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OrdoSeclorum Aug 3, 2022 2:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pip (Post 9692346)
Expanding the Redline? Fix what you have now first. Clean it up and get the trains clean and safer and faster

This is the argument that every online commentator makes about everything. "Invest in cancer research!? Have you seen these potholes?!" "Free education for children? We have a deficit last time I checked!" "Return to the office? First we need high-quality masks, investments in ventilation, and a permanent shift to an impossible post-work form of utopian socialism."

Better is better. But transit agencies should build capacity when they have the opportunity. They don't come along that often.

moorhosj1 Aug 3, 2022 2:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pip (Post 9692425)
Reasoning is recent with staffing shortages. This was an issue before too, though not as bad.

I know the money from the Feds is for expansion and such. I wish it could be applied to fixing what is current before expanding.

They could even call it something like "Red & Purple Modernization (RPM)". RPM is a part of the larger "Red Ahead" project, which also includes the Red Line extension to 130th. They are taking your advice.

Let's not forget the other recent, large CTA projects like the "Your New Blue". Lot's of on-going system improvement projects.

Kngkyle Aug 3, 2022 4:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrdoSeclorum (Post 9692583)
This is the argument that every online commentator makes about everything. "Invest in cancer research!? Have you seen these potholes?!" "Free education for children? We have a deficit last time I checked!" "Return to the office? First we need high-quality masks, investments in ventilation, and a permanent shift to an impossible post-work form of utopian socialism."

Better is better. But transit agencies should build capacity when they have the opportunity. They don't come along that often.

The biggest problem with the Red Line Extension as proposed is that the cost of it is significant enough and the ridership potential from the 4 new stations small enough that it has the ROI of Lehman Brothers in 2008. It would not be happening if not for the skin color of the area residents. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about helping disadvantaged communities but is this the best use of tax dollars to achieve that goal? I also don't buy the argument that this is needed because the 95th yard is capacity constrained. There is plenty of available land around the 95th yard to expand it amongst the 94/57 road spaghetti.

Not that it matters anymore since it seems almost certain to happen at this point. It just frustrates me that we're going to blow this rare funding on something so wasteful.

OrdoSeclorum Aug 3, 2022 4:59 PM

This article is old, but it's still informative to read when it comes to this topic: https://chicagoreader.com/news-polit...to-fix-the-el/

moorhosj1 Aug 3, 2022 5:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 9692740)
The biggest problem with the Red Line Extension as proposed is that the cost of it is significant enough and the ridership potential from the 4 new stations small enough that it has the ROI of Lehman Brothers in 2008. It would not be happening if not for the skin color of the area residents.

The 95th station is the 4th most popular stop in the entire system (behind Red Line Chicago, Blue Line O'Hare, and Red Line Lake). That seems to imply there would be some demand for an extension from that terminus. Maybe there would be more demand to the west of 95th, but it seems clear by existing usage that there is demand in the area.

Also, this:

Quote:

Combined, the Red, Green, Orange and Pink Lines provide 38 stations to South Side residents, according to City of Chicago data. This works out to one station per 3.5 square miles or 31,579 residents per one station. North Siders, by contrast, have access to a combined 81 stations on the Blue, Pink, Green, Purple, Red and Brown Lines (this does not include extra-municipal stops on the Purple and Yellow lines). On the North Side, there is one station per 1.3 square miles or 18,516 residents per one station.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 9692740)
There is plenty of available land around the 95th yard to expand it amongst the 94/57 road spaghetti.

This sounds expensive in itself. It also doesn't increase access to the people who don't currently have it. Surely, the complaint would simply morph into "We are paying all this money for no additional lines or stops?"

Kngkyle Aug 3, 2022 5:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moorhosj1 (Post 9692794)
The 95th station is the 4th most popular stop in the entire system (behind Red Line Chicago, Blue Line O'Hare, and Red Line Lake). That seems to imply there would be some demand for an extension from that terminus. Maybe there would be more demand to the west of 95th, but it seems clear by existing usage that there is demand in the area.

Also, this:

This sounds expensive in itself. It also doesn't increase access to the people who don't currently have it. Surely, the complaint would simply morph into "We are paying all this money for no additional lines or stops?"

It's the 4th busiest stop because of the many busses that radiate out from there to all over the South Side. That wouldn't change with the Red Line extension. The proposed locations for the extended stations are in areas where almost nobody lives. The population density is closer to that of Naperville than it is North Center. For that density a bus is an appropriate transit solution, not a heavy rail line. And the idea that the extension would spur economic development in the area is a little far-fetched given the numerous existing stations that are surrounded by acres of empty fields (and are much closer to downtown).

If the options are Red Line Extension or nothing then sure, build the thing. But there are so many better ways to spend the money, even on the South Side.

Not to mention the Metra Electric already serves the area in question with a direct rail connection to the Loop.... albeit with shit frequency. Spend money improving that service instead. It'll cost a fraction of the $3b+ the RLE will cost.

Extending the Green Line both east to Woodlawn (Obama Library) and west to Midway would serve far more people and improve system connectivity. Otherwise the best investments on the Southside revolve around Metra Electric improvements.

JK47 Aug 4, 2022 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 9692837)
If the options are Red Line Extension or nothing then sure, build the thing. But there are so many better ways to spend the money, even on the South Side.


No there aren't. You forget that this project is funded using Federal money and the rules mean that:


Quote:

Not to mention the Metra Electric already serves the area in question with a direct rail connection to the Loop.... albeit with shit frequency. Spend money improving that service instead. It'll cost a fraction of the $3b+ the RLE will cost.

None of the above qualify for CIG grants under New Starts. Must be either a new guideway or an extension to an existing one. Further...


Quote:

Extending the Green Line both east to Woodlawn (Obama Library) and west to Midway would serve far more people and improve system connectivity. Otherwise the best investments on the Southside revolve around Metra Electric improvements.

Extensions must add capacity, by over 10%, to systems that are at or beyond capacity currently. The Green Line is certainly NOT operating at capacity.

JK47 Aug 4, 2022 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 9692740)
It would not be happening if not for the skin color of the area residents. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about helping disadvantaged communities but is this the best use of tax dollars to achieve that goal? I also don't buy the argument that this is needed because the 95th yard is capacity constrained. There is plenty of available land around the 95th yard to expand it amongst the 94/57 road spaghetti.

Not that it matters anymore since it seems almost certain to happen at this point. It just frustrates me that we're going to blow this rare funding on something so wasteful.


It's not just the racism on display in this post but just the casual nature of it that is shocking. To conclude, due to ignorance on your part, that no other reason exists for supporting this project OTHER THAN the race of the community it impacts is racist.

Furthermore, to declare that you are for "helping disadvantaged communities" but not when doing so "wastes" precious funds is not only racist but an example of how systemic racism is self-perpetuating. Yes, as it turns out, decades of racist policies that dictated how how the fabric of our community was laid out, in terms of infrastructure, funding, services, loans, etc, has had an impact. To the extent that making corrections and attempting to improve the local infrastructure is significantly more expensive and less convenient than bolting on projects to areas that were more..."fortunate"...in terms of how resources were allocated. Richer and whiter communities have had resources lavished on them for decades while other areas are neglected.

Penalizing neglected communities, by steering funds away from them, because the neglect has made improvements expensive is just utter bullshit.

Mr Downtown Aug 4, 2022 11:01 PM

(Not sure why we're discussing RLE here rather than in the transit thread.)

^But it's plain and simple a bad transit project, with a cost per new rider that must be approaching $100 ($6 was historically the general FTA threshold for worthwhile projects). The cost has somehow soared from $2.2 billion in 2018 to $3.6 billion now. Transit should be put where there’s density (of residents or jobs). Not where it’s cheap; or to pay political debts, or as an incredibly inefficient form of reparations.

It's a back-asswards way to do planning to pour billions of dollars into the most expensive possible solution to having built Altgeld Gardens in the wrong place. Just because CHA made a huge mistake in the 1940s doesn't mean we should just keep pouring money into it. Every single household within a mile of the new 130th terminal (about 3000 households) could be built a new $300,000 home within walking distance of an existing Green Line station for a quarter of the cost of this boondoggle—and the Red Line wouldn't thereafter be wasting countless service hours running empty trains back and forth to the forest preserve.

Let's see. In what parts of the city might new transit investment actually result in usage?

https://i.imgur.com/ZAGHenB.jpg

thegoatman Aug 4, 2022 11:03 PM

is it racism or using common sense? Watched this video of Dorval Carter talking about the extension and not once did he bring up statistics on why it would make sense. Just said a bunch of woke buzzwords. "inclusivity" "diversity" etc..the far southside is basically suburbia, all 4 of the new stations are gonna be fucking park and rides. How about and L extension to Humboldt (an actual dense area) or a brown blue line connection? Or if we still wanna extend the red line, how about extending it to the south lakefront? An actual dense area lacking CTA connection.

Just increase Metra service down there. Waste of billions of dollars. Another dumb proposal I saw awhile back is extending the blue line to Melrose Park, idiotic. We badly need more service intown, not suburbia

thank you Mr Downtown for that graphic. Just shows how uneeded this project is right now. We got a once in a generation time to extend the L and this is what we're doing, lol. This is literally Lightfoot and Carter trying to satisfy their woke/progressive congregates instead of actually looking at what works.

Anyway, i'm getting off topic but that needs to be said.

galleyfox Aug 4, 2022 11:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thegoatman (Post 9694240)
is it racism or using common sense? Watched this video of Dorval Carter talking about the extension and not once did he bring up statistics on why it would make sense. Just said a bunch of woke buzzwords. "inclusivity" "diversity" etc..the far southside is basically suburbia, all 4 of the new stations are gonna be fucking park and rides. How about and L extension to Humboldt (an actual dense area) or a brown blue line connection? Or if we still wanna extend the red line, how about extending it to the south lakefront? An actual dense area lacking CTA connection.


It’s no use to complain now.

The Federal Government doesn’t exactly shift funds from one project to another in a timespan less than a few decades, and the Red Line extension has been in the works for a long long time.

The city chose the wrong project back then, but it’s either this or a useless trolley in Baltimore or something. There’s a strong chance the Red Line is truly the best of a group of bad eligible proposals.

And I’m not exactly going to be up in arms over federal government money and South Red Line neighborhood TIF.

Oh well, maybe the Chicagoans in year 2100 will have more need for the extension.

r18tdi Aug 4, 2022 11:49 PM

I'm not against the RLE, but I think that money would be better spent on rebuilding the demolished Green Line branch.
I also hope it doesn't negatively impact current Red Line service, which hasn't been great.

Klippenstein Aug 4, 2022 11:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9694234)

According to this map it seems like a Kedzie Ave connector that extended to Marquette Park and connected to the redline near Granville would be ideal.

Chi-Sky21 Aug 5, 2022 2:15 AM

Brown line connection to Blue then blue triple tracked O'Hare for express. Frequent rapid bus setup on Western and or Ashland.

Kngkyle Aug 5, 2022 3:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JK47 (Post 9694219)
It's not just the racism on display in this post but just the casual nature of it that is shocking. To conclude, due to ignorance on your part, that no other reason exists for supporting this project OTHER THAN the race of the community it impacts is racist.

Furthermore, to declare that you are for "helping disadvantaged communities" but not when doing so "wastes" precious funds is not only racist but an example of how systemic racism is self-perpetuating. Yes, as it turns out, decades of racist policies that dictated how how the fabric of our community was laid out, in terms of infrastructure, funding, services, loans, etc, has had an impact. To the extent that making corrections and attempting to improve the local infrastructure is significantly more expensive and less convenient than bolting on projects to areas that were more..."fortunate"...in terms of how resources were allocated. Richer and whiter communities have had resources lavished on them for decades while other areas are neglected.

Penalizing neglected communities, by steering funds away from them, because the neglect has made improvements expensive is just utter bullshit.

:haha: I knew someone would come at me with this baloney. Others have already since responded with further evidence as to why this project makes zero sense and how the entire sales pitch for it revolves around race and nothing more. And while it may be partially funded by the federal government that doesn't make it any less of a waste of taxpayer dollars.

ardecila Aug 5, 2022 1:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by r18tdi (Post 9694276)
I'm not against the RLE, but I think that money would be better spent on rebuilding the demolished Green Line branch.
I also hope it doesn't negatively impact current Red Line service, which hasn't been great.

Even if the Woodlawn community wanted the extension (there is no indication they have changed their mind since the 90s), the Feds will probably refuse to fund it for a 2nd time.

We blew our chance when we accepted Federal money to rebuild that line in the 90s and then lit that money on fire tearing it down months later. The steel beams still exist in a CTA yard, rusting away for eternity because the Feds would not allow the steel to be sold for scrap.

If CTA ever wants to rebuild that branch, it will have to be with local money only.

moorhosj1 Aug 5, 2022 2:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9694234)

For an actual comparison, we would need to look at density of each station before the trains were built.

Do you have the same concerns about spending over $2 billion rebuilding stations and double-decking track along the Red/Purple Line? Just because the CTA made a mistake 80 years ago by not building more capacity. Or the $500 million spent rebuilding the Blue Line because CTA didn't have enough electricity to run trains.

What was the cost per new rider on those projects?

OrdoSeclorum Aug 5, 2022 2:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9694234)
(Not sure why we're discussing RLE here rather than in the transit thread.)

^But it's plain and simple a bad transit project, with a cost per new rider that must be approaching $100 ($6 was historically the general FTA threshold for worthwhile projects). The cost has somehow soared from $2.2 billion in 2018 to $3.6 billion now. Transit should be put where there’s density (of residents or jobs). Not where it’s cheap; or to pay political debts, or as an incredibly inefficient form of reparations.

It's a back-asswards way to do planning to pour billions of dollars into the most expensive possible solution to having built Altgeld Gardens in the wrong place. Just because CHA made a huge mistake in the 1940s doesn't mean we should just keep pouring money into it. Every single household within a mile of the new 130th terminal (about 3000 households) could be built a new $300,000 home within walking distance of an existing Green Line station for a quarter of the cost of this boondoggle—and the Red Line wouldn't thereafter be wasting countless service hours running empty trains back and forth to the forest preserve.

Let's see. In what parts of the city might new transit investment actually result in usage?

Apropos of this, what DO you think the best new heavy rail investment would be? I've always been a bit skeptical of the circle line. Obviously BRT would be great on Ashland and/or Western. Clinton street subway? Brown line extension?

mark0 Aug 5, 2022 3:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thegoatman (Post 9694240)
is it racism or using common sense? Watched this video of Dorval Carter talking about the extension and not once did he bring up statistics on why it would make sense. Just said a bunch of woke buzzwords. "inclusivity" "diversity" etc..the far southside is basically suburbia, all 4 of the new stations are gonna be fucking park and rides. How about and L extension to Humboldt (an actual dense area) or a brown blue line connection? Or if we still wanna extend the red line, how about extending it to the south lakefront? An actual dense area lacking CTA connection.

Just increase Metra service down there. Waste of billions of dollars. Another dumb proposal I saw awhile back is extending the blue line to Melrose Park, idiotic. We badly need more service intown, not suburbia

thank you Mr Downtown for that graphic. Just shows how uneeded this project is right now. We got a once in a generation time to extend the L and this is what we're doing, lol. This is literally Lightfoot and Carter trying to satisfy their woke/progressive congregates instead of actually looking at what works.

Anyway, i'm getting off topic but that needs to be said.

The voters of Chicago get the ineptitude they deserve.

west-town-brad Aug 5, 2022 3:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrdoSeclorum (Post 9694691)
Apropos of this, what DO you think the best new heavy rail investment would be? I've always been a bit skeptical of the circle line. Obviously BRT would be great on Ashland and/or Western. Clinton street subway? Brown line extension?

western ave seems like a good idea because you can connect a bunch of existing lines, as well as supports neighborhood growth west-ward, but not sure how a line not connected direct to DT would fly

I have always thought a rail line up Grand Ave to the NW side through to downtown would make sense. this would support west loop growth as well as serve the NW side growth around hermosa/avondale/etc.

red line extension is a silly waste of money

ChiMIchael Aug 5, 2022 4:00 PM

While I agree that other transit projects should have priority, I just find the vitriol towards RLE based in defeatism. For some people, making those areas viable is a fool's errand. Something like this would be applauded for cities that are bursting at the seams demographically and ecomically. I think it's always beneficial for rapid transit to reach as many areas as possible with out oversaturating itself. There just needs to be a plan to make those areas more viable (which is true with or without the train line).

Via Chicago Aug 5, 2022 4:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moorhosj1 (Post 9694675)
For an actual comparison, we would need to look at density of each station before the trains were built.

agreed, this is all chicken and the egg. you can argue adding transit is a waste because the density is low, or you can argue density is low because of lack of adequate infrastructure investment, which ultimately is a consistent lynchpin that has led to the revitalization of many areas surrounding existing L lines.

its a fact that resources are limited and they have to be allocated smartly. i dont think this plan is necessarily perfect. but its not a solution to just write off portions of the city the way we have for decades prior (yes, which were decisions very obviously based on race and income given the well known history of this city/country) and let the most disadvantaged areas of the city continue to rot. something has to begin to change at some point. and for once, its going to have to involve areas receiving significant dollars that have otherwise been systemically excluded from the table for multiple generations.

the blue line being smack dab in the middle of an expressway isnt ideal either from a best practices standpoint, but ultimately its an advantage that it was built and that our city has it. its not ideal that the orange line goes through large swaths of low density industrial areas either...but its still an advantage that our city built it.

thegoatman Aug 5, 2022 4:51 PM

Lol @ people saying development will come to the far southside because of this. We still have a plethora of vacant lots, drive thrus, strip malls, and other shitty land usages surrounding L stations in desirable areas and neighborhoods. I swear progressivism and this activist mindset has to rot your brain of any common sense. Chinatown is booming ye theres still vacant lots surrounding the L station.

Via Chicago Aug 5, 2022 5:15 PM

the far south side is still part of CHICAGO. it deserves city funded infrastructure and amenities on par with any other neighborhood. and this extends to the state of roads, parks, green space, libraries, schools, cultural programming, public safety, and everything else. this area does not just exist solely to be a dumping ground for all the polluting industries you dont want next to your manicured house on the north side.

galleyfox Aug 5, 2022 5:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Via Chicago (Post 9694764)
agreed, this is all chicken and the egg. you can argue adding transit is a waste because the density is low, or you can argue density is low because of lack of adequate infrastructure investment, which ultimately is a consistent lynchpin that has led to the revitalization of many areas surrounding existing L lines.

its a fact that resources are limited and they have to be allocated smartly. i dont think this plan is necessarily perfect. but its not a solution to just write off portions of the city the way we have for decades prior (yes, which were decisions very obviously based on race and income given the well known history of this city/country) and let the most disadvantaged areas of the city continue to rot.



The fact of the matter is that Chicago is only getting federal money because the former President used to live and work in the vicinity and the request got moved up in the queue. We’re fooling ourselves if we think the Federal Government would sponsor any of our “worthier” extensions.

By federal standards, this is a minor political favor (and by state standards, more helpful than rebuilding LSD by Oak Street Beach)

We essentially arguing over a South Side TIF for a project that the South side wants, and a ROW that can be used for as long as the city exists. I don’t see what the big deal is.




Quote:

Using federal seed money, the transit agency is starting work on a draft environmental impact study, which the Federal Transit Administration requires as part of the CTA ultimately receiving a federal full-funding grant agreement.
https://www.chicagotribune.com/autos...926-story.html

moorhosj1 Aug 5, 2022 5:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thegoatman (Post 9694790)
Lol @ people saying development will come to the far southside because of this. We still have a plethora of vacant lots, drive thrus, strip malls, and other shitty land usages surrounding L stations in desirable areas and neighborhoods. I swear progressivism and this activist mindset has to rot your brain of any common sense. Chinatown is booming ye theres still vacant lots surrounding the L station.

The idea that we shouldn't expand CTA service to one location because land around another location isn't fully developed doesn't really sound like "common sense" to me.

Rather than insulting, would you care to make a case for what vacant lots in Chinatown have to do with transit access 12 miles south? Do vacant lots in Logan Square mean we shouldn't have rebuilt the CTA stations in Uptown?

moorhosj1 Aug 5, 2022 5:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by west-town-brad (Post 9694717)
western ave seems like a good idea because you can connect a bunch of existing lines, as well as supports neighborhood growth west-ward, but not sure how a line not connected direct to DT would fly

I have always thought a rail line up Grand Ave to the NW side through to downtown would make sense. this would support west loop growth as well as serve the NW side growth around hermosa/avondale/etc.

Western and Ashland are so car-reliant at this point, it would be difficcult to pass. That is what shut things down last time. As for alternatives, it's farther west than most prefer, but the boulevard system has very wide right-of-way. You could easily add BRT or light rail going south from Kedzie & Logan to Humboldt to Sacramento to Hamlin to Douglass to California.

west-town-brad Aug 5, 2022 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moorhosj1 (Post 9694858)
Western and Ashland are so car-reliant at this point, it would be difficcult to pass. That is what shut things down last time. As for alternatives, it's farther west than most prefer, but the boulevard system has very wide right-of-way. You could easily add BRT or light rail going south from Kedzie & Logan to Humboldt to Sacramento to Hamlin to Douglass to California.

heavy rail not busses

orulz Aug 5, 2022 5:55 PM

I have to say, this St. Charles Air Line -> Union Station ramp connection has a lot of parallels with the late 80s/early 80s Empire Connection that connected the Hudson Line into NY Penn Station via the West Side Line.

The Empire Connection has a single track with tightly constrained geometry. It was designed to meet the exclusive need for intercity service - commuter service was not a consideration at all. However, with Penn Station Access from the Hudson Line possibly on the table sometime in the future, that single track connection and its tight curve is probably seeming like more of a constraint than folks might have managed when this was planned and built 30+ years ago.

It looks to me like it would be similarly fairly difficult to expand this St Charles Air Line -> Union Station connection in the future too. It seems to me that they should plan right now for an eventual 2nd track, even if it may not be needed for the next 20+ years.

Busy Bee Aug 5, 2022 6:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 9694884)
I have to say, this St. Charles Air Line -> Union Station ramp connection has a lot of parallels with the late 80s/early 80s Empire Connection that connected the Hudson Line into NY Penn Station via the West Side Line.

The Empire Connection has a single track with tightly constrained geometry. It was designed to meet the exclusive need for intercity service - commuter service was not a consideration at all. However, with Penn Station Access from the Hudson Line possibly on the table sometime in the future, that single track connection and its tight curve is probably seeming like more of a constraint than folks might have managed when this was planned and built 30+ years ago.

It looks to me like it would be similarly fairly difficult to expand this St Charles Air Line -> Union Station connection in the future too. It seems to me that they should plan right now for an eventual 2nd track, even if it may not be needed for the next 20+ years.

They probably couldn't have done anything to prevent the tight curve. By definition it had to corkscrew to get into Penn. The single track on the other hand was a serious oversight imo. Yes, Amtrak didn't necessarily need anything beyond that but the MTA should have at least pondered the possibility of future use at the time, after all isn't that the point of employing "transit planners"? As far as the second track, which depending on volume of Hudson Line trains using the connection into Penn, may or may not be necessary, but it would have been prudent from the start. Engineering wise, I do not know, and there are only a handful that likely do know, whether or not the connection was designed to facilitate a second track or whether it would even be possible at this point considering the foundations of current and future Hudson Yards towers.


Sorry for the NY-centric post in the Chicago thread...

ardecila Aug 5, 2022 7:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by galleyfox (Post 9694841)
The fact of the matter is that Chicago is only getting federal money because the former President used to live and work in the vicinity and the request got moved up in the queue. We’re fooling ourselves if we think the Federal Government would sponsor any of our “worthier” extensions.

Lots of projects get funded as a favor, that's how our system of government works. That's how we got the Orange Line built during the very anti-transit Reagan administration. But you're way too pessimistic if you think a well-planned Chicago transit expansion could not compete effectively against other US cities for Federal grants.

For god's sake, Los Angeles is in the middle of the country's biggest transit expansion, fueled by Federal cash. Very few Angelenos ride their existing rail system, but they're planning tens or hundred of miles worth of additional rail lines, and securing Federal grants for those projects.

The problem is, and always has been, a lack of agreement among our local politicians on where to expand transit and how to pay for the local share. We go hat in hand to the Feds just to pay for basic planning and engineering studies, because the sub-$10M cost of these studies is apparently too expensive for us. Los Angeles is succeeding because they got all their leaders on the same page about expansion, and voted to tax themselves to raise billions to pay for planning/engineering work and the local match for projects.

Also, of course, we have gotten many billions in transit grants from the Feds over the last few decades - it's just gone towards rebuilding all of our crumbling L lines, a project that is still far from complete.

Steely Dan Aug 5, 2022 7:44 PM

i think it would be pretty hard to argue that RLE is the best use of scarce capital expansion transit dollars for our city.

but it is the project that we had on hand ready to go when the feds were signing fat checks, so here we are.

and hey, if burbs like evanston, skokie and wilmette get to have CTA rail transit, then why not the wild 100s too?

it is what it is; i've moved on.





EDIT:

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9695026)
The problem is, and always has been, a lack of agreement among our local politicians on where to expand transit and how to pay for the local share.

yep.

ardecila Aug 5, 2022 8:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 9694884)
It looks to me like it would be similarly fairly difficult to expand this St Charles Air Line -> Union Station connection in the future too. It seems to me that they should plan right now for an eventual 2nd track, even if it may not be needed for the next 20+ years.

It might be short-sighted not to build two tracks on Day 1, but it won't be difficult to double-track it later if they want to run commuter service.

-Amtrak is looking to buy UP's mothballed Canal St Yard in Chinatown. This will allow them to relocate some important facilities away from the current yard and clear space.
-The ramp structure is above ground and will mostly be supported on wide straddle bents over other tracks below. I imagine they will design these straddle bents to support a 2nd track in the future; the cost to do so is minimal. Railroad structures often include provisions for future 2nd track.
-The potential for up to 4 tracks already exists over the river, with 2 tracks on the St Charles Air Line bridge and another 2 on the identical B&OCT bridge.

The Empire Connection is a different story, since it runs two levels underground below an active railyard that is itself below a highrise development. With tunnel or trench construction, the cost is proportional to the amount of soil you have to remove. Building a double-track connection back in the 80s would have cost nearly double as well.

thegoatman Aug 5, 2022 10:31 PM

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...yIum-thrrldi9A

damen green line station set to start this month

twister244 Aug 5, 2022 11:41 PM

Personally, I would like to see our existing systems get upgrades first before further expansion talks. However, we are getting some of that. I live near Fullerton/Western. While a cool connector line to get me to the lake would be cool, I would rather see a compromise where I get BRT along Fullerton and Western, with rail expansion to underserved parts of the city. When I go to Boystown, and am not in a rush, I have no problem taking the 74 bus to the Brown/Red line stop on Fullerton. Just a pain given busses sometimes are unreliable and there may be tons of traffic that slow things down. Otherwise, I have less issues with "riff raff" on the bus than I do on the L. Gotta build momentum by getting the entire city onboard. Then you can start planning for larger projects like connector lines.

My 2 cents at least.

untitledreality Aug 6, 2022 3:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thegoatman (Post 9694790)
Lol @ people saying development will come to the far southside because of this... I swear progressivism and this activist mindset has to rot your brain of any common sense...

This is essentially a development fanboy forum, proformas be damned. Of course people are going to play the 'build it and they will come' card.

That said, while it is my opinion that the RLE is an unjustifiable expense given the ridership estimates, it has approved federal funding which cannot (in my understanding) be transferred elsewhere within the system...might as well get it done. Hopefully they are including provisions for short turns at 95th so the line does not get even further out of balance.

Mr Downtown Aug 7, 2022 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrdoSeclorum (Post 9694691)
what DO you think the best new heavy rail investment would be?

“Organization before Electronics before Concrete”

The Chicago region (comparatively speaking) is shrinking rather than growing; we don't really need any rail extensions. We do need to make better use of what we have, by integrating fares between Metra and CTA, and by putting new office and residential growth next to the stations we already have, rather than letting developers build where there's cheap land but no transit (Lincoln Yards, I'm looking at you).

So were I in charge, the first thing I'd do is make Metra more of a regional rail system rather than a bunch of commuter trains. I've sketched the basic concept of a Chicago S-Bahn that would have frequent service all day long. Obviously, this is pointless if it's not fare-integrated with CTA to get South Siders to job centers north of the river or in the Medical District.

https://i.imgur.com/gu48htU.jpg

Second, I think the movement of the office core that's already taken place justifies a Larrabee-Clinton Subway.

https://i.imgur.com/qWkWn6W.jpg

Further down the list, I think a South Chicago-Stony Island LRT line makes some sense, as does a real crosstown BRT line, probably in the Cicero corridor.

OrdoSeclorum Aug 7, 2022 4:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9695784)
“Organization before Electronics before Concrete”

The Chicago region (comparatively speaking) is shrinking rather than growing; we don't really need any rail extensions. We do need to make better use of what we have, by integrating fares between Metra and CTA, and by putting new office and residential growth next to the stations we already have, rather than letting developers build where there's cheap land but no transit (Lincoln Yards, I'm looking at you).

So were I in charge, the first thing I'd do is make Metra more of a regional rail system rather than a bunch of commuter trains. I've sketched the basic concept of a Chicago S-Bahn that would have frequent service all day long. Obviously, this is pointless if it's not fare-integrated with CTA to get South Siders to job centers north of the river or in the Medical District.


Second, I think the movement of the office core that's already taken place justifies a Larrabee-Clinton Subway.


Further down the list, I think a South Chicago-Stony Island LRT line makes some sense, as does a real crosstown BRT line, probably in the Cicero corridor.

I love this vision and I'm adopting it.

Nouvellecosse Aug 7, 2022 5:39 PM

That S-Bahn plan looks like a great start but 30 min headways is a bit lacking in ambition for the longer term. Maybe if we're talking about the end of a branch or sections or routes that stretched out to places like Aurora, Joliet, Waukegan etc. but based on the map there should probably be headways of say 7-10 min peak and 15-20 min off-peak.

nomarandlee Aug 8, 2022 2:55 AM

I think Mr. Downtown's ideas are great. If I could amend one major add-on to it I would extend that C-Line to make a large north downtown circle loop. Extending north in Streeterville, turning west down Chicago Ave, head over to the future Goose Island transitway spur to Lincoln Yards that then heads back towards the Clinton/Metra Stations.

twister244 Aug 8, 2022 3:16 PM

While Lincoln Yards won't have immediate integration into the L, they are going to move the Clybourn Metra station into the development, extend the 606 trail, and offer shuttle busses to the Blue Line (maybe other lines too?). I would say that's about the best Lincoln Yards could do. With the Casino coming, and other larger developments in the future filling into the North Branch, CTA may need to start thinking about the best ways to move people around the area. I still maintain that I would rather see resources being put into BRT and vastly improving the ped/cycle routes going East-West across the River/Kennedy in that area. It really is a huge divider.

BrinChi Aug 8, 2022 4:03 PM

So if the RLE goes through, does that make the 95th super station kind of unnecessary? Presumably there would be far fewer bus lines using it as a transfer point.

It seems like upgrades to existing tracks and signals in and around the loop would go a long way to speed up everyone's commute, including those that would benefit from the RLE. It's still a major choke-point that adds 5-10 min onto most trips unnecessarily. And we're in a moment when CTA needs to woo the choice-riders back onto the system both for revenue and safety reasons.

orulz Aug 8, 2022 6:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9695074)
It might be short-sighted not to build two tracks on Day 1, but it won't be difficult to double-track it later if they want to run commuter service.

-The ramp structure is above ground and will mostly be supported on wide straddle bents over other tracks below. I imagine they will design these straddle bents to support a 2nd track in the future; the cost to do so is minimal. Railroad structures often include provisions for future 2nd track.

It would obviously make sense to make accommodations for an eventual second track, but I'd rather see it confirmed in writing, or at least verbally confirmed - rather than just imagining it to be so.

Usually diagrams like this that have made accomodations for a second track, will have a dashed line marked "Future Second Track" indicating that second track's future alignment. I haven't seen any such marking on any of the diagrams for this project yet. It would be comforting to see *any* positive indication whatsoever that they've thought ahead about where it might go, and how to build it without massive disruptions in the future.

ardecila Aug 8, 2022 6:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrinChi (Post 9696710)
So if the RLE goes through, does that make the 95th super station kind of unnecessary? Presumably there would be far fewer bus lines using it as a transfer point.

The 95th project was a Hail Mary by Rahm to win votes in the Black community, either because he wanted to cancel the RLE project or because he knew it would take decades to get funding. However, we don't know how CTA will adjust their bus service after RLE opens. Probably like 5 routes that currently terminate at 95th will be rerouted, but that still leaves another 8-10 routes. They could potentially use any leftover bus bays for intercity buses; Greyhound already stops there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 9696874)
Usually diagrams like this that have made accomodations for a second track, will have a dashed line marked "Future Second Track" indicating that second track's future alignment. I haven't seen any such marking on any of the diagrams for this project yet. It would be comforting to see *any* positive indication whatsoever that they've thought ahead about where it might go, and how to build it without massive disruptions in the future.

I wouldn't base too much speculation on one diagram from a grant application. They don't have any funding for real design or engineering yet; this diagram was probably put together by a planning intern.

TR Devlin Aug 9, 2022 4:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9695784)
“Organization before Electronics before Concrete”

The Chicago region (comparatively speaking) is shrinking rather than growing; we don't really need any rail extensions. We do need to make better use of what we have, by integrating fares between Metra and CTA, and by putting new office and residential growth next to the stations we already have, rather than letting developers build where there's cheap land but no transit (Lincoln Yards, I'm looking at you).

So were I in charge, the first thing I'd do is make Metra more of a regional rail system rather than a bunch of commuter trains. I've sketched the basic concept of a Chicago S-Bahn that would have frequent service all day long. Obviously, this is pointless if it's not fare-integrated with CTA to get South Siders to job centers north of the river or in the Medical District.

https://i.imgur.com/gu48htU.jpg

Second, I think the movement of the office core that's already taken place justifies a Larrabee-Clinton Subway.

https://i.imgur.com/qWkWn6W.jpg

Thank you, Mr. Downtown.

What I find frustrating is that I think a lot of people look at your maps and say to themselves
“I drive to work; I hardly ever take mass transit; This looks like an expensive plan and I don’t see any benefit in it for me; So I don’t support it.”
But think about it. In Chicago there are about 1.7 million mass transit trips every day (750,000 CTA bus, 700,000 CTA rail and 250,000 METRA). What would happen if one day, the whole system shut down and most of the mass transit trips became car trips? Traffic would gridlock, commute times would skyrocket and it would be a complete disaster.

My point is that everybody benefits from a good mass transit system – both the people who use it and the people who don’t.

moorhosj1 Aug 12, 2022 4:27 PM

Has there been any indication of the next expansion/improvement focuses for CTA? It seems the ongoing projects have been in planning for over a decade.

Is the Blue Line Forest Park Branch reconstruction next in line? What's after that?

Steely Dan Aug 12, 2022 4:53 PM

This is completely outta nowhere, but I'm sitting on my back deck eating lunch and a married pair of old 6000 series L cars in the red/white/blue livery just rolled by on the brown line tracks in our alley, heading in-bound.

Haven't seen that before. I didn't know the CTA kept any operating 6000 series cars around, they've been out of revenue service for 30 years now.

Those old 6000 series cars were still the backbone of the system back when I was a kid in the 70s/80s, so I've always had a nostalgic fondness for them. That was fun to see!

Busy Bee Aug 12, 2022 5:19 PM

The previous green paint on the old 6000's always looked so classic. The bicentennial scheme never looked good on them imo:

https://images.cf.nycsubway.org/imag.../img_14718.jpg
_

https://images.cf.nycsubway.org/imag.../img_14667.jpg
_

k1052 Aug 12, 2022 5:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9701070)
This is completely outta nowhere, but I'm sitting on my back deck eating lunch and a married pair of old 6000 series L cars in the red/white/blue livery just rolled by on the brown line tracks in our alley, heading in-bound.

Haven't seen that before. I didn't know the CTA kept any operating 6000 series cars around, they've been out of revenue service for 30 years now.

Those old 6000 series cars were still the backbone of the system back when I was a kid in the 70s/80s, so I've always had a nostalgic fondness for them. That was fun to see!

Yea, they have 4 cars (IIRC) in the heritage fleet for specials.

Kngkyle Aug 12, 2022 6:15 PM

I've noticed these a few times recently. They look even more amazing in-person. The modern design + retro livery works well imo.

https://twitter.com/cta/status/1542143563332476929/

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FWbKe8VXgAAx3X3?format=jpg


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