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Busy Bee Dec 17, 2009 8:48 PM

I agree. Do you think it was ever discussed to eliminate the ramps altogether and open the two parcels to development? I can't imagine eliminating the ramps would inconvenience too many motorists when all they have to do is hang a few turns to get to/from Congress.

emathias Dec 17, 2009 9:07 PM


Originally Posted by orulz (Post 4612113)
Is the connection from Congress to Franklin really so important that it must be retained? I agree that if it must be retained then a grade separation is preferable, but it looks awfully expensive for something so redundant (there's already a grade separated connection to Wacker and a left turn to Wells.) I notice they've completely done away with the connection from Franklin TO Wacker.

They haven't done away with a Franklin/Wacker connection - it's there, from the Harrison/Franklin intersection (Franklin is 1-way, so there wouldn't be a south-bound one).

Franklin to westbound Congress now is only very lightly used, since Franlin is one-way northbound and only starts one block south at Harrison - doesn't seem like much lost there to me since one block east at Wells you can get on it via a normal light.

Those loops are there primarily to provide the bulk of the traffic to Lower Wacker for people coming from the west and going to Michigan Avenue or Streeterville - for that, they are very well used and quite useful and, I dare say, quite important at times.

Mr Downtown Dec 17, 2009 10:53 PM

About 1993, there was a proposal to develop a building on air rights over the "park" south of Congress. A few months later, a sign suddenly appeared, saying Oscar D'Angelo Park. That's more than a little odd, as Oscar is still living. Maybe he put it up himself . . .

denizen467 Dec 18, 2009 5:52 AM

^ He's that infamous shady mafia-ish west loop character, I believe. No surprises there.

ardecila Dec 18, 2009 8:03 AM

Yea... I just googled D'Angelo, and he seems EXACTLY like the kind of person who WOULD put up such a sign, and then call in some favors to prevent the city from taking it down.

On the other hand, it's pretty far from Little Italy. I assume he'd want to be memorialized on his own turf rather than the middle of a highway interchange.

ardecila Dec 19, 2009 6:48 AM

Navy Pier Flyover

Busy Bee Dec 19, 2009 4:02 PM

Looks promising. I've lost complete track, but is the Calatrava designed footbridge for the river completely dead? Is this question like 4 years old?

Mr Downtown Dec 19, 2009 6:51 PM


Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4614477)
Has there ever been talk of straightening [the North/Halsted] S curve, a la Harrison?

There was discussion, but no money, in the early 90s, when most of that land was still vacant. Unlike the Harrison curve, straightening the North/Halsted curve would have required condemning probably 8 or 10 different parcels.

OhioGuy Dec 19, 2009 9:51 PM

I don't know that I particularly care for that ped bridge... I don't like what appears to be a blue wall that blocks the view of Lake Michigan (or are those just blue slats that from the angle of the first photo make it appear to be a wall?) and it looks rather narrow for runners, walkers, bikers, and bladers to share. How does the width compare to that of the running/biking path on the Diversey Harbor bridge?

J_M_Tungsten Dec 19, 2009 10:49 PM

^^^ That's what I thought too. It would be kind of stupid to block the view of the lake.

Mr Downtown Dec 20, 2009 12:08 AM

^I think the problem was that Lake Point Tower was worried that people could step from the new overpass onto their private rooftop garden.

ardecila Dec 20, 2009 6:19 AM


Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4615282)
^I think the problem was that Lake Point Tower was worried that people could step from the new overpass onto their private rooftop garden.

That was indeed the problem. LPT residents were also concerned about receiving some privacy and sound protection on their terrace. Lake Shore Drive traffic has whizzed by for years, and the construction of this flyover finally affords an opportunity to erect a sound wall for little additional cost. On the portions of the flyover that don't butt up to LPT's podium, there needs to be a dense system of slats for safety reasons - every 4" or less, by code. I guess CDOT felt that chainlink wasn't appropriate, so they designed this more substantial block.

ChicagoChicago Dec 20, 2009 9:57 PM


Around $9 million in federal transportation dollars paid for the initial design phase of the flyover, said Brian Steele, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation.
$9mm to design the thing? That's friggin absurd.

Busy Bee Dec 20, 2009 10:52 PM

More than absurd—it's probably criminal.

VivaLFuego Dec 21, 2009 6:30 AM

Sidenote: CDOT awarded a $25.2 million contract to FH Paschen for construction of the Morgan/Lake L station on December 15.

pottebaum Dec 22, 2009 9:02 PM

The CTA just launched a bus tracker by text:


Mr Downtown Dec 23, 2009 3:03 AM

Some pictures of the bowling-alley seating in the 5000s.
Chuck Metalitz

Nowhereman1280 Dec 23, 2009 3:15 AM

Lol at that and the comments. "They aren't going to be comfortable wahhhh". Well when the train is as packed as it has gotten as of late, I'd rather get on than be comfortable... Higher capacity is a huge plus...

ChicagoChicago Dec 23, 2009 3:51 PM

That new seating configuration is the most pragmatic, especially for the blue line where the first 5000s are going. Anyone who has ever tried to navigate their luggage on the train knows that the current seat configurations just don't work.

Oh, and London's tube is set up the same way...but what the hell do they know about mass transit...

spyguy Dec 23, 2009 4:11 PM

Tattered 35th Street bridge to be replaced
by Sam Cholke

The Chicago Plan Commission approved the replacement of the 35th Street pedestrian bridge and plans for a harbor at 31st Street at its Dec. 17 meeting.

...Construction of a new $16-million suspension bridge is expected to begin in fall 2010, after federal funding is secured, and take a year to finish.

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