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CTA Gray Line Dec 3, 2016 5:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicagopcclcar1 (Post 7640462)
Wow! What do you have against a good, tasty, hot dog meal? If using Walsh, Pepper, etc, is wrong, who else would you recommend. Right....no one. This is the way its done in Chicago. "If loving Extension and Flyovers is wrong....we don't want to be right." Lyrics from a R&B blues/love song.

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...ab-pie-019.jpg


Changing directions...Saturday, 11/26/2016, the CTA fielded two Holiday Trains, the traditional one and a new Elves Workshop 6-car train running right behind the Holiday Train. I photographed on the south side where the trains were running on the Green line. The traditional train was on the Ashland branch at 63rd St. and the new Elves train was at 38th St. The two trains are scheduled to run on Saturday, 12/03/2016 where they combine to serve the Orange and Brown lines. Schedules are available on the CTA website.....http://www.transitchicago.com/holiday/

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...f/P1150496.jpg

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...f/P1150432.jpg

DH

I absolutely love a good Hot Dog, but I hate wasting huge
sums of money (and destroying people's property) when there alternatives already in operation that would meet and surpass the goals of the RLE, which obviously cannot serve Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore, South Chicago, etc., etc....

And no type of bus services can provide the Jobs and Economic Development of a rail rapid-transit line.

denizen467 Dec 3, 2016 11:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicagopcclcar1 (Post 7640462)

David, I think there's a forum rule about providing links to restaurant websites anytime you post delicious food pics.


Or at least there should be. (Sadly, this looks like stock photography, so it's probably not even a real local place?)

chicagopcclcar1 Dec 3, 2016 3:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 7640717)
I absolutely love a good Hot Dog, but I hate wasting huge
sums of money (and destroying people's property) when there alternatives already in operation that would meet and surpass the goals of the RLE, which obviously cannot serve Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore, South Chicago, etc., etc....

And no type of bus services can provide the Jobs and Economic Development of a rail rapid-transit line.

There is nothing in the goals of Red Line Extension that says it includes "Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore, South Chicago, etc." There is nothing in the goals is the Red and Purple Modernization "Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore, South Chicago, etc."

Why do you keep saying that every transit programs should include "Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore, South Chicago, etc." A reader not knowledgeable with geography of Chicago would believe that no transit exists in those areas.

Not so.....Hyde Park has local and express Metra Electric service...Woodlawn has CTA Green line service.....South Shore and South Chicago has local Metra Electric service.

Condemning any transit action that excludes the areas listed is not a remedy. All areas need forms of transit.

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...f/P1110742.jpg

Woodlawn area CTA Green line Cottage Grove terminal.

DH

Ryanrule Dec 4, 2016 1:09 AM

having to use the metra is a failure.

emathias Dec 5, 2016 4:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryanrule (Post 7641173)
having to use the metra is a failure.

Why? The only downside to Metra is that it enjoys less frequent service, but Metra Electric has some of the most frequent service of any Metra line on the main trunk of it.

Also, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Woodlawn and South Shore all have generally excellent express bus service to the Loop including the 2, 6, 26, 28, and J14. Adding a stop at the 35th Street exit for some of those express routes would add 2-3 minutes to the express trips, but be useful for people in Douglas and that part of East Bronzeville with very little additional cost.

ardecila Dec 5, 2016 5:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 7642134)
Why? The only downside to Metra is that it enjoys less frequent service, but Metra Electric has some of the most frequent service of any Metra line on the main trunk of it.

Also, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Woodlawn and South Shore all have generally excellent express bus service to the Loop including the 2, 6, 26, 28, and J14. Adding a stop at the 35th Street exit for some of those express routes would add 2-3 minutes to the express trips, but be useful for people in Douglas and that part of East Bronzeville with very little additional cost.

There is no 35th St exit on Lake Shore Drive. There's a pedestrian bridge there which, conceivably, could have ramps and stairs added down to a bus stop on the Drive.

There IS an exit at 31st Street, but nobody lives within 2-3 blocks of that intersection. From the closest residential building to the "inbound" ramp/bus stop location would be over 1/2 mile walk on darkened streets.

Ryanrule Dec 5, 2016 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 7642134)
Why? The only downside to Metra is that it enjoys less frequent service, but Metra Electric has some of the most frequent service of any Metra line on the main trunk of it.

Also, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Woodlawn and South Shore all have generally excellent express bus service to the Loop including the 2, 6, 26, 28, and J14. Adding a stop at the 35th Street exit for some of those express routes would add 2-3 minutes to the express trips, but be useful for people in Douglas and that part of East Bronzeville with very little additional cost.

bus is even worse

tjp Dec 6, 2016 3:18 PM

Crain's: Trump's infrastructure plan could benefit Chicago—but we must act
By: JOHN BUCK, STEVE FIFIELD, GREG HUMMEL, PAUL ZONES AND ED ZOTTI

President-elect Donald J. Trump's trillion-dollar infrastructure plan offers Chicago a unique opportunity to grow its rapid transit and commuter rail systems—and in so doing, stimulate large-scale private investment.

The Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC) and the Alliance for Regional Development (ARD)—two civic groups advocating strategic investment in Chicago and the surrounding tri-state region—believe the Trump plan could do two things. First, it could help launch the Connector, the new rail line CCAC has proposed for the central area. The Connector would serve the thousands of new workers and residents being added each year in Chicago's booming core.

Continued:
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...enefit-chicago

emathias Dec 6, 2016 5:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryanrule (Post 7642608)
bus is even worse

Now you're just being obstinate. It's as fast or faster to go from eastern Hyde Park to the Loop via the express buses there than to take the Red Line from Uptown to the Loop, about the same distance.

tintinex Dec 6, 2016 5:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 7643333)
Now you're just being obstinate. It's as fast or faster to go from eastern Hyde Park to the Loop via the express buses there than to take the Red Line from Uptown to the Loop, about the same distance.

Agreed. When I lived in Hyde Park I used to take the #6 bus more frequently than the Metra, and then I took the #26 when I moved to South Shore. It was far faster to take the #26 from the 6700 S block to downtown than it is now taking the red line or the #147 from the 5800 N block to the exact same spot downtown

Ryanrule Dec 6, 2016 7:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 7643333)
Now you're just being obstinate. It's as fast or faster to go from eastern Hyde Park to the Loop via the express buses there than to take the Red Line from Uptown to the Loop, about the same distance.

that is a problem with the L, not an advantage of buses.


there should be an L stop with a few blocks of anywhere with some density.

buses will VASTLY improve once they eliminate the drivers, however.
course, that applies to the L too. no more waiting for slow fat lady to make it up the stairs, bell rings, the train goes.

denizen467 Dec 19, 2016 1:15 PM

I didn't realize the Kennedy was being widened by 1 lane from Cumberland to Harlem (inbound only), to accommodate the widened Addams. Drop in the bucket, but it's a start (of course, I'd prefer a dedicated airport train of some sort any day).

(old news; http://www.dailyherald.com/article/2...ews/160528996/)

ardecila Dec 19, 2016 6:35 PM

Yes, there's also a flyover ramp being added so that EB traffic on I-90 doesn't have to weave through the EB traffic on I-190 to exit at Cumberland.

This should at least shave a few minutes of driving time for people heading to the park and ride at Cumberland. Although it seems like most of those are Park Ridge and NW Siders approaching from north and south, rather than folks who would be driving in on the Addams...

denizen467 Dec 20, 2016 12:04 AM

Yeah, I thought that was an expensive solution for a tiny constituency when I first read about it. (Though even a single vehicle weaving from the Addams to Cumberland can introduce congestion and even accidents, which is the main benefit.) But might they be preparing for an Addams express bus depot at Cumberland? Per the Daily Herald, the nearby Rosemont station got a $1.5m upgrade in anticipation of the busses.

ardecila Dec 21, 2016 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 7656281)
Yeah, I thought that was an expensive solution for a tiny constituency when I first read about it. (Though even a single vehicle weaving from the Addams to Cumberland can introduce congestion and even accidents, which is the main benefit.) But might they be preparing for an Addams express bus depot at Cumberland? Per the Daily Herald, the nearby Rosemont station got a $1.5m upgrade in anticipation of the busses.

Which is odd, since there's no real direct way to access the Rosemont station from the Addams. I guess eastbound buses can make a quick U-turn after the toll plaza to take a service exit into the CTA parking lot, but westbound buses have to make a circuitous route up River Road to Higgins to an onramp. At rush hour, that can add 5 or 6 minutes to the eastbound trip.

Cumberland is probably a more efficient place for the CTA-Pace transfer to occur, but it's not quite the same regional center that Rosemont/River Road is, with entertainment, shopping, etc. You really want to keep the bus transfer point there if possible, even if it means building a new ramp to the Addams.

WrightCONCEPT Dec 22, 2016 7:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7605282)
The white paper (mostly Ed Zotti) very explictly compares it to Docklands Light Rail in London, which I think is a somewhat better comparison than Metromover.

DLR actually serves as the main form of rail transit for a huge swath of East London and is actually well-used by commuters and residents and well-integrated with a large transit system. It's hard to dismiss DLR as a one-off gimmick like the Detroit or Miami systems, and it was used to solve a similar dilemma in London - how to extend frequent transit to a vast, developing area under the severe fiscal constraints of the Thatcher era.

What's totally unclear to me is how the study authors plan to squeeze a light metro system along much of the alignment. Carroll Street makes sense, but are they proposing to dig a tunnel under Clinton St? Or put some ugly aerial structure? DLR is mostly elevated and terribly ugly, but it was built through totally vacant areas in advance of development. The northern and southern extensions raise similar questions about alignment.

Sorry if I'm late to this conversation on this DLR for the Loop but isn't this just another re-iteration of the City Rail loop/ Circle Line concepts that CTA/Mayor Daley wanted to do in the 1990's but realized it is not cost effective to implement?

Also has there ever been any consideration of taking an S-Bahn approach to electrify and extend a few Metra corridors into those areas under Carroll Street to serve the Streeterville/River North/North Michigan Avenue activity centers because the bulk of the ridership looks like transfers off of the Metra lines.

orulz Dec 22, 2016 10:17 PM

Like you, I would definitely prefer, rather than spend a penny on the Connector Transitway proposal, that this money go towards a RER style conversion of Chicago's Metra network, which would do many of the same things but have much wider-reaching benefits.

George Hooker proposed one such scheme 100 years ago (in 1916) called Through Routes for Chicago's Steam Railroads. The proposal called for basically three trunk lines through the center of the city.

I recently drew up a fantasy map(cue :rolleyes:) that makes the connections with two four-track trunk lines, one on the existing alignment of tracks through Union Station, and the other by extending the ME/South Shore north of Millennium Station, along Columbus/Fairbanks through Streeterville and then west along Chicago Ave.

I propose the following connections.
  • UPN <-> BNSF via Millennium Station
  • MD/NCS <-> Metra Elecftric via Millennium Station
  • UPNW <-> South Shore via Union Station
  • UPW <-> Rock Island via Union Station
Of course this fantasy map has plenty of other proposals in it. Funny thing is, not a lot of it is "new" on my part; a good bit of it has been proposed in some official capacity at some time or another over the years, and I mostly just chose the proposals I thought made the most sense and tweaked them to form a cohesive whole.

Some of it may seem pretty crazy:
  • the 40 mile circumferential Brown Line, which I admit is more like a combination of four independent lines that just happen to meet end-to-end. Few people would ever travel halfway around the loop in either direction, but it still provides more value as a single line than as separate lines.
  • De-Looping the Loop into separate routes for the Green and Orange line and De-commissioning LaSalle Street station as a commuter terminus and handing its lead tracks and right-of-way over to the Orange Line.
  • The pink line route along the Union Station lead tracks and Carrol Street is probably the part I'm least satisfied with, since it duplicates the Green Line so closely for much of its route, but it's basically the way that it is in order to take advantage of existing infrastructure. Also, given given the way the Fulton Market area is booming, maybe having a second "L" running through there won't be such a bad thing after all.

Mr Downtown Dec 23, 2016 3:29 PM

Though Hooker wrote the booklet, apparently the through-routing scheme was the work of Bion J. Arnold, a famous transit expert of the day. Over the years, I've posted it several times:

http://i.imgur.com/BOU12EI.gif

Here's the full report.

I think a new subway under Clark or LaSalle is critical to the concept, though. I don't think you'd get the same success routing all suburban lines around the edges of the Loop.

orulz Dec 23, 2016 7:35 PM

Mr Downtown, it's your occasional posting of that 1916 Through Routes plan that made me aware of its existence in the first place. Thanks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7659891)
I think a new subway under Clark or LaSalle is critical to the concept, though. I don't think you'd get the same success routing all suburban lines around the edges of the Loop.

I'll agree that the central loop is one of, (and arguably the), most important destinations, for sure. But a few considerations make me think that part of the Arnold/Hooker plan is not as necessary today as it may have been a century ago.

First, the Arnold/Hooker plan was drawn up before the State Street and Milwaukee-Dearborn Subways were ever planned, and their presence makes constructing a Clark or LaSalle subway both more complicated and less necessary. I believe that having effective connections among the various commuter lines, and between the commuter lines and the CTA, renders digging another tunnel through the center of the loop for commuter trains an unnecessary expense.

Second, it's not that far to walk from Union Station or Michigan Avenue to the central loop. Scores of people already do so today. It's not unrealistic to expect people to continue to do so in the future.

To me, effective connections means the following:
  1. Have cross-platform transfers wherever possible
  2. Make transfers as short as possible everywhere else - such as up or down a single flight of stairs - with distances measured in tens of feet rather than hundreds of yards.
  3. Full fare integration between all systems

The principle behind the commuter rail portion of that fantasy map is to pair the lines into 'trunks' based on the routes they follow when approaching the loop, and to send one line from each pair through Union Station and the West Loop, and the other through Millennium Station and Streeterville, and provide convenient transfers between them for access to the opposite side of the CBD.

NW Trunk: UPN/UPNW
W Trunk: UPW/MD/NCS
SW "Trunk": BNSF/Rock Island/Heritage
S Trunk: ME/South Shore

These trunks where the paired lines run together provides an ideal opportunity to arrange for timed transfers among the various commuter lines.

The ideal way to arrange these "trunk" connections is with three stations.
  • The outermost station allows inverse cross-platform transfers from inbound trains on one branch to outbound trains on the other. Example connection: Des Plaines->Evanston
  • The middle station allows same-way cross-platform transfers from each inbound line to the other. Example: Des Plaines->Streeterville
  • The innermost station allows inverse cross-platform transfers from outbound trains on one branch to inbound trains on the other. Example: Union Station->Streeterville. This is probably the least important of the three since other ways to make this connection exist.
This scheme is described in detail by Alon Levy here in the context of the Boston North-South Rail Link. A similar scheme has been implemeted in several places in the Hong Kong MTR.

All the lines I have "paired" together in Chicago, except the BNSF/Rock Island pair, run together for long enough for a full three-station cross-platform transfer scheme, with stations in places that actually make sense. The BNSF/Rock Island pair, which would have to be done by a cruciform (+ shaped) station in the Southwest Loop where transfers are the second-best kind, accomplished by ascending or descending a single flight of stairs directly on to the platform of the other line. For the other three "trunks", if the "ideal" configuration with those various cross-platform transfers is not attainable due to cost or constructibility, as long as the transfers are short and well-timed, they would be successful nonetheless.

Similarly, if transfers between the commuter lines and the CTA system are kept as a primary design criteria, they can be successful as well.

ardecila Dec 24, 2016 2:31 AM

Ed Zotti and the Central Area Committee explicitly mention a regional rail scheme. I think they are pushing first for the "Gray Line"/"Gold Line" and then an eventual connection to Union Station for through-routing ala Crossrail Chicago.

The Connector is a complement to such a scheme that provides downtown distribution. Yes, it would be ideal if the Metra system did its own downtown distribution, like the Loop and the two subways do for CTA. But I just don't see that ever happening. Underground construction costs are simply much too high to entertain this kind of scheme.


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