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Kenmore Jul 25, 2014 7:09 PM

It's about time one of the most dense neighborhoods filled with seniors and disabled people got an ADA compliant station. I've been in the neighborhood for about 6 years and really haven't seen much in the way of gentrification and I don't see that changing.

Ideally we'll see some up the underutilized lots in and around Wilson upzone and developed...ideally with affordable housing.

LouisVanDerWright Jul 25, 2014 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UPChicago (Post 6668956)
the road diet and the new Wilson station are putting in place all the ingredients of an Uptown recovery.

This will never happen because of this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenmore (Post 6669453)
Ideally we'll see some up the underutilized lots in and around Wilson upzone and developed...ideally with affordable housing.

I know we've already clashed on this, but Uptown will always be a shell of its former self as long as this area continues to be the densest concentration of institutionalized housing in the city. For some reason there is a cadre of local residents who thing that we need to pile even more of the poor and institutionalized in the same place and are under the impression that it would be absolutely excellent for the neighborhood...

I'm not really against affordable housing, I'm against basically intensifying the defacto housing project that is Uptown. We already have tried cramming all the poors into one spot several times before. Spoiler alert: it never works.

UPChicago Jul 26, 2014 4:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6669796)
This will never happen because of this:



I know we've already clashed on this, but Uptown will always be a shell of its former self as long as this area continues to be the densest concentration of institutionalized housing in the city. For some reason there is a cadre of local residents who thing that we need to pile even more of the poor and institutionalized in the same place and are under the impression that it would be absolutely excellent for the neighborhood...

I'm not really against affordable housing, I'm against basically intensifying the defacto housing project that is Uptown. We already have tried cramming all the poors into one spot several times before. Spoiler alert: it never works.

I agree with you, the LAST thing Uptown needs is more supportive housing. I am a little more optimistic about Uptown's future, on one hand you have the negative, people wanting more supportive housing and on the other I think as more people get priced out of the nearby neighborhoods people will find Uptown desirable.

I will admit I ended up in Uptown by accident, I visited my apartment at night loved it and signed the lease. I came back in the daytime and awoke to a different place! Overall though, I can deal with it and Uptown is a decent hood, would be better with a lower level of supportive housing and a higher level of market rate housing. The biggest issue in uptown in my opinion and experience is quality of life issues like urine, trash etc.

Chicago Shawn Aug 2, 2014 5:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Servo (Post 6668466)
Hah

...

And TUP, sure. I'm all for smart urban design and growth, but I think fucking up Broadway was a bad choice. Clark is already a two lane street w bike accommodations. Sheridan would've been a better choice too since it's far less busy. And the lake front path is what, two blocks from Broadway? It was just foolish tearing up Broadway and creating a constant traffic problem for a few bike lanes.

I'm just sick of all these new bike lanes popping up all over, causing huge traffic problems throughout the city. We didn't have all these overly complicated bike lanes ten years ago, and people got along just fine. It's as if we're accomodating stupid people that don't know how to ride with traffic. It's bad enough we had to go get the stupid bike share, which essentially puts a mass of idiots on the streets and creates a very hazardous roadway. Many streets downtown have become rolling tourist gauntlets in the last year; the neighborhood streets throughout the Northside have become rolling transplant gauntlets all the same. It just seems silly to waste money on bike accommodations. The money should be put into pot hole repair or transit.

I don't know if you have been to Europe or even NYC lately, but protected bike lanes are standard infrastructure in today's global cities. Divvy had over 1.6 million trips in its first year of operations (6/28/13-6/28/14), which included one of the coldest winters on record. We do have a rather significant biking population here, and this is a relatively inexpensive method of improving transportation and safety for all modes of travel. A recent study of the Dearborn St Bike lane showed a rather large drop in bicycles running through red lights.

J_M_Tungsten Aug 2, 2014 6:18 PM

Exactly. When bikers follow the rules of the road, like cars, the streets are safe for all. It all works according to plan when there are well timed intersection crossings for each transit mode. Unfortunately, I see a lot of those Tour de France wannabes blow through red lights and stop signs at full speed, and give the drivers or the walkers the finger as they fly by as if it's their fault. Honestly, I wish there were strict bike cops to stop this. As a walker/cyclist/driver in the city, the systems work pretty well; except for the occasional rush hour issues. Then things can get hectic.

Kngkyle Aug 2, 2014 11:01 PM

I had my first experience driving down Broadway from Edgewater to Uptown a few days ago and it took about 30-50% longer than usual. I had to sit through multiple red lights at a few intersections in the middle of the day, not rush hour. It's annoyingly slow compared to what it used to be, but now I'm much more tempted to ride my bike than I would be otherwise. So if the goal was to make driving more miserable to get people to use other forms of transit - then mission accomplished.

the urban politician Aug 3, 2014 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 6678526)
I had my first experience driving down Broadway from Edgewater to Uptown a few days ago and it took about 30-50% longer than usual. I had to sit through multiple red lights at a few intersections in the middle of the day, not rush hour. It's annoyingly slow compared to what it used to be, but now I'm much more tempted to ride my bike than I would be otherwise. So if the goal was to make driving more miserable to get people to use other forms of transit - then mission accomplished.

Driving in Chicago is already miserable.

I drive in Chicago all the time because I'm a suburbanite, and I hate it. The roads are shit, the potholes, the lights on every block, the traffic, those pesky pedestrians...

To be honest, I don't understand why so many Chicagoans still insist on driving in the city. It's hell. And it's only getting worse. I view this as a good thing: a city cannot be built around the needs of the car.

If I lived in the city I would probably still own a car, but there is no doubt I would use it as rarely as possible.

wierdaaron Aug 3, 2014 2:51 PM

The truth revealed! You're actually the suburban politician :)

Tom Servo Aug 3, 2014 7:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 6678526)
I had my first experience driving down Broadway from Edgewater to Uptown a few days ago and it took about 30-50% longer than usual. I had to sit through multiple red lights at a few intersections in the middle of the day, not rush hour. It's annoyingly slow compared to what it used to be, but now I'm much more tempted to ride my bike than I would be otherwise. So if the goal was to make driving more miserable to get people to use other forms of transit - then mission accomplished.

Yes! They took away my ability to pass idiot drivers.

Oh and TUP, the only thing that makes driving in the city difficult is dealing with all the idiot transplants, the suburbanites, and all the non-Illinois plates (Wisconsin's the worst, Ohio also terrible). The pedestrians are no problem; they're predictable, and I've grown up driving around them. It's all the dumbass slow, NON-Chicago that are making this city's streets so shitty.

CTA Gray Line Aug 10, 2014 2:47 PM

Chicago mass transit needs more than tweaks
 
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...e-than-tweaks#

“Make no little plans,” Chicago lakefront planner Daniel Burnham famously once said. “They have no magic to stir men's blood.” Nor, would I add, do they usually get much done.........

ardecila Aug 11, 2014 2:26 AM

From that article:

Quote:

The other comes from the business-backed Chicago Central Area Committee. Its chairman, lawyer Gregory Hummel, confirms that it's preparing a full-scale effort to revive the Central Area Circulator plan to link Navy Pier and the South Side lakefront with commuter rail stations in the West Loop. That proposal died amid political infighting early in Richard M. Daley's administration.

This time, the committee hopes to be more thorough and more politic, even dangling the possibility of a public-private partnership to pay much of the cost.

----

The need for better transit in the Loop may not be as apparent. But research by Central Area Committee consultant Ed Zotti shows that portions of the Red, Blue and Brown lines are at capacity in rush hours. If that continues, congestion will be considerably worse in just a few years, potentially aborting downtown's job renaissance.

The proposed solution, called the connector, would, like the old circulator, use an abandoned railway underneath the Merchandise Mart and Trump International Hotel & Tower to join the commuter stations to Navy Pier and North Michigan Avenue. But to connect the stations to the Museum Campus, the connector would use a portion of Roosevelt Road. That has a lot better potential than the city's plan to run express bus service along Washington and Randolph streets. There's just too much north-south traffic on the cross streets to allow those routes to move with any speed.

wierdaaron Aug 11, 2014 4:00 AM

Oh my god yes.

ardecila Aug 11, 2014 5:32 AM

I read some interesting stuff about the old Central Area Circulator... the trains only offered a speed advantage over buses if the stoplights were all synchronized, and back in 1990 there were only minimal computer tools available to figure out the right timings that would allow the trains to skip red lights... Lots of old school engineers with calculators and slide rules trying to crack the code.

I think on this go-around the engineering challenges may be simpler. I am eagerly awaiting the details of how this thing would operate... bus or streetcar? Mixed traffic or dedicated lanes? Yada yada...

tjp Aug 11, 2014 1:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6686720)
From that article:

The need for better transit in the Loop may not be as apparent. But research by Central Area Committee consultant Ed Zotti shows that portions of the Red, Blue and Brown lines are at capacity in rush hours. If that continues, congestion will be considerably worse in just a few years, potentially aborting downtown's job renaissance.

How would the central area circulator do anything to alleviate congestion on the red, blue, and brown lines?

UPChicago Aug 11, 2014 1:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tjp (Post 6686974)
How would the central area circulator do anything to alleviate congestion on the red, blue, and brown lines?

Exactly, these trains are crowded way before reaching the loop.

emathias Aug 11, 2014 1:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tjp (Post 6686974)
How would the central area circulator do anything to alleviate congestion on the red, blue, and brown lines?

It wouldn't, not to any great extent anyway. But a) the Blue Line still has the capability to add trains, b) the Red Line will have the capacity to add trains if/when the Clark Junction flyover is built - that would be something like 20-30% increase in train frequency, and c) if the Red Line stations are expanded to support 10-cars you get a 25% boost from that.

Zotti, in the past, has alternately proposed routing Purple Lines into the subway, which would open up Loop slots for the Brown Line to run more trains in the mornings.

So the Circulator wouldn't solve those problems, but other parts of what they're looking to do would.

Pilton Aug 11, 2014 3:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6686280)
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...e-than-tweaks#

“Make no little plans,” Chicago lakefront planner Daniel Burnham famously once said. “They have no magic to stir men's blood.” Nor, would I add, do they usually get much done.........

Funding, funding, funding!

From the Crain's article: "Mr. Emanuel's team clearly is interested. “We want to think big,” one insider says, “but we can't break the bank.”"

Both the Circulator and the Carroll Street Transitway died because of a lack of funding. In case our Mayor hasn't noticed yet, the bank has already been broken. The first pension supplemental payment ($250M?) to fund unfunded pension liability is due at the end of 2015. People will scream bloody murder about their property tax bills rising.

$900M in bonds were issued this year. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...llion-in-bonds The bonds sold to underwriters - but prior-issued City bonds were seliing at 15 points below the price the recent bonds sold at. (Never give a sucker an even break.) The City got a sweetheart federal loan, not a grant, for building the Riverwalk improvements.

The Chicago bond rating was reduced to 4 tiny ticks above junk this year. The LaSalle/Central TIF project is so broke it could not give Hines the money last year to build the River Point plaza/park/Metra tunnel.

This plan will not come to fruition unless a funding source outside the City comes to the rescue. The Transportation Department bailed out the Riverwalk project. IMO, the Transportation Department would have to bail out the City again on this one.

UPChicago Aug 11, 2014 3:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pilton (Post 6687065)
Funding, funding, funding!

From the Crain's article: "Mr. Emanuel's team clearly is interested. “We want to think big,” one insider says, “but we can't break the bank.”"

Both the Circulator and the Carroll Street Transitway died because of a lack of funding. In case our Mayor hasn't noticed yet, the bank has already been broken. The first pension supplemental payment ($250M?) to fund unfunded pension liability is due at the end of 2015. People will scream bloody murder about their property tax bills rising.

$900M in bonds were issued this year. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...llion-in-bonds The bonds sold to underwriters - but prior-issued City bonds were seliing at 15 points below the price the recent bonds sold at. (Never give a sucker an even break.) The City got a sweetheart federal loan, not a grant, for building the Riverwalk improvements.

The Chicago bond rating was reduced to 4 tiny ticks above junk this year. The LaSalle/Central TIF project is so broke it could not give Hines the money last year to build the River Point plaza/park/Metra tunnel.

This plan will not come to fruition unless a funding source outside the City comes to the rescue. The Transportation Department bailed out the Riverwalk project. IMO, the Transportation Department would have to bail out the City again on this one.

Do you think that the city should stop giving TIF funds to developers that clearly don't need it in areas that clearly aren't blighted? I personally think the city needs to rethink a lot of its spending priorities. I do not have a great depth of knowledge or understanding on the city's budget but I wonder what types of things the city could do to right the ship at this point.

ardecila Aug 11, 2014 3:27 PM

From a transportation standpoint, I think we absolutely need some kind of local dedicated source for capital dollars. I don't know if that's a sales tax, a special property tax levy, or something else... But the state is unreliable and the Feds have demonstrated time and again that funding transit expansion is not a high priority compared to Middle East wars and corporate subsidies. Funding transit in Chicago is an even lower priority still for the Feds in spite of the great potential for ridership here (just look at Dallas' ever-expanding, poorly used light rail system for proof).

Transit Future is hinting in this direction but I think the project list is not regional enough and preserves a city - suburb divide at the Cook County line that will ultimately hurt the support for transit.

Pilton Aug 11, 2014 4:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UPChicago (Post 6687072)
Do you think that the city should stop giving TIF funds to developers that clearly don't need it in areas that clearly aren't blighted? I personally think the city needs to rethink a lot of its spending priorities. I do not have a great depth of knowledge or understanding on the city's budget but I wonder what types of things the city could do to right the ship at this point.

I am a fan of the TIF money being spent on a project in the specific TIF district and any surplus funds beyond the project also being spent within the confines of the specific TIF district. I have no preference on what purpose the excess funds should be spent on.

Those taxpayers who pay money in the TIF district should benefit from the expenditure of the TIF money they paid in taxes. They should benefit more than the taxpayers who live outside the TIF district and did not contribute the tax funds which are being spent.

IMO, the fact that the TIF increment is siphoned off to the City of Chicago rather than distributed to the County, Forest Preserve, Chicago Park, CBOE, City Colleges and MWRD is a different issue than where the funds should be spent. As long as the expenditure is in the TIF district, it's a matter of politics what purpose the funds generated by the TIF should be spent on.

I admit there are differing opinions on this. But, you asked me for my opinion and you now you have it.

The way to right the ship is to spend no more money on current operations than will be coming in from current collections. As capital improvements become necessary, they should be funded by bonds sold after referendum approval (with a few exceptions for true emergencies) with a level repayment rate. In other words, bonds should not be backloaded. Backloading bonds is a convenient way to kick the can down the road for a later administration to deal with. And, the big payment in the last year or two causes the later administration to play the same game selling new bonds, backloading the bond repayments and, thus, causing headaches for an even later administration. Even if the taxpayers realized who caused by the problems, with backloaded bonds those politicians will not be around to hear the complaints.


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