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

the urban politician May 1, 2014 6:31 PM

Well, count me in as very stoked about the Wells Wentworth connector moving forward. This improved access to the Loop will really bolster property values and, I think, spur more development in and north of Chinatown. I really would love to see the lot adjacent to the Red Line developed into a residential/parking tower. So much potential.

Has anyone else noted that the city is on the verge of passing a hare-brained ordinance that will effectively shut down the city's pedicab industry? Over and over again, our city's shitty leadership favors one industry over another and kills off small businesses. This is the kind of nonsense that makes me shudder.

wierdaaron May 1, 2014 7:57 PM

I work in the BCBS building and Rahm was here this morning giving a press conference to announce that BCBS is sponsoring the Divvy system. The city gets $12.5M in exchange for Blue Cross branding on the bikes and stations. Oh, and BCBS policyholders get $45 off annual Divvy memberships.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...ycle-share-inc

I kind of preferred how Divvy was unbranded, unlike Boston where they carry ads or New York where the system itself is sponsored by Citi. But I guess I can stomach some light branding on the bikes as long as they arent obnoxious ads and they don't change the name of the system to BlueCrossBlueBike or something.

ardecila May 1, 2014 9:35 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.

I disagree. The traffic clusterfuck on Cermak with the two legs of Wentworth and the Chinatown feeder ramp coming together is awful for pedestrians and discourages activity. This is an improvement in every regard, even if a few nondescript buildings come down.

Side note: I love how the new road will curve around the new Chinatown library. It's a nice urban design move (and yes, it was planned).

http://i.imgur.com/qGEF4ft.jpg

the urban politician May 2, 2014 1:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6561059)
Side note: I love how the new road will curve around the new Chinatown library. It's a nice urban design move (and yes, it was planned).

^ Good catch, and I agree that is a nice touch

joeg1985 May 2, 2014 4:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6555783)
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.


Wouldn't a street car on Michigan Ave be the easiest and most obvious way to go to achieve this?

emathias May 2, 2014 6:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeg1985 (Post 6562271)
Wouldn't a street car on Michigan Ave be the easiest and most obvious way to go to achieve this?

Perhaps, but it would require a complete re-configuration of the street, or it would end up being much slower than even the buses are or, worst case, even both of those things.

Michigan Avenue is plenty dense enough to require grade-separated transit instead of buses or trolleys.

wierdaaron May 2, 2014 8:28 PM

Honestly, I think renaming the #3 from King Drive to Michigan Avenue would be a half-decent solution. I spend a lot of time standing around the bus stops around Michigan and the Park and when I look at the bus list sign I see nothing that even says Michigan. The fact that #3 goes up and down Michigan through all of downtown is like insider knowledge. I don't even know where King Drive is.

A street car would be nice, but I doubt anyone would want to spend the money and hassle to tear up the roads and lay down tracks or overhead lines (which are unsightly). Reconfiguring a CTA bus seems like it'd be much easier and cheaper, just needs new signage and bus wrappings.

Hell, if the city doesn't want to do it, the Loop and mag mile community groups could pony up for it.

jcchii May 2, 2014 10:01 PM

maybe street car on state

wierdaaron May 2, 2014 10:18 PM

If they try changing the format of State any more it's going to break in half.

Busy Bee May 2, 2014 11:20 PM

Do you really not know where King Drive is?

ChiMIchael May 3, 2014 2:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6562719)
Honestly, I think renaming the #3 from King Drive to Michigan Avenue would be a half-decent solution. I spend a lot of time standing around the bus stops around Michigan and the Park and when I look at the bus list sign I see nothing that even says Michigan. The fact that #3 goes up and down Michigan through all of downtown is like insider knowledge. I don't even know where King Drive is.

A street car would be nice, but I doubt anyone would want to spend the money and hassle to tear up the roads and lay down tracks or overhead lines (which are unsightly). Reconfiguring a CTA bus seems like it'd be much easier and cheaper, just needs new signage and bus wrappings.

Hell, if the city doesn't want to do it, the Loop and mag mile community groups could pony up for it.

Do you ever consider that the #3 is a longer route than you think it is????

wierdaaron May 3, 2014 2:51 AM

Of course, but that's of little consequence to a person just moving around downtown between their hotel, the bean, and whatever deep dish place they decide on. A massive amount of the city's tourism economy is anchored on Michigan and I'm just trying to think of ways to make that work even better by making it easier to move amongst it.

ChiMIchael May 3, 2014 2:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6563251)
Of course, but that's of little consequence to a person just moving around downtown between their hotel, the bean, and whatever deep dish place they decide on. A massive amount of the city's tourism economy is anchored on Michigan and I'm just trying to think of ways to make that work even better by making it easier to move amongst it.

The north end of King Drive is at Cermak at the McCormick Place, so my guess it that service is extended into downtown for service between downtown and the McCormick Place.

Mr Downtown May 3, 2014 2:57 PM

King Drive (Grand Blvd) bus service goes to the Loop because it always has. Well, since 1926, anyway. That's how some South Siders get to work. In 1988, the line was extended to the North Michigan Avenue area. People used to send letters to the newspaper claiming racism was the reason no South Side bus lines ran to the North Side.

The more useful route for visitors is the 146, which connects the Mag Mile and Museum Campus via State Street.

Rizzo May 3, 2014 3:17 PM

Yep, the bus I always walk past daily

daperpkazoo May 5, 2014 4:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6560877)
I work in the BCBS building and Rahm was here this morning giving a press conference to announce that BCBS is sponsoring the Divvy system. The city gets $12.5M in exchange for Blue Cross branding on the bikes and stations. Oh, and BCBS policyholders get $45 off annual Divvy memberships.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...ycle-share-inc

I kind of preferred how Divvy was unbranded, unlike Boston where they carry ads or New York where the system itself is sponsored by Citi. But I guess I can stomach some light branding on the bikes as long as they arent obnoxious ads and they don't change the name of the system to BlueCrossBlueBike or something.

Sounds similar to Minneapolis' Nice Ride, branding-wise:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_l5R-K6mIRy...0/100_6918.JPG

wierdaaron May 5, 2014 4:33 AM

It amazes me that every city in the country with a bike share system gets the same equipment from the same vendor and yet the vendor can't find a way to make money.

Busy Bee May 5, 2014 1:55 PM

Indeed. Bixi is a strange case of failure by success.

LouisVanDerWright May 5, 2014 2:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 6565053)
Indeed. Bixi is a strange case of failure by success.

No, Bixi is an example of why executives get paid so much at a lot of companies; you can have the best idea and business model in the world, but if you have incompetent management you can still go bankrupt. Bixi management made several major mistakes:

1. They took on too much debt too fast.
2. They made the stupid decision to try to develop their own software in house when they didn't have the resources or expertise to do so
3. They totally mismanaged the crisis that resulted when the software turned out to be total garbage and the cities that ordered it started withholding payment.

Bixi failed because their upper management violated the number one rule of management: Always create realistic expectations. They attempted to grow too fast and took on too much debts trying to take too many clients too fast (just look at Epic Systems, the healthcare records software company out of Madison who literally has no sales team because they refuse most customers that come to their door because they want to grow fast, but not too fast so as not to dilute the quality of their product.). They took on too much debt in the process of their unrealistically high attempted growth rate. When they failed to deliver on the unrealistic expectations they created for their clients, naturally the wheels fell off and the gig was up.

Busy Bee May 5, 2014 2:44 PM

I've been schooled. Thanks for the insight.

MayorOfChicago May 9, 2014 4:08 PM

Anyone know the status of the central loop BRT project? Supposed to be done by the end of this year.

wierdaaron May 9, 2014 5:00 PM

No idea. Seems like Ashland BRT gets roadblocked at every juncture, though. I actually don't remember hearing about a loop BRT.

denizen467 May 10, 2014 5:10 AM

^ You'd probably remember once you saw renders or maps, which were posted in this thread (maybe over a year ago though?). It's eastbound on Washington and westbound on Madison, or something like that, involving some significant lane reconfigurations.


---------------


I don't understand the concept of destroying the taxicab industry with an unreliable, privacy-infringing fleet of picky, paid volunteers, but in contrast private commuter buses do sound like a fine idea. Did this come out of nowhere (or just out of San Francisco) ?

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...ets-cta-riders
Ride-sharing on steroids: New private bus service targets CTA riders
By Brigid Sweeney May 09, 2014

... Blackline, a new bus service that runs between Belmont Avenue and Sheridan Road and three spots in the Loop, offers North Siders reserved spots on a fancier, less-crowded bus for their daily downtown commute.

...

"No more being treated like a sardine, getting passed by a full bus or dealing with uncertain pickup times," Blackline's site trumpets. Company executives, unnamed on the site, did not respond to requests for comment.

The company starts with only one route. It runs just two buses in the morning, departing from a single location, at Belmont and Sheridan. It deposits riders in the Loop 15 to 30 minutes later, according to its schedule. Riders, who must buy tickets and reserve spots in advance, can be picked up from the three downtown spots by two buses in the evening.

A weekly Blackline pass costs $23. (In comparison CTA bus fare, using a transit card, would total $20 for the same number of trips.) ...

ardecila May 10, 2014 5:36 AM

In a broad sense, services like Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, iGo, and even conventional taxis provide alternatives to private vehicle ownership. Put all those services together with conventional transit and pull away restrictive regulations, and maybe you've got a system that is cheap enough, convenient enough, and flexible enough to entice people to give up their personal vehicles. The net result is not less traffic, but less precious space in the city devoted to auto storage.

Blackline is a new type of service for Chicago, but it too increases the diversity of transportation options. It won't get people to sell their cars, but some people might stop taking Lake Shore Drive every morning if they can also avoid a crowded L car. Downtown parking isn't getting any cheaper.

wierdaaron May 10, 2014 5:48 AM

It's pretty much a private bus that's chartered to pick up from Belmont and Sheriden and drop off downtown, and that charter is split between individual seatholders. Seems like a clever idea to me. I doubt it'll really disrupt anything, since the need to reserve a seat in advance makes it less simple than Uber-style immediate ride sharing, but it could be useful for a few people.

the urban politician May 10, 2014 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6572350)
It's pretty much a private bus that's chartered to pick up from Belmont and Sheriden and drop off downtown, and that charter is split between individual seatholders. Seems like a clever idea to me. I doubt it'll really disrupt anything, since the need to reserve a seat in advance makes it less simple than Uber-style immediate ride sharing, but it could be useful for a few people.

Agreed with Ardecila and this, but this is nothing really novel.

A service like this has existed in New York City for a long time. My cousin in Queens who works for Citigroup takes a private bus like this into Manhattan daily.

I think it's about time we have more of this in Chicago, and it appears this company plans to expand its routes.

Mr Downtown May 10, 2014 5:29 PM

But I don't understand the pro forma at all. Even if all 50 seats are filled with passholders for four round-trips, that's only $4600 a month—less than $200 a day. Who'll run a bus four hours a day for that?

ardecila May 10, 2014 6:01 PM

They're probably renting the bus from an event rental service that takes care of maintenance and leases it out for other events on nights and weekends, which might bring down costs some.

But yeah, it's generally tough to make transit service profitable - at transit fares.

the urban politician May 10, 2014 6:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6572595)
But I don't understand the pro forma at all. Even if all 50 seats are filled with passholders for four round-trips, that's only $4600 a month—less than $200 a day. Who'll run a bus four hours a day for that?

Well, they also plan to add 2 more routes. It may not be very profitable at first, but once it gets a dedicated customer base it can expand routes and increase prices.

Like many businesses, there is always a struggle in the beginning

wierdaaron May 10, 2014 7:26 PM

Yeah, if they're buying the buses and maintaining them themselves just for this purpose it seems like a long shot. But if they're just putting to use the event/party buses that would otherwise just be sitting idle at 7am and 5pm, then it kind of is like the Uber Black model of monetizing downtime.

As a person incapable of sticking to a schedule in the mornings, it would be more attractive to me if you didn't have to pre-book your seat at specific times and instead could just show up at a corner and flash a membership card when the next bus shows up. At that point though you kinda would be making a CTA replacement.

BVictor1 May 14, 2014 3:14 AM

Even though this is after the fact...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...0,573698.story

Quote:

Roseland meeting today on Red Line extension

By John Byrne
Tribune reporter

8:40 a.m. CDT, May 13, 2014

City transportation officials will host an open house today in the Roseland neighborhood to allow the public to learn more about the proposed extension of the Red Line.

It's a chance for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration to show they still are working toward extending the train line from 95th Street to 130th Street, a long-discussed addition that Emanuel has been talking about since he ran for mayor but has shown little progress since.

For the mayor, showing he remains committed to the project could be an opportunity to shore up support in the largely African-American neighborhoods through which the extension would run.
http://www.trbimg.com/img-534fc869/t.../1006/300x1006

Nexis4Jersey May 14, 2014 3:40 AM

Why are there no stations planned between 115th street and 130th Street?

Chi-Sky21 May 14, 2014 3:54 AM

I think this money would be much better spent on the circle line and or clinton st subway

BVictor1 May 14, 2014 4:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 (Post 6576723)
I think this money would be much better spent on the circle line and or clinton st subway

This part of the southside is very much underserved. I'd like the circle line and Clinton subway just as much as the next person, but this area is also in dire need of activation.

CTA Gray Line May 14, 2014 4:05 AM

Hundreds of parcels may be needed for Red Line extension: CTA
 
http://politics.suntimes.com/article...05132014-936pm

TUE, 05/13/2014 - 9:36PM

ROSALIND ROSSI

@ROSALINDROSSI | EMAIL

As many as 259 parcels of land — including 95 with residential buildings — could be seized as part of a Chicago Transit Authority plan to extend the Red Line to 130th Street, officials revealed Tuesday......

Mr Downtown May 14, 2014 4:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 6576708)
Why are there no stations planned between 115th street and 130th Street?

Because it's a huge sewage treatment facility.

It's hard to imagine a more pointless project than this extension.

Randomguy34 May 14, 2014 4:14 AM

Since the article mentioned how the people there were leaning towards the plan with the least number of displaced parcels, the community will probably show support for the Halsted Alternative instead. This would be great because the extension would be going through an area with a higher population than the other route and it would serve a neglected stretch of Halsted that would gain increased activity from the extension.

CTA Gray Line May 14, 2014 4:25 AM

G E E -- Do you think some of those endangered Property Owners might be interested in the NO DISPLACEMENT Alternative to provide CTA "L" service to the Far South Side:

(I must start making some phone calls): http://bit.ly/GrayLineInfo https://app.box.com/shared/2iuoc4khdl

emathias May 14, 2014 2:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 6576741)
Since the article mentioned how the people there were leaning towards the plan with the least number of displaced parcels, the community will probably show support for the Halsted Alternative instead. This would be great because the extension would be going through an area with a higher population than the other route and it would serve a neglected stretch of Halsted that would gain increased activity from the extension.

While in general I agree that putting transit on a commercial street is beneficial, the population and jobs density of this area is nowhere near what it should be for a project of this scale, and the chances of population growth of any significant amount in that area is close to zero. This project should just not be built or, if something needs to be built, it should be set as a BRT project. Certainly given that for $2 billion you could build most of, if not all of, a Clinton Street Subway that would carry far more riders in a month than this extension would carry in a year, the wisdom of building anything is very, very suspect.

chiguy123 May 14, 2014 2:48 PM

Red Line Extension
 
I'm betting this is just re-election non-sense chatter for Rahm to keep the far South Side on board. Once re-elected, the south side will have to deal with the consolation prize of the massive 95th st. rebuild, while the funds go towards the full north side rebuild.

emathias May 14, 2014 3:58 PM

For those curious about the density of the area in question, here area couple maps showing the density at the Census Block Group level, which is the finest-grain data I have access to, and is smaller than Census Tracts. If there are even pockets of density, they should show up in these maps.

First, a map of the area in question. As you can see from the legend, there are no block groups on the map that are anywhere near as dense as normal advice for heavy metro-style rain would normally be advisable for. The few yellow ones are still just barely above the green areas, and the green areas are at good bus service densities - maybe even BRT levels, but certainly not rapid rail transit levels. I've drawn in the three alternatives (sorry it's just by hand).

http://mathiasen.com/RedExtension_De...kGroup_700.jpg

For comparison, here's the area in context of the rest of Chicago. You can see that the density of the city follows the lakefront, is more on the northside, and roughly follows existing rail routes. Where population densities are lower and rail is heavy, such as the Loop, there are known large employment centers where employment density often exceeds 50,000 jobs per square mile.

http://mathiasen.com/Chicago_Density...kGroup_700.jpg

k1052 May 14, 2014 5:12 PM

The extension should obviously be BRT into the (soon to be new) 95th St Red Line station.

joeg1985 May 14, 2014 5:47 PM

The Gray Line option would actually do very well according to the map above. It would serve all the densely populated hoods along the lake and provide for more growth along the south side. Maybe that option would increase population in the neighborhood to eventually justify an extension of the Red Line.

untitledreality May 15, 2014 2:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeg1985 (Post 6577378)
Maybe that option would increase population in the neighborhood to eventually justify an extension of the Red Line.

Or just publicly admit that the population densities of that area of the city will never be high enough to justify a $2.3 billion dollar extension, and that a better use of funds would be upgrading existing corridors (South Shore ME and Blue Island ME), and a Southside BRT network.

BVictor1 May 15, 2014 3:03 AM

Apologies if this was posted before.

Video Link

CTA Gray Line May 15, 2014 6:15 AM

CTA to pay $1 million for electrical work on unplugged station
 
http://politics.suntimes.com/article...05142014-833pm

WED, 05/14/2014 - 8:33PM

ROSALIND ROSSI

@ROSALINDROSSI | EMAIL

CTA board members Wednesday agreed to pay more than $1 million for electrical work completed six years ago on the $218 million CTA “Super Station” — now, basically, a big hole in the ground to nowhere......

CTA Gray Line May 15, 2014 6:51 AM

Bus route to Museum of Science and Industry to continue
 
A wonderful, and quite Economic duplication of Transit Services:

http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/ct...0,537433.story

By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz RedEye

8:34 a.m. CDT, May 14, 2014

The CTA board today approved a measure to continue running the No. 10 bus route, which travels between Michigan Avenue and the Museum of Science and Industry, for at least two more years......

emathias May 15, 2014 2:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BVictor1 (Post 6578530)
Apologies if this was posted before.
...

In that video it mentions that about 13,500 people use the station each weekday.

It doesn't mention that 25 years ago that number was more like 30,000. Improving services to keep a place from further depopulating is not a bad idea, but spending $2.2 billion on such an area when areas that are high-growth need additional infrastructure is the height of foolishness.

rigby May 15, 2014 5:25 PM

Coming from someone that used live the Roseland area and visit for family , I don't see the need for the extension. Roseland and West Pullman are low density areas, more a residential area with houses. Also to top it off, the area's population is declining

joeg1985 May 15, 2014 8:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 6578518)
Or just publicly admit that the population densities of that area of the city will never be high enough to justify a $2.3 billion dollar extension, and that a better use of funds would be upgrading existing corridors (South Shore ME and Blue Island ME), and a Southside BRT network.

You know what THEY say...... Never say never.


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