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

VivaLFuego Apr 14, 2009 7:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 4189651)
I realize it's incredibly hard to change entrenched ways of driving, but you know, there are lots of places in this country where people actually follow that law. In a lot of Pacific Northwest cities, drivers ALWAYS stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, and usually stop for pedestrians even when they're not in a crosswalk. I've seen the same behavior in small towns throughout the Upper Midwest, but then small town drivers are always more courteous.

That said, in Chicago I tend to drive like a Chicagoan for the same reason you do: driving courteously could put pedestrians in more danger because of psychotic drivers gunning it to get around you. But I still stop for pedestrians whenever it's safe to.

I think these operations should be happening all the time, but at signaled intersections since they can catch plenty of people flagrantly and dangerously breaking the law there. Maybe focus on particular behaviors, like drivers making right turns while pedestrians are trying to cross the street (I swear to god this happens like every time I walk anywhere).

Agreed. There are flagrant and obviously dangerous moving violations that should be targeted first before these random traps where, if you or I chose to actually follow the law, would create a dangerous situation because no else follows the law, doesn't know it exists, nor expects it to be enforced. Of course I'm all for making the streets safer for pedestrians but I think this initiative is crap.

the urban politician Apr 15, 2009 4:03 PM

I was excited about all the transit projects planned in Chicago's new Central Area Action Plan until I ran into this.

Seems like the plans keep changing. How are projects going to get Federal funding and get built when priorities shift every decade?

ardecila Apr 15, 2009 4:12 PM

Those priorities were rejected when it was decided that the Loop didn't need replacing - which, honestly, it didn't and still doesn't. People at the time viewed it as a blight, which is why New York, Boston, and Philly tore down all their elevated tracks in the core areas. Today Chicago's Loop is viewed as a civic landmark and a point of pride.

The parts of that plan that were in fact new lines and not replacements have survived to the present day.
-The Monroe transitway and the Carroll Street transitway are included in that CATP plan, and they are still in the new plan.
-The Clinton St subway is, in fact, an adaptation of the original Franklin St subway plan. It even uses the same Larrabee-Kingsbury alignment north of the river, but it avoids duplicating the Loop's service by serving the West Loop instead of Franklin Street. It then continues south to join the Red Line near Cermak, just like the Franklin subway would have.

schwerve Apr 15, 2009 4:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4196781)
I was excited about all the transit projects planned in Chicago's new Central Area Action Plan until I ran into this.

Seems like the plans keep changing. How are projects going to get Federal funding and get built when priorities shift every decade?

http://www.chicago-l.org/plans/index.html

if you can't get federal funding in 10 years, then you take your plans, repackage them, and try-try again which is essentially what happens.

MayorOfChicago Apr 15, 2009 9:13 PM

I saw those TV's at Addison from the Red Line, but I didn't realy pay attention. I thought they were just showing Ads. I"ll have to take a closer look this evening.

that'd be awesome if they're starting to put those out at the stations. I know from chatting with random coworkers and friends, they were all VERY VERY excited at the prospects of having something tell exactly when the next train is coming.

As my friend Monica said:

" I don't even care when the next fucking train is suppose to get there. 2 minutes, 12 minutes, next Tuesday....I just HATE standing there anxiously wondering if it's right around the bend, or halfway up the line"

Busy Bee Apr 16, 2009 1:15 AM

^One of the last unpredictable things in life, about to bite the dust.

the urban politician Apr 16, 2009 1:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4196797)
Those priorities were rejected when it was decided that the Loop didn't need replacing - which, honestly, it didn't and still doesn't. People at the time viewed it as a blight, which is why New York, Boston, and Philly tore down all their elevated tracks in the core areas. Today Chicago's Loop is viewed as a civic landmark and a point of pride.

The parts of that plan that were in fact new lines and not replacements have survived to the present day.
-The Monroe transitway and the Carroll Street transitway are included in that CATP plan, and they are still in the new plan.
-The Clinton St subway is, in fact, an adaptation of the original Franklin St subway plan. It even uses the same Larrabee-Kingsbury alignment north of the river, but it avoids duplicating the Loop's service by serving the West Loop instead of Franklin Street. It then continues south to join the Red Line near Cermak, just like the Franklin subway would have.

^ Thanks for the clarification, Ardecila.

Nowhereman1280 Apr 16, 2009 1:29 AM

So will we be able to access that info from a "train tracker" type website?

pyropius Apr 16, 2009 2:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4197936)
^One of the last unpredictable things in life, about to bite the dust.

I detect something wistful in this post.

the urban politician Apr 16, 2009 2:31 PM

Had no idea about this:

Express bus route will use I-55 shoulders
By Jon Hilkevitch | Tribune reporter
April 16, 2009
The Chicago region's first truly express buses will debut early next year, darting past traffic by using the left shoulders of Interstate Highway 55 between the Loop and the southwest suburbs, transit officials said Wednesday.

The idea is to draw commuters out of their cars and into buses traveling unimpeded by congestion on bus-only lanes at the speed of passenger trains.

In addition to much lower costs than building new rail lines, the anticipated benefits include fewer cars on the road tying up traffic, causing pollution and wasting the time of drivers stuck in congestion, the officials said.

The new service, operated by the suburban bus agency Pace, is scheduled to begin no later than spring 2010 and run initially during rush periods. There will be limited stops from the Bolingbrook area in Will County to a terminus as far east as the Dan Ryan Expressway or Lake Shore Drive, according to the Regional Transportation Authority, which plans to hold a meeting announcing the plan on Thursday.

The time savings for commuters are projected at up to one hour per round-trip, according to the RTA.

"That is an hour a day you get back—to spend with family—not to mention that if you get out of your car and ride this new service, you get to read, sleep or just relax," said Leanne Redden, RTA senior deputy executive director of strategic planning and regional programs.

Bus rapid transit, as the program is known, is also being considered on the Northwest Tollway (Interstate Highway 90) and on traffic-clogged arterial streets in Chicago that feed traffic into downtown.

The Chicago Transit Authority had planned to test bus-only lanes on four city corridors beginning this year, but the Daley administration forfeited a $153 million federal grant in January that was supposed to fund the project and pay for new buses and bus rapid transit stations. The lost money was caused by the city missing a deadline to approve a congestion-pricing ordinance aimed at discouraging driving in the central business district during peak hours by raising fees and taxes at parking garages and lots.

The I-55 corridor (Stevenson Expressway) was chosen for the RTA's demonstration project of a premium bus rapid-transit service because no major infrastructure improvements are needed and numerous segments of the highway rank as the most congested in the region, Redden said. An average of 178,000 vehicles use I-55 each weekday.

"This is announcement No. 1 in what we anticipate being a series of demonstration corridors for bus rapid transit," Redden said. "The I-55 service will be a high-end, point-to-point express bus initially, with opportunities later to introduce other attractive railway-like features."

Pace will use its over-the-road style coaches, which are equipped with more comfortable seating than traditional buses. Fares and other details still must be worked out, officials said.

During the 1999-2000 reconstruction of the Stevenson, the left shoulders alongside the expressway's median were built 12 feet wide, the same as the main lanes, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Officials said the express buses would vacate the bus-only lanes and rejoin vehicles in the regular lanes when there is no traffic congestion—a rare occurrence on I-55 during morning and evening rush periods.

The buses would also get out of the way of emergency vehicles needing to use the shoulders, officials said.

I-55 is congested more than 12 hours each day on average, according to data collected by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. It means a trip on the Stevenson that would take about 16 minutes in free-flowing traffic often takes an hour or longer during peak travel times.

The experimental Pace rapid transit buses operating on a dedicated bus lane in each direction of the I-55 shoulder would travel at the posted 55 m.p.h. speed limit for the entire trip of about 30 miles between Will County and Chicago, said Patrick Wilmot, a Pace spokesman.

One option under consideration is to end the route in the city with a connection to the CTA Orange Line at the Ashland station, he said.

About 25 minutes each way are expected to be slashed from the 90 minutes it often takes during peak travel times for a bus rider using the existing Pace bus route No. 855/I-55 Flyer service that runs from Illinois Highway 53 in Romeoville to Chicago on I-55, Redden said.

Future plans call for extending the I-55 express bus route to a planned park-and-ride facility in downtown Plainfield, Wilmot said. The location has also been selected as a stop on Metra's planned STAR Line, which would be the first suburb-to-suburb commuter rail line in the region.

The RTA plans to unveil additional corridors, including on arterial streets in Chicago and the suburbs as well as on area toll roads, later this year as coordination continues with Pace, the CTA, IDOT and the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, Redden said.

The goal is to operate bus-only lanes as quickly as possible. "I don't want to wait until everything's perfect to launch bus rapid transit," Redden said. "Day 1 of service is getting the bus moving fast in the I-55 corridor.

"As we build the market we will incorporate premium vehicles into the mix, brand the product [with a special name] and explore expanded opportunities."

Nowhereman1280 Apr 16, 2009 5:16 PM

^^^ Well duh, what an easy improvement on current service that will save thousands people hundreds of hours of their lives a year!

pyropius Apr 16, 2009 5:19 PM

Howard station's lookin' good. Work on the platforms is coming along. Sorry, no pics to post.

Rilestone75 Apr 16, 2009 6:09 PM

^^^ This is a good idea, but I think a lot of work has to be done before they start this type of service. For one, aren't there small "warning" grooves cut into the shoulder that would have to be addressed? Also, unlike rail, these express bus lanes, would still be subject to accidents up ahead, and I-55 has a bunch of them. If the left shoulder is not an option for you to pull your car on to in this case, trying to move your car all the way to the right can be a real danger.

Again, I think this is a good idea, but A LOT of planning/prep needs to take place.:tup:

nomarandlee Apr 16, 2009 6:16 PM

Some have expressed concern that such a burb to downtown service would take away from Metra but I am skeptical of that and think this could be a great new added service. If the service especially concentrates on suburban Metra "dead zones" that aren't near a station. Another benefit is that downtown these buses could make two or three stops say the West Loop, Loop, and Streeterville in order to make it a more point to point destination. I remember as a kid making visits to NYC and taking such buses in from the Meadowlands and they seemed a great service. I think both commuter buses and rail can also exsist in Chicago and compliment each other.

Chicago Shawn Apr 17, 2009 5:16 PM

This has been talked about for a few years now, I had no idea it was this close to implementation. I-55 was selected as the first route because it will not cannibalize any existing Metra service.

Using the Ashland Orange Line station as a stop is brilliant. The bus turnaround entrance lines up directly with the entrance/exit to the Stevenson Expressway. The train would be used as the final distributor for multiple points downtown. I just wonder at how many people would use the additional transfer. The bus could then run north on Ashland and have a stop at the Medical District.

RTA and PACE are also working on a substantial BRT system on the suburban expressways and tollways known as the "J Line", which would link the new western terminal at O'Hare via the Elgin-O'Hare Expy with suburban business parks, Metra Stations and CTA terminals.

wrab Apr 17, 2009 9:14 PM

From the White House website:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y15...ap_blogjpg.jpg

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/04...gh-Speed-Rail/

Seems like the Midwest would be perfect for this, given the distances and the efficiencies involved versus air travel. And Chicago would maintain/increase its status as transportation hub, which is great for business.

Union Station? New facility entirely? The possibilities are, frankly, dazzling.

the urban politician Apr 18, 2009 2:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 4201037)
Using the Ashland Orange Line station as a stop is brilliant. The bus turnaround entrance lines up directly with the entrance/exit to the Stevenson Expressway. The train would be used as the final distributor for multiple points downtown. I just wonder at how many people would use the additional transfer. The bus could then run north on Ashland and have a stop at the Medical District.

^ You're the expert, but to me it would seem to make sense for the BRT to go straight downtown and have stops in the Loop and Streeterville.

One, it avoids any need to transfer, and two, it's not all that easy to get to Streeterville using the Orange Line unless one made a second transfer at Roosevelt to the Red Line, rode it to River North, and then walked several blocks over.

Instead, take people straight downtown and let them ride the train west to the Illinois Medical District if that's their final destination.

bnk Apr 18, 2009 3:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wrabbit (Post 4201522)
From the White House website:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y15...ap_blogjpg.jpg

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/04...gh-Speed-Rail/

Seems like the Midwest would be perfect for this, given the distances and the efficiencies involved versus air travel. And Chicago would maintain/increase its status as transportation hub, which is great for business.

Union Station? New facility entirely? The possibilities are, frankly, dazzling.



The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_New_Orleans line could go through Carbondale and be upgraded too I would suspect [1] It is gray in that map. See also [2]


Then there are the Iowa people that want to connect Des Moines [U of Iowa and Drake U.] to Chicago through existing rail.

I myself have mentioned a Rockford/Freeport/Galena/Dubuque/Cedar Rapids line and think that could be done too. But the cost of such a line is beyond my grasp and do not know the demand and the cost benefit ratio of creating such a line. But that line currently exists in the slow format right now.

If done the way I would like it, it would look like a map of the Metra line map that feeds all trains into downtown Chicago. Like a massive spider web.

Hell the rail lines are there all we need to do is upgrade them and triple, quad them , and use even more additional siding as needed within a 50 mile area around Chicago to let these faster passenger trains not be slowed down as they currently are.

In the other Train thread, this topic has been discussed by top politicos in the news reports.





[1]



Legend

Distance Station

0 Chicago Union Station

Chicago Central Station [8]

(route change by March 1972)

25 mi (40 km) Homewood

57 mi (92 km) Kankakee (F)

129 mi (208 km) Champaign-Urbana

174 mi (280 km) Mattoon (F)

201 mi (323 km) Effingham (F)

254 mi (409 km) Centralia (F)

310 mi (499 km) Carbondale [SIU]

Illinois/Kentucky border

407 mi (655 km) Fulton (F)

Kentucky/Tennessee border

442 mi (711 km) Newbern-Dyersburg (F)

520 mi (837 km) Memphis

Tennessee/Mississippi border

(route change in 1995)

Batesville

Grenada

644 mi (1,036 km) Greenwood

Winona

Durant

697 mi (1,122 km) Yazoo City (F)

Canton

741 mi (1,193 km) Jackson

777 mi (1,250 km) Hazlehurst (F)

797 mi (1,283 km) Brookhaven (F)

821 mi (1,321 km) McComb (F)

Mississippi/Louisiana border

873 mi (1,405 km) Hammond

926 mi (1,490 km) New Orleans



Notes:

F – Flag stop














For nostalgic purposes and general information.


[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_New_Orleans_(song)

schwerve Apr 18, 2009 6:29 AM

^you'll see a chicago-rockford-dubuque line as well as a chicago-quad cities-iowa city line within 3-5 years but it won't be funded at the federal level, the states will have to ante up.

jpIllInoIs Apr 18, 2009 3:33 PM

^ The feds will definitely be kicking in some funds for the new Quad City-Chicago Amtrack route. It will not be high speed and the funds may not come under the stimulus bill, (but then again they may) Most of these funds were applied for under the formula old rules.

Some of the imporvements are underway. Like the road/rail grade seperation in Galesburg. The Wyandot connector is the big issue and there is some potential that the BNSF will participate in that cost as it will benefit their frieght ops.. They still need some passing sidings and rail tie replacemnts. Rock Island Depot is an existing facility that may need some modernization. But one of the biggest issues for expanding or creating standard Amtrak routes is rolling stock and engine equipment. The stimulus bill has already determined that some 80-120 mothballed train cars are to be rehabbed as well as a dozen engines. No doubt that some new orders will need to be placed as well. I would look for the QC-Chi Amtrack route to debut in late 2011.


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