the CTA is exactly the wrong way to go about improving the South Side. $2.2 billion would go a LONG way to subsidize increased Green Line frequency and improve police activity to bring down crime levels near it. Bump up the zoning near the existing Green Line stations and require TOD design and the South (Side) just might rise again. But force the CTA to increase their operating budget without an increase in new ridership and South Side service levels will go down, crime will stay the same, and population will continue to fall.

Improving service without spending outrageous sums of money to do it isn't "writing off" the South Side, but spending billions on something not needed while ignoring other very real, very pressing needs should be considered a patronizing insult to the South Side.

emathias May 16, 2014 4:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pip (Post 6580154)
I have keep forgetting to ask this. When on the Brown Line going towards the Loop just south of the Armitage stop to the right of the Brown Line tracks when looking South towards the Loop are new tracks being placed. What is going on there?

They are refurbishing the stretch of the Brown Line tracks between Armitage and the River to eliminate slow zones.

http://www.transitchicago.com/ravenswoodconnector/

pip May 16, 2014 4:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6580208)
They are refurbishing the stretch of the Brown Line tracks between Armitage and the River to eliminate slow zones.

http://www.transitchicago.com/ravenswoodconnector/

Ah ok thanks. I read through the link and other links, but still it seems as if they are adding an additional, fifth, set of tracks to the right of the current Brown Line tracks looking west from the Brown Line train heading towards the Loop. I'm curious as to what that is for.

UPChicago May 16, 2014 4:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6580206)
Wouldn't $2.2 billion be better spent making it safe and attractive to live near the EXISTING South Side rail system? People don't live on the South Side because they're either scared or tired of poor service. Adding a white elephant to the cost structure of the CTA is exactly the wrong way to go about improving the South Side. $2.2 billion would go a LONG way to subsidize increased Green Line frequency and improve police activity to bring down crime levels near it. Bump up the zoning near the existing Green Line stations and require TOD design and the South (Side) just might rise again. But force the CTA to increase their operating budget without an increase in new ridership and South Side service levels will go down, crime will stay the same, and population will continue to fall.

Improving service without spending outrageous sums of money to do it isn't "writing off" the South Side, but spending billions on something not needed while ignoring other very real, very pressing needs should be considered a patronizing insult to the South Side.

YES! A Green Line extension would be 1000% a better option!

BVictor1 May 16, 2014 5:41 AM

Quote:

Bump up the zoning near the existing Green Line stations and require TOD design and the South (Side) just might rise again. But force the CTA to increase their operating budget without an increase in new ridership and South Side service levels will go down
I agree with the upping of the density along the green line, and there's a 3rd Ward meeting with Ald. Dowell this Thursday

When: May 22nd, 6-8pm
Where: Washington Park Arts Incubator (301 E. Garfield Blvd.)

Who's forcing the CTA to increase their operating budget? The extension is kind of their plans and idea.

the urban politician May 16, 2014 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6580206)
Wouldn't $2.2 billion be better spent making it safe and attractive to live near the EXISTING South Side rail system? People don't live on the South Side because they're either scared or tired of poor service. Adding a white elephant to the cost structure of the CTA is exactly the wrong way to go about improving the South Side. $2.2 billion would go a LONG way to subsidize increased Green Line frequency and improve police activity to bring down crime levels near it. Bump up the zoning near the existing Green Line stations and require TOD design and the South (Side) just might rise again. But force the CTA to increase their operating budget without an increase in new ridership and South Side service levels will go down, crime will stay the same, and population will continue to fall.

Improving service without spending outrageous sums of money to do it isn't "writing off" the South Side, but spending billions on something not needed while ignoring other very real, very pressing needs should be considered a patronizing insult to the South Side.

^. Very well said. Clearly the massive dead zones around the Green Line are ample evidence that having transit alone will do nothing to stimulate development on the south side.

The Red Line extension and the Illiana project are both wasteful boondoggles that need to go away. This city has too many of its priorities wrong.

And goddamn it, there are far too many strip malls in Chicago! Sorry, I had to add that last little rant after spending a lot of time in the city yesterday

emathias May 16, 2014 1:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pip (Post 6580225)
Ah ok thanks. I read through the link and other links, but still it seems as if they are adding an additional, fifth, set of tracks to the right of the current Brown Line tracks looking west from the Brown Line train heading towards the Loop. I'm curious as to what that is for.

I don't know and haven't seen the trackwork there, but I think they used to have turn-back tracks for staging purposes of work equipment or rush hour trains in that vicinity that they occasionally used. That might be what they're used for. But like I said, I don't actually know.

Vlajos May 16, 2014 1:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BVictor1 (Post 6580205)
New Metra station approved at plan commission 05/15/14

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a4...D720/ry%3D480/

When do they start work on this? I think this will really help that pocket of the city.

emathias May 16, 2014 1:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UPChicago (Post 6580234)
YES! A Green Line extension would be 1000% a better option!

I wasn't advocating a Green Line extension, although I wouldn't be opposed to re-extending the east branch to Jackson Park with maybe a dogleg up into Hyde Park along Lake Park to either 55th or 51st (that said, I still think the Gray Line is a better solution for that part of Hyde Park). And I'll point out that under Daley the First, there was talk of extending the west branch to Midway - it would be relatively (relatively) easy to extend it as an alley 'L' to Hoyne and then up to join the Orange Line just east of the Western/Orange station. Both 59th and Garfield (55th) have possibilities within a few blocks for good TOD, and a Garfield station would give reasonable access to the park in Gage Park.

Doing both of those would allow for Hyde Park to Midway Line, although that really seems like there wouldn't be ridership for it, but it would open up access to jobs in Hyde Park from the areas west, and access to jobs near Midway to those in Hyde Park and along the route. If the Orange Line were then also extended to Ford City as was originally intended, you'd have the opportunity to create significant TOD there. The advantage to that plan is that, unlike a Red Line extension, Ford City would have the potential to be a jobs center, which would allow more efficient use of the trains in both directions for both the Orange Line and a Ford City-Hyde Park line, meaning that people could choose to live along those two routes and have access to three jobs centers (Hyde Park, Ford City and the Loop) with less than a 30 minute train ride.

That, to me, sounds like a lot more bang for the buck than simply extending the Red Line into a residential area without the open land available to construct significant employment (or residential) capacity.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BVictor1 (Post 6580294)
...
Who's forcing the CTA to increase their operating budget? The extension is kind of their plans and idea.

Was it theirs? Or was it a political idea that they made "kind of work"? And if it was their idea, I'd have questions about their planning competency.

k1052 May 16, 2014 3:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6580466)
Was it theirs? Or was it a political idea that they made "kind of work"? And if it was their idea, I'd have questions about their planning competency.

I think it probably made sense 10 or 15 years ago when it was first discussed. Larger economic and social forces have depopulated the area it was meant to serve in the intervening years however. Based on the numbers it is no longer a viable project nor a wise investment for the city. A lot of political promises were made however so implementing high quality BRT would seem like reasonable compromise.

BVictor1 May 16, 2014 3:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlajos (Post 6580464)
When do they start work on this? I think this will really help that pocket of the city.

I'm not sure.

LaSalle.St.Station May 17, 2014 1:00 AM

Redline south extension

This is an Impractical endeavor based on present and future population trends, however it does expand the rapid transit footprint physically to a long standing transit void in the city.

I would build the initial line out with only a new terminus station designed more for park and ride and bus terminus passengers in order to cut the cost and avoid diverting to much transit capital away from denser portions of the system.

Then in time as new development and population growth are fostered near the line, the cta can build new stations to accommodate the ridership.

Mr Downtown May 17, 2014 5:59 PM

I learned this morning that Central BRT is only now in final design, will go to bid in June. So there probably won't be time to do anything more than utility relocation this year.

oshkeoto May 18, 2014 12:28 AM

^ Oy, that's terrible. I hope they can speed it up. Will the final design be released to the public in June?

wierdaaron May 18, 2014 12:56 AM

Who's designing the stations?

The whole idea of the stations is that you pay to get into them rather than onto the bus, right? These CAF competition winners don't seem to have taken that into account. They just look like futuristic bus stands. http://www.architecture.org/nextstopcompetition

Mr Downtown May 18, 2014 2:11 AM

I was surprised to hear that prepayment is not yet decided on for certain. There are financial implications, it was noted. I presume that means the cost of vending machines at each stop.

oshkeoto May 18, 2014 7:25 AM

It seems extremely shortsighted not to do prepayment. Both the actual service, in the sense of time saved, and the experience of BRT, in the sense of making it feel like something apart from, superior to, regular buses, really *heavily* depend on prepayment. If they're going to advertise BRT as a train without a track, then it needs to be a train without a track.

the urban politician May 18, 2014 1:53 PM

^. Yep. I think the city's BRT program seems pretty shitty so far.

Everything about it is half assed. Save us taxpayers the money and just run more frequent buses if you can't afford to do it right. Sheesh...

ardecila May 18, 2014 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6582424)
Who's designing the stations?

The whole idea of the stations is that you pay to get into them rather than onto the bus, right? These CAF competition winners don't seem to have taken that into account. They just look like futuristic bus stands. http://www.architecture.org/nextstopcompetition

That's not true at all. The winner was a bronze canopy with a glass curtain around the outside. The glass curtain would allow CTA to maintain fare control.

CTA agreed to work off of that design (which really surprised me, honestly) but deleted most of the glass curtain and just kept a portion as a windbreak.

Theoretically this design could have fare machines (shown in rendering) or even turnstiles added at the ramp. Note that the presence of fare machines alone doesn't mean prepayment. Now that most riders use Ventra, loading money onto your card is not the same as tapping in to validate a fare. I'd prefer some validation posts like they have in LA, so that riders don't need to waste time tapping their Ventra cards after boarding.

http://bomaelevatorspeech.files.word...w-platform.jpg
src

wierdaaron May 18, 2014 6:19 PM

I don't see how you could add turnstiles and controlled access areas to that design. The boarding area would have to be completely separated from the sidewalk/street so the drivers can know that anybody on the platform has been through a payment flow. Unless they want to use the honor system, that is.

I know there's other benefits to BRT besides the faster boarding via prepayment, but it seems like an important one. Imagine if paying to get on a train worked the same as getting on a bus. Without controlled access prepayment it seems like you'd just have a regular bus system with fewer stops.

I wonder how they'll keep people from using the bus lanes on the central line for dropoffs/standing like they do on Maddison/Washington currently. They have dedicated bus lanes in the loop but the buses are always having to pull out around standing vehicles.

k1052 May 18, 2014 7:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6582826)
I wonder how they'll keep people from using the bus lanes on the central line for dropoffs/standing like they do on Maddison/Washington currently. They have dedicated bus lanes in the loop but the buses are always having to pull out around standing vehicles.

Cameras on the busses probably plus lots of signs. Commercial vehicles and taxi/livery will figure it out pretty quick. Get caught and a big fat ticket from the city gets mailed to you.

k1052 May 18, 2014 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6582732)
I'd prefer some validation posts like they have in LA, so that riders don't need to waste time tapping their Ventra cards after boarding.

What I wouldn't give to see tap in tap out implemented in Chicago.

Mr Downtown May 18, 2014 8:09 PM

^Because?

ardecila May 19, 2014 1:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6582826)
Unless they want to use the honor system, that is.

Yep, that's pretty much how it works in LA. At least at the surface light rail stations. IIRC the underground (heavy rail) stations had turnstiles.

Honor system might not be the way to go everywhere in Chicago, but the target demographic of Central Loop BRT (downtown commuters from Metra stops) is probably fairly prosperous, so any fare evasion would be done out of people being cheap and not people being too poor. That means with some level of enforcement you could severely discourage fare evasion.

The whole point of BRT is to get people onto the bus quickly... it really impedes the speed of the transit if everyone has to tap their Ventra cards on the way in. Admittedly, Ventra itself has sped up the farebox process considerably.

schwerve May 19, 2014 2:14 AM

These stations will be used for ~6 different bus lines, some pseudo-BRT, some not.

Mr Downtown May 19, 2014 3:43 AM

Portland's experiment with self-service fare collection on buses in the 1990s didn't go well. I seriously doubt that anyplace in North America will try again soon. And LA has gone back and retrofitted its subway stations with turnstiles after trying self-service collection on the Red Line for two decades.

ardecila May 19, 2014 5:15 AM

^^ How else would you do fare pre-payment, then?

It seems like it is cost-prohibitive for CTA to build fully enclosed shelters with platform doors, so I don't see how you can possibly do fare pre-payment and rear-door boarding (and the speed increase they allow) without some kind of honor system.

You would need some form of inspection to act as a deterrent for fare evasion, but ultimately I think the speed/efficiency increases of pre-payment and rear boarding are worth the increased fare evasion. A better bus should attract more riders and hopefully increase revenue at any rate.

Mr Downtown May 19, 2014 1:36 PM

The new shelters will be floor-height, so turnstiles at the entries (plus a CTA ordinance making them fare-paid areas) would probably be sufficient. In public perception, that's a significant step beyond just saying roving fare inspectors may check your bus every month or so.

I think what's tricky about self-service fare collection on buses downtown is the close spacing of the stops. As soon as the inspectors get on at Wells, everyone suddenly decides they meant to alight at Clark. On LRT or BRT, you can audit most of a car between stations.

wierdaaron May 19, 2014 1:41 PM

Fully enclosed platforms with sliding doors that only open when a bus is loading seems like the only sane way to do prepayment. Drivers/staff will know that anybody coming through the doors onto the bus has paid, and if someone tries to creep in from the side they didn't pay. That's what I expected to see when I heard we were close to BRT.

Without that, it just seems like "Bus Fewer Stops".

I talked to someone in Cleveland once about their BRT system and it sounded like it was basically honor system, but it wasn't an expert. And also, Cleveland.

It must have been during the honor system experiment in LA that I was there and tried the subway. I was kinda confused. "Okay, I just paid for a ticket from this machine... now what? Trains are down here... Where do I... Don't I have to.... Wait do I just get on the train now? How do they know that I... I must have missed something. Hope I don't get arrested."

LouisVanDerWright May 19, 2014 3:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6583441)
The new shelters will be floor-height, so turnstiles at the entries (plus a CTA ordinance making them fare-paid areas) would probably be sufficient. In public perception, that's a significant step beyond just saying roving fare inspectors may check your bus every month or so.

I think what's tricky about self-service fare collection on buses downtown is the close spacing of the stops. As soon as the inspectors get on at Wells, everyone suddenly decides they meant to alight at Clark. On LRT or BRT, you can audit most of a car between stations.

I never thought about the audit thing, but that's an easy way to enforce it. It's just like parking meters, no one is there strictly policing it and, sure, you might be able to get away scotch free 75% of the time, but the consequences of the 25% of the time a meter maid comes by are not worth the free meal. However, the problem would be that it is VERY easy to come after someone for a parking ticket because the city can just boot their car, very strong incentive to pay. It's much harder to collect against individuals and this could lead to hangers on, particularly those who don't give a rats ass about their credit, abusing the system and just racking up tickets and not paying.

emathias May 19, 2014 7:59 PM

Since it is BRT, supposedly, and there will be high ridership, you could put an additional fare collector on the bus so that people can board at the rear, too. It's not pre-payment, but it does speed boarding. China does it.

untitledreality May 20, 2014 12:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6583227)
I seriously doubt that anyplace in North America will try again soon.

The MTA uses self service fare collection on its SBS routes.

Mr Downtown May 20, 2014 1:34 PM

^I hadn't heard about that; thanks. That's very relevant to what Chicago is planning downtown. I wonder what New York's experience with evasion has been.

Mr Downtown May 20, 2014 7:29 PM

Apparently the current thinking is to open with only one of the boarding platforms being prepaid, and see how that works in a Chicago winter before making a decision about the others. There will be queue-jumping signals at some intersections, but no signal priority otherwise.

The project's own calculations indicate that the Central Loop BRT speed improvements will be quite modest. A trip from Wacker to Michigan that now takes 13.6 minutes could improve to as little as—wait for it—12.3 minutes on average.

One new concern I have is about the raised platforms, which look like they can only berth one bus at a time. So during the morning rush, folks on the third bus back will be popping the cherry to get out and get to work on time, rather than waiting until the first two buses at the intersection move along.

wierdaaron May 22, 2014 11:48 PM

Streetsblog Chicago has an interview with CDOT Commissioner about the central loop BRT.

CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld Discusses the Loop BRT Project

They expect fully operational by the end of 2015. Nothing about rider payment flow.

Mr Downtown May 24, 2014 3:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baronvonellis (Post 6589811)
Wasn't the ridership much higher back in the 40's and 50's than today? What did they do then without the flyover?

There was much less margin for safety. No cab signals, trains operated "on sight"—and rear-end collisions in low-visibility or blizzard conditions were not rare.

Baronvonellis May 24, 2014 3:14 AM

OK,hire a manual operator to work the junction like back then, and use the money to expand the brown to Jeff Park.

emathias May 24, 2014 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baronvonellis (Post 6589811)
Wasn't the ridership much higher back in the 40's and 50's than today? What did they do then without the flyover?

Ridership on the Howard branch is as high or higher than its ever been. I believe thesame is true on the Brown Line. System numbers were higher in WWII but thats because of the other branches actually having high ridership.

chicagopcclcar1 May 24, 2014 3:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baronvonellis (Post 6590302)
OK,hire a manual operator to work the junction like back then, and use the money to expand the brown to Jeff Park.

Clark Junction is MANUALLY OPERATED at all times. The interlocking machine was the latest technologly when installed. The is a video on the CTA website.

CTA Gray Line May 24, 2014 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6590556)
Ridership on the Howard branch is as high or higher than its ever been. I believe thesame is true on the Brown Line. System numbers were higher in WWII but thats because of the other branches actually having high ridership.

Also until 1963 North Shore Line trains were included on the Howard branch.....

BVictor1 Jun 3, 2014 5:10 AM

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2...l#.U41YMigvk10

Lake Shore Drive plans aim for big-picture, not patchwork approach

BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter May 30, 2014 7:10PM

Quote:

Daniel Burnham envisioned a “quiet” Lake Shore Drive.

But the 15-mile plus stretch of road, bike and pedestrian paths is far from hushed some 100 years later.

North Lake Shore Drive carries as many as 970 CTA buses with 69,000 passengers a day, in addition to the 160,000 cars that pass through daily. And the Lakefront Trail, an often dangerous place during rush hour and weekends, is used by as many as 31,000 people daily on peak summer days.

Many of Lake Shore Drive’s pedestrian tunnels and bridges, used to get walkers and cyclists to the lakefront path, were built in 1930 and meant to last just 30 years. Nine of them, including the Oak Street and North Avenue overpasses, are considered “functionally obsolete.” The crumbling infrastructure is 54 years past its expiration date.

LouisVanDerWright Jun 4, 2014 2:26 PM

Saw these Wilson Station renderings on DNAinfo:

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/...extralarge.jpg

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/...extralarge.jpg

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/...extralarge.jpg

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/...extralarge.jpg

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140...homes-offices#

I hope they actually end up going with the more sculptural structural supports shown here instead of big fat cylinders like the ones at Belmont and Fullerton.

ardecila Jun 4, 2014 5:55 PM

I'm fine with either, but I think the CTA will actually use these ugly wide-flange columns with a tacky decorative footing.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TrFbSqYW5h...hboundView.jpg

joeg1985 Jun 4, 2014 6:00 PM

^ I bet they use both columns. As you guys are talking about two different kinds of support at two different sections of the same project.

chicagopcclcar1 Jun 4, 2014 10:57 PM

Whichever columns and beams they design and use, the City and the CTA should use the piles and piles of steel salvaged and saved from the never-used 63rd St. Dorchester terminal. The inventory was the result of an agreement where the City and the CTA would not have to repay the Federal monies for the never-used Dorchester terminal if the City and the CTA would use the steel in other projects. How big are the piles of steel....almost two blocks long!!

BVictor1 Jun 5, 2014 3:23 AM

I went to a neighborhood meeting tonight and got a chance to talk with someone from CDOT.

He told me there's a pretty good chance that the pedestrian bridge over LSD at 35th Street could happen beginning later on this year.

I was also told that a Tiger Grant has been submitted for the crossings at 41st & 43rd over LSD. IDOT will know within the next several months wether the grants were accepted with would mean that construction on one or the other of 2 would begin within the next 18 to 24 months, or so I was told.

ardecila Jun 5, 2014 3:43 AM

Yeah, I mentioned something about 35th St a few weeks ago. At this point, I'll believe it when I see it.

It did go out for bid, but it's obvious that this is not a priority for CDOT.

41st/43rd would be cool.

http://www.cordoganclark.com/portfol...0Bridges/7.jpg
src


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