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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

the urban politician May 1, 2014 6:31 PM

Well, count me in as very stoked about the Wells Wentworth connector moving forward. This improved access to the Loop will really bolster property values and, I think, spur more development in and north of Chinatown. I really would love to see the lot adjacent to the Red Line developed into a residential/parking tower. So much potential.

Has anyone else noted that the city is on the verge of passing a hare-brained ordinance that will effectively shut down the city's pedicab industry? Over and over again, our city's shitty leadership favors one industry over another and kills off small businesses. This is the kind of nonsense that makes me shudder.

wierdaaron May 1, 2014 7:57 PM

I work in the BCBS building and Rahm was here this morning giving a press conference to announce that BCBS is sponsoring the Divvy system. The city gets $12.5M in exchange for Blue Cross branding on the bikes and stations. Oh, and BCBS policyholders get $45 off annual Divvy memberships.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...ycle-share-inc

I kind of preferred how Divvy was unbranded, unlike Boston where they carry ads or New York where the system itself is sponsored by Citi. But I guess I can stomach some light branding on the bikes as long as they arent obnoxious ads and they don't change the name of the system to BlueCrossBlueBike or something.

ardecila May 1, 2014 9:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 6560387)
I was expecting the same as well.

The three storefront buildings between the fire station and the intersection will be torn down for the realignment. The buildings are pretty generic, ugly, and heavily modified, but they are active commercial uses. After the realignment, the fire station will hold the NW corner of the new Cermak/Wentworth intersection. So rather than vibrant commercial activity at the corner (however gaudy the buildings may be) it will basically be a dead zone.

I disagree. The traffic clusterfuck on Cermak with the two legs of Wentworth and the Chinatown feeder ramp coming together is awful for pedestrians and discourages activity. This is an improvement in every regard, even if a few nondescript buildings come down.

Side note: I love how the new road will curve around the new Chinatown library. It's a nice urban design move (and yes, it was planned).

http://i.imgur.com/qGEF4ft.jpg

the urban politician May 2, 2014 1:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6561059)
Side note: I love how the new road will curve around the new Chinatown library. It's a nice urban design move (and yes, it was planned).

^ Good catch, and I agree that is a nice touch

joeg1985 May 2, 2014 4:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6555783)
Especially for tourists. If you've never lived in or spent time in a big city, mass transit systems can be incredibly daunting to figure out -- from how to get a ticket ("you can get a day pass!...but not here") to what train/bus to take to how/where to board. Telling a visitor to "just take the number 3 bus" can be like telling someone to "just perform a heap sort on a 12TB recursive dataset of key:value pairs."

My idea for a Michigan Avenue bus would be to have something that people don't have to figure out. You could take a normal bus and give it a friendly alternate paint job like the Jump Bus, have it stop at major destinations rather than every street (Soldier Field, Willis Tower, Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, Riverwalk, Wrigley Plaza, Navy Pier, Mag Mile Center, Hancock Center, Lincoln Park Zoo?) and make the payment/onboarding as simple as possible (make the fare a flat dollar amount and/or have credit card readers onboard so visitors don't need to figure out the ventra/farecard system first).

I don't think that would be extremely expensive to set up and it could be a huge advantage to the city in attracting and catering to visitors, which Rahm has been on a huge kick about. It'd be a lot cheaper and easier than trying to reconfigure the whole CTA to be less daunting.

If that worked, maybe some additional routes that serve common tourism waypoints could be identified.


Wouldn't a street car on Michigan Ave be the easiest and most obvious way to go to achieve this?

emathias May 2, 2014 6:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeg1985 (Post 6562271)
Wouldn't a street car on Michigan Ave be the easiest and most obvious way to go to achieve this?

Perhaps, but it would require a complete re-configuration of the street, or it would end up being much slower than even the buses are or, worst case, even both of those things.

Michigan Avenue is plenty dense enough to require grade-separated transit instead of buses or trolleys.

wierdaaron May 2, 2014 8:28 PM

Honestly, I think renaming the #3 from King Drive to Michigan Avenue would be a half-decent solution. I spend a lot of time standing around the bus stops around Michigan and the Park and when I look at the bus list sign I see nothing that even says Michigan. The fact that #3 goes up and down Michigan through all of downtown is like insider knowledge. I don't even know where King Drive is.

A street car would be nice, but I doubt anyone would want to spend the money and hassle to tear up the roads and lay down tracks or overhead lines (which are unsightly). Reconfiguring a CTA bus seems like it'd be much easier and cheaper, just needs new signage and bus wrappings.

Hell, if the city doesn't want to do it, the Loop and mag mile community groups could pony up for it.

jcchii May 2, 2014 10:01 PM

maybe street car on state

wierdaaron May 2, 2014 10:18 PM

If they try changing the format of State any more it's going to break in half.

Busy Bee May 2, 2014 11:20 PM

Do you really not know where King Drive is?

ChiMIchael May 3, 2014 2:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6562719)
Honestly, I think renaming the #3 from King Drive to Michigan Avenue would be a half-decent solution. I spend a lot of time standing around the bus stops around Michigan and the Park and when I look at the bus list sign I see nothing that even says Michigan. The fact that #3 goes up and down Michigan through all of downtown is like insider knowledge. I don't even know where King Drive is.

A street car would be nice, but I doubt anyone would want to spend the money and hassle to tear up the roads and lay down tracks or overhead lines (which are unsightly). Reconfiguring a CTA bus seems like it'd be much easier and cheaper, just needs new signage and bus wrappings.

Hell, if the city doesn't want to do it, the Loop and mag mile community groups could pony up for it.

Do you ever consider that the #3 is a longer route than you think it is????

wierdaaron May 3, 2014 2:51 AM

Of course, but that's of little consequence to a person just moving around downtown between their hotel, the bean, and whatever deep dish place they decide on. A massive amount of the city's tourism economy is anchored on Michigan and I'm just trying to think of ways to make that work even better by making it easier to move amongst it.

ChiMIchael May 3, 2014 2:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6563251)
Of course, but that's of little consequence to a person just moving around downtown between their hotel, the bean, and whatever deep dish place they decide on. A massive amount of the city's tourism economy is anchored on Michigan and I'm just trying to think of ways to make that work even better by making it easier to move amongst it.

The north end of King Drive is at Cermak at the McCormick Place, so my guess it that service is extended into downtown for service between downtown and the McCormick Place.

Mr Downtown May 3, 2014 2:57 PM

King Drive (Grand Blvd) bus service goes to the Loop because it always has. Well, since 1926, anyway. That's how some South Siders get to work. In 1988, the line was extended to the North Michigan Avenue area. People used to send letters to the newspaper claiming racism was the reason no South Side bus lines ran to the North Side.

The more useful route for visitors is the 146, which connects the Mag Mile and Museum Campus via State Street.

Rizzo May 3, 2014 3:17 PM

Yep, the bus I always walk past daily

daperpkazoo May 5, 2014 4:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6560877)
I work in the BCBS building and Rahm was here this morning giving a press conference to announce that BCBS is sponsoring the Divvy system. The city gets $12.5M in exchange for Blue Cross branding on the bikes and stations. Oh, and BCBS policyholders get $45 off annual Divvy memberships.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...ycle-share-inc

I kind of preferred how Divvy was unbranded, unlike Boston where they carry ads or New York where the system itself is sponsored by Citi. But I guess I can stomach some light branding on the bikes as long as they arent obnoxious ads and they don't change the name of the system to BlueCrossBlueBike or something.

Sounds similar to Minneapolis' Nice Ride, branding-wise:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_l5R-K6mIRy...0/100_6918.JPG

wierdaaron May 5, 2014 4:33 AM

It amazes me that every city in the country with a bike share system gets the same equipment from the same vendor and yet the vendor can't find a way to make money.

Busy Bee May 5, 2014 1:55 PM

Indeed. Bixi is a strange case of failure by success.

LouisVanDerWright May 5, 2014 2:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 6565053)
Indeed. Bixi is a strange case of failure by success.

No, Bixi is an example of why executives get paid so much at a lot of companies; you can have the best idea and business model in the world, but if you have incompetent management you can still go bankrupt. Bixi management made several major mistakes:

1. They took on too much debt too fast.
2. They made the stupid decision to try to develop their own software in house when they didn't have the resources or expertise to do so
3. They totally mismanaged the crisis that resulted when the software turned out to be total garbage and the cities that ordered it started withholding payment.

Bixi failed because their upper management violated the number one rule of management: Always create realistic expectations. They attempted to grow too fast and took on too much debts trying to take too many clients too fast (just look at Epic Systems, the healthcare records software company out of Madison who literally has no sales team because they refuse most customers that come to their door because they want to grow fast, but not too fast so as not to dilute the quality of their product.). They took on too much debt in the process of their unrealistically high attempted growth rate. When they failed to deliver on the unrealistic expectations they created for their clients, naturally the wheels fell off and the gig was up.

Busy Bee May 5, 2014 2:44 PM

I've been schooled. Thanks for the insight.


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