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

ardecila Jan 14, 2017 8:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 7677984)
Reconstruction of the Canal Street and Harrison Street viaducts
Construction of pedestrian tunnels connecting Union Station to Metra’s Ogilvie Station and to the CTA Blue Line stop at Clinton Street


All of the above improvements are in the CUS Master Plan Except fpr the last one..First time Ive seen anything abut a Pedestrian Tunnel from OTC-CUS to Clinton Blue Line. Seem like a long dig- but could be the backbone of a West Loop Pedway. And the Clinton St station is where Megabus is being moved, right under the Ike -currently occupied by parking lots. And a short 2 block Eastward leg would connect to the Post Office.

Canal Street has a seam down the middle... the east half is built on a viaduct over Union Station's Track 1 and 2, while the west half is on terra firma.

If the viaduct needs to be rebuilt after over a century of weathering, then maybe the "terra firma" west half can be dug out at the same time to provide a pedway going north to Ogilvie and south to the Blue Line. There's already a narrow tunnel there that used to connect Union Station to the old Metropolitan L station, and now connects to the bus station and parking garage.

Certainly would make more sense than digging out under Clinton St which is entirely on terra firma, and would shorten the walking distances.

http://i67.tinypic.com/2cpaxs8.jpg

David May Jan 15, 2017 3:03 PM

Extending the covered pedestrian walkway south to Taylor and north to Lake would be fairly simple and would augment its value.

David May Jan 15, 2017 3:13 PM

how delete double posting?

denizen467 Jan 15, 2017 7:16 PM

Hang on, if you're going to go so far as to excavate, wouldn't you want to use that new space to run more tracks through Union Station?

Also, excavating a pedway 3 blocks to Clinton Station is nice, but I wonder how much usage it would get. Probably little enough that it would attract a lot of garbage, graffiti, and probably people camping out there, with the attendant cleaning and safety issues. Plus, I would hazard a guess that Clinton Station is in bad shape and frighteningly empty sometimes. Hopefully a redeveloped Post Office would have enough critical mass to change that as well as to bring about a big refurbishment of the subway station.

Barring that though, I would hope for some other civic project to eventually extend the Loop pedway west/south from Clark/Lake, where it could benefit commuters daily, and interface with some major buildings to boot, and approach the Ogilvie end of the commuter stations. Not sure what to do with the river crossing though, or whether that's ever been considered.

Mr Downtown Jan 15, 2017 7:41 PM

There's an old streetcar tunnel that could be used to connect Union Station to 311 South Wacker, but it would need some expensive work. There was some talk about doing this back in the 1990s. Then there's the question of whether it would be used. It's one thing for people to walk 800 feet on a sidewalk, next to shops and cars. But an 800-foot-long hallway with no windows is not very interesting, and it feels like a mile.

Speedy bus links, snow clearance, and lively streetscapes are a much better use of public money.

denizen467 Jan 17, 2017 11:19 AM

^ It's hard not to want to make the most of that old tunnel, especially with 311 S Wacker still having that land next to it undeveloped for now. You could even fantasize about something then connecting into a Franklin St subway...

Anyway for the wettest, windiest, snowiest, or coldest days, it would be nice to improve the ped experience crossing the river to the stations. Windbreaks or canopies could be glass, like the Loop Link stations. Or some kind of user friendliness improvement to the sidewalks. On the bridges or key intersections would it be just too decadent to have heated sidewalks? It would save on labor to plow the sidewalks. A couple past experiences make me think these could sand down the sharpest edges off Chicago winters.

All you need is one utterly crap day suffered by some decisionmaker to trigger a company moving out of Chicago, or an out of town company deciding not to hire a local firm.

KWILLSKYLINE Jan 17, 2017 1:27 PM

Here's my random question of the month. How much does it cost and where does the money come from to strip and repaint the el supports underneath the tracks? They already did wabash that awesome maroon that matches the bridges, but lake, wells and van buren still looks horrendous at some parts. Is it still an ongoing project for the next 20 years or are they just waiting for the proper funding/tax money? I just figured the loop tracks would be a priority with all the tourism traffic they get. But still much needed throughout the entire Chicago area.

orulz Jan 17, 2017 3:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KWILLSKYLINE (Post 7680572)
Here's my random question of the month. How much does it cost and where does the money come from to strip and repaint the el supports underneath the tracks? They already did wabash that awesome maroon that matches the bridges, but lake, wells and van buren still looks horrendous at some parts. Is it still an ongoing project for the next 20 years or are they just waiting for the proper funding/tax money? I just figured the loop tracks would be a priority with all the tourism traffic they get. But still much needed throughout the entire Chicago area.

This question belongs on the Transit developments thread (which IMO should receive a Chicago tag so it shows up in the Chicago Projects & Construction forum - Mods?).

Anyway, I completely agree with you. Wabash looks awesome. If the entire "L" throughout Chicago were stripped, and freshly painted this color, then complaints about the aesthetics of the system would pretty much vanish. Lighter colors like tans, creams, whites, and silvers that they seem to use in many other places sound like a good idea since they reflect more light, but on the downside, grime and rust really shows up and makes the elevated structures look dilapidated.

They should also endeavor to remove rust and repaint it more often, but if they paint it maroon like this then whatever rust does happen, will hardly show up at all. If they're concerned about it feeling dark and dangerous under the L, then upgrade the lighting.

Skyguy_7 Jan 17, 2017 3:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KWILLSKYLINE (Post 7680572)
Here's my random question of the month. How much does it cost and where does the money come from to strip and repaint the el supports underneath the tracks? They already did wabash that awesome maroon that matches the bridges, but lake, wells and van buren still looks horrendous at some parts. Is it still an ongoing project for the next 20 years or are they just waiting for the proper funding/tax money? I just figured the loop tracks would be a priority with all the tourism traffic they get. But still much needed throughout the entire Chicago area.

Random fact of the month- I noticed they painted Wabash just before the IOC toured the city around 2009, when we were showcasing for the 2016 Summer Olympics. They intentionally kept the committee away from Lake, Wells and VB.

streetline Jan 17, 2017 3:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7679029)
There's an old streetcar tunnel that could be used to connect Union Station to 311 South Wacker, but it would need some expensive work. There was some talk about doing this back in the 1990s. Then there's the question of whether it would be used. It's one thing for people to walk 800 feet on a sidewalk, next to shops and cars. But an 800-foot-long hallway with no windows is not very interesting, and it feels like a mile.

Speedy bus links, snow clearance, and lively streetscapes are a much better use of public money.

For reference, the underground walkway between terminals at O'Hare is 850 feet, so it isn't impossible to make that sort of tunnel comfortable.

I'd generally agree that making the street level as pleasant and efficient as possible is a better use of funds in the short to medium term. But, should the Pedway ever expand to the point that a tunnel under the river would be part of a coherent integrated system stretching all the way up past Millennium Station, I could see the point of such a tunnel.

Mr Downtown Jan 17, 2017 3:36 PM

That was as part of the Wabash streetscaping program. I don't think the buses were specifically routed so IOC members would never see the other sides of the Loop.

Unless part of a streetscape project like Wabash, I think painting falls under general maintenance of the structure, so it comes out of the CTA budget. They tend to be more concerned about salt-damaged footings and fatigued corner braces than about making a good impression on visitors. Repainting the Loop L is not a minor weekend job, as draping is required for the sandblasting as well as the painting.

PKDickman Jan 17, 2017 5:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KWILLSKYLINE (Post 7680572)
Here's my random question of the month. How much does it cost and where does the money come from to strip and repaint the el supports underneath the tracks? They already did wabash that awesome maroon that matches the bridges, but lake, wells and van buren still looks horrendous at some parts. Is it still an ongoing project for the next 20 years or are they just waiting for the proper funding/tax money? I just figured the loop tracks would be a priority with all the tourism traffic they get. But still much needed throughout the entire Chicago area.

I've always wondered about this.
I've watched them paint the Blue line a couple of times, but if you go across the river, the Brown line looks like they haven't painted it since VJ Day.

KWILLSKYLINE Jan 17, 2017 6:49 PM

^^^Are you crazy? That "noise" is home sweet home. I keep my windows open at night to fall asleep, those tracks are better than one of those ocean sound machines. I love it.
But hey, to each their own.

MayorOfChicago Jan 17, 2017 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KWILLSKYLINE (Post 7680891)
^^^Are you crazy? That "noise" is home sweet home. I keep my windows open at night to fall asleep, those tracks are better than one of those ocean sound machines. I love it.
But hey, to each their own.

I live a block off the red line in Lakeview and I agree. Those supports are what makes the Chicago L the L.

Via Chicago Jan 17, 2017 7:20 PM

ive lived behind train lines for most of my time in Chicago. while you do get used to it after a while, i dont think theres any reason to romanticize noise pollution and any solution to ameliorate it is a positive. all sorts of long term health issues have been linked to it as well
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...4067361361613X

the brown line is pure hell, esp in the summer when windows are open. i was right at the entrance to the tunnel for the red line as well, so i would get trains every 30 seconds. the earthshattering "bang bang!" of the first brown line run of the morning at 4AM would wake me up without fail every time. also was completely impossible to even have a conversation outside. the steel supports are extremely loud. i only did 1 year there but it was enough.

i now live along the red line further north (concrete embankments) and the sound issue is vastly improved, though windows open in the summer is still not great. but without question the concrete is more livable than steel.

to those speaking about noise machines, i use one and love it, but the reason it works is because it provides a constant mask and creates a new baseline. sounds that start and stop, or have peaks and valleys (as a train passing would, or even music for that matter) dont really achieve the same effect and bring your brain back to alertness.

i think theres a bit of stockholm syndrome with anyone who would say that a quieter train line wouldn't be a net positive. it should be quite obvious why any public policy decision should be favoring quieter environmental noise rather than louder.

intrepidDesign Jan 17, 2017 7:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1334 (Post 7680938)
The noise greatly diminishes chicago to visitors.

Really? Can you show me proof that this is real? Because this reeks of BS.

Chi-Sky21 Jan 17, 2017 7:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Via Chicago (Post 7680926)
ive lived behind train lines for most of my time in Chicago. while you do get used to it after a while, i dont think theres any reason to romanticize noise pollution and any solution to ameliorate it is a positive. all sorts of long term health issues have been linked to it as well
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...4067361361613X

the brown line is pure hell, esp in the summer when windows are open. i was right at the entrance to the tunnel for the red line as well, so i would get trains every 30 seconds. the earthshattering "bang bang!" of the first brown line run of the morning at 4AM would wake me up without fail every time. also was completely impossible to even have a conversation outside. the steel supports are extremely loud. i only did 1 year there but it was enough.

i now live along the red line further north (concrete embankments) and the sound issue is vastly improved, though windows open in the summer is still not great. but without question the concrete is more livable than steel.

to those speaking about noise machines, i use one and love it, but the reason it works is because it provides a constant mask and creates a new baseline. sounds that start and stop, or have peaks and valleys (as a train passing would, or even music for that matter) dont really achieve the same effect and bring your brain back to alertness.

i think theres a bit of stockholm syndrome with anyone who would say that a quieter train line wouldn't be a net positive. it should be quite obvious why any public policy decision should be favoring quieter environmental noise rather than louder.

Couldn't be to bad if you moved from one spot close to the L to another right by it.

Via Chicago Jan 17, 2017 7:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 (Post 7680966)
Couldn't be to bad if you moved from one spot close to the L to another right by it.

affordability and walking distance to the train trump other factors to me as i dont own a car and have a budget. so yes, being close to it is important to me for practical reasons. that dosent mean i fetishize the sound or have the notion that its the way things have to be just because its the way theyve always been. everything is a tradeoff, but that dosent mean we shouldnt be working to address quality of life issues at the same time.

and as i said, concrete is WAY quieter than steel. its simply a fact ill take the lesser of two evils every time

denizen467 Jan 18, 2017 5:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KWILLSKYLINE (Post 7680572)
They already did wabash that awesome maroon that matches the bridges, but lake, wells and van buren still looks horrendous at some parts.

Incidentally the Mayor Daley II administration called this color "bordeaux". Maybe its origins were earlier, but they definitely had a specific name for it. I agree Wells/Franklin especially really is looking derelict given how much nightlife and residential has spread all across River North.


Quote:

Originally Posted by intrepidDesign (Post 7680958)
Quote:

Originally Posted by 1334 (Post 7680938)
The noise greatly diminishes chicago to visitors.

Really? Can you show me proof that this is real? Because this reeks of BS.

Proof?? How about any human being who has visited other world metropolises with modern heavy rail. Chicago's subway noise is totally stone age. The elevated is only slightly less bad, at least on certain sections outside downtown where they run at high speed across a giant metal viaduct. It's part of Chicago's charm if you have already fallen in love with the city, experience it only occasionally, or have chosen to live next to it. For the outsider, say from Asia, it can be as ridiculous as still having horse turds all over the streets. It's just that visitors rarely find themselves underneath the high-speed sections (say, Bucktown) so the comments aren't as prominent as they otherwise would be.

denizen467 Jan 18, 2017 6:02 AM

If there were to be something entirely enclosed, it would most likely be a skybridge rather than a new tunnel. Not only would excavating a tunnel be a massive expense, along with ductwork, life safety, and other requirements, but a tunnel would require users to descend many, many floors down from Upper Wacker. A skybridge could actually even be at grade (if it were alongside an existing bridge, or mid-block) or raised slightly above Upper Wacker grade, though it would have to be built as a bascule or something. It would (if executed smartly) also have great aesthetic and sightseeing value, and would be less inviting to loiterers. If aesthetically and functionally desirable, it could even be skewed against the street grid, which would help keep it visually distinguished from all the stately road bridges.


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