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Mr Downtown Dec 29, 2016 6:11 PM

^I'm not following you. The Chicago Urban Transportation District collected a supplemental property tax from the entire central area from 1970 until 1983.

emathias Dec 29, 2016 9:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7663046)
^I'm not following you. The Chicago Urban Transportation District collected a supplemental property tax from the entire central area from 1970 until 1983.

Yeah, when I got my first tax bill in 2004, I noticed the supplement was still mentioned, although at $0. I kind of wished it was still in place at the time, although my taxes have nearly doubled in 12 years so now I'm glad it's not.

WrightCONCEPT Dec 30, 2016 3:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7663046)
^I'm not following you. The Chicago Urban Transportation District collected a supplemental property tax from the entire central area from 1970 until 1983.

It looks like what I thought as I did some digging, the districts boundaries were not enough to make a dent in generating enough tax revenue and the costs associated with the design and changes rose faster than the revenues generated to leverage federal funds because of the technology assumptions and once there's no consensus or movement it went to core capacity extensions outside the Central area.

That was an area that plagued LA for a long time, they drew up big plans but didn't have enough revenue or revenue sources and consensus to make the expansion and infrastructure happen until 1980. So it will need more than the local district for this new plan coupled with other Cook County area Transit projects to go towards a special sales tax on transit if the State legislation allows for it.

Quote:

http://www.chicago-l.org/plans/CUTD.html In April 1970, the Chicago Urban Transportation District (CUTD) was created to implement the subway plan, overseeing design and construction. The CUTD had the power to levy taxes within the boundaries of the District -- North Avenue, Ashland Avenue, the Stevenson Expressway, and Lake Michigan -- to pay for some planning and other activities, although the bulk of the project's funding was expected to come from the federal government.

The CUTD applied for federal funds, but the project was quickly mired in a series of delays. First, the validity of the plan was challenged, accusing the scheme of being "mode restricted" by assuming rapid transit to be the best technology for the plan's goals without studying other options. Consultants were retained to verify the assumptions and results of the 1968 Transit Planning Study, which was determined to indeed be valid. In 1973, the CUTD retained another consultant, American-Bechtel, Inc., to further review and refine the CCATP further study the details of the plan and conduct the necessary Environmental Impact Analysis.

During this time, inflation began to rapidly increase the cost of the project. In 1974, the CUTD applied to the federal government for a facilities grant, proposing a 10-year project that would now cost $1.642 billion based on an annual escalation of 8% compounded to the mid-year of construction of each segment of the project...

By the mid-1970s, funding was becoming an increasingly big problem as costs soared and available funding shrank. The CCATP had to again be scaled down to meet more modest funding availability. Initially, only the Randolph Subway was removed from the Core Plan, but in June 1976 the decision was made to divide the Monroe and Franklin lines into separate projects. After studying each line, neither was determined to have any particular advantage or disadvantage over the other, so the Franklin Street Subway was chosen based on operating factors and the Monroe Distributor was put on hold.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7661935)
Because the central area is already so well served by transit, when run on the Connector alignment, the modeling software FTA normally uses to evaluate projects doesn't predict any new riders at all.

This ridership modeling is critical!

In order to justify the access to new Federal dollars you have to show new riders. As it is currently designed or laid out conceptually, this is just shifting Metra Bus Shuttle riders on to the Light Metro with little new riders because this was built.

If a federally approved study were to exist it would require a TSM (Transportation System Management) and TDM (Transportation Demand Management) evaluation and looks at the existing shuttle services and suggest what if you simply increased frequency on those shuttles and provided dedicated lanes in some stretches, would that move more people and be more cost-effective?

I mean for the cost, I'm wondering would simply electrifying the BNSF Aurora Line and then running it over the St Charles Air Line ROW to a new wye (unfortunately there is Mark Twain Park) to hook up with IC ROW to the Millenium Station be more effective to spur more riders for Federal Dollars?

k1052 Jan 8, 2017 8:35 PM

CTA lands $1.1 billion goodbye grant from Obama

Quote:

City Hall has received the parting gift it wanted from the Obama administration: just under $1.1 billion in federal grants to rebuild a key stretch of the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line north.

The city and U.S. Department of Transportation officials are scheduled to sign a contract tomorrow, known as a full-funding grant agreement, committing the DOT's Federal Transit Agency to provide $957 million in "core capacity" funds and another $125 million in anti-congestion money for the CTA's Phase One Red/Purple Modernization project.

The money will be matched with city property taxes collected by a special transit tax increment financing district that the City Council in November unanimously voted to establish, covering property one half mile on either side of the Red Line from North Avenue to the city limits.
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...ion-from-obama

Thanks, Obama ;)

OhioGuy Jan 8, 2017 9:55 PM

Good!

IrishIllini Jan 9, 2017 5:16 PM

Great to see the rebuild is actually happening. I had to wait for three trains this morning before I could board the red line. I'm wondering if this rebuild would make it feasible to route the Purple line through the State Street Subway and maybe run the yellow line through the Loop? Would that be insanity? It would definitely require more cars on the yellow line. Anyone know the recent numbers for ridership up that way? Last I heard I feel they were on the decline due to the embankment giving way.

The congestion on the Brown/Red/Purple Lines pretty bad these days. More trains could definitely help.

ardecila Jan 9, 2017 7:28 PM

I've always thought it would just be easier to extend the Red Line to Dempster (or Old Orchard) during peak times, and only keep the Yellow Line as a shuttle for off peak. The short turn of Yellow Line at Howard can delay the Red Line by a minute or two sometimes. Then the Purple Line express would run full time to State Street, skipping Wellington, Diversey and Armitage.

orulz Jan 9, 2017 8:54 PM

I'm not really sure what is the main limiting factor for frequency on the north side: Clark Junction or Tower 18. Both play a role, clearly.

The Belmont Flyover by itself will probably help somewhat by eliminating the flat junction where the Brown line joins the Red/Purple. But Tower 18 remains a constraint. Your suggestion hopes to gain somewhat better overall network capacity by moving Purple Line trains into the State Street subway, and that may work for a while, but even the State Street Subway has finite capacity, too, especially at rush hour when the Purple Line expresses are running.

In the long run, no matter how you reshuffle the routings between the Loop and the Subway, there will come a day of reckoning due to the bottleneck: there are six tracks to the north of Belmont and only four tracks to the south, two of which go by Tower 18.

Once you hit the level where the current infrastructure is maxed out, the options for further increasing capacity will be:
(1) Do nothing
(2) TDM-style improvements like higher frequency on UP North, better bus service, etc
(3) CBTC to increase the capacity per track
(4) Longer trains/platforms
And, finally, the endgame:
(5) Eliminate the bottleneck by sending a third track pair south from Clark Junction.

I'm not sure if it will ever come to (5), but if it does, I think a new subway for the Brown Line through Lincoln Park, feeding into the Larrabee-Clinton subway and the West Loop, would be a good way to solve it. Think of this as Chicago's equivalent of the 2nd Avenue Subway, bringing rapid transit to a very dense but under-served part of the city.

ardecila Jan 9, 2017 9:26 PM

Possibly. I think we're a long way off from that. Assuming no flat junctions, a 2 track subway line can host a train every 90 seconds in each direction. (Achieving this requires some design changes to the stations and signaling systems). The Red Line can also, in theory, have platform extensions to allow 10-car trains for a 25% increase in capacity.

In the short term, my plan would shuffle riders around to ease crowding. Armitage/Wellington/Diversey riders are shifted to Brown Line trains exclusively. Red Line riders north of Wilson may transfer to Purple Line trains at Wilson or Loyola to avoid the local stopping pattern.

Mr Downtown Jan 9, 2017 10:17 PM

Why not simply install a tail track somewhere between Chinatown and 35th to short-turn every third Red Line train and send it back to the North Side for another load? They could even run express from Belmont to Howard to start another run even faster.

WrightCONCEPT Jan 10, 2017 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7672541)
Why not simply install a tail track somewhere between Chinatown and 35th to short-turn every third Red Line train and send it back to the North Side for another load? They could even run express from Belmont to Howard to start another run even faster.

Great idea, I'd even add one just south of the Sox-35th Street where this can be used for after White Sox games to relieve crowds and demands to the system

orulz Jan 10, 2017 5:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7672486)
Possibly. I think we're a long way off from that. Assuming no flat junctions, a 2 track subway line can host a train every 90 seconds in each direction. (Achieving this requires some design changes to the stations and signaling systems).

Google tells me that the current signal system and manual operation practices in place, the State Street subway can accommodate 24tph.

The typical capacity of a modern CBTC system with drivers is more like 32 tph.

I agree that, with full automation and platform screen doors, some metro lines in the world do achieve 40 or 42tph (90-85 second headways). However, as far as I am aware, such capacity is only achieved on lines with no branching at all. Throw branching into the mix, as would be required for re-balancing red/brown/purple/yellow(?) trains between the Loop and the State Street Subway, and it would likely complicate things and reduce capacity - even with no flat junctions.

Besides, when there is a reasonable alternative route that covers underserved territory, sometimes building a parallel line to ease crowding IS legitimately the right choice. The Second Avenue Subway is a very familiar example. If NYC fully automated the Lexington Avenue Line to achieve shorter headways, maybe the SAS wouldn't have been so necessary. However, the rather complicated branching and interlining on the 4/5/6 in the outer boroughs makes automation more complicated, and the SAS covers new territory and provides redundancy - so it makes sense. (Maybe not at its current cost, but at reasonable costs it certainly does.)

MayorOfChicago Jan 11, 2017 8:29 PM

I never understood the flyover saving up to 2 minutes off the red line trip. I've taken that junction twice a day at rush hour for 15 years.

Maybe 50% of the time is there a brown line and red line train that are northbound and wanting to leave at the same time. It seems to be a mix of who gets to go first, mostly who has been there longest and is there any bunching of either line around Belmont. Maybe 25% of the time does any train actually have to really stop and wait it out, and then I've never noticed it more than around 20-45 seconds. I can't ever remember waiting over a minute. Certainly not 2 minutes.

Coming south in the mornings usually the brown would wait it out, since they're virtually empty going north of Belmont at morning rush and the Red line is at capacity. I can never remember being delayed going south on a red line because of a northbound brown line.

denizen467 Jan 13, 2017 7:18 AM

Pretty tangential to this thread, but I had no idea we were finally getting a new license plate design this year. Apparently they became standard passenger car issue last week. They'll proliferate very very slowly though, unless you really want them now and pitch in thirty bucks as a replacement fee.

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/im...ngervanity.gif

At last, the hokey cursive is gone from our tags. Unfortunately, the replacement typeface looks like it was printed by a battery operated cash register.

Overall I'd say Michigan's or Ohio's or South Carolina's or others are light years ahead of this; they look like they actually used design agencies while ours always look like Jesse White just offered employees free pizza one Friday afternoon and they drew up something that very day. Also I don't understand why we should be perennially limited to a palette of white with some blue and a bit of red when there's a universe of ideas out there to enliven our flat and overcast prairie. But at least it isn't cluttered with hyperlinks to the state DMV or tourism websites or with other suggestion-box drivel.

I always wondered whether the more recent Illinois-rooted president would be added to our plates, but at a minimum maybe you have to die before you get considered for that.

Busy Bee Jan 13, 2017 1:53 PM

Interesting that you mention Ohio since its nearly universally hated by people with any design sense and imo is easily the ugliest in the union: https://www.fastcodesign.com/1596132...different-ugly...

...and here is Blair Kamin's take on the new plate from November: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...18-column.html

jpIllInoIs Jan 13, 2017 7:40 PM

NITCD West Lake Corridor
 
NWI TIMES

The West Lake Corridor extension keeps moving ahead. The EIS is completed and it seems RDA has made their route and motive recommendations,

The extension from Hammond to Dyer will be electric just as current SouthShore. The current Hammond station and tracks will be moved south about 2 blocks to align with the extension. Quite a bit of detail in several articles in the link above.

The line will terminate in Dyer but not go down to the Dyer Amtrak shed. No need to accommodate that heap. This is far down the time line so who knows what the Hoosier Amtrak looks like then anyway.

denizen467 Jan 14, 2017 6:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 7676733)
Interesting that you mention Ohio since its nearly universally hated by people with any design sense and imo is easily the ugliest in the union: https://www.fastcodesign.com/1596132...different-ugly...

...and here is Blair Kamin's take on the new plate from November: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...18-column.html

That's hilariously ironic that the governor's wife had some hand in the Ohio plate since that was exactly the joke I was going to make about Illinois. I should've written "someone who knows how to use design software" rather than "design agencies"; while Ohio's doesn't conform to certain ordinary tenets of what is aesthetically pleasing and what a branding agency would come up with, its execution is far beyond the Illinois plate, which looks like it was done with scissors and glue or 1980s graphics software. But the bigger point is that this is a license plate, which has very different design goals than just a logo or advertisement. Your linked article represents the same thing as an overorthodox movie critic, sometimes striving to impress colleagues, panning a movie that ended up being a widespread public hit. The problem is that a license plate isn't sitting in a vaccuum; its habitat is a sea of car grills, gray slush, salt spray, interminable red lights, and oceanic parking lots. For that kind of context people would be happy to welcome a bunch of color and a little lighthearted civic pride. Your linked article evidences that the Ohio public loved the new plate. And IMO in our thousand-mile flat prairie, where winter lasts six months, I always welcome seeing the Ohio plate. Of course it could be endlessly improved, but we're just comparing actual end results.

An example of easily one of the worst plates in the country is the new NY one, which, despite starting with some simple lines and colors, hearkened back to garish orange (along with a bizarre lettering choice). Can you imagine all the Mercedes and Jaguar owners carefully choosing which six figure vehicle they'll buy, only to then have to slap on this embarrassing kick me sign on their car. It's like buying an Armani suit, and then wearing orange Chuck Taylors. You can almost hear the Albany bureaucrats scheming to stick it to the Westchester elites. Also, I would argue that orange is the opposite of a soothing color, and not what you want frustrated drivers to be looking at for hours on end. However, the NY plate might look ok as a logo or in an advertisement, by itself on a full page. So you have to adopt a slightly different standard for a license plate.

Another example of the difference between "design sense" ordinarily, versus what you'd want on a license plate: You have effectively said that the new Kentucky plate is not as bad as the Ohio plate. True, on a theoretical level, the Kentucky plate is generally more elegant and less cluttered, while Ohio is a design hodgepodge. But you'd have to be crazy to want that Kentucky cereal box image on your car.

(Thanks for the Kamin link. It's interesting an architecture critic took up this subject; it's appropriate enough and I'm glad he did. And it's scary that my nightmare pizza party scenario was pretty much how it actually played out.)

jpIllInoIs Jan 14, 2017 1:32 PM

Chicago Union Station stakeholders enter into Emerging Projects Agreement with USDOT
 
It seems Chicago was given one more going away present...Qualifying for "Emerging Projects" puts CUS on the short list for big grant money.

CHicago Union Station "Emerging Project Aggreement:

Plans to modernize Chicago’s Union Station will move forward following the announcement that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) new Build America Bureau and the city of Chicago are entering an Emerging Projects Agreement (EmPA).

The agreement will allow Chicago to work with USDOT officials toward the goal of acquiring as much as $1 billion in federal funding to revitalize the station.

“Today marks a major step forward both in the future of Union Station and in the economic life of our city,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said....

Representatives say the EmPA will enable USDOT to provide better technical assistance for large-scale projects seeking low-cost federal credit through the Build America Bureau’s programs, including Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program and the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program.

“The Build America Bureau makes it easier for big multimodal projects like Chicago’s Union Station to move forward. This project will serve as a vital hub for rail and transit and connect the entire region,” said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. “I’m confident that the Bureau will continue to be a great partner for Chicago and cities across the country to build seamless, modern transportation networks in the years ahead.”

The EmPA announcement comes as Chicago and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) are working with Amtrak, Metra, the Regional Transportation Authority and the Illinois Department of Transportation to design improvements to passenger capacity through renovated and expanded concourses and platforms. Representatives say current plans also reference improvements to service, safety, environmental concerns, accessibility and mobility issues surrounding the station.

Amtrak says it is in the final stages of evaluating proposals for a master developer to lead the station’s redevelopment and that of nearby Amtrak-owned property and air rights.

Redevelopment plans for the station outline a public-private partnership to facilitate transportation and transit-focused improvements surrounding Union Station.

The project’s three primary goals are:

Expand and renovate the station to serve as an architecturally significant transportation terminal
To allow a growing number of customers to use the station’s facilities safely and efficiently
Create a vibrant commercial center and civic asset

Potential improvements to be funded through the agreement include:

Renovation of the Canal Street Union Station Lobby
Rehabilitation of the Great Hall skylight and dome structure
Renovation and expansion of the Adams Street and Jackson Street entrances
Expansion of the Union Station Concourse
Widening of platforms
Improved accessibility throughout the station, including installation of an elevator at the Canal Street Headhouse
Reconstruction of the Canal Street and Harrison Street viaducts
Construction of pedestrian tunnels connecting Union Station to Metra’s Ogilvie Station and to the CTA Blue Line stop at Clinton Street


All of the above improvements are in the CUS Master Plan Except fpr the last one..First time Ive seen anything abut a Pedestrian Tunnel from OTC-CUS to Clinton Blue Line. Seem like a long dig- but could be the backbone of a West Loop Pedway. And the Clinton St station is where Megabus is being moved, right under the Ike -currently occupied by parking lots. And a short 2 block Eastward leg would connect to the Post Office.

Busy Bee Jan 14, 2017 3:09 PM

Back when license plates were issued annually, colors were pretty fun...

http://www.collectiblesonlinedaily.c...21173396_1.jpg
x


Here is my favorite, the purple 1964:

http://www.licenseplates.tv/images/usail64.gif
x

I'll take pretty much any "unimaginative" plain vintage issue styled plate over the overwrought collection of hombres, vignettes, stupid typography, tourism marketing collusion, something-for-everyone trend of US plates of the last 20+ years.


Wouldn't fit modern lengthy license numbers, but I love the Penn silhouette plates from the 30s. These are just perfect:

https://img1.etsystatic.com/057/0/61...43449_344j.jpg
x

the urban politician Jan 14, 2017 3:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 7677984)
It seems Chicago was given one more going away present...Qualifying for "Emerging Projects" puts CUS on the short list for big grant money.

CHicago Union Station "Emerging Project Aggreement:

Plans to modernize Chicago’s Union Station will move forward following the announcement that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) new Build America Bureau and the city of Chicago are entering an Emerging Projects Agreement (EmPA).

The agreement will allow Chicago to work with USDOT officials toward the goal of acquiring as much as $1 billion in federal funding to revitalize the station.

“Today marks a major step forward both in the future of Union Station and in the economic life of our city,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said....

Representatives say the EmPA will enable USDOT to provide better technical assistance for large-scale projects seeking low-cost federal credit through the Build America Bureau’s programs, including Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program and the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program.

“The Build America Bureau makes it easier for big multimodal projects like Chicago’s Union Station to move forward. This project will serve as a vital hub for rail and transit and connect the entire region,” said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. “I’m confident that the Bureau will continue to be a great partner for Chicago and cities across the country to build seamless, modern transportation networks in the years ahead.”

The EmPA announcement comes as Chicago and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) are working with Amtrak, Metra, the Regional Transportation Authority and the Illinois Department of Transportation to design improvements to passenger capacity through renovated and expanded concourses and platforms. Representatives say current plans also reference improvements to service, safety, environmental concerns, accessibility and mobility issues surrounding the station.

Amtrak says it is in the final stages of evaluating proposals for a master developer to lead the station’s redevelopment and that of nearby Amtrak-owned property and air rights.

Redevelopment plans for the station outline a public-private partnership to facilitate transportation and transit-focused improvements surrounding Union Station.

The project’s three primary goals are:

Expand and renovate the station to serve as an architecturally significant transportation terminal
To allow a growing number of customers to use the station’s facilities safely and efficiently
Create a vibrant commercial center and civic asset

Potential improvements to be funded through the agreement include:

Renovation of the Canal Street Union Station Lobby
Rehabilitation of the Great Hall skylight and dome structure
Renovation and expansion of the Adams Street and Jackson Street entrances
Expansion of the Union Station Concourse
Widening of platforms
Improved accessibility throughout the station, including installation of an elevator at the Canal Street Headhouse
Reconstruction of the Canal Street and Harrison Street viaducts
Construction of pedestrian tunnels connecting Union Station to Metra’s Ogilvie Station and to the CTA Blue Line stop at Clinton Street


All of the above improvements are in the CUS Master Plan Except fpr the last one..First time Ive seen anything abut a Pedestrian Tunnel from OTC-CUS to Clinton Blue Line. Seem like a long dig- but could be the backbone of a West Loop Pedway. And the Clinton St station is where Megabus is being moved, right under the Ike -currently occupied by parking lots. And a short 2 block Eastward leg would connect to the Post Office.

The pedestrian tunnel to the Blue Line would be a major improvement, IMO. The lack of any real connectivity between Metra/Amtrak and the CTA have always been a big problem.

This basically connects OHare to many of the N/NW suburbs without having to make an above ground transfer.


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