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ardecila Sep 29, 2021 3:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9410130)
O'Hare service wouldn't ever be on the MD-N. Most likely it would be on the NCS, which comes downtown on the MD-W.

I always wonder if it wouldn't be easier to build a new spur from the (Metra-owned) MD-W into ORD from the south—it runs less than 300 feet from Irving Park Rd—rather than have a big, expensive fight with CP over putting more trains on the NCS.

Big, expensive fight? No fight (or, you know, cordial negotiation) can be as expensive as a 2-mile tunnel under one of the world's busiest airfields. At the US' insane tunneling costs, it would probably be cheaper to just buy half of CP's right of way to provide 2 dedicated passenger tracks up to ~Touhy. Initially with service to a pocket track at O'Hare Transfer station, but eventually with an above-ground spur paralleling the Blue Line into the terminal complex, similar to what Toronto has. Supposedly there are plans to rebuild I-190 so just widen it a little further to provide space for 2 more tracks.

Quote:

The Cassidy Tire property is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect the UP to the Union Station runthrough tracks, and I hate to see it lost for just another forgettable West Loop highrise.
Agreed on this point. I always imagined the UP spur connecting to the underground West Loop Transportation Center, with a portal north of Grand. I guess you could connect at-grade to the north end of Union Station, but the geometry would be awkward given the existing highrises around there, and you're stuck with 3 busy grade crossings at Grand/Kinzie/Canal.

jpIllInoIs Sep 29, 2021 7:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9410130)
O'Hare service wouldn't ever be on the MD-N. Most likely it would be on the NCS, which comes downtown on the MD-W.

I always wonder if it wouldn't be easier to build a new spur from the (Metra-owned) MD-W into ORD from the south—it runs less than 300 feet from Irving Park Rd—rather than have a big, expensive fight with CP over putting more trains on the NCS.

The Cassidy Tire property is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect the UP to the Union Station runthrough tracks, and I hate to see it lost for just another forgettable West Loop highrise.

I was thinking NCS-that is the current route. My question remains--is it preferable to have the terminus in CUS or OLG? And is the plan for the Fulton Market Metra to include platforms for both lines?

Randomguy34 Sep 30, 2021 9:07 PM

I was looking on ChiTransit forum and saw someone posted about the CTA's current and future capitol projects. Phase 1 of the Forest Park branch reconstruction (Halsted to IMD) is funded through Rebuild Illinois, page 5 of this PDF lists the projects: https://www.cmap.illinois.gov/docume...=1607726249694

Quote:

Morgan Substation and Hermitage Traction Power Improvements ($50 M)
Racine Station ($33 M)
Halsted to IMD trackwork ($83 M)
Advance utility work ($12 M)
There are vague "future" projects the CTA has planned, like a $1.8 billion for expanding Brown Line capacity. The Brown Line was rehabbed a decade ago, so this makes me think they're considering an extension to Jefferson Park so trains can use the O'Hare branch's yards

OrdoSeclorum Oct 1, 2021 1:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 9411933)
I was looking on ChiTransit forum and saw someone posted about the CTA's current and future capitol projects. Phase 1 of the Forest Park branch reconstruction (Halsted to IMD) is funded through Rebuild Illinois, page 5 of this PDF lists the projects: https://www.cmap.illinois.gov/docume...=1607726249694



There are vague "future" projects the CTA has planned, like a $1.8 billion for expanding Brown Line capacity. The Brown Line was rehabbed a decade ago, so this makes me think they're considering an extension to Jefferson Park so trains can use the O'Hare branch's yards

Ugh. If you add up all of the CTAs plans for capital rail spending it's $11.5 billion on stuff like red line modernization and extension and $15 billion on station accessibility. I'd like to see better wheelchair access as much as the next guy, but we could get a Canal street subway and West Loop transportation center for that much.

Steely Dan Oct 1, 2021 2:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 9411933)
There are vague "future" projects the CTA has planned, like a $1.8 billion for expanding Brown Line capacity. The Brown Line was rehabbed a decade ago, so this makes me think they're considering an extension to Jefferson Park so trains can use the O'Hare branch's yards

wouldn't a brown line extension out to jeff park cost A LOT more than $1.8B?

we're talking about roughly 2 miles of new subway tunnel under a busy main street (lawrence), with some very complicated tie-ins with existing rail lines on both ends.

i mean, the blue line's tracks currently sit in the middle of an expressway median, there's no way that tying into that would ever be cheap.

not that i personally wouldn't LOVE the utility of such an extension (i live a half block from the rockwell stop), but $1.8B just seems pretty low-ball on the surface of it.

Randomguy34 Oct 1, 2021 3:15 PM

For comparisons to analogous heavy rail projects, phase 1 of LA Metro's Westside Subway extension is $3 billion for 3.9 miles. This is one of the densest stretches of LA, and there was a lot of NIMBY opposition from Beverly Hill residents. For NYC 2nd Ave Subway, they spent $4.5 billion for a 1.8 mile extension. This is the densest stretch of NYC and there were similar complaints from Upper East Side residents. But of course the MTA is terribly mismanaged and completely blew up costs of the project, such as stations each costing $400 million compared to LA's $120 million stations, and tunnels being 200 ft below ground compared to 100 ft.

A Brown Line extension project will likely be more similar to LA's Westside Subway for several reasons. One is that the Brown Line can't dig too deep without disrupting the storm drains, so 100 ft is the likely tunnel depth. Beverly Hill and UES NIMBYs had campaigns and plenty of money to sue the extensions and delay the project, resistance from any Albany Park residents will be no where near as extreme. LA also has to build new turnbacks and new yards, while the Brown Line would be borrowing existing yards from the Blue Line. $1.8 billion for 2 miles shouldn't be entirely unreasonable.

Sources: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019...ure-costs.html

Steely Dan Oct 1, 2021 3:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 9412470)
For comparisons to analogous heavy rail projects, phase 1 of LA Metro's Westside Subway extension is $3 billion for 3.9 miles.

oh, that's interesting. ~$750M/mile isn't as expensive as i would have thought.

my assumptions must be jaded from all of the negative press the costs for NYC's 2nd ave subway got.

if brown line to jeff park were to ever happen, how new many stations would likely need to be built? i'm guessing pulaski and elston at an absolute minimum. a half-mile station at central park would likely also be useful given the high population density of that stretch of albany park. what about that neighborhood squeezed in between the kennedy and the edens, would you put one in there? it wouldn't really be able to tie into anything going north south, unless metra ever built a lawrence stop on the MD-N, which seems unlikely given how close the current mayfair and forest glen stops are.

Kngkyle Oct 1, 2021 3:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrdoSeclorum (Post 9412353)
Ugh. If you add up all of the CTAs plans for capital rail spending it's $11.5 billion on stuff like red line modernization and extension and $15 billion on station accessibility. I'd like to see better wheelchair access as much as the next guy, but we could get a Canal street subway and West Loop transportation center for that much.

For $15 billion you could probably buy robotic legs for every wheelchair user in the city for the next two centuries.

Randomguy34 Oct 1, 2021 4:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9412486)
if brown line to jeff park were to ever happen, how new many stations would likely need to be built? i'm guessing pulaski and elston at an absolute minimum. a half-mile station at central park would likely also be useful given the high population density of that stretch of albany park. what about that neighborhood squeezed in between the kennedy and the edens, would you put one in there? it wouldn't really be able to tie into anything going north south, unless metra ever built a lawrence stop on the MD-N, which seems unlikely given how close the current mayfair and forest glen stops are.

Yeah it would be great future-proofing if a 3rd station is proposed in that pocket neighborhood, just in case MD-N starts running more frequent service. The area has been slowly densifying the past few years, but it still might be too low to justify a subway stop

Another big thing I noticed in the PDF is that phase 2 of RPM will be $4.3 billion for Thorndale to Howard. Phase 3 costs are unknown, but it will be the Evanston branch + Addison to Wilson

OhioGuy Oct 1, 2021 4:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9412486)
oh, that's interesting. ~$750M/mile isn't as expensive as i would have thought.

my assumptions must be jaded from all of the negative press the costs for NYC's 2nd ave subway got.

if brown line to jeff park were to ever happen, how new many stations would likely need to be built? i'm guessing pulaski and elston at an absolute minimum. a half-mile station at central park would likely also be useful given the high population density of that stretch of albany park. what about that neighborhood squeezed in between the kennedy and the edens, would you put one in there? it wouldn't really be able to tie into anything going north south, unless metra ever built a lawrence stop on the MD-N, which seems unlikely given how close the current mayfair and forest glen stops are.

Since the line would need to go underground by the time it reaches Kimball, I'm thinking a subway station there under Lawrence, with an eastern entrance at Kimball and a western entrance at Central Park, with the platform between Drake to Bernard, might be reasonable? Length would be relatively close to that of the Logan Square blue line station, with its entrances just off the square on the NW side and the other entrance further northwest at Spaulding. I definitely agree with stations at Pulaski and Elston. As for the other between the Edens and Kennedy, maybe it would be worth it if dense development could happen on the industrial land adjacent to the Metra tracks, otherwise it's probably fine to just continue on to Jefferson Park without spending more money on an additional station.

Steely Dan Oct 1, 2021 4:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 9412537)
Since the line would need to go underground by the time it reaches Kimball, I'm thinking a subway station there under Lawrence, with an eastern entrance at Kimball and a western entrance at Central Park, with the platform between Drake to Bernard, might be reasonable?

ohh, that's a really good idea. a new kimbal subway stop underneath lawrence with a dual west entrance at central park does make a ton of sense, 2 birds with one stone.

OhioGuy Oct 1, 2021 4:28 PM

Sort of like this perhaps?
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...0f739197_c.jpg

Steely Dan Oct 1, 2021 4:32 PM

^ yep, that makes total sense to me.

also, does anyone know if they could add enough capacity out at the rosemont yard to store all brown line trains? could the CTA theoretically sell off the kimball yard to get some cash back?

Busy Bee Oct 1, 2021 5:10 PM

I would think keeping the Kimball Yard, even if made subterranean and totally reconfigured, would make since if only to provide the opportunity for short turns and extra trains during rush periods. And if made subterranean, the air rights could be sold off for one hell of a TOD. I wrote about the Brown Line extension possibilities along with the trenching concepts for the grade crossing sections to the east some time ago in this thread, it's probably been a couple years.

orulz Oct 1, 2021 5:20 PM

Really old post from this thread, and basically nobody seems to agree with me, but I think that extending the Brown Line to Montrose instead of Jefferson Park would be the better choice. From there it could go through onto the Mid-City Transitway right-of-way towards Six Corners and beyond. Plenty of opportunity for

With an infill station, you gain a connection to the MDN and UPNW, and get convenient run-through service from Brown to the Mid-City line, without the complexity of figuring out some way to tie the brown in with the blue in the median of the kennedy.

At any rate, if a brown line extension ever moves forward, it should certainly be one of the alternatives evaluated. Not that I would expect them to do anything with it other than sandbag it.

Lots of ways to implement this, but here's just one.

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 7179752)
Everybody seems to take for granted that the Brown line should connect to the Blue at Jefferson Park and then extend out to O'Hare, but I think this is a waste because:

(1) Running the brown line out to O'Hare doubles service on the least crowded portion of the O'Hare blue line branch, and conversely would restrict headways closer to downtown.
(2) Making enough room in the median for a portal and flying junction with the Brown Line would involve massive, extensive, and expensive freeway work and probably significant reconfiguration of the Jefferson Park Station. $$$

Better, in my opinion, would be to curve the line south at Cicero, along the Beltway Railroad ROW, and connect at Montrose instead. This gains the following:
(1) It's pretty close (1/2 mile) from Six Corners, which IMO gives it more potential for TOD than Jefferson Park
(2) It would cost less because there would be less tunneling and no expensive blue line junction to build
(3) You could connect with both the MD-N Metra line and the UP-NW Metra line (After building platforms) instead of just the UP-NW
(4) It could be extended further south along the unused Beltway Railroad ROW as the Mid City Transitway
(5) It provides a better route via transfer towards downtown for riders on the outer brown line

The downsides are:
(1) No direct brown line service to O'Hare, but is this really that important? It would be an easy ride with a transfer, and still a massive improvement over the present condition.
(2) The distance to O'Hare for brown line riders would be slightly longer
(3) This would foreclose on a potential new blue/brown track connection, but the existing blue/pink connection near the medical district should be sufficient for non-revenue moves to/from the blue line; if it ever becomes insufficient, they could always run a track through the tunnel under Block 37.

As far as implementation is concerned:

The UP-NW line would have to be elevated over the MD-N and this new Brown Line. If double stack and catenary are considered, you would have to raise UP-NW by about 30'. This could be done with a 1% grade within 3000' on the north side and about 3500' to the south. I would leave a 1200' level section on a long viaduct over Cicero, MD-N, and Montrose. The platforms would be on this viaduct. The grade to reach the new elevation would be on retained fill stretching from just south of Lawrence to just west of Keeler/Irving Park. The Kostner overpass would have to be rebuilt. If double stack is not a consideration on MD-N, you could probably go about 5' lower but Kostner would still need to be rebuilt. This would be similar in scope and cost to the Englewood Flyover project, which, while not cheap at $130m, would be chump change compared to the cost of buidling a longer tunnel and all the freeway work required for the blue/brown junction. Not to mention the benefits of a new rail/rail grade separation on two busy passenger lines.

The brown line could curve south near Cicero and emerge in a portal on the unused Beltway Railroad ROW north of Wilson. It could cross Wilson and the Kennedy on the existing railroad bridges, curve southeast on the existing UP-NW embankment, under the new UP-NW viaduct, where a station would be located directly beneath the platforms of the UP-NW. Then it would curve south along the Beltway Railroad ROW. Potentially the first phase could even include a station at Irving Park. To allow for future extension to the Mid-City Transitway corridor, it would have to climb high enough to cross over the MD-N line. Grades are not a concern for a rapid transit line; 4% grades could extend 750' on either side.

The MD-N line would retain its existing elevation, embankment, and bridges; The Mayfair platforms could probably be moved further to the north to make transfer distances shorter but this wouldn't necessarily have to occur with the initial construction.

A tunnel under the Brown and UP-NW at an elevation of about 614' would be low enough to cross under the brown/UP-NW which are about 626' and high enough to cross over southbound lanes of the Edens/Kennedy junction which are about 595' there, and connecting to the northern end of the Blue Line platform in the median. Possibly the bridge could continue across the northbound lanes to the corner of Sunnyside/Knox, giving the neighborhood a less circuitous connection to the station, if the neighborhood would allow it. (If I had one of those houses, I sure would - I would love the convenience, and if I was concerned about privacy or crime, I would just put up a fence).

I think the gas station at the NE corner of Cicero/Montrose as well as the MBS building between the tracks on the north side of Montrose would be a good spot for a headhouse/TOD complex.

Check here for a map/diagram, for the more visually oriented.

At any rate, I hope connecting at Jefferson Park isn't a foregone conclusion. This would seem to be a feasible alternative and the EIS alternatives analysis phase requires evaluating all feasible alternatives.


ardecila Oct 1, 2021 6:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9412569)
^ yep, that makes total sense to me.

also, does anyone know if they could add enough capacity out at the rosemont yard to store all brown line trains? could the CTA theoretically sell off the kimball yard to get some cash back?

New yard on the big city-owned parcel west of Cicero, wedged between the MD-N line and the Weber Spur. Might need to dig out under the MD-N embankment to get a decent yard space, but the other side of the tracks is city-owned too, the parking area behind Mayfair Pumping Station.

CTA could sell off Kimball Yard (I'm sure they would), but I don't know how valuable it is. Albany Park isn't River North... and any development there would have a high construction cost since they'd have to build over a tunnel portal. Air rights are almost always worth less than a proper terra-firma site, because of the increased cost to develop. But it would be cool to get a big Vermont/Wilshire style midrise development there.

As for connecting at Jefferson Park, I think the move is to build a separate underground station and crossover for the Brown Line with a pedestrian tunnel to the existing platform, and a track connection further north around Foster. That way you can terminate Brown Line trains there during rush hours without fouling up the Blue Line, and off-peak both lines can run to O'Hare. Might need a 4th terminal track at O'Hare too.

k1052 Oct 2, 2021 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9412724)
Might need a 4th terminal track at O'Hare too.

Given the time horizon we're talking about here I vote to extend trackage to the west side of the airfield for the new air terminal that will eventually be built there. The current CTA terminal has a number of issues like no tail tracks which limit speeds and the flat junctions causing crossing movements which during rush results in delays. Push west and build a new double island rail terminal with long tails that can be used for layups and a flyunder in the new station's throat.

aaron38 Oct 4, 2021 4:11 PM

Adventures in public transit (I'm out of practice).

My son and I went to da Bears yesterday for his first game at Soldier Field, and he wanted to take the trains since he's never ridden the El. I had it all planned out but it was still a mess.

Metra ride was fine until Ogilvie. My plan was to walk to Clinton to take the Green Line, so we sat at the back of the train to be farthest north, and drop down the stairs to Randolph or Washington. But as we (and plenty of other people) found out, the doors at the bottom are all locked on Sunday because of "the French Market". Excuse me? How is that allowed?
So we had to walk all the way down to Madison and then back up to Clinton. Makes no sense at all, and caused a lot of unnecessary congestion in Ogilvie.

Next, Ventra cards. The website said families can share cards. I loaded two one-day passes, but cards can't double swipe (18 minute delay). So an 8 year old needs his own Ventra card? Ridiculous. I'll just buy single ride passes from now on. Ventra is overly complicated.

Then while waiting on the platform at Clinton, the PA announced that "Green/Orange trains are stopped at Roosevelt due to police activity". It wasn't clear how far Green trains would proceed or if we would get stuck. So we and some other Bears fans on the train got off at State/Lake and dropped down into the Red Line. My son loved that part because he'd never been in a subway before. When we got to Roosevelt, there wasn't any police activity, so I don't know what was going on.

After the game the Red Line station was packed. (Kid wanted to ride the subway again, so there went my Green Line plan) We couldn't squeeze onto a train and had to wait for the next one. But the next train was delayed so we waited 20 minutes. Must have been a glitch, next year we will wait longer and let the crowd thin out. Because there were more trains right behind ours.

Finally, I was expecting the Red Line to stop at State/Lake, so when we got to just "Lake" I didn't get off. So we got a free ride to Grand and had to go back. My son got more subway time so he loved it, I felt like a dumb tourist.

And then when we were walking south from Clinton it started pouring, so having those stairs open would have been real nice as we ran to Madison.

Overall it was a good experience, glitches happen. But the Metra stairs to Randolph/Washington being closed is inexcusable. Especially on game days if public transit is supposed to be preferred over driving.

Edit: I called Metra to ask about the stairs, and I was told that since Metra doesn't own the building they don't control whether those doors are locked or not. I feel this needs attention. Does anyone know who I should talk to at Citi Group, or whoever currently owns the building?

Mr Downtown Oct 5, 2021 6:49 PM

^The "Suburban Concourse" has been closed on Sundays for decades. I'm not sure why, but there are restrooms and benches down there, so may just be a security personnel issue. Typically the stairs down from the platforms are chained off late nights and Sundays, as it's obviously dangerous to have people descending into what they think is an exit only to find it locked. I suspect at least one door in each set has a panic bar, though it may be alarmed.

The entrance from Washington near Canal is open whenever the building is open, so you could have avoided a block of rain that way.

ardecila Oct 7, 2021 12:14 AM

In honor of today's fallen caisson rig on the Red Purple Modernization project, here are some updates from last weekend:

The gantry for the precast viaduct is coming together. The viaduct segments should start going up before the end of the month, assuming no major delays after the accident.
https://i.imgur.com/b5sf4X5.jpg


Step 1 of building the new columns: cutting away the old retaining wall
https://i.imgur.com/d2FoWyV.jpg

Step 2: coring the retaining wall and sinking a caisson:
https://i.imgur.com/rnGUsew.jpg

Step 3: forming up the column:
https://i.imgur.com/tMfvjdX.jpg

Step 4: completed column (this one was a test column in Walsh's yard)
https://i.imgur.com/SHrUnH9.jpg

lakeshoredrive Oct 13, 2021 4:10 PM

I was just in Paris for a week for the first time and I was so blown away by the Metro system and how amazing it is. It is so efficient, fast, and easy to use in terms of getting around and transferring to the other lines. I am so mad that CTA is nothing like it. It's a shame. I cannot wait to go back to Paris again and use the Metro.

sammyg Oct 13, 2021 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lakeshoredrive (Post 9422565)
I was just in Paris for a week for the first time and I was so blown away by the Metro system and how amazing it is. It is so efficient, fast, and easy to use in terms of getting around and transferring to the other lines. I am so mad that CTA is nothing like it. It's a shame. I cannot wait to go back to Paris again and use the Metro.

When I was in Paris I found the stations to be very poorly laid-out. There were long passages with poor signage, just to get to a very short platform. I prefer the Chicago stations - simple, one platform, and well-signed.

emathias Oct 14, 2021 8:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lakeshoredrive (Post 9422565)
I was just in Paris for a week for the first time and I was so blown away by the Metro system and how amazing it is. It is so efficient, fast, and easy to use in terms of getting around and transferring to the other lines. I am so mad that CTA is nothing like it. It's a shame. I cannot wait to go back to Paris again and use the Metro.

The Metro in Paris is great. The one in Madrid is also very good. Chicago simply doesn't have the density to justify a similar system. For our size, I think Chicago does quite well. We have a population density of about 12,000/ppsm and even if we only really include the "best", most dense part of 1 million person Chicago, we get to maybe 20,000 ppsm, a bit more than San Francisco. Inner Paris has a bit over two million people at a density past 50,000 ppsm. Unfortunately, it's just math at the end of the day. We do have a few small areas of incredible density, but not enough and not organized in a very useful way.

Busy Bee Oct 14, 2021 8:50 PM

I think LSD was referring more to aesthetics and ease of use, or a general sense the system feels "modern" and in an excellent state of repair than any wonky ppsm density data vis a vis other cities vs Chicago. I don't think it would be news to anyone that the Cta could be a much better system with about 20 billion in investment.

Chi-Sky21 Oct 14, 2021 8:52 PM

The subways in St Petersburg and Moscow are beautiful, I felt like I was in a museum. Darn those communists!

TR Devlin Oct 16, 2021 1:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 9424049)
The Metro in Paris is great. The one in Madrid is also very good. Chicago simply doesn't have the density to justify a similar system. For our size, I think Chicago does quite well. We have a population density ...

You compare Chicago's population density to other cities' and come to the conclusion that Chicago does quite well. Anyone who's on the Kennedy or the Eisenhower during rush hour would say this is absurd. Or who takes the Red or the Blue line.

Here's two statistics that give a different picture of how Chicago compares to other cities. These are the top seven cities in the U.S. in each category:

Jobs in central business district (thousands)
1. NY City 1,927
2. Chicago 572
3. Wash DC 431
4. Frisco 372
5. Boston 264
6. Philly 223
7. Seattle 212

percent of CBD workers using mass transit
1. NY City 78.4%
2. Frisco 56.1%
3. Boston 55.8%
4. Philly 49.8%
5. Wash DC 49.2%
6. Chicago 46.4%
7. Seattle 40.1%

The numbers are at least five years old but I'd guess that Chicago's percent of transit use is decreasing and Seattle's use is increasing. So I wouldn't be surprised to see Chicago drop to #7.

Source for my numbers: http://demographia.com/db-cbd2000.pdf

Kngkyle Oct 16, 2021 7:06 PM

I took the Blue line from downtown to O'Hare yesterday just before rush hour. Can anyone explain to me why the O'Hare branch still has 1,700 miles of slow zones? The time between downtown and O'Hare has grown from what I remember it being - it took a full hour. There was no train traffic in front of us (i waited 12 minutes for the train - also annoying) and there were no delays at stations. We just crawled at a few mph for a significant amount of time.

Pretty bad experience. The only redeeming quality was seeing road traffic not going any quicker.

DCCliff Oct 18, 2021 7:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 9425562)
I took the Blue line from downtown to O'Hare yesterday just before rush hour. . . . . . . . .
Pretty bad experience. The only redeeming quality was seeing road traffic not going any quicker.

I rarely post here anymore. But as one who spent a lot of career time in big urban rail/bus transit, this struck a note. I'm a Chicago native living in NYC. On a recent Chicago visit I rode the Red, Blue, Green, Brown & Purple lines. Every single one was slow -- with multiple slow zones, inexplicably low speeds for significant distances -- and generally frustrating. There was no obvious pattern of causes as to time of day, weather, etc. It was all just a mockery of the term "rapid transit." This has been my experience more often that not over the last few years (frequent visitor). CTA's relatively low ridership can't just be chalked up tp lower density. What the hell is the matter??? I used to actually look forward to getting around town by train. No more!

Chisouthside Oct 18, 2021 7:20 PM

Last time I took the blue line from clark and lake to ohare it took me about 40 minutes. Was a couple of months ago. I ride the blue line almost everyday and havent really noticed slowdowns. The issue for me though is train frequency hasnt returned to pre covid levels.

SIGSEGV Oct 18, 2021 10:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chisouthside (Post 9426792)
Last time I took the blue line from clark and lake to ohare it took me about 40 minutes. Was a couple of months ago. I ride the blue line almost everyday and havent really noticed slowdowns. The issue for me though is train frequency hasnt returned to pre covid levels.

Yeah same. I don't doubt there are slowdowns sometimes though.

manchester united Oct 19, 2021 12:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lakeshoredrive (Post 9422565)
I was just in Paris for a week for the first time and I was so blown away by the Metro system and how amazing it is. It is so efficient, fast, and easy to use in terms of getting around and transferring to the other lines. I am so mad that CTA is nothing like it. It's a shame. I cannot wait to go back to Paris again and use the Metro.

OK, the Metro Paris is great, but El Chicago has 2 lines (Red and Blue lines) with a 24/7 service.

Rizzo Oct 20, 2021 3:02 PM

I have no pictures to show, but some of the steel at the Clark junction flyover has been painted a sage green color. It’s visible at School street. I think the old tracks on the north side were originally a similar green color seen in historic photos

ardecila Oct 21, 2021 1:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rizzo (Post 9428814)
I have no pictures to show, but some of the steel at the Clark junction flyover has been painted a sage green color. It’s visible at School street. I think the old tracks on the north side were originally a similar green color seen in historic photos

Interesting. They repainted the Brown Line structure at Roscoe awhile back but it was more of a light gray.

The area around School St is supposed to be totally replaced, from the north end of the Belmont station structure up to the alley south of Cornelia. Weird that they would repaint it.

SIGSEGV Oct 21, 2021 8:19 PM

CTA cutting fares for passes: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/greg...oost-ridership

I did think the monthly pass was quite overpriced before (it really required using every weekday to be worthwhile).

Rizzo Oct 21, 2021 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9429651)
Interesting. They repainted the Brown Line structure at Roscoe awhile back but it was more of a light gray.

The area around School St is supposed to be totally replaced, from the north end of the Belmont station structure up to the alley south of Cornelia. Weird that they would repaint it.

It’s new steel track supports, slightly to the west, maybe 8-9’ out from the existing structure. I didn’t think the track straightening would shift to the west but I think it has to do with phased replacement, much like the strategy on freeway construction where they widen the shoulder for additional lanes while they remove existing.

I thought it was interesting too considering the roscoe section and Belmont station are a neutral gray or white. The green is really subtle but looks nice

Busy Bee Oct 21, 2021 11:04 PM

Let's just be thankful its not that wretched hunter green they paint the el's in New York.

ardecila Oct 22, 2021 6:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rizzo (Post 9430668)
It’s new steel track supports, slightly to the west, maybe 8-9’ out from the existing structure. I didn’t think the track straightening would shift to the west but I think it has to do with phased replacement, much like the strategy on freeway construction where they widen the shoulder for additional lanes while they remove existing.

I thought it was interesting too considering the roscoe section and Belmont station are a neutral gray or white. The green is really subtle but looks nice

Yeah, temporary tracks are known as "shooflys" in railroad jargon.

I'm not sure if these are temporary though, if they were temporary I would just expect CTA to close the alley for a few months and throw up something quick. But the new track there looks permanent and they put in some complicated steelwork to straddle the alley. :shrug:

It looks like they're starting the cutover process for the new flyover as well, they will need to demolish part of the Belmont station deck from 2009 and slide in the ready-made, wider deck they've been building alongside the tracks.

jpIllInoIs Oct 27, 2021 3:30 PM

Metra To Break Ground On Edgewater Station Next Week After Decade Of Planning
Joe Ward
4:28 PM CDT on Oct 26, 2021
Quote:

Most recently, work was slated to begin in May, but the Department of Water Management rejected Metra’s plans for environmentally friendly permeable pavers and green landscaping features.

The problem is the ground beneath the station holds city water mains, and the city’s Department of Water Management was worried about groundwater from the station leaking into the water mains, Metra officials said this spring when announcing the delay.

A new groundwater plan had to be submitted before work could move forward.
Quote:

The station will be as long as six train cars. Its Downtown-bound platform will have a warming shelter, including an enclosed waiting area and an additional warming station. The northbound platform will have a warming station as well, Metra officials said at a public meeting Monday.

There will be 41 on-site parking spaces at the station, with the ability to add more spaces if needed. A pedestrian plaza will include a car turnaround for dropoffs and pickups.

Metra had sought to build a station in Edgewater to help meet transit demand throughout the North Side. Prior to the pandemic, Metra estimated it would see 650 daily boardings at the station.

Steely Dan Oct 27, 2021 3:37 PM

^ wow, and it only took a short little 12 FREAKING YEARS to finally get some shovels in the ground to build two relatively simple train platforms.


the snail's pace of transit infrastrucutre improvement in this country is utterly mind boggling at times.


anyone wanna place any bets on when that newly proposed west loop metra station might open?

i'm saying 2054, at the earliest.

Busy Bee Oct 27, 2021 4:05 PM

The culture's gotta change. They don't seem to half a sense of urgency. Not one iota.

lakeshoredrive Nov 6, 2021 1:10 PM

With the infrastructure bill passing and heading to Biden’s desk to be signed into law, I’m assuming the new State St station will now be happening. I wonder what other stuff could happen under the infrastructure bill. Another new CTA station somewhere? Will the Damen station on the Green Line finally be built? New stations for Metra?

Busy Bee Nov 6, 2021 4:55 PM

If we're being honest, we need the scale of infrastructure investment in this country that funds new lines to new riders, not just a couple stations. We need a dependable stream of funding for infrastructure (remember the infrastructure bank?) issued on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. The U.S. needs to get real. This infrastructure bill is nothing to sneeze at, I will admit, but when put in context with the absolute deficit of investment in areas like transit and rail over the last 60 years, the scale of investment falls short in its ability to transform the country. While I get that the China comparison is unfair for a number of reasons, least of which their form of government and the fact they are experiencing rapid modernization like we experienced in the first couple decades of the last century, BUT it should not be disregarded just at what scale the Chinese are investing in their infrastructure. In a given year over the last decade, China allocates on average 5% of the total GDP for infrastructure. In 2020, that was 8 trillion! 8 trillion! Compare that to what we just passed (not to mention its a 10 year program!) and what on average is the United States yearly federal allocation for infrastructure: 0.52%


EDIT: According to official US data, China spent $8 trillion dollars on infrastructure programs in 2020, far exceding even their baseline 5%/GDP per year baseline. In the same time period, the U.S. spent $146 billion.

Randomguy34 Nov 6, 2021 5:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainJilliams (Post 9444085)
Not sure if there's a better thread for this topic (if there is, please move this), but with the Infrastructure Bill passing in the House last night it looks like the state of Illinois may be receiving close to $18 billion. According to CNBC, it looks like the money would be allocated to the following:
  • Highways - $9.8 Billion
  • Bridges - $1.4 Billion
  • Public Transit - $4 Billion
  • Water - $1.7 Billion
  • Other - $0.9 Billion

I'm wondering how much of this money will find its way to Chicago. Just curious to hear people's thoughts as well as possible projects that could be funded with the money.

$4 billion for transit won't even be enough for RPM phase 2, let alone the other capital projects needed for CTA and Metra. I could see Metra applying for the $66 billion intercity rail grants to fund the A-2 flyover. Even then, the actual Fulton Market station will still cost $500 million.

lakeshoredrive Nov 6, 2021 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9444084)
If we're being honest, we need the scale of infrastructure investment in this country that funds new lines to new riders, not just a couple stations. We need a dependable stream of funding for infrastructure (remember the infrastructure bank?) issued on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. The U.S. needs to get real. This infrastructure bill is nothing to sneeze at, I will admit, but when put in context with the absolute deficit of investment in areas like transit and rail over the last 60 years, the scale of investment falls short in its ability to transform the country. While I get that the China comparison is unfair for a number of reasons, least of which their form of government and the fact they are experiencing rapid modernization like we experienced in the first couple decades of the last century, BUT it should not be disregarded just at what scale the Chinese are investing in their infrastructure. In a given year over the last decade, China allocates on average 5% of the total GDP for infrastructure. In 2020, that was 8 trillion! 8 trillion! Compare that to what we just passed (not to mention its a 10 year program!) and what on average is the United States yearly federal allocation for infrastructure: 0.52%

You make a good point. We do need a dependable stream of infrastructure revenue. If the government can spend that much money on the military, surely we can spend quite a bit on infrastructure each year as well. Regardless, I am looking forward to seeing some new public transit projects that can now be funded, mainly the new State Street station.

Handro Nov 6, 2021 5:21 PM

Can someone explain how this bill isn't still massively underfunded? $39B investment for Chicago alone would get wheel chair accessibility and like two new CTA stations on existing lines... let alone that amount for the ENTIRE country. Seems like this is a drop in the bucket for what's actually needed to get our transit systems even into the 1990s.

Busy Bee Nov 6, 2021 5:27 PM

^That's because it is. A 1 trillion/x? year funding bill for transit and rail alone is what is needed to modernize and expand existing transit networks as well as build a first-world rail network. Obviously thats not political tenable right now. And if the answer to "well when then?" is never, then I sincerely worry for the future.

Busy Bee Nov 6, 2021 5:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 9444100)
$4 billion for transit won't even be enough for RPM phase 2, let alone the other capital projects needed for CTA and Metra. I could see Metra applying for the $66 billion intercity rail grants to fund the A-2 flyover. Even then, the actual Fulton Market station will still cost $500 million.

Also important to remember is that a shit ton of the total for transit nationwide will go towards conversion of bus fleets to electric/zero emission. While this is undoubtedly important it's not exactly the subway tunnel/LRT line/transit center hard infrastructure that most think of when thinking about infrastructure. Something solid, something permanent, at least for decades that is. Something like a Brown Line extension or a Mid-City Transitway. Unfortunately Cta may very well actually recieve enough to move forward with Red Extension, as currently composed, a stupid project if one has ever been seen. As mentioned before the only Red extension that really makes sense is a Bishop Ford median extension to Stony Island, not this convoluted dogleg route they have been politically prodded to plan for.

thegoatman Nov 6, 2021 5:49 PM

insane how high transit costs are in the US. $500million-1 billion for a single station is outrageous. No wonder cities neglect their public transit.

Busy Bee Nov 6, 2021 6:17 PM

Abandoning rail and transit in favor of an auto culture certainly contributed to building transit infrastructure being a foreign concept for all but a few advanced contractors with industry knowledge that drive up bid asks due to lack of competition.

the urban politician Nov 6, 2021 6:37 PM

Transit ridership is in the gutter right now thanks to our response to Covid.

Private transportation is the future, so the only money going to transit right now should be to repair what is in bad shape.

I think we need to spend more money on fixing all of Chicago’s potholed streets as well as more bike lanes.


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