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

untitledreality Apr 27, 2014 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 (Post 6555498)
OR...just go take the red line.

Its not that simple. While the red line is a mere three blocks West of Michigan Avenue downtown, it is much farther West of the dense North lakefront areas, sometimes up to a 20 minute walk if you live along the lake in Lincoln Park or Lakeview.

Rizzo Apr 28, 2014 12:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 (Post 6555498)
OR...just go take the red line.

You're kidding right? Ever live in Gold Coast or Streeterville? It's a big waste of time.

wierdaaron Apr 28, 2014 12:48 AM

Especially for tourists. If you've never lived in or spent time in a big city, mass transit systems can be incredibly daunting to figure out -- from how to get a ticket ("you can get a day pass!...but not here") to what train/bus to take to how/where to board. Telling a visitor to "just take the number 3 bus" can be like telling someone to "just perform a heap sort on a 12TB recursive dataset of key:value pairs."

My idea for a Michigan Avenue bus would be to have something that people don't have to figure out. You could take a normal bus and give it a friendly alternate paint job like the Jump Bus, have it stop at major destinations rather than every street (Soldier Field, Willis Tower, Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, Riverwalk, Wrigley Plaza, Navy Pier, Mag Mile Center, Hancock Center, Lincoln Park Zoo?) and make the payment/onboarding as simple as possible (make the fare a flat dollar amount and/or have credit card readers onboard so visitors don't need to figure out the ventra/farecard system first).

I don't think that would be extremely expensive to set up and it could be a huge advantage to the city in attracting and catering to visitors, which Rahm has been on a huge kick about. It'd be a lot cheaper and easier than trying to reconfigure the whole CTA to be less daunting.

If that worked, maybe some additional routes that serve common tourism waypoints could be identified.

nomarandlee Apr 28, 2014 1:32 AM

:previous: I like that idea. Especially on the weekends in the summer.

emathias Apr 28, 2014 1:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6555783)
Especially for tourists.
...
My idea for a Michigan Avenue bus would be to have something that people don't have to figure out. You could take a normal bus and give it a friendly alternate paint job like the Jump Bus, have it stop at major destinations rather than every street (Soldier Field, Willis Tower, Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, Riverwalk, Wrigley Plaza, Navy Pier, Mag Mile Center, Hancock Center, Lincoln Park Zoo?)
...

This is fundamentally the same idea as the free trolleys that the City used to bankroll for tourist attactions but did away due to cost-cutting a couple years ago.

Chi-Sky21 Apr 28, 2014 2:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6555753)
You're kidding right? Ever live in Gold Coast or Streeterville? It's a big waste of time.

Unfortunately no, i have not been blessed to be in that income bracket. BUTT...what i do know , is whenever i have traveled to cities with good mass transit. My 1st choice is always to use their subway not their bus lines. Always much easier to figure out. Since the post was directed towards tourists, i would tell them to walk..or use the redline...most likely no tourist is heading to the Gold Coast or Streeterville anyways.

Rizzo Apr 28, 2014 6:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 (Post 6555859)
Unfortunately no, i have not been blessed to be in that income bracket. BUTT...what i do know , is whenever i have traveled to cities with good mass transit. My 1st choice is always to use their subway not their bus lines. Always much easier to figure out. Since the post was directed towards tourists, i would tell them to walk..or use the redline...most likely no tourist is heading to the Gold Coast or Streeterville anyways.

I guess my series of posts had more to do with the overall functionality of transit North of the River and less with tourists...although it's certainly part of it. But everything becomes less efficient during commuter crush hours.

1. Boarding RL trains is difficult to impossible at Grand, Chicago and Clark and Division during morning commutes.
2. Commute time is not improved for 90% of area residents by taking rail due to station placement that is remote for the majority of residents.
3. Buses are equally as overcrowded or worse than the trains. Buses bunch and are hindered by taxis and turning vehicles along with slow boarding times.

All of this seems to me like a great reason to run Light Rail or very high occupancy buses along or under Michigan Ave. It would do double-duty serving tourists during non-commute hours.

The current travel time on a bus from Oak LSD ramp to Madison when commuting is about 25 minutes. It takes 30 minutes to do a leisurely walk the same route. Some sort of LRT circulator would ease the load on buses into the loop via Michigan and also provide convenient means for downtown residents to access shopping, work, universities and their hospitals, and most important... tourists to reach their hotels, shopping, and area destinations.



Anyway, sorry...I hear "just use the Red Line" quite a lot, but that's like someone saying "Just use the red line" and they live way over by the Lincoln Park Zoo. Even with a major transit line beneath State street downtown doesn't mean it's convenient or even accessible. The ideal situation was for buses to meet the needs of downtown residents, but I think the number of customers boarding along Michigan has well exceeded capacity. That said, I don't think more buses can possibly added so it's time to start considering new modes.

nomarandlee Apr 28, 2014 6:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6555828)
This is fundamentally the same idea as the free trolleys that the City used to bankroll for tourist attactions but did away due to cost-cutting a couple years ago.

True. But beyond the novelty they were/are terribly inefficent. I was with my father at the tall ships exhibit last year and we were trying to catch one of those back to his parking garage back near Michigan (he was having some terribly back pain at the time inhibiting his walking). We waited for one of those darn things for over 45 minutes. They are so small and cumbersome that they are highly inefficent and next to useless if there is anything more then a large family who needs to take a ride.

emathias Apr 28, 2014 9:12 PM

As much as I think it'd be cool to have the original 1968 Circulator plan (and I do think it'd be cool and really useful as development has occurred exactly the way that plan predicted in the West Loop and Streeterville/Gold Coast areas), because it seems stale to people now, and because it does have a few weaknesses, it might be better to pitch converting lower Michigan to Bus + limited local access only, extended all the way to Oak Street/LSD to the north, and as far south as Monroe (or get access to the existing busway next to the South Shore tracks) with the below-grade tunnels long planned for Monroe finally implemented. Supposedly Monroe has had ROW preserved below it for a subway of some sort, and a busway would be excellent as it would provide near-subway levels of service and clear the streets of most buses on a congested east-west route. It would also add Carol Street. Basically, by building the equivalent of about two miles of subway, you'd end up with infinitely flexible busways that would speed up bus travel, speed up car travel above them, and vastly improve the utility of transit in and through the central area.

Illinois and Grand already go below Michigan, and if you created another mile of tunnel vis-a-vis a "Lower Chicago Ave" that stretched from just west of Orleans to Fairbanks, you'd also solve some of the Chicago Avenue congestion issues. The only non-cost issue with that that I can think of is that Chicago Ave Red Line was just renovated about ten years ago and it would have to be re-designed to enable a busway to cross above the tunnels through what is now the mezzanine. But I think that in the long term it would be well worth it. Ideally, if cost were no object, running the busway under Chicago starting just west of Chicago Ave would be ideal because it would reduce dependency on the narrow Chicago Ave Bridge.

I think a reasonable estimate for all that work (excluding the idea of "Lower Chicago Ave" extending all the way to Halsted) would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 billion. But for that cost you get a vastly improved transit downtown, with "plug-ins" to bus routes arriving from the North, South and West. It would be the biggest boon to Chicago transit since, well, I don't think I'm exaggerating to say it would be second only to the construction of the Loop itself. Ideally it would be done in coordination with a real West Loop Transportation Center so that the Monroe Busway would also connect to a Clinton or Canal subway and/or busway, further enhancing routing options. If WLTC is $5 billion, adding on $2 billion more for some bus tunnels seems like almost a steal.

J_M_Tungsten Apr 30, 2014 9:49 PM

Today
New entry canopy being installed on the northeast corner of Lasalle and Division.
http://i592.photobucket.com/albums/t...46bcb761e8.jpg

MultiModal Apr 30, 2014 11:14 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...0,269188.story

Mayor proposes new roadway between downtown, Chinatown

ardecila May 1, 2014 1:55 AM

Looks like Phase I will improve the 18th/Wentworth intersection, providing better access to the new Ping Tom fieldhouse.

Phase II around Cermak depends on support from the state, and Phase III is still pretty vague because there's no master plan for Riverside Park yet.

Also looks like the new roadway will have buffered bike lanes. These are becoming a new CDOT standard for new construction - they did them on US-41 at South Works, Elston at Damen/Fullerton, etc.

http://www.cityofchicago.org/content.../WellsWent.bmp

denizen467 May 1, 2014 6:01 AM

^ I assumed Wentworth was going to be rebuilt to the east so it flows right into and out of the Dan Ryan ramps - is that wrong? I think an efficient land usage would be for the entire length to hug the Red Line, 18th to Cermak.

ardecila May 1, 2014 11:23 AM

That's what I was expecting too, but I don't necessarily think Wells-Wentworth should just be an extended freeway offramp. If drivers want an expressway into the Loop they can stay on the Dan Ryan or take LSD.

The dogleg at Cermak will force drivers to slow down and realize they are in a city. Drivers already do this dogleg onto Clark right now at a surprisingly high speed, so I certainly wouldn't want to give them a straight shot.

emathias May 1, 2014 1:47 PM

RE: the Division/Lasalle canopies

I hope they keep the canopies black - black looks better than gold. Makes it look much more modern.

ardecila May 1, 2014 2:15 PM

All the new ones have been black. Gold was only used for the ones along State to blend with the streetscaping there.

Chi-Sky21 May 1, 2014 2:30 PM

I like that style, they should just keep using that on the entrances not that other horrible design they released a few weeks back...was that for Harrison? Either way...this 1 is better IMHO

orulz May 1, 2014 3:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 6560063)
^ I assumed Wentworth was going to be rebuilt to the east so it flows right into and out of the Dan Ryan ramps - is that wrong? I think an efficient land usage would be for the entire length to hug the Red Line, 18th to Cermak.

I was expecting the same as well.

The three storefront buildings between the fire station and the intersection will be torn down for the realignment. The buildings are pretty generic, ugly, and heavily modified, but they are active commercial uses. After the realignment, the fire station will hold the NW corner of the new Cermak/Wentworth intersection. So rather than vibrant commercial activity at the corner (however gaudy the buildings may be) it will basically be a dead zone.

LouisVanDerWright May 1, 2014 3:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 6560387)
I was expecting the same as well.

The three storefront buildings between the fire station and the intersection will be torn down for the realignment. The buildings are pretty generic, ugly, and heavily modified, but they are active commercial uses. After the realignment, the fire station will hold the NW corner of the new Cermak/Wentworth intersection. So rather than vibrant commercial activity at the corner (however gaudy the buildings may be) it will basically be a dead zone.

Hopefully the city's recent TOD push will hold true here as well and we see the land upzoned and sold off to a developer. Maybe the city will do the same on all the parcels (including that nasty state parking lot) and we'll get some small highrises out of it. Chinatown is bursting at the seams and I know the Chinese are looking for places to build condo buildings that will attract rich Chinese citizens looking to give their children and education in the West. This could be a perfect location for a couple of TOD highrises targeting the Chinese immigrant set. It is too bad they aren't going leave a bit wider parcels behind though.

Chi-Sky21 May 1, 2014 3:51 PM

Until the firestation is rebuilt somewhere else. Maybe have a nice plaza incorporated there with the library right at the entrance to chinatown.


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