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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

the urban politician Jul 23, 2008 2:52 PM

^ This article also mentions the CTA looking for TOD opportunities. Is there any chance in hell that the CTA/Jones Lang Lasalle could actually function as a real estate developer, ie building an apartment/office building on their own property? Just frivolously speculating...

VivaLFuego Jul 23, 2008 4:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 3689745)
^ This article also mentions the CTA looking for TOD opportunities. Is there any chance in hell that the CTA/Jones Lang Lasalle could actually function as a real estate developer, ie building an apartment/office building on their own property? Just frivolously speculating...

I'm sure there's a possibility, because CTA as a political entity means politicians could make it use its cash reserves, future capital grant income, and resulting bonding power to invest a ton of equity in questionable grandiose projects that sound cool but have serious deficiencies in their financial plan (COUGH block 37 COUGH).

Given the financial position of both the operating and capital budgets, CTA should probably stick to maximizing the use of its existing real estate assets, and fighting tooth and nail to ensure development around stations is friendliest to transit usage, e.g. FAR/unit density bonuses to developers who contribute X amount to support local station facility maintenance/upgrade, fighting on parking ratios, etc. In terms of CTA joint developments, that probably means things like stationhouse redevelopment, air rights (over tracks or yards...i.e. think of a hotel over the Midway yard), etc.

honte Jul 23, 2008 10:18 PM

Air rights, baby, air rights!!! Now we're talking.

VivaLFuego Jul 24, 2008 2:29 AM

I'd be pretty surprised if something doesn't happen with Midway Yard, especially in light of leasing the concession to operate the airport. A low-rise hotel with some modest conference space, directly on site would be a significant boost for the airport, and the rail yard is very underutilized and very conveniently located.

That said, I'm not familiar with the intricate details of the site, so it could actually be an incredibly complicated and possibly uneconomical endeavour.

Mr Downtown Jul 24, 2008 3:01 AM

I was mystified that the Dept of Aviation put the new parking garage on 55th instead of building above Midway yard.

I wonder if Midway yard includes space for column footings between tracks or if that will require millions to retrofit.

VivaLFuego Jul 24, 2008 2:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3691198)
I wonder if Midway yard includes space for column footings between tracks or if that will require millions to retrofit.

Well, from thousands of feet in the air, it looks plausible at least over a large portion of the southeastern part of the yard site where you'd want to build anyway:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...=18&iwloc=addr

Don't know what the utility situation is like though, and obviously there would be a fairly low height limit due to the whole airport thing being next door.

Clearly there would also need to be yet more modifications to the parking garage; maybe the opportunity could be seized to also improve and more coherently integrate the connection between the L station and the terminal.

ardecila Jul 25, 2008 12:14 AM

This is a little off-topic, but still transportation-related:

Has anybody watched Wrecked on the Speed channel? The first episodes were shown earlier this week - it centers around O'Hare Towing, and the extreme/dangerous accidents they have to clean up around Chicagoland.

In the second episode, they have to haul away a truck that's lodged itself on Lower Wacker Drive - that was pretty freakin' sweet.

Watching it, I guess I get to see a whole other side to the Chicago expressway system that I almost never see when I use it - accidents and the tow trucks that clean up afterwards. You have to respect these guys, especially since they're basically the "Grabowski" type of Chicagoans.

Abner Jul 25, 2008 12:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3693259)
You have to respect these guys

Steve Goodman would disagree...

ardecila Jul 25, 2008 8:33 AM

I'm not very well-versed in Steve Goodman, which is ironic (see my location).

My dad's always been a big fan, though - maybe I'll have to borrow some CDs (LPs?) from him.

nomarandlee Jul 25, 2008 5:16 PM

Quote:

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=223397

Report: Some crossings more dangerous under CN rail plan

.........Staff with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, which has ultimate authority over CN's purchase request, concluded that the Canadian company's plan would not affect existing Metra service. But researchers noted the changes could "introduce potential operational complexities" as regards the STAR line, a future commuter rail service linking west, north and south suburbs.

Regulators also determined that the number of trains rumbling along the EJ&E tracks are not likely to exceed projections by CN, a possibility opponents have stressed.

One concern by towns objecting to the merger is that it would create safety problems at grade crossings and delay emergency vehicles.

The draft report notes that accidents would increase from 4.5 a year to six along the EJ&E but drop from 6.26 annually to 3.79 on CN lines.

Regulators also noted that 15 at-grade crossings would be substantially affected by more trains, singling out Washington Street in Joliet as one of the top ones. The report suggests mitigation such as grade separations and urges communities, CN and the state to work together to secure funding.

Another way of minimizing impacts would be train curfews during rush hour, increases in train speeds and establishing a traffic impact fund that CN would pay for........
I can't beleive Obama and Durbin are being obstructionist on this.. :rolleyes:

VivaLFuego Jul 25, 2008 5:28 PM

^ Sounds like by and large, a reasonable solution can be hammered out. Projected overall accidents actually decrease (... a good thing, right Dick and Barry?) but are redistributed.

It sounds like the number of 'mandatory' grade separations is pretty manageable, so between CN and the municipalities it should be doable.

Abner Jul 25, 2008 6:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3693922)
I'm not very well-versed in Steve Goodman, which is ironic (see my location).

My dad's always been a big fan, though - maybe I'll have to borrow some CDs (LPs?) from him.

He wrote a pretty well-known song called Lincoln Park Pirates about the Lincoln Towing company.

ardecila Jul 25, 2008 7:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3694505)
^ Sounds like by and large, a reasonable solution can be hammered out. Projected overall accidents actually decrease (... a good thing, right Dick and Barry?) but are redistributed.

It sounds like the number of 'mandatory' grade separations is pretty manageable, so between CN and the municipalities it should be doable.

Like the article said, there are 15 grade crossings where mitigation is "strongly recommended". The mitigation doesn't have to be a grade separation, though. The Draft EIS outlined 8 or 9 other strategies, which would be much less expensive.

They aren't necessarily the busiest roads, either, which surprised me - often they occur when the railroad runs parallel to a major road, and a minor perpendicular road crosses them both. The traffic queue on the perpendicular road, waiting to turn or cross on the major road, would block the grade crossing, so mitigation is recommended.

Busy Bee Jul 25, 2008 8:53 PM

Just to let everyone know, Chicago-l.org has an update on the new Howard terminal for anyone who hasn't seen it yet. It's looks OK, much better than the rats nest that we called a station before. Glassy and modern, slightly cheepo/office parkish modern though, but much better than faux terribleness that is the bus station/parking deck next door. Take a look.

firstcranialnerve Jul 27, 2008 5:27 PM

Wasteful El stations
 
This has probably been mentioned many times, but where is the push to get rid of some of the wasteful el stations. The loop seems to have a number of redundant stations, most notably the State/Lake station with Randolph and Wabash around the corner. This slows travel time and costs money the CTA doesn't have. Perhaps there is a need for the station for transfers, but it really seems that R/W station is close enough for all that.

There are other examples, especially in the loop.

whyhuhwhy Jul 27, 2008 6:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by firstcranialnerve (Post 3697461)
This has probably been mentioned many times, but where is the push to get rid of some of the wasteful el stations. The loop seems to have a number of redundant stations, most notably the State/Lake station with Randolph and Wabash around the corner. This slows travel time and costs money the CTA doesn't have. Perhaps there is a need for the station for transfers, but it really seems that R/W station is close enough for all that.

There are other examples, especially in the loop.

This is an excellent question and I'm curious if anyone in here has any knowledge or opinion about the same concept with BUS STATIONS.

Riding the bus I always got the sense there are way too many stations. It makes riding it so slow. But checking out the CTA Bus Tracker this weekend just confirmed this notion as I witnessed that local routes, like my #77 Belmont, have a bus station LITERALLY EVERY 1-2 BLOCKS!

Has removing a good half or even more of the current bus stations to make travel faster ever been proposed, or will it ever be? There is no need to have a bus station along a route every 800 feet! It not only wastes time but I imagine a lot of money.

VivaLFuego Jul 27, 2008 6:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by firstcranialnerve (Post 3697461)
This has probably been mentioned many times, but where is the push to get rid of some of the wasteful el stations. The loop seems to have a number of redundant stations, most notably the State/Lake station with Randolph and Wabash around the corner.

For several decades, the long term "plan" has been to have two stations on each leg of the loop. As of a couple years ago, the plan was to create a Washington/Wabash station to replace Madison and Randolph.

Elsewhere in places with close station spacing (e.g. the North Main), of course CTA used to operate skip-stop A/B service. This topic was beaten to death a few pages back.

Quote:

Originally Posted by whyhuhwhy (Post 3697506)
Riding the bus I always got the sense there are way too many stations. It makes riding it so slow. But checking out the CTA Bus Tracker this weekend just confirmed this notion as I witnessed that local routes, like my #77 Belmont, have a bus station LITERALLY EVERY 1-2 BLOCKS!

Has removing a good half or even more of the current bus stations to make travel faster ever been proposed, or will it ever be? There is no need to have a bus station along a route every 800 feet! It not only wastes time but I imagine a lot of money.

Don't think that the transit planners are unaware of this. In fact, this issue comes up every few years when CTA is looking at cost-cutting to make operations more efficient and more reliable. Back in the early 90s, it was a very big deal when CTA finally "won" and was able to remove bus stops every other block through River North along Michigan, State, Clark, and LaSalle...and of course back then there weren't even that many residents being served by those stops.

Incidentally, the interests, desires, and factor weights (in terms of travel time, transit access time, etc.) of healthy 20-somethings are dramatically different than those of the elderly, moderately-disabled, and the aldermen they lobby.

SuburbanNation Jul 27, 2008 8:14 PM

you fuckers better get this right. hell, i'd pay taxes to the CTA...i have a pass my wallet continually.

Chicago3rd Jul 27, 2008 8:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by firstcranialnerve (Post 3697461)
This has probably been mentioned many times, but where is the push to get rid of some of the wasteful el stations. The loop seems to have a number of redundant stations, most notably the State/Lake station with Randolph and Wabash around the corner. This slows travel time and costs money the CTA doesn't have. Perhaps there is a need for the station for transfers, but it really seems that R/W station is close enough for all that.

There are other examples, especially in the loop.

Wasteful seems interesting choice of words. Does anyone have last years gate counts for each EL station. Let's see what the daily waste of people who use the stops is.

I would just be happy if they would just reverse the Purple line again in the loop. That would shave 15 minutes off of my commute.

firstcranialnerve Jul 27, 2008 10:57 PM

^ Ahem, before u get too touchy, I use that stop (state/lake)everyday... yes, lots of ppl do... I have no problem with walking an extra block to randolph if it saves the city from wasting money. Not a big deal for me, why is it one for you? I'd like to know.

By cutting that station, we don't have to create a new one as these other plans seem to suggest.

Also, I'm looking through the thread from now to catch up on peoples thoughts regarding this. Thanks Viva.


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