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VivaLFuego Mar 22, 2007 2:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alex1 (Post 2709205)
if healthcare isn't taken care of at the national level, it needs to be implemented at the state level. After all, lack of healthcare is a more pressing societal problem then just about any other. It ruins people on so many levels which makes waiting for Washington to do anything about it criminal in a way. The state should be just as involved in the state of its resident's health as in mass transit.

In the regard of leadership, Blago is weak since he doesn't understand consensus building on many issues. He's also made many bone headed moves (raiding pensions in the past).

I don't think Moore has legislated what you can or can't eat. He's legislated against extreme animal cruelty. I respect that.

But raising taxes in Illinois to pay for healthcare simply puts us at a competitive disadvantage compared to other states, so businesses and jobs will leave. The problem has to be tackled at the federal level.

Similarly, Joe Moore isn't in a position to legislate against animal cruelty, he's in a position to fix potholes and get parking tickets expunged, or maybe on his biggest day pass some sort of noise ordinance. Legislating against animal cruelty should be done at the state or federal level, not at the city level, that's just ludicrous. Joe Moore's pet issue does nothing to actually reduce animal cruelty.

Like I said, both these guys have delusions of grandear......Rod is governor of Illinois, not President of the US.....and Joe Moore is just an alderman, not a congressman.

This is somewhat OT, but still relevent to the discussion of transit funding (i.e. with Blago in power, don't expect much positive progress on the transit front).

j korzeniowski Mar 22, 2007 4:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alex1 (Post 2708304)
I'm all for the tax increases to provide universal healthcare in Illinois. However, Rod needs to figure out one thing, transit is very important too. You can't play chicken with a system that's about to succumb to neglect.

Rod could have been a great leader if he learned to lead. He's much like Kruesi in that regard.

at this point in the game it should be 1. education 2. transit 3. universal healthcare.

i was being simplistic. this is how my post should have read.

cheers.

j korzeniowski Mar 22, 2007 4:20 PM

saw this earlier today. april 2nd three-tracking may or may not happen on april 2nd:

Switches, signals key

CTA President Frank Kruesi said the agency is also on target to have an April 2 start date on the next phase of the Brown Line reconstruction project, which involves taking one of four tracks at Belmont and Fullerton out of service until 2009.

Kruesi and CTA Chair Carole Brown have said that three-tracking won't begin unless newly installed switches and signals at Clark Junction -- the rail corridor where Brown, Red and Purple Line trains merge -- are up to snuff.

One more meeting

"So far, these tests have gone well," Kruesi said, but the next step, scheduled to take place this week and next, is to increase the number of test trains going through the junction to make sure the new equipment can handle rush-hour loads.

The CTA board will hold a special meeting next week to decide whether to go ahead with three-tracking on April2.

In the meantime, there will be one final community meeting on the plan from 6 to 8 p.m Monday at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake.


suntimes.com


_____

i will be interested to see as to how well the planning goes on this. i know travel times will increase, but i hope they can get these trains on tight schedules so the whole operation runs fairly smoothly, i.e., trains hitting their station (well, not literally), then moving on and a new train -- north- or south-bound -- eases in to the just vacated spot, moves on, and so on and so on.

i know that will be a difficulty with slow zones (not even getting into those who will say an impossibility with the current administrators), but i believe viva' said that they were replacing ties from addison to the tunnel??

anyways, april 2nd won't be pretty.

alex1 Mar 22, 2007 9:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2709285)
But raising taxes in Illinois to pay for healthcare simply puts us at a competitive disadvantage compared to other states, so businesses and jobs will leave. The problem has to be tackled at the federal level.

I don't disagree with your assertion that it NEEDS to be a federal problem first and foremost because it does put us in a competitive disadvantage. However, ignoring the problem until the feds do something about healthcare is immoral IMO and I've seen nothing out of Massachussettes that says it will drive business away (although it's not an easy program to innitiate).

I'll respectfully disagree with everything else you said but this thread isn't the place for it nor will either of us change the other's mind.

Where we can agree on is that Blago needs to stop using important issues like mass transit hostage for other problems. It's ass-backwards. It's bad leadership.

Attrill Mar 22, 2007 9:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alex1 (Post 2710348)
Where we can agree on is that Blago needs to stop using important issues like mass transit hostage for other problems. It's ass-backwards. It's bad leadership.

Where's his "testicular virility" on transit issues?

brian_b Mar 22, 2007 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Attrill (Post 2708597)
Thanks for the clarification on that! That's the most detailed explanation I've heard of it so far (although I've only talked to workers on the Chicago platform a couple times). I've seen the new ties in a few locations, and it seems like they're working on it even during the day. Anytime I take the train downtown after 9 AM there are always workers standing along the tunnel walls between Division and Chicago.

This past Saturday I had a flight out of O'Hare so I walked up to the Grand Blue Line station at about 3:30AM. There was track work going on just south of the platform - in both directions. A southbound train came just as I was arriving and stopped at the platform for the entire 20 minutes I waited for a northbound train. It was still standing there when I left. I'm not sure any of the passengers cared though - it was St. Patrick's Day and about 95% of them looked like they were passed out drunk.


By the way, I was walking home today and came upon a crash at Wells - apparently within a few minutes of it happening. A garbage truck smashed head-on into a track support post. From the looks of it, either the garbage truck was made out of a tin can or it hit HARD. I hope that the support post was not damaged - that's about the last thing the CTA needs right now. This was at Wells and Monroe, I think.

MayorOfChicago Mar 23, 2007 8:41 PM

^
I took the Blue line from Damen downtown to the red line and then up to Fullerton and switched to the Brown line at 4am two Fridays ago.

Took me over 2 hours to complete the ride. Took one hour to go from Damen to Jackson on the blue line. It was absolutely insane. TWO hours to go about 5 miles.

Yesterday I took the #11 bus from downtown at rush hour. Waited 15 minutes for the PACKED bus to get there. Then water started POURING out of the ceiling all over 4-5 chairs. I mean it was just GUSHING the whole way up north. Where'd it all come from? It was sunny outside. Then the bus wouldn't accelerate, so the driver had to put it in park in the middle of the street, shut it off, and power down the bus. He then had to start it up again so it would work.

A few weeks ago the bus driver had to power down the bus in the middle of the street 3 different times as we went from downtown to Diversey.

Another time the driver had to walk back and kick the doors closed every time someone opened them because they were broken and wouldn't register as "closed".

Two other times in one week two different bus drivers got totally lost on the route and started going down wrong streets.

The whole time they play that stupid recording touting their busses to get people home when track work starts. They could at least get us busses that KINDA run....



Two weeks ago I took the Diversey bus to the Blue line to O'hare. Took me an hour and 35 minutes to get there. I waited for 30 minutes in the middle of the day for a train to come to Logan Square and pick me up. Then we ran express - but it still took 45 minutes to go the few miles up to O'hare because of all the slow zones.

VivaLFuego Mar 23, 2007 9:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 2712862)
^
I took the Blue line from Damen downtown to the red line and then up to Fullerton and switched to the Brown line at 4am two Fridays ago.

Took me over 2 hours to complete the ride. Took one hour to go from Damen to Jackson on the blue line. It was absolutely insane. TWO hours to go about 5 miles.

Yesterday I took the #11 bus from downtown at rush hour. Waited 15 minutes for the PACKED bus to get there. Then water started POURING out of the ceiling all over 4-5 chairs. I mean it was just GUSHING the whole way up north. Where'd it all come from? It was sunny outside. Then the bus wouldn't accelerate, so the driver had to put it in park in the middle of the street, shut it off, and power down the bus. He then had to start it up again so it would work.

A few weeks ago the bus driver had to power down the bus in the middle of the street 3 different times as we went from downtown to Diversey.

Another time the driver had to walk back and kick the doors closed every time someone opened them because they were broken and wouldn't register as "closed".

Two other times in one week two different bus drivers got totally lost on the route and started going down wrong streets.

The whole time they play that stupid recording touting their busses to get people home when track work starts. They could at least get us busses that KINDA run....



Two weeks ago I took the Diversey bus to the Blue line to O'hare. Took me an hour and 35 minutes to get there. I waited for 30 minutes in the middle of the day for a train to come to Logan Square and pick me up. Then we ran express - but it still took 45 minutes to go the few miles up to O'hare because of all the slow zones.

With the exception of the lost bus drivers, those bus issues sound like they happened because of how old CTA's bus fleet is (both in terms of actual age and in vehicle miles since they're out in revenue service so much). Lack of capital funds and all that. Those nice Nova LFS buses (the 6600 series) purchased in 2001 are due for their mid-life overhaul in the next year but that's nowhere in sight, so those should start falling apart soon too. The current order of New Flyers (the 1000 series) coming in are only enough to fully replace the oldest of the old crappy buses (the 5300-series Flxibles from 1991).

Otherwise I strongly recommend checking the CTA customer alerts web page if you're ever planning to ride the L system overnight (anytime after 11pm), since it gives heads up on trackwork....it sounds like you got nailed by that several times (for some reason single-tracking totally ruins the schedule, like they let 2 trains go in the same direction before swapping). They're doing alot of overnight work on the Red and Blue lately, almost every night (and they will be again this weekend).
http://www.transitchicago.com/news/whatsnewA.wu

The capital needs of the rail system are extreme and out of hand, but it's important not to forget the bus system either, which carries twice as many riders.

One interesting thing, rail ridership is on a downward trend the last few months, while bus ridership is on an upward trend, which is exactly the opposite of the overall ridership trends for the past few years. Presumably, this is people giving up on the Red, Blue, and Brown lines and switching to buses.

ardecila Mar 24, 2007 1:12 AM

Rather than being all doom-and-gloomy about funding, let's talk about expansion and cheer up.

Has multi-tracking of any lines been proposed in recent history?

It would certainly be possible on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line, since they built the highway for 4 tracks, but only installed 2. An express service would allow CTA to use the 2 abandoned stations they have as local stations. Hopefully, IDOT won't cannibalize the space for more lanes. It honestly looks wide enough for 6 tracks in some places.

I also thought it was cool that they effectively 4-tracked the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line for maintenance by installing tracks in the breakdown lane of the highway, while ripping out the old tracks.

VivaLFuego Mar 24, 2007 1:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 2713400)
Rather than being all doom-and-gloomy about funding, let's talk about expansion and cheer up.

Has multi-tracking of any lines been proposed in recent history?

It would certainly be possible on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line, since they built the highway for 4 tracks, but only installed 2. An express service would allow CTA to use the 2 abandoned stations they have as local stations. Hopefully, IDOT won't cannibalize the space for more lanes. It honestly looks wide enough for 6 tracks in some places.

I also thought it was cool that they effectively 4-tracked the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line for maintenance by installing tracks in the breakdown lane of the highway, while ripping out the old tracks.

Yes, they want to 4-track the Kennedy from Jeff Park to O'hare as part of the Airport Express Project...I think that part costs like $500 mil, give or take, since it also involves pushing the retaining walls of the expressway out and relocating some bridge piers.

The Forest Park and Dan Ryan lines are already FAST, I dunno if much would be gained by 4-tracking. I mean its less than 25 minutes from Jackson to 95th, and the Forest Park branch is something similar. It's amazing what no slow zones would do...

the urban politician Mar 24, 2007 2:49 PM

^ It's impossible to fight graffiti completely. It's really kind of sad (or cool, depending on whether you see graffiti as vandalism or art).

New York's notorious graffiti problem in the subway was long ago cleaned up by Guiliani, but these days you still see all sorts of graffiti painted and scratched onto train windows.

It's almost like the drug war. You can confiscate as much weed as you want, but you'll never get it all.

VivaLFuego Mar 24, 2007 3:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2714104)
This is more of a city issue, but its main problem is along the transit lines, graffiti is all over the orange line route.... they(the city) seem to have lost the will to fight it non stop, which leads to the mother load of taggers hitting the canvas.
Not a good welcome sign from the airport.

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:...1553dsfdsf.JPG

I've noticed this too, and not only that, but the railcars and stations on the Orange Line have a much more serious tagging/etching problem than the other lines.

honte Mar 24, 2007 3:53 PM

Grafitti is the lease of our worries along the Orange Line route. The whole thing looks rather unappealing to a first-time visitor: The backs of old and unmaintained factories, vacant lots, and tons of suburban-looking townhouses all the way up until South Loop.

When I'm on that train with people coming into town, I often find myself explaining that Chicago as a whole doesn't look like this.

the urban politician Mar 24, 2007 5:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 2714378)
Grafitti is the lease of our worries along the Orange Line route. The whole thing looks rather unappealing to a first-time visitor: The backs of old and unmaintained factories, vacant lots, and tons of suburban-looking townhouses all the way up until South Loop.

When I'm on that train with people coming into town, I often find myself explaining that Chicago as a whole doesn't look like this.

^ The irony being, of course, that much of Chicago does look like that

honte Mar 24, 2007 6:10 PM

^ Yeah, I see your point. But I'd guess that, by percentage, probably 70% of Chicago's streets are cool and beautiful/interesting residential neighborhoods, not the stuff you see on the Orange Line. I enjoy most of the neighborhoods the Orange line passes through as well, just not that corridor.

Generally speaking, I find that ride to be depressing. Typically I like gritty neighborhoods and warehouses, trains, the whole bit. I guess what I dislike about that ride is the icky townhouses and kind of suburbanized character to the grit, if that makes any sense.

the urban politician Mar 24, 2007 6:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte
Yeah, I see your point. But I'd guess that, by percentage, probably 70% of Chicago's streets are cool and beautiful/interesting residential neighborhoods, not the stuff you see on the Orange Line. I enjoy most of the neighborhoods the Orange line passes through as well, just not that corridor.

^ Not sure about that. I have done some extensive "visiting" in much of Chicago's south and west sides and I think that 70% number may be a bit optimistic

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 2714658)
Generally speaking, I find that ride to be depressing. Typically I like gritty neighborhoods and warehouses, trains, the whole bit. I guess what I dislike about that ride is the icky townhouses and kind of suburbanized character to the grit, if that makes any sense.

^ I have seen strip malls, but I don't recall these 'suburban' townhomes from my many trips on the Orange Line.

Anyhow, perhaps we are drifting too far off topic..

ardecila Mar 25, 2007 12:44 AM

Southwest Side neighborhoods like Bridgeport and Brighton Park have filled vacant industrial parcels with cheaply-built suburban-style townhomes. While this brings more people to these areas, the style of building is not very urban at all.

Viva, that's good to hear about the Blue Line. If they 4-track the Blue Line for that stretch, that means that, if they ever extend the Brown Line westward to Jeff Park, it can also extend to O'Hare by default. That would allow for a lot of interesting routes a train could take.

the urban politician Mar 25, 2007 1:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 2715506)
Southwest Side neighborhoods like Bridgeport and Brighton Park have filled vacant industrial parcels with cheaply-built suburban-style townhomes. While this brings more people to these areas, the style of building is not very urban at all.

^ I think it's time we widen our definition of urban, wouldn't you say?

I hear this criticism of the newer townhomes all the time, but I think cities are just developing differently, that's all. The old days of common brick, obsessive detailing, and total lack of garages are over. That doesn't mean that everything built henceforth must forever be maligned as cheap suburban rubbish.

honte Mar 25, 2007 1:47 AM

^ TUP, you don't hear me complaining about all townhouse developments. Some of them are actually quite nice and manage to be good urban neighbors. I'll have to take some pictures of these things on the SW side, and I can explain what I'm talking about. I'll post them in the Gen. Dev thread if I get a chance.

I want to apologize to everyone for starting all of this in the transit thread. I thought for some reason that we were discussing it in the General Developments Thread.

MayorOfChicago Mar 26, 2007 2:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 2712862)
^
I took the Blue line from Damen downtown to the red line and then up to Fullerton and switched to the Brown line at 4am two Fridays ago.

Took me over 2 hours to complete the ride. Took one hour to go from Damen to Jackson on the blue line. It was absolutely insane. TWO hours to go about 5 miles.

Yesterday I took the #11 bus from downtown at rush hour. Waited 15 minutes for the PACKED bus to get there. Then water started POURING out of the ceiling all over 4-5 chairs. I mean it was just GUSHING the whole way up north. Where'd it all come from? It was sunny outside. Then the bus wouldn't accelerate, so the driver had to put it in park in the middle of the street, shut it off, and power down the bus. He then had to start it up again so it would work.

A few weeks ago the bus driver had to power down the bus in the middle of the street 3 different times as we went from downtown to Diversey.

Another time the driver had to walk back and kick the doors closed every time someone opened them because they were broken and wouldn't register as "closed".

Two other times in one week two different bus drivers got totally lost on the route and started going down wrong streets.

The whole time they play that stupid recording touting their busses to get people home when track work starts. They could at least get us busses that KINDA run....



Two weeks ago I took the Diversey bus to the Blue line to O'hare. Took me an hour and 35 minutes to get there. I waited for 30 minutes in the middle of the day for a train to come to Logan Square and pick me up. Then we ran express - but it still took 45 minutes to go the few miles up to O'hare because of all the slow zones.

Ha, took the #11 bus to work today. Once again it was pouring down rain inside the bus the whole way downtown. Some people on the bus were talking about how it was doing that for their Friday night ride home as well. So that's at least Thursday, Friday and Monday they ran that same bus at rush hour with an obviously extreme problem.

Does anyone know the timeline for starting up the beefed up bus service? Today our bus was at capacity by the time we reached Webster going downtown. We had to pass dozens of people waiting on the sidewalk because we couldn't fit anymore people on. I naturally assumed this week would see much higher ridership on the busses as people test the waters and prepare for next week. I figured CTA would understand this and start increasing the number of busses this week as well in anticipation - does anyone know what their schedule is?


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