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

Kippis Jul 24, 2012 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5775466)
I'm just waiting for the Lime Line so I can go get some Coronas and enjoy some sweet L boozin...

:haha:

Too bad, I was going to use the whole "Smoking, littering and eating are prohibited on CTA vehicles." Doesn't mention boozin' though...

orulz Jul 24, 2012 2:04 PM

I just think that the idea of using colors to name lines is bland. In my admittedly non-exhaustive research that I did just now in about 30 minutes, it seems the practice was introduced in 1965 in Boston, and since then, one by one our country's heavy rail systems have been gobbled up by this soul sucking vacuum of banality. Here's a history:

Boston, converted - 1965
Washington DC, opened - 1976
Miami, opened - 1984
Los Angeles, opened - 1990 (Thankfully, they have seemingly eschewed this practice for the Expo line)
Chicago, converted - 1993
Baltimore, converted - 2002
Atlanta, converted - 2010

That leaves three metro areas that haven't yet fallen victim to the trend of naming rail lines after colors. All three are complicated by the presence of multiple agencies operating rail transit. There's NYC with the MTA subway and PATH, but there are too many lines and the system is too complicated for it to work anyway. The only two left are SF (BART/MUNI) and Philadelphia (SEPTA/PATCO). It's probably just a lack of coordination between the two agencies that has kept it from happening there.

This says nothing about cities with light rail, most of which follow this practice as well. (Exceptions include VTA, which is complicated by its proximity to BART, and Seattle and Minneapolis, which each have only one line, and may yet adopt the practice when their second line opens.)

Naming lines after their colors on the map is a convenient unification of cartography, planning, and reality, but the colors tell us nothing about destinations, neighborhoods, history - the nature of the places where they go. Tell me, why must Chicago, which is so attached to calling its highways by their names in spite of the fact that they all have perfectly good numbers, also "give in" to this incredibly dull trend?

Centropolis Jul 24, 2012 3:19 PM

.......

Vlajos Jul 24, 2012 3:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 5775590)
I just think that the idea of using colors to name lines is bland. In my admittedly non-exhaustive research that I did just now in about 30 minutes, it seems the practice was introduced in 1965 in Boston, and since then, one by one our country's heavy rail systems have been gobbled up by this soul sucking vacuum of banality. Here's a history:

Boston, converted - 1965
Washington DC, opened - 1976
Miami, opened - 1984
Los Angeles, opened - 1990 (Thankfully, they have seemingly eschewed this practice for the Expo line)
Chicago, converted - 1993
Baltimore, converted - 2002
Atlanta, converted - 2010

That leaves three metro areas that haven't yet fallen victim to the trend of naming rail lines after colors. All three are complicated by the presence of multiple agencies operating rail transit. There's NYC with the MTA subway and PATH, but there are too many lines and the system is too complicated for it to work anyway. The only two left are SF (BART/MUNI) and Philadelphia (SEPTA/PATCO). It's probably just a lack of coordination between the two agencies that has kept it from happening there.

This says nothing about cities with light rail, most of which follow this practice as well. (Exceptions include VTA, which is complicated by its proximity to BART, and Seattle and Minneapolis, which each have only one line, and may yet adopt the practice when their second line opens.)

Naming lines after their colors on the map is a convenient unification of cartography, planning, and reality, but the colors tell us nothing about destinations, neighborhoods, history - the nature of the places where they go. Tell me, why must Chicago, which is so attached to calling its highways by their names in spite of the fact that they all have perfectly good numbers, also "give in" to this incredibly dull trend?

There are a lot bigger things to worry about.

Rizzo Jul 24, 2012 6:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 5775590)
I just think that the idea of using colors to name lines is bland. In my admittedly non-exhaustive research that I did just now in about 30 minutes, it seems the practice was introduced in 1965 in Boston, and since then, one by one our country's heavy rail systems have been gobbled up by this soul sucking vacuum of banality. Here's a history:

Boston, converted - 1965
Washington DC, opened - 1976
Miami, opened - 1984
Los Angeles, opened - 1990 (Thankfully, they have seemingly eschewed this practice for the Expo line)
Chicago, converted - 1993
Baltimore, converted - 2002
Atlanta, converted - 2010

That leaves three metro areas that haven't yet fallen victim to the trend of naming rail lines after colors. All three are complicated by the presence of multiple agencies operating rail transit. There's NYC with the MTA subway and PATH, but there are too many lines and the system is too complicated for it to work anyway. The only two left are SF (BART/MUNI) and Philadelphia (SEPTA/PATCO). It's probably just a lack of coordination between the two agencies that has kept it from happening there.

This says nothing about cities with light rail, most of which follow this practice as well. (Exceptions include VTA, which is complicated by its proximity to BART, and Seattle and Minneapolis, which each have only one line, and may yet adopt the practice when their second line opens.)

Naming lines after their colors on the map is a convenient unification of cartography, planning, and reality, but the colors tell us nothing about destinations, neighborhoods, history - the nature of the places where they go. Tell me, why must Chicago, which is so attached to calling its highways by their names in spite of the fact that they all have perfectly good numbers, also "give in" to this incredibly dull trend?

Because it's simple. Simplicity is the ultimate idea behind navigation. Color coding also goes well beyond numbering and lettering in effectiveness. All someone unfamiliar with the transit system needs to see are the bright colors to help them know where they are and where they can go. Same with folks with disabilities, or foreign language barriers. Plus saying "get on the red or blue" is concise and memorable in giving instructions.

The names of transit lines should not be gussied up with longer names. It shouldn't try to describe or recognize anyone or anything. It matters to no one that it's a dull trend because no one considers it a trend. It's an effective means of navigation.

I'm however not opposed to preserving some historical reminders and the CTA does have some legacy names on signage like "Dearborn Subway" on a granite header above a stair, but its prominence is trumped by modern signage.

orulz Jul 24, 2012 8:04 PM

I guess it makes sense on some level, but I think simplicity is just one factor; effectiveness should be the measure for a navigation system, not just simplicity. For example, I find Philadelphia's "Broad street line" and "Market-Frankford line" to be much more descriptive and effective than simply a color.

Once you start having to worry about telling the difference between lime and yellow, or purple and magenta, or brown and maroon, especially when looking at a faded 20 year old sign, all that simplicity goes out the window and the whole concept has outlived its usefulness.

And of course, as I mentioned before, it's boring.

I find what Tokyo has done to be particularly useful. On signage, Each line is represented by a single letter surrounded by a color-coded circle. To me, a single letter is certainly not harder to identify than a color. On top of it, the lines have names that are generally useful - "Tozai sen" = East-west line; Shinjuku line goes through (you guessed it) Shinjuku, etc. The colors are definitely useful, and of course they should not be abandoned, but naming lines after colors which have absolutely no relation to the geographical areas they traverse seems like, at the very least, a missed opportunity.

Anyway, I can see I'm alone on this, and I've said my piece, so I'll let it rest.

ardecila Jul 24, 2012 8:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 5775590)
Exceptions include... Minneapolis, which each have only one line, and may yet adopt the practice when their second line opens.

Too late.

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincitie...for-metro.html

MostlyHarmless Jul 25, 2012 6:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Standpoor (Post 5775395)
^^
Well said.

I always thought that the circle line could use white/black and get away with it. The signs would be a white circle on a black background or a black circle on a white background. Kind of like the London underground sign but in white and black. Everyone would call it the circle line but maps/signs would be able to use a black line.

Circle line...lol That's a pipe dream if there ever was one.


Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 5775590)
Naming lines after their colors on the map is a convenient unification of cartography, planning, and reality, but the colors tell us nothing about destinations, neighborhoods, history - the nature of the places where they go. Tell me, why must Chicago, which is so attached to calling its highways by their names in spite of the fact that they all have perfectly good numbers, also "give in" to this incredibly dull trend?

The naming of highways has loose ties to Chicago and Illinois history (Jane Addams, Adlai Stevenson, Bishop Ford, etc). Either way, it's easier to say the name and know exactly what stretch of road I'm talking about. I-90 isn't nearly as descriptive as Jane Addams, Kennedy, Dan Ryan, or Skyway...which all carry the I-90 designation.

As far as transit coloring. Colors are just simple as hell. Which line? The red colored one. For most tourists, knowing the street names isn't all that relevant, especially in a grid-heavy city like Chicago. "Take the Sheffield Line to DePaul, get off and walk one block east to get to the restaurant"; or "Take the Red Line to Fullerton, get off, walk one block east to get to restaurant". It's the same thing, and for a tourist I doubt it makes much difference.

I could see the issue if there were a gazillion lines like Paris or NYC and having close or duplicate colors. But Chicago will never reach that point, at least not in my lifetime. At the end of the day I don't really care, I just don't see the need for that change.

ardecila Jul 25, 2012 6:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MostlyHarmless (Post 5777233)
"Take the Sheffield Line to DePaul, get off and walk one block east to get to the restaurant"; or "Take the Red Line to Fullerton, get off, walk one block east to get to restaurant". It's the same thing, and for a tourist I doubt it makes much difference.

Okay... "Take the Blue Line to Western then walk 2 blocks north." There are two Westerns on the Blue Line and two Harlems. There are two Ashlands on the Green Line. If Brown and Orange were ever combined, it would have two Kedzies and two Westerns. When you start having long crosstown routes, naming stations after major streets isn't such a good idea.

CTA tried to get around this by naming it "Western-Forest Park", but the station is nowhere near Forest Park and most people don't get the branch names.

MostlyHarmless Jul 25, 2012 8:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5777265)
Okay... "Take the Blue Line to Western then walk 2 blocks north." There are two Westerns on the Blue Line and two Harlems. There are two Ashlands on the Green Line. If Brown and Orange were ever combined, it would have two Kedzies and two Westerns. When you start having long crosstown routes, naming stations after major streets isn't such a good idea.

CTA tried to get around this by naming it "Western-Forest Park", but the station is nowhere near Forest Park and most people don't get the branch names.

I never said the station naming isn't bonkers. We're talking about line naming. Either way, for most tourists it doesn't matter since 99% of their activity is downtown/river north. The CTA definitely has some glaring flaws, and station naming is one of them.

MayorOfChicago Jul 25, 2012 8:53 PM

I remember when I moved here the lines being colors made it SO much easier than the first time you try to take it in a city where that isn't the case. Take the Red Line to Fullerton. Ok, within 2 seconds I've found the Red Line on the map and can instantly tell exactly where it goes. Then I found Fullerton and it all made sense.

"Switch to the Brown Line". Ok, that line on the map is colored is Brown....done with the thinking part.

nomarandlee Jul 26, 2012 1:38 AM

Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,3492950.story

three towns top depaul's list of commuter-friendly suburbs

by richard wronski

tribune reporter

3:15 p.m. Cdt, july 25, 2012

la grange, wilmette and arlington heights were ranked at the top of a list of chicago’s commuter-friendliest suburbs, according to a new study out today from depaul university.

The report evaluated the region’s suburbs on the basis of their attractiveness to those with lifestyles oriented toward the use of public transportation.

Researchers at depaul’s chaddick institute for metropolitan development developed an index consisting of 47 measurable factors used to identify the top 20 transit suburbs of metropolitan chicago.

The report rated the suburbs according to three main criteria: Commuter-rail service available seven days a week, with at least 14 inbound departures on weekdays, including some express trains; used by at least 150 people who walk or bike to the train daily; and a as measured by “walk score” of how walkable the downtown stations were ranked.

“we wanted to reward communities that are creating great transit environments, but we also wanted to prod communities to start worrying about the small things that make commuters’ lives miserable or difficult,” said joseph schwieterman, a depaul professor who authored the study..........
more in link


The Report

http://www.toptransitsuburbs.com/

the urban politician Jul 26, 2012 2:34 AM

^ Uhhh...... Evanston?

ChiSoxRox Jul 26, 2012 3:15 AM

From their site:

Quote:

We did not consider "city suburbs" with CTA rapid-transit service to their downtowns, such as Evanston and Oak Park.
One of my dreams is to have Evanston (or better, both) be annexed into the city limits, but I know that's not happening.

Ch.G, Ch.G Jul 26, 2012 4:22 AM

^

Doesn't Wilmette have a Purple Line stop??

ChiSoxRox Jul 26, 2012 4:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 5778102)
^

Doesn't Wilmette have a Purple Line stop??

Yeah, although Linden isn't right in downtown Wilmette and it's the only CTA station in the city, so maybe that's why they look at Wilmette?

They also consider Berwyn as a suburb since the Pink Line stops in Cicero, although Berwyn is just as dense.

ardecila Jul 26, 2012 5:07 AM

Interesting methodology. If you exclude Evanston and Oak Park, the results are pretty much what I expected.

The more interesting aspect of this, to me, is not the transit (which is lacking) but the way in which we're resting on our laurels with regard to greenfield development. All of the finalists have substantial prewar downtowns. There are really no "new downtowns" in the region centered around train stations. New lines (SWS, Heritage, NCS) have yet to see any kind of urban development at their stations, and any infill stations are designed as park-and-rides to relieve nearby downtowns of the parking burden. The closest we've got is The Glen, but the business district there is 1/2 mile from the train station and separated by a huge park.

I suppose some of these suburbs are to be commended for not letting parking lots infiltrate their downtowns, but our region is still far too invested in resurrecting the past IMO and not on fixing the way we develop greenfield areas. It speaks volumes to me that "heritage" is one of the categories used to evaluate the stations in this study.

ardecila Jul 26, 2012 6:27 AM

Wacker/Congress Interchange
Franklin St is now open through to Harrison, and certain ramps have opened. The rough grading for the park is complete and I'm more optimistic about the design now.

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/9286/julywalk4.jpg

jpIllInoIs Jul 26, 2012 2:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5778152)
...There are really no "new downtowns" in the region centered around train stations. New lines (SWS, Heritage, NCS) have yet to see any kind of urban development at their stations, and any infill stations are designed as park-and-rides to relieve nearby downtowns of the parking burden...

Mundelien (NCS) cleared low density and obsolete light industry area for midrise rez in their downtown area adjacent to the station, Cardinal Square has been delayed by the housing mess.. Only 2 low-rises finished so far.

I question why Morton Grove (MD-N) line missed the top 25. There are multiple and very dense mid-rise developments nearly encircling the station. Perhaps the retail access is low and that lowers the "Walkability" score.

ardecila Jul 26, 2012 9:47 PM

Morton Grove looks urban but it isn't very pedestrian friendly and has little retail. This will change if/when they reconfigure the streets. I did forget about them, whoops.

Wasn't aware of Mundelein, good to know. Much better than Grayslake which didn't even bother to build a downtown station on the NCS.


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