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ardecila Jan 21, 2014 2:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BWChicago (Post 6413805)
There were more problems than that though. The ultra-wide sidewalks and lack of movement sucked up all the energy from the street, for one. And was there really much advantage transit-wise to having it dedicated to buses there?

Fair enough. The Denver design reserves a wide strip in the median for landscaping and seating, while the Chicago design was sorta windswept.

I don't know if the sidewalks lacked energy. My sense is that they were just as busy as today during daytime, while they appeared vast and empty at night, enhanced by the lack of auto traffic. But State's sidewalks today are still kinda sleepy at night, especially south of Madison. Other pedestrian malls and plazas are equally sparse at night, but we don't consider them failures.

My point is that the closure of the street didn't kill State Street businesses - racial change and white flight did. The design probably could have used some tweaking, but Daley's redesign threw the baby out with the bathwater by restoring the street to traffic.

BWChicago Jan 23, 2014 1:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6415082)
I don't know if the sidewalks lacked energy. My sense is that they were just as busy as today during daytime, while they appeared vast and empty at night, enhanced by the lack of auto traffic.

Just as busy but diluted over a much larger area - that's the lack of energy.

jpIllInoIs Jan 23, 2014 2:30 PM

South Shore Expansion efforts
 
I give Rep. Pete Visclosky a lot of credit for pushing this boulder up the mammoth hill of Indiana State politics. This time the effort is advocating an incremental approach with stages of expansion of the south shore line starting with Dyer extension.

NWI Indiana Times article January 18, 2014 11:00 pm • By Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326
South Shore proponents lay tracks for expansion
In a renewed push to extend the South Shore commuter rail line, proponents are touting its unparalleled economic development potential and saying no new taxes will be needed to build it.

Their enthusiasm is boosted in part by a new study commissioned by the South Shore's operator that finds an extension to Dyer would result in 5,600 new daily riders hauling about $147 million per year in paychecks back to Northwest Indiana from Chicago.

That means extending the South Shore to Dyer, and then to Lowell and Valparaiso..The 8-mile extension to Dyer would include new stations to be built in Hammond and in the Munster/Dyer area. Five trains per day would go into Chicago and five would come back. The first trains could be running by 2023.

j korzeniowski Jan 23, 2014 4:24 PM

well, the good news is everyblock is back.

the bad news, well. . .

LouisVanDerWright Jan 23, 2014 9:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 6418924)
I give Rep. Pete Visclosky a lot of credit for pushing this boulder up the mammoth hill of Indiana State politics. This time the effort is advocating an incremental approach with stages of expansion of the south shore line starting with Dyer extension.

NWI Indiana Times article January 18, 2014 11:00 pm • By Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326
South Shore proponents lay tracks for expansion
In a renewed push to extend the South Shore commuter rail line, proponents are touting its unparalleled economic development potential and saying no new taxes will be needed to build it.

Their enthusiasm is boosted in part by a new study commissioned by the South Shore's operator that finds an extension to Dyer would result in 5,600 new daily riders hauling about $147 million per year in paychecks back to Northwest Indiana from Chicago.

That means extending the South Shore to Dyer, and then to Lowell and Valparaiso..The 8-mile extension to Dyer would include new stations to be built in Hammond and in the Munster/Dyer area. Five trains per day would go into Chicago and five would come back. The first trains could be running by 2023.

Nice, how close will the Munster stop be to Three Floyds? The entire extension is basically worth it if it opens up Dark Lord Day and the brewery to transit. Dark Lord day attracts crowds numbering in the five figures and obviously everyone is there to drink which makes the whole designated driver thing a problem. Same with people driving out there to patronize the brewery.

kolchak Jan 23, 2014 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baronvonellis (Post 6414566)
I think the lack of left turns will snarl up traffic on the side streets near ashland. That is a big mistake. I mostly drive on Ashland off peak for shopping trips. It might force me to Western or Damen, which would slow those streets more.

Or you could take the new, faster Ashland bus :)

I think the short term effect of increased traffic on certain streets is just part of a very smart long term goal to increase public transit options and use in the city and therefore ultimately reduce Chicagoans automobile dependence.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6413157)
Buses in the curb lane would frequently be blocked by delivery trucks, right-turners, and even local buses on Ashland. It would be no different from the old X9.

Berlin, Germany is a great example of the success of dedicated bus lanes. But they do tend to run on the right side. When passing delivery trucks or other stopped vehicles they drive around them.

le_brew Jan 24, 2014 6:05 PM

Gazette article on Ashland BRT from early Dec.
 
Community discusses Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) at local meeting
January 3, 2014 By Patrick Butler

http://www.gazettechicago.com/index/...local-meeting/

kolchak Jan 25, 2014 4:28 AM

Berlin dedicated lanes -

Passing a stopped truck blocking the right dedicated lane -
http://i44.tinypic.com/dfk6yt.jpg
photo from signalarchiv.de

Bus lane on left side -
http://i40.tinypic.com/8x6iae.jpg
photo from www.autobild.de

They work really well in that city - and Berlin is similar sized to chicago with similar density patterns.

untitledreality Jan 25, 2014 5:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6419787)
Nice, how close will the Munster stop be to Three Floyds? The entire extension is basically worth it if it opens up Dark Lord Day and the brewery to transit. Dark Lord day attracts crowds numbering in the five figures and obviously everyone is there to drink which makes the whole designated driver thing a problem. Same with people driving out there to patronize the brewery.

The Dyer Amtrak station is 2 miles away, should serve as a good guesstimate.

untitledreality Jan 25, 2014 5:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j korzeniowski (Post 6419131)
well, the good news is everyblock is back.

the bad news, well. . .

Its like the Chicago Tribune message boards on cocaine.

CTA Gray Line Jan 25, 2014 5:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kolchak (Post 6422045)
Berlin dedicated lanes -

Passing a stopped truck blocking the right dedicated lane -
http://i44.tinypic.com/dfk6yt.jpg
photo from signalarchiv.de

Bus lane on left side -
http://i40.tinypic.com/8x6iae.jpg
photo from www.autobild.de

They work really well in that city - and Berlin is similar sized to chicago with similar density patterns.

I drove a 3-axle lift-truck delivering Copier Systems the size of a Mini-van on the North Side (especially on Ashland Ave. - Edgewater and Bethany Methodist Hospitals) for over ten years; is anyone aware of another way to deliver equipment that large door-to-door?

No left turns for most of the street will create a 3 right-turn situation through residential areas; until they STOP that, then my Dispatcher will sadly inform you: "Sorry, we don't/can't deliver to your address, please contact your Alderman; your business is not worth 5 to 10 tickets a week for our Company or our Drivers - again Sorry"

I would REFUSE to service Ashland Ave. myself, go ahead and Fire me -- those tickets go on MY Drivers License, Frack Them.

Exactly what are Delivery Drivers supposed to do?? (the current plans seem to include "TO Effin' BAD FOR THEM").

kolchak Jan 25, 2014 6:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6422112)
I drove a 3-axle lift-truck delivering Copier Systems the size of a Mini-van on the North Side (especially on Ashland Ave. - Edgewater and Bethany Methodist Hospitals) for over ten years; is anyone aware of another way to deliver equipment that large door-to-door?

No left turns for most of the street will create a 3 right-turn situation through residential areas; until they STOP that, then my Dispatcher will sadly inform you: "Sorry, we don't/can't deliver to your address, please contact your Alderman; your business is not worth 5 to 10 tickets a week for our Company or our Drivers - again Sorry"

I would REFUSE to service Ashland Ave. myself, go ahead and Fire me -- those tickets go on MY Drivers License, Frack Them.

Exactly what are Delivery Drivers supposed to do?? (the current plans seem to include "TO Effin' BAD FOR THEM").

I am afraid sir, that you may have taken my post out of context by not having read through the page. I was not illustrating the problem of delivery trucks blocking bus lanes, but rather addressing Mr. Downtown's concern for this by showing the ease with which a bus can simply drive around a truck stopped for delivery - as one has in the photo from Berlin above.

kolchak Jan 25, 2014 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 6412484)
^. My question is this: if they allow regular CTA buses run on the BRT lane, won't that slow down the entire system and just make it essentially useless?

Not to beat a dead horse but in Berlin they allow all buses, paratransit vehicles and taxis to use the dedicated lanes and those lanes still move much faster than normal traffic lanes. Bus stop loading and unloading is also quicker because a bus doesn't have to wait for auto traffic to clear the area in front of the bus shelter or stop before pulling in. Bus stops are also after an intersection not before it - keeping right turn traffic flowing and keeping it from blocking the bus stop.

When done right, bus lanes work.

ardecila Jan 25, 2014 6:50 PM

Maybe so, but in the US, curbside lanes will always be inferior to median lanes. For one, we have narrower sidewalks than European cities, so bus stop facilities will occupy a lot of sidewalk space and crowd out pedestrians, trees, furniture, etc.

Also, delivery trucks, cabs, standing cars, and right-turning cars will seriously hobble the efficiency of a curbside lane. Remember the bus lane on Jackson? Even without a left-turn ban, a median lane is still superior.

kolchak Jan 26, 2014 2:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6422564)
Maybe so, but in the US, curbside lanes will always be inferior to median lanes. For one, we have narrower sidewalks than European cities, so bus stop facilities will occupy a lot of sidewalk space and crowd out pedestrians, trees, furniture, etc.

Also, delivery trucks, cabs, standing cars, and right-turning cars will seriously hobble the efficiency of a curbside lane. Remember the bus lane on Jackson? Even without a left-turn ban, a median lane is still superior.

I remember the Jackson lanes. But I think the problem is easy to remedy. Having stops after intersections would reduce the right turning cars issue and I still don't see why buses can't just drive around parked/stopped vehicles. The bus stops also would then need way less width for standing passengers because they could be longer and skinny.

But ultimately if this is a substitute for expanding rapid transit it may be a waste of money. We don't need to spend millions rebuilding the medians on Ashland and creating overly wide, brightly painted bus lanes with giant warning signs about $200 violation fines etc. And really what I fear is coming will be just that - another way over budget transit fiasco.

Just take streets that it would work well on and designate some transit (Bus) lanes. You could allow right of way for necessary vehicles. This would go a long way to speeding up bus mass transit.

The solution is so easy but then again, that would be too easy to make any money off of - right?

Chi-Sky21 Jan 26, 2014 3:13 AM

I think moving the bus stops to the other side of the intersections is a good idea, also , get rid of parking on Ashland, (not a cheap or easy task i know) Have the buses stop a little less frequently , maybe ad another block between stops at least. These steps along should speed it up. But may still be expensive, no idea how much this would cost to buy out all those parking meters, thanks to that wonderfully thought out parking meter deal.

ardecila Jan 26, 2014 3:25 AM

Real BRT is a package of improvements, not just dedicated lanes. Enclosed shelters, prepaid boarding, level boarding, rear-door boarding, high average speeds. All of those serve to make the bus experience more comfortable.

BRT has been an acceptable substitute for rapid transit in many Latin American cities, and while many of those are installed on Stony Island-esque speedways, some are quite similar to Ashland. It sucks major balls that we don't have the political will to pay for proper subway systems like European and Asian cities, but that's the situation.

denizen467 Jan 26, 2014 4:36 AM

^ Does the BRT plan involve completely occupying 3 lanes' worth of space (counting the planted median as a lane) in Ashland? How much of a speed/time sacrifice would result if you collapsed all the BRT real estate (northbound buses, southbound buses, and stations) into fewer lanes -- e.g. by having all buses run mostly in 1 lane with only occasional 2-lane passing areas? Cameras and other technology common in rail systems would help avert head on collisions.

ardecila Jan 26, 2014 4:58 AM

The single-track rail systems you're referring to operate on hourly or half-hourly headways and run on a tight schedule. This works because rail lines are pretty insulated from sources of interference like traffic jams and pedestrians.

It does occur to me that every major intersection could still have at least one turn lane for either northbound or southbound traffic, opposite of the station. CTA could do surveys of the busiest left-turn movements to identify which ones to keep.

kolchak Jan 26, 2014 6:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6423139)
Real BRT is a package of improvements, not just dedicated lanes. Enclosed shelters, prepaid boarding, level boarding, rear-door boarding, high average speeds. All of those serve to make the bus experience more comfortable.

BRT has been an acceptable substitute for rapid transit in many Latin American cities, and while many of those are installed on Stony Island-esque speedways, some are quite similar to Ashland. It sucks major balls that we don't have the political will to pay for proper subway systems like European and Asian cities, but that's the situation.

Ok. I see where you are on this. But will BRT be enough to lure people out of their cars and reduce city traffic and increase public transit use? It works well in South American cities with large working populations that are made up of people who don't have cars anyways - these are the folks taking these buses in Bogota - not middle class Chicagoans. And many of the buses there are for longer commutes from outlying areas into the city centers. European cities build more subways, elevated trains and street cars because the well off European city dweller demands it - not because they don't own cars - some do and still use public transit. The 2nd street subway in NYC - that is a real transit project. New light rail in LA even qualifies. But this in Chicago...

It sounds like this is just another idea floated that has found wings precisely because we won't be getting any real money for major transit innovation for a long time.


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