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ardecila Mar 31, 2009 3:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 4168742)
oops, this is obviously in response to two posts up.

How exactly would one make traveling to the West Loop easier? The Monroe subway, I guess, but the thing is you would still have to transfer downtown no matter what. It sounds like your main complaint is having to transfer downtown to get from one place to another, and that isn't changing anytime soon.

Chicago is really big and there are a whole lot of possible trips. Without a subway system as complete as the bus system, how would you expect a trip between two neighborhoods without a direct train link not to take a long time? Most places in the city have much, much worse transit access than Lakeview and the West Loop.

TUP, taking the bus from the Loop to the West Loop is ridiculously easy, the buses come constantly, and the ride is really short. I don't like buses either, but for connecting two areas that close, complaining about having to take the bus is just whining.

That said, I shouldn't need to tell you that the Clinton Subway is needed because the center of office space in Chicago is shifting westward. Nearly all of the new office buildings built in the last 5 or 6 years have been closer to Clinton than State. The West Loop Gate area between the Kennedy and the river is poised to capture nearly ALL new office growth downtown for the foreseeable future, with its large expanses of parking lots and unimpressive 2-3 story buildings (although there are a few diamonds in the rough).

If a majority of commuters are going to the West Loop, they should have a direct route from the North Side that serves them. Transfers are for trips that are uncommon.

arenn Mar 31, 2009 3:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 4168307)
Well youre ideas on the Western and Cicero BRT and other E/W BRT are sound. All in all an enjoyable read with some well founded concepts. thanks

Thank you.

Mr Downtown Mar 31, 2009 4:02 AM

And I don't know what will satisfy someone who whines that it takes 25 minutes to get downtown on the Brown Line.

http://i40.tinypic.com/2nr3iwx.jpg
"LBJ 200" painting (1965) by Alex S. Tremulis

VivaLFuego Mar 31, 2009 4:45 AM

The 8's really not that bad, and serves the hearts of Lincoln Park and Lakeview. If you're way out near Addison/Lincoln... well OK, take the 9/X9 to the Green Line to Clinton (or, soon, to Morgan). Also quick and non-circuitous.

pip Mar 31, 2009 5:13 AM

^ I used to avoid the number 8 Bus even though it is 100 feet from my door if I wanted to visit a friend in the West Loop or UIC area. I could wait forever for a bus to appear. Now I take it all the time. It works now.

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4168594)
^ Didn't you get the memo?

Buses SUCK. They are a shitty way to get around any major city, and I"m pretty sure from the horror stories I've heard that Chicago is no exception.

Why not increase rail options in getting around town?

Yup I would rather have rail but you haven't been on the busses lately. I used to think the same thing unless it was an express bus. They are now very reliable and it is just about door to door service. I take them all the time now. The CTA, both bus and trains has improved greatly.

I am not just some booster to be one. I was one to think murder waiting for a bus, 'wtf is that damn bus, I hate the CTA'. How things have changed.

Abner Mar 31, 2009 6:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4168790)
That said, I shouldn't need to tell you that the Clinton Subway is needed because the center of office space in Chicago is shifting westward. Nearly all of the new office buildings built in the last 5 or 6 years have been closer to Clinton than State. The West Loop Gate area between the Kennedy and the river is poised to capture nearly ALL new office growth downtown for the foreseeable future, with its large expanses of parking lots and unimpressive 2-3 story buildings (although there are a few diamonds in the rough).

If a majority of commuters are going to the West Loop, they should have a direct route from the North Side that serves them. Transfers are for trips that are uncommon.

Sure, you can make a case that those are among the most important future transit projects, and I wouldn't disagree (not strongly anyway, without knowing more). I was just saying that the current situation is not as bad as ChicagoChicago was making it out to be. It's not hard to commute from the north lakefront to the West Loop.

That's not to say it wouldn't be worth making it easier. I'm sure a Clinton subway would be well-used if it were connected to everything else adequately, including the Carroll transit line. I'd like to hear more about the routing of a Clinton subway though. Why does it apparently cross the river at 18th St.? There's nothing down there. Why not cross farther north, like around Roosevelt? If the Red Line is rerouted to Clinton, what's going to use the State subway?

ChicagoChicago Mar 31, 2009 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4168835)
And I don't know what will satisfy someone who whines that it takes 25 minutes to get downtown on the Brown Line.

http://i40.tinypic.com/2nr3iwx.jpg
"LBJ 200" painting (1965) by Alex S. Tremulis

Did I complain about the brown line trip? No. I complained about the West Loop accessibility. Get a clue.

aaron38 Mar 31, 2009 2:07 PM

Has there ever been a study on extending the Brown Line down Lawrence to the Blue Line at Jefferson Park? It's only 2 miles and would create a far north east-west link in the system that gives the North side much faster access to O'Hare and a very convinient link from the UP-NW Metra to Linconln Park.

For the proposed Clinton Ave subway, it seems to me it should route south to the Orange line. What if the Orange was then rerouted through the Clinton subway up to North/Clybourn? That would really improve access to Midway. The Loop would keep access because everyone could board the Blue at Dearborn and transfer.

Busy Bee Mar 31, 2009 2:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4168835)
And I don't know what will satisfy someone who whines that it takes 25 minutes to get downtown on the Brown Line.

http://i40.tinypic.com/2nr3iwx.jpg
"LBJ 200" painting (1965) by Alex S. Tremulis

YES!!! Build it!

orulz Mar 31, 2009 2:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 4169057)
That's not to say it wouldn't be worth making it easier. I'm sure a Clinton subway would be well-used if it were connected to everything else adequately, including the Carroll transit line. I'd like to hear more about the routing of a Clinton subway though. Why does it apparently cross the river at 18th St.? There's nothing down there. Why not cross farther north, like around Roosevelt? If the Red Line is rerouted to Clinton, what's going to use the State subway?

The Circle Line would use the State Street subway, I think. Maybe brown/purple/red would all be shuffled around too.

Discussing the Central Area Action Plan:
They seem to envision using one of the existing railroad bridges at 16th street (SCAL? B&O?) to bring the Clinton Subway across the river. That would probably be cheaper than building a new tunnel under the river. Thankfully absent from that plan is any talk of turning the St Charles Air Line into a bikeway, so I think the Clinton subway should, rather than rejoining the old Red Line route on the Dan Ryan, continue along the SCAL/CN at least as far as McCormick Place (perhaps farther), with transfer stations to other lines at 16th/Clark and 16th/Wabash.

However, as you mention, good connections are essential to making the Clinton Subway work, and the Central Area Action Plan seems to call for just two west loop stations (Monroe and Congress) which IMO isn't enough. A third station at Lake Street would be needed, too, to connect with the Green line, the Carroll Transitway, and maybe even a second link to an infill station on the Blue Line.

Anyway, I have a feeling that all of these plans are really just fantasy. The cost estimates are probably all lowballs, and even so it would be tough or impossible to dig up 13 billion exclusively for transportation in central Chicago by 2020.

the urban politician Mar 31, 2009 3:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4168736)
That's complete BS TUP. I don't know how much experience you have with it, but I find the bus system in Chicago to be much faster than the train in most cases if you know what you are doing, especially now that you can see when the next bus is coming on Bustracker.

I'm sorry but who in their right mind takes the Red Line downtown when there is a plethora of wonderful express buses down LSD. The only reason I ever take the El is inclimate weather or rush hour, both of which make the certainty of using Buses go down.

In fact, the best way to get to the west loop from Lakeview is simple if you are going between 6am and 9am and coming back between 3:30pm and 6:30pm on a weekday. The 134, 135, and 136 buses go express from Arlington, Belmont, and Irving Park to Columbus and Wacker and end up on Franklin. These buses are extremely conveinent and take less than 15 min in some cases... When traveling during off-peak hours, simply take the 146 from Belmont express to Michigan and transfer to any Westbound bus through the loop, that will get you there in less than 30 min every time...

If you know how to use the bus in this city you can get from anywhere on the northside to anywhere within about 3 miles of the loop in less than 30 min, you just have to be smart...

^ That's cool. My experience in New York has been horrid when it comes to buses. I hate buses and will not ride them. I guess I"m a train snob

schwerve Mar 31, 2009 3:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 4169261)
Thankfully absent from that plan is any talk of turning the St Charles Air Line into a bikeway

its in there

orulz Mar 31, 2009 4:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schwerve (Post 4169315)
its in there

Whoops, you're right. As a matter of fact it seems like it was intentionally removed or unintentionally omitted from the "Near South Projects" page (page 4-54) of the "South Subdistricts" document - notice how item #2 is missing?

Nowhereman1280 Mar 31, 2009 5:29 PM

Here is a sun-times article further explaining the infrastructure plan that was published the other day.

http://www.suntimes.com/business/150...tion31.article

They also make reference of building parks over the top of Kennedy between Lake and Washington.

I think they should do it the whole way, it would be relatively cheep (road is already below grade) and would radically increase property values in the area just like Millennium Park did on the east side of the loop. It would also do wonders in the fact that it would permanently reconnect the West Loop with downtown after it was cut off when the freeway was built.

God I love that plan, I hope it all gets built. The Sun-Times says that 13.5 billion over 12 years isn't much higher than our normal capital improvements budget, lets hope that's the case and that most of these projects get completed!

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4169273)
^ That's cool. My experience in New York has been horrid when it comes to buses. I hate buses and will not ride them. I guess I"m a train snob

Next time you are in Chicago, try using some buses, for whatever reason, they are super effective on our grid system. Check out the the bustracker website, it saves ton of time because you don't spend any extra time waiting on the street. My building now has a computer screen in the lobby that constantly displays bustracker: ctabustracker.com

bnk Mar 31, 2009 6:08 PM

http://www.wbbm780.com/City-Plans--1...ojects/4117385

City Plans $15.5B In Downtown Projects


CHICAGO (STNG) -- A draft of Chicago's plans for the city's central area through 2020 calls for $15.5 billion in public works, mostly for transportation improvements, and asserts the projects are attainable with or without the 2016 Olympics.

The projects include a West Loop transit hub beneath Clinton Street with an estimated price tag of almost $6 billion. The hub would connect Metra and CTA rail and bus lines with a proposed Carroll Street rail line, itself a $260 million item, near the north bank of the Chicago River.

Other big-ticket items include $1.5 billion for CTA express train service to the airports and a $500 million for a landscaped roof over the Kennedy Expy. from Monroe to Washington around which new office buildings could be added. A $377 million plan foresees moving part of Lake Shore Drive east from Navy Pier to the Oak Street curve, creating space for bike and pedestrian paths.

The city's share of the total $15.5 billion cost should be in the range of $6 billion to $8 billion, the report said. Most of the money would come from tax-increment financing, a property tax source that diverts money from regular government expenses. The rest would have to be drawn from state and federal aid or corporate deals, it said.

The authors, principally officials with city planning agencies or consultants working for them, said the proposed expenses aren't out of line with recent budgets for capital projects.

Called the Chicago Central Area Action Plan, the draft has been posted on the Web site of the city's Zoning and Land Use Planning Department. Its appearance this year observes the centennial of Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago.

VivaLFuego Mar 31, 2009 6:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4169470)
The Sun-Times says that 13.5 billion over 12 years isn't much higher than our normal capital improvements budget, lets hope that's the case and that most of these projects get completed!

Well, that would mean our "normal" (such as it is) capital improvements budget would have to more than double - which isn't even getting into the fact that the normal budget (....such as it is) is already inadequate to maintain existing infrastructure in an acceptably modern and efficient state. The existing budget is, for the most part already fully programmed 5+ years out, which again, is already deferring necessary maintenance projects. I mean, c'mon, the city started on the subway station renovations 10 years ago, and look how many more there are left to do.

Quote:

My building now has a computer screen in the lobby that constantly displays bustracker: ctabustracker.com
That's neat. Was that just someone in the building taking initiative to set that up, or was there push/cooperation with CTA, local alderman, etc?

ChicagoChicago Mar 31, 2009 6:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4169273)
^ That's cool. My experience in New York has been horrid when it comes to buses. I hate buses and will not ride them. I guess I"m a train snob

You aren’t the only one. Buses in Chicago aren’t horrendous, but let’s just say they cater to a little seedier clientele.

VivaLFuego Mar 31, 2009 7:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChicagoChicago (Post 4169636)
You aren’t the only one. Buses in Chicago aren’t horrendous, but let’s just say they cater to a little seedier clientele.

Yeah, the 156, 134 et al are real shady :rolleyes:

lawfin Mar 31, 2009 8:24 PM

13.3 billion......or about 1 month in Iraq....hmm

LucasS6 Mar 31, 2009 8:27 PM

Oh no! On a bus with a black guy!

ChicagoChicago Mar 31, 2009 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4169745)
Yeah, the 156, 134 et al are real shady :rolleyes:

Ride the #9 much? Seriously, your argument is going to hinge around the routes that run LaSalle?

ChicagoChicago Mar 31, 2009 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LucasS6 (Post 4169807)
Oh no! On a bus with a black guy!

Playing the race card? Really, because I don't like buses? Don't be a fool. I ride the #77 bus daily, and very few black people ride the bus. Most of them are white and filthy.

spyguy Mar 31, 2009 11:17 PM

http://www.ctatattler.com/2009/03/sm...ine-rehab.html

Small progress unveiled in Grand Red Line rehab

A glimmer of hope shined through the dank, dark platforms at the Grand and State Red Line station, which has been undergoing renovation since April of last year: the unearthing of a small section of the new tile wall.
http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/5459/38794230.jpg

Abner Mar 31, 2009 11:20 PM

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/...cceptable.html

Quote:

City Hall says parking meter operator's performance 'simply unacceptable'

Posted by Dan Mihalopoulos at 3:15 p.m.

The performance of the city's new private parking meter operator has been "simply unacceptable," Mayor Richard Daley's chief of staff said today.

That statement from top Daley aide Paul Volpe came less than two weeks after the Tribune reported widespread problems with the parking meter system since the city sharply raised rates and turned over control to Chicago Parking Meters LLC for a $1.2 billion upfront payment.

The Tribune report found outdated fee and violation-enforcement information still posted, meters that charged the wrong hourly rates, a surge in broken meters and stepped-up writing of tickets for parking meter violations.
The city is shocked, shocked to learn that a company in the private sector is more interested in profit than providing a service.

Busy Bee Mar 31, 2009 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 4170104)
http://www.ctatattler.com/2009/03/sm...ine-rehab.html

Small progress unveiled in Grand Red Line rehab

A glimmer of hope shined through the dank, dark platforms at the Grand and State Red Line station, which has been undergoing renovation since April of last year: the unearthing of a small section of the new tile wall.
http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/5459/38794230.jpg

1996 called and wants its tiled wall back. Gag, why is CDOT still using this anachronistic design? To me, it may be nice and new—but it's tacky/busy/passe and should've been shelved way back when they did Roosevelt. For what a snazzy new station reno should look like check out NY's new South Ferry stop or pretty much any new subway station oversees. Dissapointing. I do dig the sation entrances though.

OhioGuy Apr 1, 2009 2:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38 (Post 4169226)
For the proposed Clinton Ave subway, it seems to me it should route south to the Orange line. What if the Orange was then rerouted through the Clinton subway up to North/Clybourn? That would really improve access to Midway. The Loop would keep access because everyone could board the Blue at Dearborn and transfer.

Could they continue routing the red line through the State Street subway, route the brown line through the new Clinton Subway, and maybe beef up purple line express service so that it continues throughout the day, thereby continuing to provide northside service to the loop? People heading to/from the various areas of downtown & the northside would have a relatively simple transfer at Belmont or Fullerton if needed.

ardecila Apr 1, 2009 3:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 4169261)
However, as you mention, good connections are essential to making the Clinton Subway work, and the Central Area Action Plan seems to call for just two west loop stations (Monroe and Congress) which IMO isn't enough. A third station at Lake Street would be needed, too, to connect with the Green line, the Carroll Transitway, and maybe even a second link to an infill station on the Blue Line.

Anyway, I have a feeling that all of these plans are really just fantasy. The cost estimates are probably all lowballs, and even so it would be tough or impossible to dig up 13 billion exclusively for transportation in central Chicago by 2020.

The Carroll Transitway would have its own level in the West Loop Transportation Center, and it would run down to some point around Monroe, where passengers could transfer to the subway or Metra.

Personally, I think they should just turn Clinton into a bus mall on the surface level. It would reduce the depth of the excavations and reduce the costs dramatically. The city could even build some sort of cool landmark roof over the street. A transit mall didn't work on State Street, but that's a totally different circumstance...

As for the $6 billion cost - I don't think it's too unreasonable. The 2nd Ave Subway in NY is costing $4.3 billion for the first, 1.5-mile phase. This is including pricey extras like using tunnel-boring machines and keeping 2nd Avenue open up above.

The Clinton subway will be 3 times longer - 3.5 mi - but CTA can close Larrabee and Clinton, or narrow them down to one lane while construction happens, which allows them to use the much cheaper cut-and-cover method. Hell, back in the 40s, CTA kind of used cut-and-cover to build the State Street Subway, and underpinned State Street in order to keep it open above.

I said kind of - purists may note that, while the tunnels for the subway were in fact bored, the stations were built with cut-and-cover, and the continuous platform station in the Loop, with frequent mezzanines, required lots of cut-and-cover.

Mr Downtown Apr 1, 2009 3:41 AM

Probably the best way to use a Larrabee-Clinton subway is to run Red Line trains that way, with Brown-Orange throughrouted via the State Street Subway. There'd be interchange between the two at Fullerton, as now, and at a new South Loop station somewhere north of Chinatown. This would reduce the crowding on the Loop Elevated.

Abner Apr 1, 2009 4:18 AM

Reducing reliance on the Loop elevated is a good thing (I look forward to the day when it serves a more historical/tourist function than a utilitarian one), but then what would access the Brown Line stations south of Fullerton, and what would Brown and Orange Line riders use to access Loop stations? An all-day Purple Line perhaps?

Nowhereman1280 Apr 1, 2009 5:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4169616)
Well, that would mean our "normal" (such as it is) capital improvements budget would have to more than double

I don't know what they mean by it, but the article said it. The article right above the post I am quoting from you says it too: the budgets "aren't out of line with" current projections.

Quote:

That's neat. Was that just someone in the building taking initiative to set that up, or was there push/cooperation with CTA, local alderman, etc?
I'm pretty sure its just the condo board here being innovative. Park Tower Condominium is probably one of the best run towers in the city, the board and management are great and super effective.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChicagoChicago (Post 4169636)
they cater to a little seedier clientele.

That's not true at all. Trains in Chicago have far seedier people on them because you can transfer unlimited times for free and there is no operator sitting right there like on buses. The only places the buses are seedy are in bad neighborhoods. Why you would expect to be in a bad neighborhood and not be around seedy people is beyond me, its like living downtown and expecting ample street parking and peace and quiet...

the urban politician Apr 1, 2009 2:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4170603)
Personally, I think they should just turn Clinton into a bus mall on the surface level. It would reduce the depth of the excavations and reduce the costs dramatically. The city could even build some sort of cool landmark roof over the street. A transit mall didn't work on State Street, but that's a totally different circumstance...

^ Interesting idea, but a bus mall wouldn't have its own grade-separated ROW and thus would be slowed down by traffic lights, etc.

Earlier I criticized buses, but I would like to add the caveat that I would definitely ride a bus system if it were grade-separated such as what's planned with this or the Carroll Ave or Lakefront line routes.

ChicagoChicago Apr 1, 2009 7:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4170864)
That's not true at all. Trains in Chicago have far seedier people on them because you can transfer unlimited times for free and there is no operator sitting right there like on buses. The only places the buses are seedy are in bad neighborhoods. Why you would expect to be in a bad neighborhood and not be around seedy people is beyond me, its like living downtown and expecting ample street parking and peace and quiet...

I'm not going to argue with you because there's no way to tell for sure. All I can tell you is that from what I experience, riding the number 80, 77, and 9 buses regulary (multiple times a week), that's what I've noticed. I also ride the Brown, red, purple, green and pink lines regularly as well, and blue a few times a month if I travel.

To me, the homeless aren't "seedy." They mind their own business and are usually as nice as they can be.

Nowhereman1280 Apr 1, 2009 9:42 PM

^^^ I'm not just talking about the homeless. Though the homeless are often very seedy, I'm not talking about the ones who sit quietly, I'm talking about the people who go back and forth on the cars repeatedly hustling you for money.

I'm also talking about the drunk people who wander the trains and harass you. I've seen women (one time it was my girlfriend who I was with) being sexually harassed by drunks or other creepy people pretty frequently on trains never once seen someone bother another person on a bus because the driver will just throw them off...

Abner Apr 1, 2009 11:54 PM

I'm sure this can be settled with data from Everyblock, but I agree that crime is worse on trains by far. So are annoying things like panhandling and preaching, which I pretty much never see on buses because the driver would immediately throw them off. There are sometimes crime waves on the Green Line. I've never heard of something analogous on buses, although they have occasional shootings at night in the worst areas. I've seen some pretty bad stuff on the el, but the only time I ever felt at risk on a bus was from a woman on drugs on the #6. The bus driver immediately pulled over and the cops got her off the bus within a couple of minutes. On the train it can be much harder to take care of a situation like that.

ChicagoChicago Apr 2, 2009 5:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 4172273)
I'm sure this can be settled with data from Everyblock, but I agree that crime is worse on trains by far. So are annoying things like panhandling and preaching, which I pretty much never see on buses because the driver would immediately throw them off. There are sometimes crime waves on the Green Line. I've never heard of something analogous on buses, although they have occasional shootings at night in the worst areas. I've seen some pretty bad stuff on the el, but the only time I ever felt at risk on a bus was from a woman on drugs on the #6. The bus driver immediately pulled over and the cops got her off the bus within a couple of minutes. On the train it can be much harder to take care of a situation like that.

The last two murders occured on buses(15 year old girl on south side and police officer at Belmont/Western). I can't even remember the last murder on a train. I do know of a few assaults on the platforms.

emathias Apr 2, 2009 12:36 PM

$15 billion is a lot, but if we could get firm commitments for an 80% match from the feds, that cuts down the Illinois/Chicago portion to only $3 billion, which spread over ten years would be $300 million per year. Or just under $10 per month per city resident. If they bonded the cost to 30 years, it'd be even less on an annual basis.

Does that seem unattainable?

It's always been about priorities, not about availability of cash. Maybe (maybe) now we have the political will to actually get some of the major portions done.

nomarandlee Apr 2, 2009 3:12 PM

A bit part of that cost has to do with the transit centers in the West Loop. As much as I like incredible feats of engineering as times goes by the more I become disillusioned with the WLTC. There has to be a better more inexpensive way to interconnect all the transit functions without building a subterranean four level multi-block complex.

Also even thoguh I know the bus routing around Union has to be fixed I would tend to think that the parking deck south of the station could be better used then what will be a spruced up bus depot.

Abner Apr 2, 2009 3:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChicagoChicago (Post 4172807)
The last two murders occured on buses(15 year old girl on south side and police officer at Belmont/Western). I can't even remember the last murder on a train. I do know of a few assaults on the platforms.

I have seen people randomly attacked on the Green Line and the Blue Line. I know many people who have been robbed on train platforms and on trains, sometimes right after school when the train is full of kids. I've never seen that on a bus and I've never heard of it except on lightly used lines in the most dangerous neighborhoods at night--and I've taken such "seedy" buses as the 54, the 9, and the 55 regularly. I've also never been a captive audience to an aggressive speech-giving panhandler, a soapbox preacher, or a three-card hustler on a bus. I'm not saying that people should be afraid to take the train--I still prefer the train--I'm just saying that in bad situations, you can't have the level of safety on the train that you can have on a bus by simply sitting or standing near the driver. (As for murder, that's a rare enough thing on any mode of transit that I don't generally take it into account.)

orulz Apr 2, 2009 4:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 4173274)
A bit part of that cost has to do with the transit centers in the West Loop. As much as I like incredible feats of engineering as times goes by the more I become disillusioned with the WLTC. There has to be a better more inexpensive way to interconnect all the transit functions without building a subterranean four level multi-block complex

Thinking about how to save money.

There are a couple components of the WLTC that probably can't be moved. A west loop subway probably does have to happen under Clinton. One station on this line would probably be located at Monroe. This station would connect directly to the Monroe transitway, and via a concourse to Union Station and Ogilvie. So that's 2 levels: tracks/platforms, plus the concourse/mezzanine.

As for the other two levels:
The "Clinton Transitway" (aka busway) - does that really have to be below ground? Who knows.

For HSR, though, there are numerous complicating factors that make it difficult to run HSR trains to the WLTC under Clinton. First, the HSR trains are envisioned on the bottom level, which would make the approaches extremely long and expensive. Also, how do you power the trains when they're in this tunnel? Dual mode trains? Do you build an expensive but probably still imperfect ventilation system? A 4-level escalator to reach the HSR platforms seems extreme, too. And how many HSR tracks/platforms can fit under Clinton anyway? The renderings I've seen show apparently just 2 tracks and 1 island platform. Dedicated HSR platforms and lead tracks increase speed and efficiency, but is it worth all that expense?

The easier and less expensive (but also less flexible) solution would be to rebuild union station to have more through tracks. Through-routing commuter trains would free up some slots, making Metra more convenient to boot. This does come with its own set of issues though, not the least of which is that there are only 3 tracks on approach to Union Station from the north and that could severely restrict capacity. In addition, this would cause the added expense of condemning and demolishing 222 S Riverside.

So, to summarize: which one will cost less: a 3-4 level WLTC with expensive approaches for HSR, or a 2-3 level WLTC PLUS the union station reconfiguration. And, how do you deal with the complications of each?

Attrill Apr 2, 2009 4:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 4172273)
I'm sure this can be settled with data from Everyblock...

Yep.

Since 6/15/2007

CTA Bus: 2, 476
CTA Train: 2, 471

Bus route miles are approx. 10X train miles, and twice as many passenger trips by bus, so it would seem trains are more dangerous. That said, either bus or train are safer than the streets and crime locations on the CTA seem to roughly follow the distribution of crime by neighborhood.

Rilestone75 Apr 2, 2009 4:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 4173330)
I have seen people randomly attacked on the Green Line and the Blue Line. I know many people who have been robbed on train platforms and on trains, sometimes right after school when the train is full of kids. I've never seen that on a bus and I've never heard of it except on lightly used lines in the most dangerous neighborhoods at night--and I've taken such "seedy" buses as the 54, the 9, and the 55 regularly. I've also never been a captive audience to an aggressive speech-giving panhandler, a soapbox preacher, or a three-card hustler on a bus. I'm not saying that people should be afraid to take the train--I still prefer the train--I'm just saying that in bad situations, you can't have the level of safety on the train that you can have on a bus by simply sitting or standing near the driver. (As for murder, that's a rare enough thing on any mode of transit that I don't generally take it into account.)

Abner, you must not take the train much then... I take the red or brown line every day, and can honestly say that at least once, perhaps twice a week there is an incident with someone on the train. This has also escalated over the past year, and I can only point to the state of the economy as a reason why.

Busy Bee Apr 2, 2009 5:46 PM

^And how in general, many members of socities' underbelly consistantly misbehave themselves.

lawfin Apr 2, 2009 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rilestone75 (Post 4173494)
Abner, you must not take the train much then... I take the red or brown line every day, and can honestly say that at least once, perhaps twice a week there is an incident with someone on the train. This has also escalated over the past year, and I can only point to the state of the economy as a reason why.

What are you the pigpen of crime while riding the train.....I think I have seen you complain of this before.....I also take the train if not every day then several times a week usually red and brown and I have rarely seen instances of crime....I think you may have a low threshold for "incident"

Taft Apr 2, 2009 8:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rilestone75 (Post 4173494)
Abner, you must not take the train much then... I take the red or brown line every day, and can honestly say that at least once, perhaps twice a week there is an incident with someone on the train. This has also escalated over the past year, and I can only point to the state of the economy as a reason why.

C'mon, this is just crazy. Either you are getting REALLY unlucky or I am getting REALLY lucky, because I've lived in Chicago 9 years and can count on one hand (maybe two, tops) the number of "incidents" I've seen on the trains or buses. I ride the trains almost every day.

Something in your account doesn't add up (no, people who give you the heebie-jeebies on the train don't count as "incidents")...

MayorOfChicago Apr 2, 2009 8:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taft (Post 4173890)
C'mon, this is just crazy. Either you are getting REALLY unlucky or I am getting REALLY lucky, because I've lived in Chicago 9 years and can count on one hand (maybe two, tops) the number of "incidents" I've seen on the trains or buses. I ride the trains almost every day.

Something in your account doesn't add up (no, people who give you the heebie-jeebies on the train don't count as "incidents")...

I was going to say, I've ridden the Blue and Red lines every day for almost 8 years....at all hours and all days (don't have a car, go out late a LOT).

I've only seen 3 instances. About 3 years ago a woman had her purse stolen on the Brown Line and called the police, and about 6 years ago some thugs were talking crap to random people and shoved this guy on the Blue Line, and two people got on a fight on a bus late at night about 4 years ago.

nomarandlee Apr 2, 2009 9:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 4173387)
Thinking about how to save money.

There are a couple components of the WLTC that probably can't be moved. A west loop subway probably does have to happen under Clinton. One station on this line would probably be located at Monroe. This station would connect directly to the Monroe transitway, and via a concourse to Union Station and Ogilvie. So that's 2 levels: tracks/platforms, plus the concourse/mezzanine.

As for the other two levels:
The "Clinton Transitway" (aka busway) - does that really have to be below ground? Who knows.

For HSR, though, there are numerous complicating factors that make it difficult to run HSR trains to the WLTC under Clinton. First, the HSR trains are envisioned on the bottom level, which would make the approaches extremely long and expensive. Also, how do you power the trains when they're in this tunnel? Dual mode trains? Do you build an expensive but probably still imperfect ventilation system? A 4-level escalator to reach the HSR platforms seems extreme, too. And how many HSR tracks/platforms can fit under Clinton anyway? The renderings I've seen show apparently just 2 tracks and 1 island platform. Dedicated HSR platforms and lead tracks increase speed and efficiency, but is it worth all that expense?

The easier and less expensive (but also less flexible) solution would be to rebuild union station to have more through tracks. Through-routing commuter trains would free up some slots, making Metra more convenient to boot. This does come with its own set of issues though, not the least of which is that there are only 3 tracks on approach to Union Station from the north and that could severely restrict capacity. In addition, this would cause the added expense of condemning and demolishing 222 S Riverside.

So, to summarize: which one will cost less: a 3-4 level WLTC with expensive approaches for HSR, or a 2-3 level WLTC PLUS the union station reconfiguration. And, how do you deal with the complications of each?

I agree that a subway line does have to go through the West Loop under either Clinton or Canal.
With 444 West Lake on the fritz I wonder if the idea of giving the approach to Union 4 tracks like I think Mr.Downtown said could be an idea revisited.

I wonder if it would throw the West Loop out of whack by making Clinton as a dedicated bus transitway/LRT like how I think Minneapolis has part of 5th St. through downtown. I would be up for demolished 222 Riverside but then I don't know how much money you are saving in the end. Would like to see the projections even just for the demolition of 222 Riverside.

Mr Downtown Apr 2, 2009 10:09 PM

I believe a total of four through tracks could be squeezed in on the east end of Union Station without altering any foundations. The original caissons were placed to make another runthrough track possible, and this alteration was contemplated during WWII. Earlier discussion of subject.

Abner Apr 2, 2009 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rilestone75 (Post 4173494)
Abner, you must not take the train much then... I take the red or brown line every day, and can honestly say that at least once, perhaps twice a week there is an incident with someone on the train. This has also escalated over the past year, and I can only point to the state of the economy as a reason why.

First, considering that I was arguing that trains are more dangerous than buses, I have no idea how you concluded that I don't take the train much. I take the train a lot, and I probably take the relatively less-used branches more often than the typical forumer here. That said, even though I frequently take the Green, Forest Park Blue, and Pink Lines during weird hours, I have very, very rarely seen any crime on them, so I have to echo the people who responded to you and wonder what is going on to make you witness so many incidents. My point was just that crimes happen on buses even less frequently than on trains, and Attrill posted the CPD numbers that confirm that.

denizen467 Apr 3, 2009 8:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4170692)
Probably the best way to use a Larrabee-Clinton subway is to run Red Line trains that way, with Brown-Orange throughrouted via the State Street Subway.

Has it been determined exactly how the tubes would get from Larrabee to Clinton? Underneath the existing surface rail r-o-w? Underneath the river (hmmm, a risky idea maybe; see 1992)? In particular, on which side of the Kinzie Station tower?

jpIllInoIs Apr 3, 2009 12:44 PM

^ NYC has over 20 subway lines crossing under 3 separate rivers and Jamaica Bay.


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