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Beta_Magellan Jan 28, 2011 5:38 AM

It’s also worth mentioning that the original Mid-City Expressway idea only went down to Eisenhower (then Congress) in order to connect Jefferson Park with the Oak Park. And in the Circle Line AA, south of 26th the station spacing there isn’t another stop until Archer—the west segment of the line would probably have more viability if it only stretched down to Little Village rather than all the way to Midway.

emathias Jan 28, 2011 6:18 PM

Brown Line Extension
 
Although the CTA's estimates for a Red Line under Broadway are just lump sum and include work in Evanston and elevated portions, it appears they estimate the subway portion to cost $350-$400 million per mile plus $100-$150 million per station.

It is three miles from Kedzie to Central, which is just west of the Jefferson Park Blue Line station. There'd probably be a station stretching west from Kimball, at Pulaski, at Elston and then the station at Jefferson Park would certainly require a lot of rework.

Three miles of subway would threfore be $1.05 - $1.2 billion, plus $400 - $600 million for stations, so $1.45 - $1.8 billion to stretch the Brown Line to JP.

That's a lot of money, but here's the deal: Running the line east under Lawrence to Broadway and merging with the the Red at Lawrence is about 2 1/2 more miles of subway. Doing that, you'd probably drop some stations and end up with stations (east of Kimball) at Sacramento, Western and Damen (I considered Ravenswood, but I don't think there's enough Metra transfers potential to make it worth the cost of a third station, and there's too much existing traffic to skip Damen) plus a new station at Clark/Ashland. So 2 1/2 miles plus four stations = $1.275 - $1.6 billion.

Total for a Lawrence subway connecting the Red Line, Brown Line and Blue Lines ends up at between $2.725 - $3.4 billion.

Benefits of doing the whole route:

1) Eliminate car/train interaction between Western and Kimball, increasing safety, decreasing liability and reducing service disruptions.

2) Reduced noise and increased quality of life for homes currently along the Brown Line.

3) Reinforcement of the commercial corridor of Lawrence Avenue by locating stations on the corridor.

4) New service at three completely new points.

5) Potential to create new airport service to O'Hare from the North Lakefront, the Northwest Side and from Evanston, opening up residential options for airline workers, and improving access to O'Hare without a downtown or bus transfer. Obviously Evanston wouldn't need frequent service there, but currently I doubt anyone from Evanston takes a train to O'Hare. A service that ran every 30 minutes and through-routed between Evanston to O'Hare via Lawrence would likely be used and would take about 50 minutes, which is a bit over half the current time, and competitive with the 35-45 minutes it takes to drive between O'Hare and Evanston. From the Western stop on the Brown Line, travel time to O'Hare could drop from nearly an hour to about 25 minutes. And from Belmont, it would go from taking about an hour to taking about 35 minutes if there was through-routing, maybe 40 if there was a transfer involved. I think this would GREATLY increase the use of the CTA to get to O'Hare, maybe to the point that the O'Hare station would need to get a couple tracks through-routed at least one more stop to the west just to find a spot where additional lay-up capacity could be added.

6) Increased transit access between the far northwest side and the north-center and north lakefront areas and even Evanston.

7) Better access to the Uptown nightlife district from the NW suburbs. Some who currently drive (or worse, just don't come), might be willing to park-and-ride from Cumberland, etc.

Downsides:

1) Cost. 60%-80% of the cost of rehabbing the entire North Main and Purple Line.

2) Disruption of existing businesses serving existing Brown Line stops.

3) Disruption of people who will be further from the subway stops that replace existing Brown Line stops.

4) Politically hard to sell a total re-do on a portion of a line that only recently had a big, expensive station rehab project.

5) Service needs for new routing may results in reduced service at some Brown Line stations (unknown).

ardecila Jan 28, 2011 11:50 PM

I would simply sell a subway from Kimball to Jefferson Park. No eastern extension, and no grade separation of the existing line. They could probably close the grade crossings at Spaulding and Albany and put in pedestrian bridges to increase safety and speed, leaving the line with only four grade crossings. The street layout gives drivers easy alternatives to the two closed ones.

Nowhereman1280 Jan 29, 2011 1:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5143200)
5) Potential to create new airport service to O'Hare from the North Lakefront, the Northwest Side and from Evanston, opening up residential options for airline workers, and improving access to O'Hare without a downtown or bus transfer. Obviously Evanston wouldn't need frequent service there, but currently I doubt anyone from Evanston takes a train to O'Hare. A service that ran every 30 minutes and through-routed between Evanston to O'Hare via Lawrence would likely be used and would take about 50 minutes, which is less than half the current time, and competitive with the 35-45 minutes it takes to drive between O'Hare and Evanston. From the Western stop on the Brown Line, travel time to O'Hare could drop from over an hour to about 25 minutes. And from Belmont, it would go from taking over an hour to taking about 35 minutes if there was through-routing, maybe 40 if there was a transfer involved. I think this would GREATLY increase the use of the CTA to get to O'Hare, maybe to the point that the O'Hare station would need to get a couple tracks through-routed at least one more stop to the west just to find a spot where additional lay-up capacity could be added.
.

Who gives a crap about airline workers (I say this only to add effect, they too would benefit), how about the fact that the O'Hare office market is the second largest conglomeration of jobs and office space in the entire Chicagoland area? How about the hundreds of thousands of workers that work in the area and are currently completely restricted from taking mass transit from the entire north side of the metro to their jobs? I work in an office building by O'Hare and about half of my co-workers live on the north lake shore stretching from the Gold Coast to Wilmette. All of them are forced to drive or spend 2 hours each way transferring on buses to get to work. Even with the best traffic it takes my co-worker 45 minutes to get from his condo right downtown Evanston to work. A 20 minute ride to Lawrence 5 min transfer and 20 min ride to Cumberland would easily compete with driving for him and probably save him an hour or two a week.

I live in Portage Park right now and would love having the ability to take transit whenever I go to visit my friends in Edgewater and Lincoln Park. It takes me 45 minutes to an hour for me to get over there by car and then I could drink when going out with them and not have to crash on their couch. It would do wonders for reducing the traffic on streets like Peterson, Foster, and Irving Park.

I think that a Lawrence subway would likely provide the biggest "bang for our buck" out of any expansion of the current system. I mean the O'Hare area has nearly as many jobs and nearly as much density as Downtown, yet is the end of one line of the transit system. I believe that area would rapidly increase in density if connected to the North Side by transit because it would open so many new options to those who prefer a car free life style. This isn't even considering the obvious benefits of connecting O'Hare to the densest residential areas of the city and allowing everyone to take the train to the airport instead of driving and leaving their cars to roast in the sun for a week while on vacation or business.

the urban politician Jan 29, 2011 3:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5143731)
I think that a Lawrence subway would likely provide the biggest "bang for our buck" out of any expansion of the current system. I mean the O'Hare area has nearly as many jobs and nearly as much density as Downtown, yet is the end of one line of the transit system. I believe that area would rapidly increase in density if connected to the North Side by transit because it would open so many new options to those who prefer a car free life style. This isn't even considering the obvious benefits of connecting O'Hare to the densest residential areas of the city and allowing everyone to take the train to the airport instead of driving and leaving their cars to roast in the sun for a week while on vacation or business.

^ Personally, I prefer focusing heavy rail transit on downtown & the urban core, not on outlying job centers.

But this is an old debate. I just have a fundamental problem with spending billions creating heavy rail transit to serve sprawled out suburban towns (who themselves spent decades draining the city of its mass transit funding so that they could enjoy their wasteful, car-centric lifestyle) and essentially rewarding them with train service. That's why I am opposed to the STAR Line.

Reality is, the design of job centers in the suburbs is not conducive to the pedestrian. It is focused on the automobile. You get off the train and....walk through a sea of parking lots to get to your job? Doesn't make much sense.

ardecila Jan 29, 2011 3:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5143731)
how about the fact that the O'Hare office market is the second largest conglomeration of jobs and office space in the entire Chicagoland area?

Is that true? I'm pretty sure Oakbrook/I-88 corridor tops O'Hare. I guess it depends on how you define "conglomeration.".

emathias Jan 29, 2011 4:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5143650)
I would simply sell a subway from Kimball to Jefferson Park. No eastern extension, and no grade separation of the existing line. They could probably close the grade crossings at Spaulding and Albany and put in pedestrian bridges to increase safety and speed, leaving the line with only four grade crossings. The street layout gives drivers easy alternatives to the two closed ones.

The trouble with that, is that you spend 50% of the cost of doing a full run from the Red Line to the Blue Line, but you get significantly less than 50% of the benefit. Your travel time from Evanston would be well over an hour. Your travel time from Belmont would still be over an hour. You get no good connection to the Uptown district from the suburbs and NW side. In short, you waste a lot of money providing only limited benefit for a much smaller range of ridership.

I say do it right, or do nothing. If you're going to spend $1.5 billion and get very little, there's no point in spending $1.5 billion. But spending $3 billion and getting what really is a vast potential for improved ridership should at least be considered.

Nowhereman1280 Jan 29, 2011 7:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 5143868)
^ Personally, I prefer focusing heavy rail transit on downtown & the urban core, not on outlying job centers.

But this is an old debate. I just have a fundamental problem with spending billions creating heavy rail transit to serve sprawled out suburban towns (who themselves spent decades draining the city of its mass transit funding so that they could enjoy their wasteful, car-centric lifestyle) and essentially rewarding them with train service. That's why I am opposed to the STAR Line.

Reality is, the design of job centers in the suburbs is not conducive to the pedestrian. It is focused on the automobile. You get off the train and....walk through a sea of parking lots to get to your job? Doesn't make much sense.

Have you ever been to the North Side of Chicago? The area between O'Hare and the lake is not "car-centric" in the least bit. Do you realize that Edgewater (which is north of Lawrence) is the second densest part of the entire city after downtown? On top of that, if you'd ever been off of the freeway in the O'Hare corridor you'd realize that its not really that "car-centric". In fact, you have a ton of highrises that have a few parking lots directly surrounding them and then blocks of densely packed post war apartment blocks that comprise some extremely walkable neighborhoods. Even the "suburbs" that lie adjacent to this area are extremely walkable and quite dense.

When you get off the train at Cumberland or Rosemont you actually don't walk through a single parking lot to get to a building. What actually happens is you walk through a pedway over the freeway off ramp and are deposited right in front of a row of about 10 500,000 SF office highrises. I work in one of them and my walk is about 3 blocks during which I pass maybe 100 parking spaces and don't have to cross a single road or lot. In fact, its rare that I even encounter a moving vehicle.

The reason I advocate the city putting an emphasis on transit to O'Hare is that it really isn't that un-walkable. All of the parking lots are isolated in neat rows that are easily separated from the existing buildings and could be replaced with parking decks and a mix of additional towers and retail if it ever became profitable. In fact, many of the complexes there have been designed with the intent of eventually replacing the parking with additional towers.

I know this market well. One of my side projects at work is managing a 800,000 SF two building office complex in Rosemont. It has two towers and two, two story parking decks. These decks are designed so one can be demolished and replaced with a third tower and the other deck can have levels added to make up for the lost parking. However, it is unlikely that we would even expand the deck as we are currently extremely under parked as about 75% of the employees that work in our buildings live in the city and take the Blue Line in to work. This certainly is not the case for two other buildings I'm in charge of in Deerfield and Downers Grove.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5143870)
Is that true? I'm pretty sure Oakbrook/I-88 corridor tops O'Hare. I guess it depends on how you define "conglomeration.".

The "Eastern East/West Corridor" technically contains about three times more office space, but it is also about half the size of Cook County. O'Hare contains nearly 20,000,000 SF of office in an area the size of downtown Chicago. Of that 20,000,000 SF, about 10,000,000 is contained in the city limits of Chicago with most of the rest being in Park Ridge or Rosemont. Granted it pales in comparison to Downtown Chicago which has about 170,000,000 SF alone.

emathias Jan 30, 2011 4:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5144445)
...
The "Eastern East/West Corridor" technically contains about three times more office space, but it is also about half the size of Cook County. O'Hare contains nearly 20,000,000 SF of office in an area the size of downtown Chicago. Of that 20,000,000 SF, about 10,000,000 is contained in the city limits of Chicago with most of the rest being in Park Ridge or Rosemont. Granted it pales in comparison to Downtown Chicago which has about 170,000,000 SF alone.

20 million square feet makes it close to a mid-sized city's CBD. Chicago would benefit from having multiple well-served cores. And the stronger a business area there is near O'Hare, the more justification you'd start to have for rail along Cicero, too.

Granted, I still do think downtown needs more rail, too - Chicago should find a way to fund plans with steady income, make a big plan, and then execute it as monies become available, whether they only be the local source, or funds from the State or Federal government.

Nowhereman1280 Jan 30, 2011 6:37 AM

^^^ Exactly. I think it would be worth investing in connecting Chicago's largest population center with its second largest business district because it would encourage growth in both. How nice would it be to see the O'Hare area parking lots replaced with more towers like we saw happen in and around downtown over the last 15 years? I could see the O'Hare market easily supporting 50,000,000 square feet of Office in 20 years if the City did more to invest it in. I could also see a doubling of office space leading to an extremely walkable environment (parts of Park Ridge are already a delight to walk in) which would lead to the development of a bigger population center there as well.

At a very minimum it would steal demand from the Schaumberg area and other North suburban business districts by offering the benefits of a downtown-style business district with the convince of easy access for suburban workers.

PS, you are wrong about it being about the size of a mid sized city CBD, O'Hare would actually be a good deal bigger than most Mid-sized CBD's. For example, Milwaukee's entire CBD contains only 10,000,000 square feet. The entire Milwaukee metro area has only 27,000,000 square feet. Pretty amazing that Chicagoland has almost 20 times as much office space yet only four or five times the population of Milwaukee Metro.

Beta_Magellan Jan 30, 2011 8:52 PM

Even with a Brown Line extension, you’d probably still be dealing with a multiple-transfer trip. For capacity reasons, I have trouble imagining the Brown Line actually running onto the Blue Line tracks—there would probably need to be a separate Brown Line terminal platform at Jefferson Park which would be integrated into the transit center. Additionally, even though that gets you to Cumberland, Rosemont and O’Hare, getting beyond O’Hare is another issue. The Northwest Corridor Study backs your argument about that transit would be successful in the Rosemont-Schaumburg corridor, between 35-55,000 riders for LRT, BRT and Blue Line extension, IIRC (that this was before the STAR Line, although if the the northwest segment connected to the Blue Line it might be at the low end of the other northwest corridor options), but with the exception of a Blue Line extension that’s another transfer again.

Speaking of Jefferson Park, what’s the potential of the UP-Northwest for reverse commutes? It’s explicitly mentioned as a rationale for the big UP-Northwest extension, but I’d imagine any reverse commuters would be dependent on shuttle bug service.

ardecila Jan 30, 2011 11:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5145586)
Speaking of Jefferson Park, what’s the potential of the UP-Northwest for reverse commutes? It’s explicitly mentioned as a rationale for the big UP-Northwest extension, but I’d imagine any reverse commuters would be dependent on shuttle bug service.

It already sees a surprising number of reverse commuters. Most of them aren't dependent on connecting bus services, though. Either they work within walking distance of a suburban train station (lots of professional offices and schools near the suburban downtowns), or they have deals with friends/co-workers to meet them at the station.

The main thing holding it back is not the frequency of the reverse-commute service (although that needs improvement) but the accessibility of the UP-NW line in the city. Currently it stops at Clybourn, Irving Park, and Jefferson Park. These aren't high-density areas, and there's no convenient way to get from the lakefront neighborhoods to a UP-NW station - there's only the agonizingly slow Armitage, Irving Park, and Foster/Lawrence buses (bring back the X80!) Even transferring downtown is a pain, because the people who built the L network never thought people might want to transfer from the L to a suburban railroad in the West Loop.

Regardless of this, Metra needs to make more of its express trains stop at Jefferson Park. Transferring at JP is really difficult during peak periods because most of the trains run express past the station. Increasing the number of trains that stop at JP would increase ridership on both the Metra line and Blue Line.

Nowhereman1280 Jan 31, 2011 4:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5145586)
Even with a Brown Line extension, you’d probably still be dealing with a multiple-transfer trip. For capacity reasons, I have trouble imagining the Brown Line actually running onto the Blue Line tracks—there would probably need to be a separate Brown Line terminal platform at Jefferson Park which would be integrated into the transit center. Additionally, even though that gets you to Cumberland, Rosemont and O’Hare, getting beyond O’Hare is another issue. The Northwest Corridor Study backs your argument about that transit would be successful in the Rosemont-Schaumburg corridor, between 35-55,000 riders for LRT, BRT and Blue Line extension, IIRC (that this was before the STAR Line, although if the the northwest segment connected to the Blue Line it might be at the low end of the other northwest corridor options), but with the exception of a Blue Line extension that’s another transfer again.

Naw, any such line certainly would not be stand-alone. There would be 0 added value for a train that just goes back and forth from Jeff Park to Uptown. The subway would be used to create a variety of new potential lines. For example every other blue line train could be routed to the Loop across the subway while every other Red Line train could be routed to the Loop via the Blue line providing access to the North West Side and O'Hare from the North Side and Evanston. Such cross routing would be made possible by the tunnel that is currently lying fallow that was intended for the CTA Superstation. Such cross routes would be extremely beneficial and open up all parts of the city that are currently accessible to each other by car.

Such cross routing would also cause explosive growth along Lawrence and at Jeff Park which could be upzoned for more density which would lead to more property tax revenue which would help pay for the expense of constructing the line. I can tell you one thing about rebuilding the Red Line and eliminating stops, its certainly not going to tip off any new growth in the tax base, something providing crosstown service to a previously unserved section of the city will.

Via Chicago Jan 31, 2011 4:56 PM

Red, Purple Line stations safe

Beta_Magellan Jan 31, 2011 6:04 PM

:previous: Proving once and for all that Americans aren’t capable of walking an extra block. Wait for people to complain, post-renovation, about how they spent billions of dollars, nothing’s got any quicker, and how the “new” stations are cramped. So, I guess this means the subway and full rebuild are completely off the table, then?

EDIT:

Okay, looked at the article again, so they’re still accepting feedback—based on the headline and a quick skim I thought that the CTA had completely taken consolidation off of the table. Still, I really hope that the CTA doesn’t cave to the hysteria that’s been generating, and is able to capably explain the benefits of consolidating at least some of the stations (I’d guess Jarvis is staying put) and note that the number of station entrances (especially in Uptown and Edgewater) would actually go up if they built new platforms.

emathias Jan 31, 2011 7:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5146665)
...
Okay, looked at the article again, so they’re still accepting feedback—based on the headline and a quick skim I thought that the CTA had completely taken consolidation off of the table. Still, I really hope that the CTA doesn’t cave to the hysteria that’s been generating, and is able to capably explain the benefits of consolidating at least some of the stations (I’d guess Jarvis is staying put) and note that the number of station entrances (especially in Uptown and Edgewater) would actually go up if they built new platforms.

Yeah, I think the CTA just got caught offguard by the Tribune and isn't ready to do the station battle yet. I'm sure they didn't expect the Tribune to write an article that made it sound like the CTA was getting ready to shut down perfectly good stations as the lead of the story. Although I'm not sure why - as far as I'm concerned the Tribune would be better titled the Anti-Chicago Tribune.

nomarandlee Jan 31, 2011 8:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5145586)
Even with a Brown Line extension, you’d probably still be dealing with a multiple-transfer trip. For capacity reasons, I have trouble imagining the Brown Line actually running onto the Blue Line tracks—there would probably need to be a separate Brown Line terminal platform at Jefferson Park which would be integrated into the transit center. Additionally, even though that gets you to Cumberland, Rosemont and O’Hare, getting beyond O’Hare is another issue. The Northwest Corridor Study backs your argument about that transit would be successful in the Rosemont-Schaumburg corridor, between 35-55,000 riders for LRT, BRT and Blue Line extension, IIRC (that this was before the STAR Line, although if the the northwest segment connected to the Blue Line it might be at the low end of the other northwest corridor options), but with the exception of a Blue Line extension that’s another transfer again.

Speaking of Jefferson Park, what’s the potential of the UP-Northwest for reverse commutes? It’s explicitly mentioned as a rationale for the big UP-Northwest extension, but I’d imagine any reverse commuters would be dependent on shuttle bug service.

Agreed. I agree with some nodes in the transit system to grow but I don't see the stations near O'Hare office complexes at Cumberland are ideal. One the reasons you mention about the detraction of adding another transfer for any brown/red line extension and Mid-City line.

Obviously Jefferson Park itself would make the most sense in which to have a real new commercial node given it wouldn't involve transfers for the numerous bus/train routes that converge on it. An addition its closer to the residential enclaves of the near NW Side where a plethora of young professionals reside.

Obviously the NIMBY quality to Jefferson Park seems in intractable obstacle which has been opined on many times here.

Beta_Magellan Feb 1, 2011 2:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5146809)
Yeah, I think the CTA just got caught offguard by the Tribune and isn't ready to do the station battle yet. I'm sure they didn't expect the Tribune to write an article that made it sound like the CTA was getting ready to shut down perfectly good stations as the lead of the story. Although I'm not sure why - as far as I'm concerned the Tribune would be better titled the Anti-Chicago Tribune.

Amen to that! Although I have to admit I can’t really blame them, since they have such a suburban readership. I think it’s a major problem for a lot of non-New York cities—the “city” paper of record’s main market is older suburbanites and they focus themselves accordingly, though this article was more sloppily constructed than anything else. Which has, unfortunately, become something of a Tribune hallmark as well.

ardecila Feb 1, 2011 2:56 AM

I think the Tribune is (sorta) taking the right tack. People should be upset that the CTA stations are not up to modern standards, and are deteriorating. That anger can be used to generate popular support for the rebuild project.

Creating hysteria about station closings, though, is not a good idea.

Maybe Jarvis should be moved a block south between Sherwin and Chase, and given a south entrance? That would give a better distribution of stations in Rogers Park, and the Greenview/Sherwin exit would still be in the Jarvis business district.

lawfin Feb 1, 2011 8:51 AM

I wonder if this new guy will bring any change of focus at Metra....Metra has had a nearly overt disdain for its intra-city operations....any hope that this might change with this new guy

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,5496846.story
Metra poised to name new director
Los Angeles transportation official to take top post

A top transportation official from Los Angeles is expected to be named Tuesday as Metra's new executive director, pending a formal vote by the agency's board, the Tribune has learned.

Alexander Clifford, the executive officer for high-speed rail at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority, is the choice to fill the vacancy left after the suicide of longtime Metra boss Phil Pagano, according to several people familiar with his background. The transit agency is scheduled to announce the selection Tuesday.

Clifford, who has been with the Los Angeles County MTA since 2001, is expected to bring strong leadership and managerial experience, sources said.

He was selected from a field of more than 40 applicants after months of interviews by Metra directors and a Georgia-based search firm, Slavin Management Consultants.

One source described Clifford as a hoped-for "change agent" at Metra. Pagano, who had led Metra for 20 years, had a one-man leadership style that was unquestioned by Metra's staff and board of directors. .

emathias Feb 1, 2011 1:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5147677)
I wonder if this new guy will bring any change of focus at Metra....Metra has had a nearly overt disdain for its intra-city operations....any hope that this might change with this new guy
...

At least he's not a local insider. If he's willing to call people out when they say/do counter-productive city/suburb stuff, then things will hopefully change.

Beta_Magellan Feb 1, 2011 5:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5147385)
Maybe Jarvis should be moved a block south between Sherwin and Chase, and given a south entrance? That would give a better distribution of stations in Rogers Park, and the Greenview/Sherwin exit would still be in the Jarvis business district.

Just checked this out on Google Maps, and there’s a curve that goes from south of Touhy to Greenview/Sherwin, so a south entrance for a new Jarvis station could go there, but a Chase-Greenview/Sherwin station would probably require lots of property acquisition. The same goes for a suggestion made a while back to have stations at Pratt & Touhy—the embankment gets curvy, so any new station would require major property acquisition.

I’m pretty sure that Jarvis is staying put, even if we get a four-track full modernization. Ald. Moore has specifically noted that Jarvis is the focus of his ward’s economic development plans, and it would be hard for the CTA to blatantly disregard it. Though the situation’s not directly comparable, look at the Congress/Blue Line—ultimately, the CTA caved to local pressure and built a station at Kostner (I’d expect a rebuilt Jarvis to be more successful, of course). Similarly, I think South Boulevard will stay too—there’s a lot of density in southern Evanston that’s more than a half mile from Washington (especially by the Lake), and Evanston’s been actively trying to build up the South Boulevard station area. It’s kind of ironic—the Chicago area really needs to be taking better advantage of its existing transportation infrastructure and promoting TOD, but some of the best candidates for station consolidation are the ones where politicians and planners have tried to build up.

I wonder if the CTA has floated exchanging the South Boulevard station for a south Evanston Yellow Line station…

I still hold out hope for the Uptown-Edgewater consolidations, where you’d get an increase in station entrances <i>and</i> an increase in travel time—win-win for all. And I’m pretty sure Noyes and Foster will end up being combined in some way—although I do have a friend who, while going to Northwestern, took the Purple Line from Noyes to Foster with a bunch of her friends. :rolleyes:

k1052 Feb 1, 2011 5:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5147730)
At least he's not a local insider. If he's willing to call people out when they say/do counter-productive city/suburb stuff, then things will hopefully change.

Whatever it takes to get Metra to stop partying like it's 1899.

They have to literally be dragged kicking and screaming over the coals of public opinion before they will make even small changes. The CTA looks down right responsive and progressive in comparison.

Beta_Magellan Feb 1, 2011 5:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5147677)
I wonder if this new guy will bring any change of focus at Metra....Metra has had a nearly overt disdain for its intra-city operations....any hope that this might change with this new guy

I doubt it. Even if being anti-city is part of the corporate culture at Metra, it’s the result of Metra getting all its subsidy from the suburbs. I’d guess the only reason Chicago service still exists is contractual—maybe they were obligated to keep all services offered by the old commuter railroads when they took over, and generally they haven’t altered the schedules much since then (this might be the reason for some of the weird aspects of Chicago Metra services, like the timing of the Metra Electric line in Hyde Park). Getting better Chicago service would have to be the result of a political push.

Still, there are plenty of ways Metra can be improved, and they deserve praise for choosing experience over connections. I also like his SoCal background—transit ridership’s been rising there recently, and if you can make rail more attractive there, you can certainly make it more attractive here.

Nowhereman1280 Feb 1, 2011 6:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5147931)
I still hold out hope for the Uptown-Edgewater consolidations, where you’d get an increase in station entrances <i>and</i> an increase in travel time—win-win for all. And I’m pretty sure Noyes and Foster will end up being combined in some way—although I do have a friend who, while going to Northwestern, took the Purple Line from Noyes to Foster with a bunch of her friends. :rolleyes:

The closure of any of these stations is a terrible idea especially the ones in Uptown which will just end up blighting the area further. How stupid would it be to close Lawrence when it is literally the historic center of the neighborhood and what once was and hopefully will be in the future a massive entertainment district? I mean close Lawrence and you may as well just raze the Uptown Theater along with it... I'm sorry, Chicago needs more transit stations not less. The idea of 4 tracking makes it even more logical to retain stations and simply increase the frequency of express stops and then just run the express trains more frequently similar to the A/B skip service. You know how you reduce travel times? By adding real express service that stops every 4 stops or so and runs for most of the day.

VivaLFuego Feb 1, 2011 6:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5148056)
The closure of any of these stations is a terrible idea especially the ones in Uptown which will just end up blighting the area further. How stupid would it be to close Lawrence when it is literally the historic center of the neighborhood and what once was and hopefully will be in the future a massive entertainment district? I mean close Lawrence and you may as well just raze the Uptown Theater along with it... I'm sorry, Chicago needs more transit stations not less.

Well, the concept only works if adjacent stations are rebuilt with extra entrances. For example, between Wilson (4600), Lawrence (4800), and Argyle (5000), a mere half mile, there are 3 station stops. What if there were two, each with entrances on their far north and south ends? For example,one station from Sunnyside-Wilson, and another from Lawrence-Ainslie? Or, as the scoping booklets suggested, instead of Lawrence-Ainslie, one could do Ainslie-Argyle. The exact closures are by no means set in stone --- it's more the concept of speeding up service with fewer train stops but maintaining high access to the system.

Quote:

The idea of 4 tracking makes it even more logical to retain stations and simply increase the frequency of express stops and then just run the express trains more frequently similar to the A/B skip service. You know how you reduce travel times? By adding real express service that stops every 4 stops or so and runs for most of the day.
Depends who you ask --- residents of Uptown and Edgewater would love more Purple Express stops, while residents of Evanston are usually of the opinion that it would slow down service even further.

Regarding hours of operation of the express service, the question comes down to: (a) how frequently is local service running, and (b) how much faster is the express service than the local service?. The risk is, if demand is too low, is that you wind up with something like Philadelphia's Broad Street Line, where the Express doesn't really do much to benefit anyone's trip outside of rush hour --- the Local is running so infrequently that on average, riders would be better off allocating those man-hours and railcar-miles to more frequent local service (reducing their average wait time for a train), rather than infrequent local and infrequent express.

Similar issue plagues the A/B skipstop concept, and make the express/local bus routes (RIP) tricky to plan effectively, since their viability is so variable depending on the exact geography of the route and the time of day.

k1052 Feb 1, 2011 8:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 5148070)

Depends who you ask --- residents of Uptown and Edgewater would love more Purple Express stops, while residents of Evanston are usually of the opinion that it would slow down service even further.

Since there would be an entire rebuild the Purple line could actually operate at higher speeds and not be subject to a litany of slow zones due to thousands of feet of deteriorated track/bridges/embankment/signals. It could easily make the two extra stops and still take less time than now.

emathias Feb 1, 2011 11:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 5148244)
Since there would be an entire rebuild the Purple line could actually operate at higher speeds and not be subject to a litany of slow zones due to thousands of feet of deteriorated track/bridges/embankment/signals. It could easily make the two extra stops and still take less time than now.

Or they could have them run on the inside tracks after Belmont, skipping Wellington and Diversey, and have the same number of stops total. Now that the Brown Line has 8-car capacity, it is less reliant on the Purple Line to pick up the slack.

Nowhereman1280 Feb 2, 2011 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 5148070)
Well, the concept only works if adjacent stations are rebuilt with extra entrances. For example, between Wilson (4600), Lawrence (4800), and Argyle (5000), a mere half mile, there are 3 station stops. What if there were two, each with entrances on their far north and south ends? For example,one station from Sunnyside-Wilson, and another from Lawrence-Ainslie? Or, as the scoping booklets suggested, instead of Lawrence-Ainslie, one could do Ainslie-Argyle. The exact closures are by no means set in stone --- it's more the concept of speeding up service with fewer train stops but maintaining high access to the system.

Yeah, but the point is it would still gut the commerce that has built up around each node. The psychological damage done to a district like the Lawrence theater district would be massive because, believe it or not, most people aren't smart enough to use side entrances properly. The average person who is trying to get to Borders or any of the theaters is not familiar enough with the area or smart enough to figure out that they can take a side entrance to Ainslie and only add 1 block walk to their trip. 90% of travelers will likely end up walking out the main entrance and be at Argyle where you are now talking a transit-prohibitive additional walk probably a lucky 5% will end up going out Ainslie on accident and the other 5% will end up going out the wrong entrance at Winnona if they added one. This would single handedly destroy any chance of the theater district returning to its former glory and essentially remove whatever economic value the Uptown theater may still have. This would be the same story at Jarvis or any other station they may want to shut down. No one is going to walk to Jarvis from Morse or Howard unless they are itching to get mugged. Removing stops is a terrible idea in general. Rebuilding the tracks should make the train faster on its own, no need to remove stops.

k1052 Feb 2, 2011 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5148531)
Or they could have them run on the inside tracks after Belmont, skipping Wellington and Diversey, and have the same number of stops total. Now that the Brown Line has 8-car capacity, it is less reliant on the Purple Line to pick up the slack.

I've always thought that running the Purple line on the Red line routing starting at Belmont and running it up the 13th street incline, reversing, then heading back north made more sense then sending it around the already congested loop tracks.

Chicago3rd Feb 2, 2011 1:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5147385)
I think the Tribune is (sorta) taking the right tack. People should be upset that the CTA stations are not up to modern standards, and are deteriorating. That anger can be used to generate popular support for the rebuild project.

Creating hysteria about station closings, though, is not a good idea.

Maybe Jarvis should be moved a block south between Sherwin and Chase, and given a south entrance? That would give a better distribution of stations in Rogers Park, and the Greenview/Sherwin exit would still be in the Jarvis business district.

We all need to join a suit against Chicago and CTA with ADA. Sue them into putting money back into CTA or stop all improvements/maintenance of all freeways in Chicago.

Beta_Magellan Feb 2, 2011 5:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5148556)
The psychological damage done to a district like the Lawrence theater district would be massive because, believe it or not, most people aren't smart enough to use side entrances properly..

What about the Superior entrance to the Chicago Brown Line station? Or Racine-Loomis? And what about Morse, where the Lunt entrance actually gets more boardings than the main entrance? The 53rd Street entrance of the S. Hyde Park Metra station is technically its secondary entrance, but 53rd Street is still much more important than S. Hyde Park commercially. I don’t think being a “secondary” entrance (I suspect the revised Red Line stations will be equal or almost-equal to the primary entrances) is much of a problem. The block between Ainslie and Argyle or Lawrence really isn’t much of a barrier—almost every time I go to the Argyle-Uptown area, I get off at one station and board at another. It might be extra-super-convenient, but it doesn’t really make sense to saturate a neighborhood with heavy rail stations all within walking distance of one another. It’s a fifth of a mile.

Looking on Google maps right now, I think I see why they chose Argyle-Ainslie rather than Lawrence-Ainslie—it looks to me like property acquisition would cost less, and new track + a wider at Lawrence & Ainslie would probably mean the demolition of a shopping center and/or getting really close to the Aragon.

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This would single handedly destroy any chance of the theater district returning to its former glory and essentially remove whatever economic value the Uptown theater may still have.
I don’t think getting rid of Lawrence would mean the end of the the Uptown area’s redevelopment, either—Uptown around North & Wells Streets became a gentrified entertainment district despite being about about the same distance away from Sedgwick as Lawrence or Argyle is from Ainslie. Having a directly adjacent heavy rail stop is a plus, but it’s not a prerequisite. And a fifth of a mile distance is pretty good too.

Quote:

Rebuilding the tracks should make the train faster on its own, no need to remove stops.
The more closely-spaced stations, the less time you have to build speed before slowing down again. So you can have as nice of tracks as you want, but your speed is ultimately going to be limited by how close your stations are. And people are willing to walk further for faster services.

Beta_Magellan Feb 2, 2011 5:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 5148589)
I've always thought that running the Purple line on the Red line routing starting at Belmont and running it up the 13th street incline, reversing, then heading back north made more sense then sending it around the already congested loop tracks.

I don’t know how feasible this is, given the need for recovery time at the end of a run. Ever since I first saw this suggested on The Straight Dope, I’ve wondered whether a new through-routing would be a good idea. Sending the Purple Line to Midway seems like a good idea if they upgrade the Evanston stations to eight-car trains—both lines have pretty similar peak frequencies. It would also provide a nice split between Metra and the CTA—UP-North takes you to the West Loop, Purple Line to State Street.

OhioGuy Feb 2, 2011 6:12 PM

Yonah Freemark has a write-up on his website regarding the Red/Purple rebuild.

http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2...ment-pondered/

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The CTA has four fundamental options: Maintain the track in its current condition, allowing it to degrade, slowing trains and requiring constant upkeep and high operating costs ($280 million); Rehabilitate the track, putting it into a state of good repair for a short period of time (20 years) and potentially introduce new transfer options from express to local trains ($2.4-2.9 billion); Build a new elevated line along the Chicago section of the corridor, either with three or four tracks, and rebuild the embanked Evanston portion ($4-4.2 billion); and Construct a subway along the southern half of the line, eliminating the existing elevated portions there ($4 billion).
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Moreover, while fewer stops, fewer curves thanks to the new alignment, and more reliable track would speed the underground trains much faster than today’s elevated, the subway would only have two tracks, versus the four now offered. This would eliminate express Purple Line trains between Howard and Belmont Stations — a service that saves commuters almost half their travel time compared to the local Red Line (12 versus 22 minutes) — and require everyone to take the local. On the other hand, all local commuters in the areas now served by both the Purple and Red Lines would then get generally quicker travel times. Planners estimate that this could attract more riders than the other options. Could this be an acceptable trade-off?

The tunneled train alignment does offer one possibility that the city should study very seriously: The option of selling the development rights to the parcels where the elevated trains once ran. Unlike in many places, where elevated trains run directly over a street, on this corridor, the trains run in the middle of blocks. If a subway were built below, a long stretch of real estate would suddenly be available for sale. This could offset construction costs tremendously.

the urban politician Feb 2, 2011 6:51 PM

Quote:

The tunneled train alignment does offer one possibility that the city should study very seriously: The option of selling the development rights to the parcels where the elevated trains once ran. Unlike in many places, where elevated trains run directly over a street, on this corridor, the trains run in the middle of blocks. If a subway were built below, a long stretch of real estate would suddenly be available for sale. This could offset construction costs tremendously.
^ This is actually a great point I had never thought of, but the ROW for the Red Line isn't very wide, is it? How developable would the land under it be?

Busy Bee Feb 2, 2011 7:18 PM

I've thought of this many times. But this isn't the Mass Turnpike here. I'm afraid the narrowness like you said of the ROW will make the cost/benefit ratio of straddling a trench unrealsitic. I guess that leads me to another question: In a hypothetical subway scenario would we be talking about a deep bored tunnel or a simple concrete walled trench? Another thing tho remember is that in a subway scenario the real estate on the commercial streets with a station currently would more than likely still be occupied by a CTA station house, just leading down instead of up. This would eliminate some of the highest valued parcels on arterial streets.

ardecila Feb 2, 2011 7:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 5149580)
I guess that leads me to another question: In a hypothetical subway scenario would we be talking about a deep bored tunnel or a simple concrete walled trench? Another thing tho remember is that in a subway scenario the real estate on the commercial streets with a station currently would more than likely still be occupied by a CTA station house, just leading down instead of up. This would eliminate some of the highest valued parcels on arterial streets.

Huh? The subway alternative does not use the same alignment as the current elevated tracks. The new subway would be bored directly under Sheffield/Sheridan and Broadway, with inclines north of Belmont and south of Morse. Boring it under the current alignment in a Yonge Subway-like arrangement would be pretty difficult if they need to maintain service above.

Busy Bee Feb 2, 2011 8:15 PM

That makes sense. I haven't really been following this too closely (been uber busy lately), so the fact that you'd have to totally shut down the elevated for construction of a subway under it didn't even dawn on me. BUT, would a tunnel under the current alignment even be remotely possible from an engineering standpoint?

EDIT: Why would a subway option limit tracks to 2? Would a 3-4 track tunnel not fit under Sheffield or sections of Broadway or Sheridan? Is a tunnel this wide not possible or would it be cost prohibitive?

emathias Feb 2, 2011 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 5149580)
...
In a hypothetical subway scenario would we be talking about a deep bored tunnel or a simple concrete walled trench? Another thing tho remember is that in a subway scenario the real estate on the commercial streets with a station currently would more than likely still be occupied by a CTA station house, just leading down instead of up. This would eliminate some of the highest valued parcels on arterial streets.

For such a long run, I think it would almost have to be deep bored like the State Street and Dearborn subways are.

If they are deep-bored, then the bulk of the station would be, like the Red and Blue Lines, under the street as a mezzenine station, with entrances no bigger than the ones at Chicago Ave. In other words, no lose of retail possibilities needed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 5149556)
^ This is actually a great point I had never thought of, but the ROW for the Red Line isn't very wide, is it? How developable would the land under it be?

It's not hugely wide, but it's at least a double-storefront wide. While I don't support the Bloomingdale Trail park, I would think that with a subway alignment, turning the embankement ROW into an elevated bike path/park along the North Side would be hugely beneficial. Alternately tearing it down and creating a bunch of skinny, totally non-traditional new buildings along there, by all sorts of different architects, would create a long, unique, architectural space for Chicago. Maybe even over major streets, arched buildings could be used to span the two opposing parcels. It would really open up a world of interesting opportunities to further burnish Chicago's architectural reputation.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5148556)
Yeah, but the point is it would still gut the commerce that has built up around each node. The psychological damage done to a district like the Lawrence theater district would be massive because, believe it or not, most people aren't smart enough to use side entrances properly. The average person who is trying to get to Borders or any of the theaters is not familiar enough with the area or smart enough to figure out that they can take a side entrance to Ainslie and only add 1 block walk to their trip. 90% of travelers will likely end up walking out the main entrance and be at Argyle where you are now talking a transit-prohibitive additional walk probably a lucky 5% will end up going out Ainslie on accident and the other 5% will end up going out the wrong entrance at Winnona if they added one. This would single handedly destroy any chance of the theater district returning to its former glory and essentially remove whatever economic value the Uptown theater may still have. This would be the same story at Jarvis or any other station they may want to shut down. No one is going to walk to Jarvis from Morse or Howard unless they are itching to get mugged. Removing stops is a terrible idea in general. Rebuilding the tracks should make the train faster on its own, no need to remove stops.

While I would like to see at least some of the stations marked for replacement kept, I think you're greatly underestimating the adaptability of people when using the transit system. Especially when it comes to the Uptown Theatre. The vast majority of trips taken by people are taken by regular riders. Regular riders know how to use the system, how to navigate to the desired exit, etc. Most of the commercial acticity near train systems is driven by local residents who see places as they walk to and from the station. Yes, for areas where stations entrances are lost or traffic is greatly reduced, there will be commercial disruption. However, it's not as if all that commercial activity will simply disappear - most of it will simply relocate to be near new station entrances. Does that suck for those businesses? Probably, but perhaps the CTA or City will give them some moving assistance or tax break to ease the burden of change. Good businesss can survive a change, and if the induced new ridership is accurate, great businesses will probably even benefit - even if they have to move.

Besides, when you're talking about established places and not green-field or brown-field (re)development, transit doesn't popularize places, places popularize transit. To address a commonly cited example of inducing development with transit, maybe Portland's Pearl District improved because of the streetcars, but I think it's even odds that the Pearl District happened because every city's downtown was improving that decade and the streetcar benefited from renewed interest in the area and urban living to begin with. (And I say that as a former Portlander). There are plenty of commercial strips in Chicago that thrive while being 2-3 blocks (or more) from the nearest transit stations. For just one example of many, look at Clark Street in Andersonville - it's thriving despite being far from rail transit. In all the scenarios, Argyle will still be closer to rail transit than any part of Clark Street in Andersonville is.

The best hope of preserving a Lawrence station would be to get Uptown Theate up and running BEFORE decisions are made about the Red Line. There is already transit service there, so if it can't be made to work with existing transit service, then newer transit service isn't going to be a game-changer.

Newer, faster service from Uptown to Downtown, on the other hand, could very well renew interest in the Uptown Neighborhood by people who currently don't want to live further than Lakeview in order to keep their travel times down. More interest in the area, more pressure to gentrify, that could increase interest in getting the Uptown Theatre redone.

Ultimately it's the content that pulls people in, not the ease of getting to a venue. Even if you had an express subway from your front door to the Chicago Theatre, you wouldn't go there if it had some hick band no one ever heard of and you hated the demos for. But if your favorite performer in the world was playing in some cornfield in upstate New York, you'd find a way to get there. The Uptown Theatre doesn't need (renewed) transit to work - it needs a business plan that includes attracting top talent.

ardecila Feb 3, 2011 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 5149656)
Why would a subway option limit tracks to 2? Would a 3-4 track tunnel not fit under Sheffield or sections of Broadway or Sheridan? Is a tunnel this wide not possible or would it be cost prohibitive?

Nobody said it wouldn't fit. But it's guaranteed to be more expensive than a 4-track elevated option, so why even evaluate it?

A more technical answer is that a 4-track subway more or less has to be built with cut-and-cover, which makes the costs absurd. Is there a way to fit four tracks into a TBM section? I don't think so, but I could be wrong.

Honestly, many of the benefits of a subway can be achieved with elevated stations now. They can put in platform doors and then heat/air-condition the platforms for rider comfort. If that's too girly for you, then you can enclose the whole station, sorta like Davis Street or Washington/Wells, but not as open. Obviously, as we found out this week, you can't prevent snow from shutting down the network - but there would still be elevated sections on either end of the Sheffield-Broadway subway anyway.

Busy Bee Feb 3, 2011 2:10 AM

It would definitely be an improvement if more elevated stations were partially enclosed, trainshed style instead of platform canopies only. A good example that comes to mind that I've personally seen is the Quai de la Gare M6 Metro station in Paris:

http://images.cdn.fotopedia.com/flic...6480-image.jpg
<>

I would speculate that with platform heaters, this would stay relatively tolerable, even on the coldest of days - because if we know one thing that's true about Chicago, its the damn wind man!

Nowhereman1280 Feb 3, 2011 2:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5149976)
Nobody said it wouldn't fit. But it's guaranteed to be more expensive than a 4-track elevated option, so why even evaluate it?

A more technical answer is that a 4-track subway more or less has to be built with cut-and-cover, which makes the costs absurd. Is there a way to fit four tracks into a TBM section? I don't think so, but I could be wrong.

They don't need to fit four tracks into it, they would likely bore two tunnels one for each track anyhow. Get a little bigger TBM and you can just run two tracks down each tunnel, problem solved...

ardecila Feb 3, 2011 10:37 AM

Chicago's soil is horrible for tunneling. Not as bad as, say, Miami, but pretty bad nonetheless. The more stuff you try to cram underground, the more complex the excavation is and the more crazy mitigation stuff you have to do (utility relocation, ground freezing, underpinning, tunnel jacking, etc). Just read about the Big Dig... it's a lesson in how NOT to build underground structures, unless you have a $12bn budget.

It's all a moot point anyway. With an option to build a 4-track elevated, why would a more expensive 4-track subway even be under consideration? I don't understand why saving two blocks of Wrigleyville and a few feet off the back of some 1920s commercial buildings along Broadway is worth another $700million in construction costs or so. Spend that money and get us the Brown Line subway to Jeff Park, or a functioning Gray Line, or a citywide BRT network.

Mr Downtown Feb 3, 2011 3:28 PM

The Big Dig was in Boston, not Chicago. Chicago is mostly a dream to tunnel under, because there's blue clay at -40. It's so simple that the State and Dearborn subways were dug with knives.

The subway was put on the table because of the complexities of rebuilding the embankment between Wilson and Loyola. Since the stations are in the middle, you can't easily or cheaply do half at a time.

ChicagoChicago Feb 3, 2011 4:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 5150086)
It would definitely be an improvement if more elevated stations were partially enclosed, trainshed style instead of platform canopies only. A good example that comes to mind that I've personally seen is the Quai de la Gare M6 Metro station in Paris:

http://images.cdn.fotopedia.com/flic...6480-image.jpg
<>

I would speculate that with platform heaters, this would stay relatively tolerable, even on the coldest of days - because if we know one thing that's true about Chicago, its the damn wind man!

That isn't all that dissimilar to Clark/Lake or Merchandise Mart.

Busy Bee Feb 3, 2011 5:58 PM

True. Have to admit a bit more stylish though.

ChicagoChicago Feb 3, 2011 7:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 5150678)
True. Have to admit a bit more stylish though.

No doubt. They'd never do it, but I could absolutely see a similar canopy being placed on many of the Loop stops.

ardecila Feb 3, 2011 8:12 PM

Reminds me of the original design for Fullerton and Belmont before value-engineering struck.

http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/357...969e20133e.jpg

Nowhereman1280 Feb 3, 2011 9:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5150389)
Chicago's soil is horrible for tunneling. Not as bad as, say, Miami, but pretty bad nonetheless. The more stuff you try to cram underground, the more complex the excavation is and the more crazy mitigation stuff you have to do (utility relocation, ground freezing, underpinning, tunnel jacking, etc). Just read about the Big Dig... it's a lesson in how NOT to build underground structures, unless you have a $12bn budget.

It's all a moot point anyway. With an option to build a 4-track elevated, why would a more expensive 4-track subway even be under consideration? I don't understand why saving two blocks of Wrigleyville and a few feet off the back of some 1920s commercial buildings along Broadway is worth another $700million in construction costs or so. Spend that money and get us the Brown Line subway to Jeff Park, or a functioning Gray Line, or a citywide BRT network.

As Mr. D said its actually not that bad to tunnel under Chicago. Just look at the original subways and the massive Chicago Tunnel Company Network. It was even safe to do by hand. Chicago's soil is just a bit more difficult to build foundations in because extremely heavy loads tend to sink in the clay and mud here if not distributed properly.

The main advantage to building a 4 track subway would be having the exact same number of tracks as a four track elevated, but underground where the infrastructure can go 100+ years without being completely rebuilt. Elevated structures are only designed to last 40-60 years even though Chicago has managed to maintain several of its elevated lines for more than twice that time. Essentially the main advantage of a subway tunnel is that it lasts forever with very little maintenance. Its an investment in our future, more money now a hell of a lot less money later.

CTA Gray Line Feb 4, 2011 4:47 AM

CDOT begins South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study
 
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en...nsitstudy.html


http://www.cityofchicago.org/content..._factsheet.pdf


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