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

Mr Downtown Sep 18, 2010 10:59 PM

I'm understand that CTA looked at QR and a couple of similar codes, but the targets would not fit in the available space on the sign blades, and it's not yet clear which particular flavor of them will become a widespread standard.

Nouvellecosse Sep 19, 2010 6:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4979584)
Union Station Intermodal Center

http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/1...intermodal.jpg

This could turn out right, or it could turn out wrong. I'd love it if they built something like Kennedy Plaza in Providence... they do a great job of blending in historic architecture, and reconciling the opposing natures of a public plaza and a bus terminal.

Why are there red Toronto streetcars?

ardecila Sep 19, 2010 6:14 AM

Because the designers wanted to suggest the possibility of light-rail platforms in the future, and Google's 3D Warehouse happens to offer a free model of the Toronto streetcars.

Chicago doesn't have any streetcars or trams currently, so it's not like there's a more accurate model they could use.

I do agree that the positioning of the streetcars in the image is a bit odd, but as I said - it doesn't represent an actual design, just a future concept.

Nouvellecosse Sep 19, 2010 7:33 AM

Interesting. At first I wondered if Chicago was planning to buy the old units when Toronto's new ones arrive lol!

I've never heard of the 3D warehouse before; I'll have to check it out.

the urban politician Sep 22, 2010 1:39 AM

Is extending the Red Line really a good idea?
 
Would it be a boondiggle?

Please refer to my angry rant at SSC in response to a suburban style development, including a gas station, proposed adjacent to the Garfield stop on the Green Line.

Considering this, as well as that worthless 'Metropolis' development near another L stop on the South Side, on top of the already suburban shopping development that has pervaded the south side near the Red line (87th St, I believe), in addition to the obvious failure in getting any sort of dense, mixed-use projects to come to fruition (47th St projects which are basically hanging onto life), let me ask this question:

Why are these areas served by heavy rail? If you're seriously going to acquiesce while some developer puts a gas station and a ocean of parking near a heavy rail stop, then why are you trying to extend that heavy rail into a part of town that clearly will not support dense development?

The Orange Line is yet another example of what I'm talking about. Especially closer to Midway, it has had the marvelous effect of supporting strip center after strip center development, with perhaps a few decent projects popping up as one gets closer to downtown.

I leave this as an open ended question to anyone out there: why extend the Red Line, given all of this?

ardecila Sep 22, 2010 2:10 AM

It all depends on your view of transit. The stations on the Dan Ryan Red Line and the Orange Line don't anchor New Urbanist transit villages, but they DO have substantial ridership. The South Side is full of transit-dependent, low-income people who do, in fact, ride buses to the train. The 87th Street bus is the busiest line in the city, and many of those riders are transferring to the Red Line.

The Dan Ryan Red Line has an average ridership of 5,118 boardings per station per day. The Brown Line has an average of 2,346 boardings per station per day. Which one serves the denser, more urban part of the city?



Granted, the South Main Line (Green Line) has an average of 1052 boardings per station per day, and is arguably a huge waste of resources. But even this bolsters my point about the counter-intuitiveness of transit service - two lines serve the same corridor, and the one in the expressway median has higher ridership.

Among transit-dependent populations like the one on the South Side, it doesn't matter whether there's a dense, walkable environment surrounding transit stops. In fact, creating a dense walkable environment is probably not possible without gentrification. The rents charged on the South Side aren't able to justify the cost of new construction without significant subsidy - and I doubt you want your stations surrounded by dense buildings full of Section 8 tenants.

I see where you're coming from, but I just don't think it's possible to generate the kinds of development you're looking for around transit stops on the South Side, given the economic conditions down there. Even those retail developments are often quite challenging to pull together, since the developer not only has to convince the banks to lend in an impoverished area, but he also has to convince the retailers to serve that area.

I'm all for putting in transit-oriented zoning restrictions in areas closer to downtown or the lakefront that are likely to gentrify - areas where significant new residential construction is likely in the next 15-20 years. But further south is just too much. If anything, these areas should have as many restrictions removed as possible, to try and generate some spontaneous economic activity that might be stifled otherwise.

the urban politician Sep 22, 2010 2:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4989172)
It all depends on your view of transit. The stations on the Dan Ryan Red Line and the Orange Line don't anchor New Urbanist transit villages, but they DO have substantial ridership. The South Side is full of transit-dependent, low-income people who do, in fact, ride buses to the train. The 87th Street bus is the busiest line in the city, and many of those riders are transferring to the Red Line.

The Dan Ryan Red Line has an average ridership of 5,118 boardings per station per day. The Brown Line has an average of 2,346 boardings per station per day. Which one serves the denser, more urban part of the city?

Granted, the South Main Line (Green Line) has an average of 1052 boardings per station per day, and is arguably a huge waste of resources. But even this bolsters my point about the counter-intuitiveness of transit service - two lines serve the same corridor, and the one in the expressway median has higher ridership.

^ While true, there is more to seeing the value in heavy rail than just transit ridership.

When I look at the return on this investment, I think about "what will this expensive infrastructure generate in the form of real estate development for this part of town?" I would argue that you can get developers to build that kind of crap (gas stations, strip centers, etc etc) even without the transit investment. So why make the heavy rail investment at all?

For example: if Developer A is going to build a strip center at the intersection of x and y that is designed to be automobile-friendly and pedestrian hostile, and you can get it without the infrastructure investment, then why spend hundreds of millions of dollars extending a heavy rail line to that intersection if that very same developer would end up building that exact same project anyway?

And that ties to my analogy of extending the Red Line. Generating a few extra thousand rides cannot possibly be the only incentive to extending that line, considering the cost. If there is no real estate investment of the type that CANNOT happen without that line extension, then what's the point?

ardecila Sep 22, 2010 2:37 AM

That kind of logic doesn't work politically. The mission of the CTA is not to generate land development, it is to provide affordable transportation to the residents of the city. CTA has a market on the Far South Side that is currently underserved by transit in proportion to its population and its level of transit dependence.

I don't like certain aspects of the plan - UP's insistence that the line be built outside of their ROW is complete bullshit, and CTA should fight them in the courts and in the press. Why should hundreds of Chicagoans have to lose their homes for a new transit line when a corridor already exists, and it has open land? Such a move might also lower the land acquisition costs of the line substantially, thereby increasing its cost-effectiveness and likelihood of Federal funding.

One big reason why the strip center is being built at Garfield is because of its easy access from the Dan Ryan, and because there's so much open land. Ditto for Metropolis up at 40th. The Red Line extension won't be running through urban prairies, or along an expressway. Of the station sites chosen, only one has major open land available for redevelopment (Michigan/115th). CTA has already noted that site's possibility for TOD, and has initiated a planning process. IIRC, they mentioned a grocery store, which would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. But, since the project is being publicly planned, you have every right to attend the meetings and to voice your disapproval.

k1052 Sep 23, 2010 2:54 PM

Quote:

Railing from riders has Metra rethinking UP North schedule
Evanston customers complain about fewer trains, overcrowding


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1485363.story

What a bunch of whiny people. Ever heard of the Purple Line?

emathias Sep 23, 2010 6:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 4990843)
What a bunch of whiny people. Ever heard of the Purple Line?

I would guess that UP-N and the Purple Line largely serve different central area markets. People for whom the Purple Line is faster probably already take it. And for those for who it isn't (primarily people in the West Loop), the time difference can be nearly 50%.

A big part of UP-N selling point is that they provide better service than the CTA Purple Line does. So of course people are going to complain when that higher level of service is reduced. Plus, probably very few UP-N riders are truly transit-dependent, so it's in Metra's best interest to keep people from defecting to cars, even moreso than it is for the CTA.

k1052 Sep 23, 2010 8:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4991067)
I would guess that UP-N and the Purple Line largely serve different central area markets. People for whom the Purple Line is faster probably already take it. And for those for who it isn't (primarily people in the West Loop), the time difference can be nearly 50%.

A big part of UP-N selling point is that they provide better service than the CTA Purple Line does. So of course people are going to complain when that higher level of service is reduced. Plus, probably very few UP-N riders are truly transit-dependent, so it's in Metra's best interest to keep people from defecting to cars, even moreso than it is for the CTA.

I have little sympathy for an affluent suburb with redundant rail links to downtown being temporarily inconvenienced for a major infrastructure project that will only ensure that continued level of access for decades to come.

Certainly taking the Purple Line isn't optimal for some of those riders but it would still faster than making the drive (as threatened in the article) at rush times.

ardecila Sep 24, 2010 2:11 AM

Can somebody make these North Shore people aware that $80 million is all it will take to maintain uninterrupted service during construction AND give Metra a third track to allow for future expansion?

I'm sure the $80 million would magically materialize from somewhere, with all the influential people who ride that train.

denizen467 Sep 24, 2010 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 4991243)
I have little sympathy for an affluent suburb with redundant rail links to downtown being temporarily inconvenienced

9 years is "temporary" ?

k1052 Sep 24, 2010 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4992132)
9 years is "temporary" ?

Yes, unless they want to have the line shut down for a couple years to complete the work faster or go with ardecila's suggestion for another 80M.

You can't do this kind of work on an active rail line without compromising schedules. Maybe CTA will revise the routing of the Purple Line to speed operations and pick up some of these customers.

Baronvonellis Sep 24, 2010 5:41 PM

I don't understand why it takes so long to rebuild a rail bridge. IDOT rebuilds road bridges all the time with traffic going over them. They are currently rebuilding the Lawrence ave bridge over I-90 and it only takes a year with all the traffic going over it. They completely rebuilt miles of expressway recently in only a couple years with cars going over it every second. This rail bridge is only 100 ft long too. It should only take a weekend to replace. Take out the old bridge and pop in a new one.

VivaLFuego Sep 24, 2010 8:06 PM

nevermind.

Mr Downtown Sep 25, 2010 2:50 AM

^What do you mean by "this rail bridge?" Metra is replacing 22 bridges on the UP-North line in the city. At the same time, they're elevating the track grade to increase clearance, and spreading the track centers at UP's insistence.

http://i55.tinypic.com/2yuhe21.png

On the Bi-Level

denizen467 Sep 25, 2010 11:15 AM

^ Buttload of work. I think Metra has failed, though, in its PR mission with the public: Why don't they just say they are rebuilding X thousand feet, or X miles, of track? All newspaper articles refer only to the number of bridges, and don't mention improvements in vertical clearances or horizontal clearances. People would appreciate the scale of the project a little more rather than just envisioning magical "pop-the-bridge-out" teams swooping around the northside.

Some sexy renders wouldn't hurt either, of what people can expect to replace all the ancient viaducts / vehicle underpasses. Complete with happy families with strollers out for an evening walk along Ravenswood, etc.

Baronvonellis Sep 25, 2010 5:10 PM

Oh I see now. Every article I've read about it just says they are replacing the bridges and nothing else. It didn't say anything about redoing and realigning all the miles of tracks along that length too. Metra should of said all that they are going to do. I don't have the inside info like you guys seems to do.

Are they rebuilding or changing all the viaducts as well?

Why do they have to spread the track centers?

Metra hasn't been very clear about this to the public.

Busy Bee Sep 25, 2010 6:04 PM

^Wishful thinking, but maybe they're making room in between the tracks for future catenary;)?


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