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Chicago Shawn May 2, 2006 2:09 PM

^^I'm going to the PIlsen one tonight.

Frankie May 2, 2006 2:55 PM

hey guys don't look at the transportation thread much but i found this interesting website that discussed the "circle line" and other improvements that the cta should make to our tranist sytem. Some ideas are a little far stretched but others make sense. Enjoy the new cta of 2055 with maps and all!!!

the urban politician May 2, 2006 9:50 PM


Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn
^^I'm going to the PIlsen one tonight.

^ Please tell us what you find out!!

TALLTOWER May 3, 2006 1:51 AM

That is pretty cool dallas is also working on it mass transit by expanding its light rail

Chicago Shawn May 3, 2006 2:25 AM

CTA Meeing notes....
Well, it seems the Circle Line is in a more preliminary stage than prevouisly believed. The alignment seen in maps is just a concept, and is one of a few corridors of study.

Some points made:
-1.8 million daily trips to/from loop as of today.

All forms of transit technoligy were looked at from streetcar to maglev to see what best suits the study area bounded by Fullerton on the north, Rockwell on the west and Pershing on the south. Original corridors of study were Halsted, Clinton/Canal, Ashland (Paulina), Ashland-Ogden, Damen and Western.

It was chosen that BRT, Light Rail and Heavy Rail will be explored further in this area, and 3 corridors will continue on to the next phase of study. Those routings are: Ashland, Ashland-Ogden, and Western. As of right now, the mode of transit for the coridors could be any of the three, and exact loactions of transfer stations is not yet known. This is the purpose of community meetings in order to gather people's opinon's which is required by the FTA. They ask that all questions and comments are written onto provided cards to serve as a record for the feds that such community workshops have been conducted. So if you favor heavy rail on a certian routing, place it on a card. ;)

The CTA is working with CATS (Chicago Area Transportation Study) to determine greatest impacts, ridership, cost per rider and so forth. They currently have federal approval to conduct studies and persue funding for the circle line; red, orange and yellow line extensions, as well as the Ogden Avenue trolly.

They collected everyone's comment cards and merged them into very generalized questions for the presenters.

-As of right now, there are no immediate plans for a United Center station on the Pink Line, but it will start running in June for the *6 month expierement*.

I did have a chance to talk to a couple of the CTA planners, and mentioned our community group that will stand up in favor of increased transit and TOD developments, and one planner was so intriged that he wants me to email him more information on the group. He was also pretty impressed by Latso's idea of extending the Orange Line out to Bridgeview through the Bedford Park railyards. I menioned it to him as we were talking about the Orange Line, and refered to it as an idea by one of our members. He really loved the idea of having a Midway park 'n ride out that way.

That about wraps it up in a nutshell. I am on a mailing list to recieve any updates on the circle line project. Anyone who fills out a comment card can request the same. Under organization I put "Newly formed group of citizens for good urban planning, as of yet not named."

chitowngza May 3, 2006 3:14 AM

:previous: Thanks for that info.

Viva, we'll be looking forward to your breakdown if you go to tomorrow's meeting.

I'm curious, Chi-Shawn: Where would an extended Orange Line terminate? And why that routing? That yard runs north of Ford City (closest stores are the Wal-Mart and Pep Boys, and they aren't very close to the heart of the shopping district). I hate to be contrarian (as I've been pretty much throughout my contribution to this thread) but I don't see an Orange Line not directly serving Ford City being taken seriously by the CTA board. But hey it's all in Daniel Lipinski's congressional district so he may be sympathetic.

Chicago Shawn May 3, 2006 3:26 AM

^You would have to talk to Latoso about that, its his idea, and a brilliant one at that. The terminus would be the Chicago Fire staduim on Harlem, which the parking lot could also serve as a park n' ride for Midway.

chitowngza May 3, 2006 4:08 AM

:previous: Yeah I figured it is a Fire Fan plan. Not to say I'm not sympathetic as a fan of Our Town's sports teams and of transit access to 'em but as a Ford City patron I'm not sure other Ford City patrons (of which there are quite many if ya ever been there) would let it slide.

And even the CTA which usually isn't in its right mind would definitely NOT be in its right mind (if that makes any sense, which I doubt) to go with anything besides heavy rail for Circle. I know you gotta go thru the motions during this, the prelim phase, but still...

Latoso May 3, 2006 5:15 AM

Here is a quick photoshop drawing of what my idea was. I have a map as well as a satellite image so you can tell what the area is like. As you can see, my route would be relatively inexpensive because 98% of it uses existing railroad right of way. You could route the line underneath the existing bridges over the railroad tracks at Cicero and Harlem. I don't think it's unprecedented for a rail line to back up after a stop similar to how it is shown here at Ford City. Plus it was easier to route it to the east end of the shopping center which has the added bonus of being right next to Richard J. Daley College for students. I've also been toying with the idea of a Central Ave. stop in the middle of the Bedford Park Industrial Park for people who work there. I currently work at a Steelworkers Union Local that represents workers at various plants in this area and know that a large percentage of workers are from within Chicago (All areas of the city are represented) not just the immediate area. If we can get funding for this, it almost seems like a no brainer much like the Red line extension to at least 115th and the Circle line.

chitowngza May 3, 2006 5:29 AM

:previous: That's a thoughtfully-done plan on your part. Thanks for the clarification.

As long as Ford City gets its direct service, I have no objections to your idea.

Latoso May 3, 2006 5:47 AM


Originally Posted by chitowngza
:previous: That's a thoughtfully-done plan on your part. Thanks for the clarification.

As long as Ford City gets its direct service, I have no objections to your idea.

Thanks Gza. I grew up in the area and was familiar with the geography. So when I learned about plans for an eventual extension to Ford City and later the Fire stadium, I figured they had an easy extension path practically already bulldozed for themselves. Plus now with the possible 2016 Olympics you would probably need to extend to the stadium anyway to make it a practical venue for the games.

Frankie May 3, 2006 12:07 PM

Circle Line routes narrowed

By Virginia Groark
Tribune staff reporter
Published May 3, 2006

Chicago Transit Authority officials said Tuesday that they have narrowed the possible routes for the proposed Circle Line project to three corridors that would run west of the Loop. They said they plan to spend the coming months whittling the options and will choose a final route early next year.

The CTA will explore whether the line, expected to cover an area six times the "L" Loop system, should run along Ashland Avenue, Ashland/Ogden Avenue or Western Avenue corridors.

Officials also narrowed the transportation technology options to three and will study whether to use bus rapid transit, heavy rail or light rail to speed up travel times and make it easier for passengers to transfer among lines.

Officials announced the corridor options during a public hearing in Pilsen on the proposed $1 billion plan that would link all CTA and Metra lines in the city. The Circle Line is one of five projects Congress authorized in a massive transportation bill passed last summer. But those projects must still secure federal funding, a competitive process that will pit them against other proposals across the country.

Although the CTA says it has not prioritized those projects, some worry that the size and scope of the Circle Line may push back other proposals, like the plan proposed more than 30 years ago to extend the Red Line to 130th Street.

If built, the Circle Line would cover a region bordered by Pershing Road on the south, Fullerton Avenue on the north, Rockwell Street on the west and Lake Michigan on the east.

The three options would start on Archer Avenue along the existing Orange Line. The Ashland corridor would cut north in the vicinity of Ashland Avenue and travel east between Fullerton and North Avenues to connect with the North/Clybourn station on the Red Line.

The Ashland/Ogden corridor would travel north on Ashland, head northeast on Ogden Avenue and then turn north near Halsted Street to the North/Clybourn Station.

The Western corridor would cut north on Western Avenue and head east between Fullerton and North Avenues.

This summer, officials said they will study the carrying capacity of each transit alternative as well as service demand. They must still decide whether to build elevated tracks, a subway or at road level, or a combination of all three.

New CTA and Metra stations would be added on various routes to make it possible for people to transfer between the lines without having to travel into the Loop.

Some residents said they supported the Circle Line plan but still had questions that went unanswered. "They didn't have anything written out so people could study it," said Kevin Karl Peterson, 33, head of a non-profit group called Citizens Against Terrible Transit Service. He wanted to know the possible hours of operation and where stations might be located.

Another resident worried that the Circle Line would take precedence over other, more necessary projects. "I'm in favor of the Circle Line, but I think there are needs in other areas of the city that should be met before building this downtown," said Mike Payne, 57, of the South Side neighborhood of Chatham.

Tuesday's comments were on the first of three phases of the project analysis. The second will be completed by early fall; and the third early next year.

The CTA will hold other Circle Line hearings from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Lincoln Park High School and Thursday at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Molecular Biology Research Building.

Norsider May 3, 2006 1:26 PM

Put me down for the Western Avenue option.

VivaLFuego May 3, 2006 4:23 PM

Ashland is the way to go. Dont make the loop too far out, or you decrease the potential high-density development the line could bring.

I think the original Circle Line plan is wise except for running the brown line through that short tunnel, seems like a waste of money. Just straighten out the kink at North/Halsted, put in elevated platforms, with an elevator to a single tunnel connecting to the North/Clybourn subway station, which can remain as 2 platforms servicing 2 lines (Red and Circle). MUCH cheaper than that whole superstation thing they're plugging with 4 platforms, the new short brown line subway, etc.

I'd also support more elevated structure, but that would be a political nightmare, nobody would allow it running down their street or alley.

Hopefully I'll make it to the presentation tonight

the urban politician May 3, 2006 5:09 PM

I support heavy or light rail. brt seems rather silly to me. Lets make this a real line instead of a joke

Norsider May 3, 2006 8:01 PM

The problem I have with the Ashland corridor is that it's too redundant. Connectivity will be the Circle Line's major contribution to the CTA. This can be acheived whether the connections are at Ashland or Western. But with a Western line, you are serving an entirely new area of Chicago on a heavily traveled corridor. Ashland would be good too, but much of that corridor will already be served by the new Pink Line. An el/subway on Western opens up an entirely new area of Chicago to rail transit.

Norsider May 3, 2006 8:09 PM

Not a scientific survey, but the quick poll in this Tribune article seems to support the Western corridor.

Steely Dan May 3, 2006 8:27 PM


Originally Posted by Norsider
The problem I have with the Ashland corridor is that it's too redundant. Connectivity will be the Circle Line's major contribution to the CTA. This can be acheived whether the connections are at Ashland or Western. But with a Western line, you are serving an entirely new area of Chicago on a heavily traveled corridor. Ashland would be good too, but much of that corridor will already be served by the new Pink Line. An el/subway on Western opens up an entirely new area of Chicago to rail transit.

i hadn't thought abuot it that way with the pink line. good point.

in any event, i'm for whichever route that gets this damn thing up and running the quickest, i don't want to take my first ride on the circle line when i'm 60 years old.

Norsider May 4, 2006 2:53 AM

Any news from the meeting tonight?? One thing I'm curious about is the tentative plan for Western loop mentions the Circle Line cutting across "heading east between Fullerton and North Avenues" to meet up with North and Clybourn. I wonder if they mean the old abandoned ROW on Bloomingdale??

Busy Bee May 4, 2006 3:08 AM

Ahh the Bloomingdale ROW. The route that should be the O'Hare Express Train, London Heathrow or Tokyo style—not a messy skip stop glorified Blue Line. Love Block 37 station, hate method and route to O'Hare. I've always thought that it should be a seperate thing, a sperate system. Envision a brightly colored high speed train (caternary or 3rd rail) emerging onto CNW/Milwaukee corridor tracks and onto the Bloomingdale route, snaking its way through the NW side to O'Hare. I can see it.

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