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pilsenarch Aug 27, 2008 2:44 PM

OK...let me try to explain further:

As you probably know, the new canopies are a very impressive cantilever from relatively large, round or elliptically-clad columns. The large cantilever over the access road appears to be anchord by a shorter cantilever attached to the original structure. The last time I was out at O'hare, they had installed exposed pairs of steel columns at regular intervals along all of the canopy contsruction which at that point was almost complete. The steel columns sit on the upper sidewalk, are painted to match the canopy, and also have cables at the top attached to the cantilevered section of the structure.

This particular detail makes it appear that someone suddenly realized that for whatever reason, the structure was in danger of failing due to the uplift wind loads.

i_am_hydrogen Aug 27, 2008 3:58 PM

Metra says so long to its rail saloons
Bar cars are home away from home for many commuters, but space is needed for other passengers

By Richard Wronski | Chicago Tribune reporter
August 27, 2008

Every weekday at 5:17 p.m., the bar car on Metra's Milwaukee District West line becomes the place where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came.

With beer and wine cups in hand, a cast of characters that seems straight out of "Cheers" tries to make the daily commute home as merry as the sitcom.

"It's happy hour on the rails," said Kevin McHone, 40, an information technology engineer from Gilberts and a bar car regular.

But just as every TV show eventually ends its run, this Friday will be last call aboard what Metra officially calls its "refreshment cars."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1946689.story

Chicago Shawn Aug 27, 2008 4:40 PM

Thats a shame, although a necessity today I suppose. Although, I usually avoided the bar car in my Metra days because I enjoyed a quieter ride; the rolling tavern created a unique atmosphere that provided that "third place" were people could decompress between work and home. It provided a nice asset that public transit offered which in no way could be matched with private cars, and made the ride very enjoyable for folks who might have otherwise drove to work.

jpIllInoIs Aug 27, 2008 8:08 PM

Yellow Line extension wouldn't go farther than Old Orchard Road, CTA says
 
Yeah, while I did not ride that often, I'm going to miss the bar car for its ambience. It seemed too good to be true.


Anyway some good news on the Yellow Line Ext....

Residents hear train and bus expansion proposals
By Emily S. Achenbaum | Chicago Tribune reporter
10:35 PM CDT, August 26, 2008
A possible extension of the Yellow Line north from Skokie's Dempster Station would either be rail or bus along an existing right-of-way or a bus along Gross Point Road and Skokie Boulevard, officials said Tuesday.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7021953.story

10023 Aug 27, 2008 9:01 PM

They had bar cars? Wow. Who would ever, ever drive home? That's awesome.

bnk Aug 28, 2008 12:01 AM

Well at least this will not effect the general Metra ETOH policy

Quote:

Be your own bartender

Metra's decision won't mean the end of the line for commuters who like to imbibe on their way home—not by a long shot.

Passengers still will be allowed to bring alcoholic beverages onboard, except on certain blackout dates such as St. Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve, when many riders often are inebriated before climbing aboard.

ardecila Aug 28, 2008 4:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 3762430)
Residents hear train and bus expansion proposals
By Emily S. Achenbaum | Chicago Tribune reporter
10:35 PM CDT, August 26, 2008
A possible extension of the Yellow Line north from Skokie's Dempster Station would either be rail or bus along an existing right-of-way or a bus along Gross Point Road and Skokie Boulevard, officials said Tuesday.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7021953.story

How is a bus lane on Gross Point/Skokie an improvement over the current situation? There's already a bus that runs from Dempster station to Old Orchard, and I don't think it encounters heavy traffic very often to justify a dedicated lane. Plus, it still requires a transfer at Dempster. A BRT line along the Union Pacific right-of-way is just as bad, only vastly more expensive.

Rail is the most expensive, but it's also the only one that offers a real improvement over the status quo. If the CTA can't afford it, then they should just concentrate on building the infill stations in Skokie and Evanston.

Mr Downtown Aug 28, 2008 1:35 PM

^Because of the distribution at the outer end. "Old Orchard" is not a single point, it's a range of destinations all the way from Harms Road to the North Shore Centre. If you want to reinforce a 19th century idea that rail is the ideal and lazy people must walk to it, then by all means just put a station on the North Shore ROW next to the high school. But if you want to attract the most patrons, you run the transit all the way to their destinations, even if it's not on steel rails.

aaron38 Aug 28, 2008 1:37 PM

I wasn't at the meeting, but apparently 5000 people showed up yesterday in Barrington to protest the CN purchase of the EJ&E line. 52 of the 53 speakers were against it.
This one is getting messy.
http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=230804

nomarandlee Aug 28, 2008 1:39 PM

2008 Metra numbers
 
Quote:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...etra28.article

Metra cuts bathrooms to add seats

........Here's the breakdown, comparing the first six months of 2008 to the same period of 2007: BNSF, up 6.1 percent; Electric Lines, down 2.9 percent; Heritage, up 2.5 percent; Milwaukee-North, up 12.5 percent; Milwaukee-West, up 6.2 percent; North Central, up 13.5 percent; Rock Island, down 1.9 percent; SouthWest, up 7.2 percent; UP-N, up 13.5 percent; UP-NW, up 3.5 percent; UP-W, up 5.2 percent.
..

VivaLFuego Aug 28, 2008 2:34 PM

South side represent! The only transit lines currently losing ridership.

Thank you, Dan Ryan widening...

I would also postulate that the gains from the north suburbs are partially due to expressway construction on both the Tri-state and Edens and will subside - MD-N and UP-N probably also got a boost from the extra couple daily trains added this year.

the urban politician Aug 28, 2008 3:32 PM

If Chicago could huff and puff and get its mojo together, the city can really bear down and stop making parking such a priority in downtown and urban lakefront areas.

That's one of the things that allows NYC to pull it off; the fact that people simply have to be in Manhattan at any cost allows the city to do away with subsidizing the automobile. London is in a similar situation.

It helps Chicago that it has a lot of transit infrastructure and it continues to grow as a financial center, and it helps that companies continue to be attracted to its downtown. It also helps that its downtown/lakefront neighborhoods have become much more vibrant, liveable places. But is it enough? I'm not sure Chicago will ever reach the point where a critical mass simply has to be downtown, or in Lincoln Park, or Lakeview, or Wicker Park, Bronzeville, etc etc to justify the city doing away with subsidizing the car.

Attrill Aug 28, 2008 3:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3763982)
South side represent! The only transit lines currently losing ridership.

Thank you, Dan Ryan widening...

Does anyone know how current South Side lines ridership numbers compare to numbers before the Ryan construction started? The recent loss has to be due to construction finishing up on the Ryan, but I'm wondering if any commuters who switched due to construction are staying with the train.

aaron38 Aug 28, 2008 3:33 PM

Quote:

UP-NW, up 3.5 percent
That's it? I would have guessed 2-3 times that, from how packed the trains look at AH and Palatine.

Marcu Aug 28, 2008 5:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3763982)
South side represent! The only transit lines currently losing ridership.

Thank you, Dan Ryan widening...

I'd attribute most of it to the continuing decline in the south side's population. Some of the south suburbs now look less dense than rural Tennessee.

Eventually...Chicago Aug 28, 2008 9:48 PM

Long-delayed MetraMarket gets construction loan

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=30790

Chicago Shawn Aug 28, 2008 10:31 PM

^OMG, could it really be moving forward? This thing was first proposed about 7 years ago. It should be a great asset for the neighborhood once it finally opens.

Marcu Aug 29, 2008 1:07 AM

I really don't see why city subsidies were need to get this moving. Then again I don't think city subsidies are needed for almost any real estate within the CBD, especially considering the justification for handing out all these corporate relocations incentives is that the losses will be made up with increased property/sales tax revenue.

jpIllInoIs Aug 29, 2008 3:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3763870)
^Because of the distribution at the outer end. "Old Orchard" is not a single point, it's a range of destinations all the way from Harms Road to the North Shore Centre. If you want to reinforce a 19th century idea that rail is the ideal and lazy people must walk to it, then by all means just put a station on the North Shore ROW next to the high school. But if you want to attract the most patrons, you run the transit all the way to their destinations, even if it's not on steel rails.

You could do both.... and run the bus shuttle more east-west circuit. I would like to see the extension move ahead with stations at Golf Rd, Old Orchard Rd and finally up to a Lake Street terminus. Also adding the Oakton station in Skokie and Dodge and Asbury in Evanston. Gptta dream.

emathias Aug 29, 2008 1:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3763870)
^Because of the distribution at the outer end. "Old Orchard" is not a single point, it's a range of destinations all the way from Harms Road to the North Shore Centre. If you want to reinforce a 19th century idea that rail is the ideal and lazy people must walk to it, then by all means just put a station on the North Shore ROW next to the high school. But if you want to attract the most patrons, you run the transit all the way to their destinations, even if it's not on steel rails.

The reality is that mass transit overall is a 19th-century technology, as are, it should be noted, automobiles. But that doesn't make it irrelevant to modern life. Rail is more energy efficient and has higher carrying capacity than buses. The CTA isn't very aggressive about using the latest technologies in rail, but rail can be 21st century every bit as much as automobiles depending on how it's applied.

What the Chicago region is particularly bad about is appropriate zoning for rail. Any CTA rail station should have guaranteed FAR-5+ zoning withing 1/4 mile of it (I'd argue it should be FAR-10 within 1/4 mile and FAR-7 within 1/2 mile, but not enough people share that ideal to make it worth pursuing). Metra stations should also have higher guaranteed zoning near them, but not as high as CTA rail stations unless Metra wants to start running much more frequent schedules. But that's not the way things work in this region, so you have lots zoned for single family homes within a block of some stations, which from a policy standpoint is simply idiotic and very wasteful.


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