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

ardecila Jul 19, 2010 12:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4916626)
^ What?! That is an E-W artery, and it will be only busier (especially with people entering/exiting/stopping/standing) as the new station and TOD develop! As long as they are re-doing the viaduct, why can't we have our cake and eat it too with lanes as well as sidewalks and bike paths?

The plan is actually to turn a 4-lane cross section into a 3-lane cross section, with a turning lane in the middle. In many cases, this actually improves capacity, since left-turning traffic does not foul up one traffic lane and force drivers to merge right, which usually fouls up the other one. Creating a bike lane may also alleviate traffic delay due to cyclists who already use Lawrence.

Mr Downtown Jul 23, 2010 8:47 PM

^I happened to notice today that Roosevelt Road on the Oak Park/Berwyn border has been reconfigured this way, and traffic seems to move more smoothly than the traditional four-lane cross-section still in place in Cicero.

denizen467 Jul 24, 2010 2:36 AM

^ Sounds good. As long as the travel lane doesn't intermittently become a bus stop or an interminable right-turn lane clogged because of peds (nothing against pedestrians!).

pip Jul 24, 2010 6:37 AM

the seas have parted!!

Suburban residents now favor more transit spending, poll shows

Reflecting the increasing strain of gridlocked traffic, a majority of Chicago-area residents think improving bus and train service is so important to the region that repairing and expanding expressways and toll roads should take a back seat, a Tribune/WGN poll shows.

Most suburbanites support investing more in mass transit than roads, sharing the long-held stance of a large majority of city residents, the poll found. Suburban residents also said they are driving less and taking more advantage of expanded suburban train and bus service in communities where the automobile has been king.

Even in the collar counties, half said public transit deserves a higher priority in spending decisions.

The director of a Chicagoland civic organization called the poll results "phenomenal.''

"People are seeing that a car-oriented culture is limiting economic development and quality of life in the region,'' said Frank Beal, executive director of Chicago Metropolis 2020, which promotes social and economic ideas for the 21st century. "



http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,2153627.story

Busy Bee Jul 24, 2010 1:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pip (Post 4923582)
"People are seeing that a car-oriented culture is limiting economic development and quality of life in the region,''

Just now seeing this or just now admitting it?

ardecila Jul 24, 2010 4:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4923429)
^ Sounds good. As long as the travel lane doesn't intermittently become a bus stop or an interminable right-turn lane clogged because of peds (nothing against pedestrians!).

Don't forget that there's a bike lane and a parking lane. I believe the buses will pull to the right, out of the flow of traffic.

denizen467 Jul 24, 2010 9:22 PM

^ Ok, that's great. I should just go look and check it out.

----------------------------

Does anyone know if the Central Avenue Bypass (south of MDW) project has gotten going?

ardecila Jul 25, 2010 1:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4924013)
Does anyone know if the Central Avenue Bypass (south of MDW) project has gotten going?

The last Federal transportation bill included a $3.8 million earmark to begin the preliminary engineering on the project. However, IDOT hasn't spent it yet, and now Oberstar, the Transportation Committee chair in the House, wants those funds back, along with others. This is just another blow in a long battle between Oberstar and Durbin over numerous issues. That disagreement, by the way, is a significant factor in why we haven't gotten much Federal funding for big projects in recent years.

Quote:

Originally Posted by recent Crain's article
Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Chicago, said the earmark for the Central Avenue connector project in his district won’t be rescinded if at least 10% of the funds are obligated by September 2011, under the bill, and he has received assurance from the Illinois Department of Transportation that the state plans to spend about $800,000 on design work next spring. He said he expects the House to move quickly on the bill.

Link to article

I'm really hoping we can get moving on this bridge soon. It's really an opportunity to create a landmark... a similar project in Port Coquitlam, BC (near Vancouver) yielded an absolute work of art:
http://www.joconl.com/images/archivesid/26259/550.jpg

The cable-stayed spans allowed for significant cost reduction as well, since the bridge piers could be moved farther apart and the bridge deck could be made thinner, reducing the need for costly track relocation or heavy steel sections.

ardecila Jul 25, 2010 1:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4915615)
Quite a substantial tunnel for the bike path under Solidarity Drive (just south of Shedd) was completed last year. I don't know what funded that, but maybe the source(s) are the same.

Money came from a CMAQ grant.

Funding for the flyover may come from CMAQ, so you can't really spend it on outright highway projects. Usually it goes to bike paths and such, although Illinois has tried and succeeded at spending the money on other stuff, like transit station rehab projects, or infill stations. These projects are expensive, so they tend to soak up a lot of the available money.

VivaLFuego Jul 25, 2010 4:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4924175)
Money came from a CMAQ grant.

Funding for the flyover may come from CMAQ, so you can't really spend it on outright highway projects. Usually it goes to bike paths and such, although Illinois has tried and succeeded at spending the money on other stuff, like transit station rehab projects, or infill stations. These projects are expensive, so they tend to soak up a lot of the available money.

CMAQ can at least partially pay for streetscape projects, too, at least when they have bike or transit components.

M II A II R II K Jul 30, 2010 1:17 AM

Congestion Pricing Coming to Chicago?


http://thecityfix.com/congestion-pri...ng-to-chicago/

http://www.metroplanning.org/uploads...ort_7.8.10.pdf

Quote:

Congestion pricing is looking more likely in Chicago. After all, as transport experts have been pointing out for years: ”Congestion pricing is about the only weapon we have in our arsenal to encourage more efficient use of our expressways [and tollways].”

- Recent analysis of Chicago’s transit system gives cause for greater optimism among congestion-pricing advocates. Chicago has the third-worst traffic congestion in the country. Now, a federally-funded study by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and the Illinois Tollway says it’s time for Chicagoland to implement congestion pricing. The study notes that congestion pricing is already working in places like London, and on other modes of transport: for instance, flights get more expensive around holidays.



Inbound traffic on Chicago's Kennedy Expressway on July 9, 2010. A new study has suggested Chicago adopt congestion pricing to cut down on wasteful driving. Photo via the Chicago Tribune.

http://thecityfix.com/files/2010/07/transitchicago.jpg

Mr Downtown Jul 30, 2010 1:45 AM

Metra Ravenswood Station not moving
 
From the Chicago Tribune:

Residents on Ravenswood Avenue were so upset by the idea of a Metra station closer to their homes that they complained to officials, circulated a petition, formed an association and hired an attorney.

Their efforts seem to have worked.

Metra officials and the area's alderman have backed away from a plan to move the Metra's busy Ravenswood station north of Lawrence Avenue from its current location south of the street.

On Wednesday, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said Metra, in consultation with Ald. Gene Schulter, 47th, had decided to build the new station on the same site as it sits now.

Link to story

nergie Jul 30, 2010 1:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4929881)
From the Chicago Tribune:

Residents on Ravenswood Avenue were so upset by the idea of a Metra station closer to their homes that they complained to officials, circulated a petition, formed an association and hired an attorney.

Their efforts seem to have worked.

Metra officials and the area's alderman have backed away from a plan to move the Metra's busy Ravenswood station north of Lawrence Avenue from its current location south of the street.

On Wednesday, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said Metra, in consultation with Ald. Gene Schulter, 47th, had decided to build the new station on the same site as it sits now.

Link to story

My favorite line "Had we known we wouldn't have bought". This is the fucking mindset of NIMBYS that I don't get. A healthy city is dynamic by nature, I wonder how people felt when they built this idiot's building. Sheesh no wonder why this country is lagging and it is the 'me' first attitude. :hell:

jpIllInoIs Jul 30, 2010 1:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 4930264)
My favorite line "Had we known we wouldn't have bought". This is the fucking mindset of NIMBYS that I don't get. A healthy city is dynamic by nature, I wonder how people felt when they built this idiot's building. Sheesh no wonder why this country is lagging and it is the 'me' first attitude. :hell:

Yes and it indicates the the "Nanny State" mind set is alive and well even in a well to do neighborhood. The thinking is that somehow "Someone should have warned me that (list your objection here) would be built during (list your time frame here) and that if (list your exaggerated catastrophe here)our home values would go down and what about the children?"

nergie Jul 30, 2010 2:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 4930284)
Yes and it indicates the the "Nanny State" mind set is alive and well even in a well to do neighborhood. The thinking is that somehow "Someone should have warned me that (list your objection here) would be built during (list your time frame here) and that if (list your exaggerated catastrophe here)our home values would go down and what about the children?"

This guy's name seems to crop up more than it should, would love to turn the tables on him. His sniveling attitude makes me sick, they want all amnenities but don't want any of the sacrafice. Is is slander to write an op-ed piece on him and his stupid bunch of whinos.

VivaLFuego Jul 30, 2010 3:34 PM

Good deal --- I wonder how much money has thus been wasted on unnecessary A/D/E work, and how much extra construction will cost because of added difficulty in staging.

It's only money, and there's plenty of that going around.

elguero Jul 30, 2010 5:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4930372)
Good deal --- I wonder how much money has thus been wasted on unnecessary A/D/E work, and how much extra construction will cost because of added difficulty in staging.

It's only money, and there's plenty of that going around.


Definitely wonder on how much the whole mess will cost. And I don't see a station across the street as opposed to a block down dramatically changes the reality that the man quoted decided to build his house in the middle of the city across from a rather active rail line. I'd also assume there was at least some sort of public discourse on moving the location of the station in initial planning stages where these sort of issues should have come to light in the first place, even if we see them as ridiculous.

That said, I'm curious about the decision to move the station to begin with--I assume it is partly a simple matter of preventing any station closures/work on an active station, but is there more to it than that? moving a station one block isn't going to really change its accessibility, no? Closer to some, farther for others, and is a one block difference either way really going to change an appreciable people's mind on riding the train? Perhaps formal analysis says yes; from a common sense perspective seems unlikely though.

VivaLFuego Jul 30, 2010 5:38 PM

In general, it's simply far cheaper if you can avoid very complex staging in rebuilding an active facility in a constrained space (e.g. the enormously expensive Grand/State reconstruction). I don't think there is any compelling service planning or operational reasoning for either a northside or southside station location.

jpIllInoIs Jul 30, 2010 8:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 4930327)
This guy's name seems to crop up more than it should, would love to turn the tables on him. His sniveling attitude makes me sick, they want all amnenities but don't want any of the sacrafice. Is is slander to write an op-ed piece on him and his stupid bunch of whinos.

I assume you are referring to the Ravenswood Neighborhood Association group. Almost as bad as the West Loop outfit. What would they have said if Metra decided to move the station 8 blocks south to Irving Park with the intent of improving inter-modal routing?

Baronvonellis Jul 30, 2010 8:53 PM

They are the same ones that complained when they wanted to develop the sears parking lot area. Gee, what does he expect when he moved to an area next to a train stop and one of the largest development sites on the north side. He should of just built his house in Winnetka.

denizen467 Jul 31, 2010 7:37 AM

Is there anything suspicious about the speed with which this 180 degree change occurred -- under 30 days (from Epstein finding out about the plan on 6/29). It's almost like Metra wanted to go with the southern platform, but needed an excuse to go with the more expensive option.

One complaint, brief involvement of the Alderman, and then poof - Metra's plans flip around.

Mr Downtown Jul 31, 2010 6:58 PM

Much more curious, in my opinion, is the sudden appearance out of nowhere of the desperate need to rebuild the station, coupled with the alderman's insistence that the meetings about the development north of Lawrence could not discuss the location of the Metra station. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government, and lurching from wishlist item to TIGER application to sham public hearing is no way to do long-range planning, capital investment programming, or neighborhood redevelopment.

denizen467 Jul 31, 2010 8:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4931629)
Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government

What do you prefer, an anarcho-syndicalist commune? ;)

At least we have the Lady of the Lake, er, "Daley of the Lake", distributin' chits...


(Alright, don't read too much into that.)

VivaLFuego Aug 1, 2010 5:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4931629)
Much more curious, in my opinion, is the sudden appearance out of nowhere of the desperate need to rebuild the station, coupled with the alderman's insistence that the meetings about the development north of Lawrence could not discuss the location of the Metra station. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government, and lurching from wishlist item to TIGER application to sham public hearing is no way to do long-range planning, capital investment programming, or neighborhood redevelopment.

Wait a second, you mean there's another away to plan infrastructure development and renewal?

In fairness, among all non-downtown Metra stations, based on ridership alone Ravenswood would be near the top of the list for substantial investment to improve accessibility (for full ADA compliance) and lengthen platforms so all cars can serve the station. Granted, on a commuter railroad, even a relatively busy station isn't an "urgent" capital need on the same order as say, structure and vehicle replacement, unless the feds and disability-rights-groups have been applying the regulatory hammer towards Metra as hard as they've been on CTA lately.

jpIllInoIs Aug 4, 2010 12:07 AM

CREATE 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project
 
75th Street Capital Improvement Project website

All you infrastructure-train-urbanist can get some satisfaction nawing on this bone.

OhioGuy Aug 4, 2010 1:40 AM

Has there been any legitimate studies done on the possibility of adding a station to the green line between Roosevelt and I-55? With all of the condo development that's occurred in that area, I would think a new station might be warranted? It would seem as though a station on the south side of 18th street, just past the orange line junction, might be a good spot. Placing it further north would make it too close to Roosevelt, while placing it further south would lead somewhat to overlap with the Cermak red line station a couple blocks further west/west-southwest.

ardecila Aug 4, 2010 5:59 AM

There are definite plans to add a station at Cermak, although some have called for an different or additional location at 18th. Ald. Fioretti is in support of this, and TIF budgets have set aside future tax receipts for the station.

A Cermak station overlaps the Chinatown station in theory, but in reality the double whammy of the Rock Island tracks and the Ickes Homes have really separated Chinatown from areas further east. A Cermak station would also allow for easy bus transfers and have a quick walk to McCormick Place.

jpIllInoIs Aug 4, 2010 12:19 PM

City of Chicago Testing PolyBrite International’s New Borealis LED Streetlights
 
Story Link


PolyBrite International Inc., developer of the Borealis brand light emitting diode (LED) Lighting Systems, announced that the city of Chicago has installed new Borealis LED streetlights as part of a test pilot program. The City of Chicago will monitor the LED streetlights, weighed against their current lighting solution for streets and alleyways. The goal is for a safer, cleaner and brighter light that will improve nighttime safety and the overall appearance of the city.

Borealis LED streetlights have been installed and will be monitored for three months on the block of 4800 W. Parker Avenue in Chicago, IL. The city will be testing the LED streetlights for high color rendition to assure adequate vision, and greater control of light dispersion and energy savings. Currently, most of the city’s streets are illuminated with High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights. HPS lights are used primarily because of their long rated life relative to other conventional options, but HPS street lighting has a very low color rendition, hindering visibility at night.

“We continue our efforts in assisting communities and cities everywhere with innovative ways to reduce their lighting concerns and their carbon footprint on the world,” said Carl Scianna, president and CEO of PolyBrite International. Mr. Scianna also noted that, “Borealis LED streetlights have a very high color rendition and consume a remarkable average of 60% less energy than the HPS streetlights. We appreciate the city’s study and their commitment to a clean, bright and safe lighting solution for their city streets.”

Borealis LED streetlights have a longer life, up to 50,000 hours, compared to the HPS life span of 20,000 hours. In addition to reduced maintenance, Borealis LED streetlights have a very high color rendition and produce a sharp, pure color without glare. They feature an instant “on” with no cold starting compared to HPS street lights, which typically take several minutes to achieve full brightness. PolyBrite’s patented LED technology, used in all Borealis lamps and lighting systems, will reduce the city’s operating costs, including lower energy usage and reduced maintenance and bulb replacement.

Motion sensors and lighting controls can also be used with Borealis LED lighting since they can be turned on and off instantly. Furthermore, Borealis LED streetlights are better equipped to withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures and provide more control over what is illuminated, thus reducing light pollution, making it an ideal solution for public lighting applications.

Busy Bee Aug 4, 2010 2:45 PM

I've love to see the dreadful yellow sodium vapor go the way of the dodo. Do we know where the test poles are? I'd really like to see a pic.

jpIllInoIs Aug 4, 2010 6:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4935001)
I've love to see the dreadful yellow sodium vapor go the way of the dodo. Do we know where the test poles are? I'd really like to see a pic.

"Borealis LED streetlights have been installed and will be monitored for three months on the block of 4800 W. Parker Avenue in Chicago, IL"

Busy Bee Aug 4, 2010 7:14 PM

How'd I miss that? I should stop skimming;)

nomarandlee Aug 9, 2010 2:45 AM

Quote:

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2...ture-plan.html

Chicago transportation agency outlines big-picture plan
August 8, 2010 7:29 PM | No Comments
For 20 years, Diane Howe, of Spring Grove, has had to zigzag across Lake County roads to get to work in Buffalo Grove.

As she drives more than an hour each way, Howe wonders if her dream roadwork project -- the long-proposed extension of Illinois Highway 53 -- will ever be built.

"I don't think it's ever going to happen," said Howe, 65. "It's been in the planning for how many years?"

If it's any consolation, the thinkers at northeastern Illinois' top planning agency feel Howe's pain and that of thousands of others who complain of traversing Lake County's labyrinth.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, or CMAP, has unveiled a transportation wish list that has the Illinois 53 extension and its companion project, the Illinois 120 corridor, at the top.

The roster of projects highlights the little-known agency's big-picture comprehensive plan, Go to 2040, which outlines a vision for the next 30 years and sets priorities for the seven-county region, including Kendall County.

The 400-page document also recommends fundamental changes in the way Chicagoans pay for their highways and mass transit system, including higher gasoline taxes and new user fees to combat congestion.

The increases are needed because the days of funding windfalls from Washington and Springfield are over, said Randy Blankenhorn, CMAP's executive director.

"We know the (funding) resources just aren't there to do everything there is to do," Blankenhorn said. "We have to invest what we have more wisely and focus on improving the economy and the environment."

Whereas legendary Chicago planner Daniel Burnham is credited with the famous quote, "Make no little plans. They have no magic ...," the message from Go to 2040 seems to be: "Make no big plans. We have no money."

Instead of backing multibillion-dollar projects such as the proposed suburb-to-suburb Metra STAR Line and the outer-ring Prairie Parkway in Kane and Kendall counties, CMAP sets more modest goals, such as completing the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway and building a western bypass around O'Hare International Airport.

The plan also says the CTA's Red Line should be extended south from 95th Street to 130th Street and a transportation center should be put in the West Loop to improve transfers among rapid transit, buses and all types of rail services.

Other recommendations include adding lanes to expressways and improving several Metra and transit lines.

All of the projects have been proposed for years, but Go to 2040 seeks to put them in line.

Strategies such as "congestion pricing" would impose additional fees on vehicles using "managed lanes" on expressways.

Congestion pricing uses variable tolls and zone-based charges to reduce traffic gridlock. For example, expressways would get express toll lanes whose rates would vary with demand and time of day.

"Transportation investments are not free," Blankenhorn said. "We have to find ways to pay for them. In some corridors, congestion pricing makes sense, especially where we add lanes. People can still choose to ride in free lanes."

Illinois' unofficial but long-standing practice of sending 55 percent of state road funds downstate and keeping 45 percent in northeastern Illinois should be scrapped, the plan urges.

"Funds for transportation need to be allocated more wisely, using performance-driven criteria rather than arbitrary formulas," the plan notes. "Expensive new capacity projects should be built only if they yield benefits that outweigh their costs."

CMAP says Go to 2040's recommended projects have been evaluated based on how much they promote economic growth and reduce congestion and how likely they are to be funded.

It's not quite a winners-and-losers list because none of the projects has guaranteed funding. But some have a better chance than others.

And opposition could continue to stall some plans. Environment groups such as the Sierra Club and some residents favor local road improvements and more mass transit instead of more concrete in Lake County.

The backbone of the Chicago region is freight railroading, and Go to 2040 calls on the federal government to develop a strategy to address freight issues.

The plan also calls for the full funding and implementation of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program. CREATE is a public-private effort to reduce bottlenecks and raise train speeds.

Go to 2040 isn't just about transportation. Much of the document focuses on other issues, including land, water use and conservation ; education and workforce development; and government and tax policy. The plan is available at cmap.illinois.gov.

It needs final approval in October from CMAP's board of directors, made up of representatives from the seven-county area. Then comes the task of implementing the plan's recommendations, which Blankenhorn acknowledged will be challenging.

Potential difficulties include convincing the public of the need to pay higher user fees for a better highway system and improved mass transit. Political opposition to raising taxes is expected.

"These are tough decisions, and there will be political issues with any of our policy recommendations," Blankenhorn said. "We have to educate public officials about why it's in their best interest to do these things. Part of CMAP's role is to lead these discussions."

DePaul University transportation expert Joseph Schwieterman, who wrote the book "Beyond Burnham: An Illustrated History of Planning for the Chicago Region," says CMAP must now ruffle feathers to assure its vision produces action.

"Our region is as polarized as ever, so CMAP will need to apply a heavy dose of salesmanship," Schwieterman said. "CMAP is standing on the shoulders of giants, including Daniel Burnham, so the plan carries a surprising amount of moral weight."

Robert Channick contributed to this report.

-- Richard Wronski

...............

OhioGuy Aug 9, 2010 2:38 PM

^^ Extend the brown line to Jefferson Park!

Dr. Taco Aug 10, 2010 5:05 AM

what a pleasant surprise to ride the new rail cars on the blue line on the way home from work today! I can't believe smooth they are, and they're not even running off AC yet...

VivaLFuego Aug 10, 2010 2:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Taco (Post 4941701)
what a pleasant surprise to ride the new rail cars on the blue line on the way home from work today! I can't believe smooth they are, and they're not even running off AC yet...

They are --- or rather, they use AC motors in the propulsion system, but the third rail is still 600VDC and probably will remain so. The railcars have transformers to convert the power supply.

Busy Bee Aug 10, 2010 5:07 PM

From an energy standpoint, does AC third rail power supply offer more cost savings for electricity over direct current power supply? I know about the acceleration advantages, noise and smoother operation, just wondering about the actual pull of electricity into the traction motors.

lawfin Aug 10, 2010 7:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 4940286)
For 20 years, Diane Howe, of Spring Grove, has had to zigzag across Lake County roads to get to work in Buffalo Grove.

As she drives more than an hour each way, Howe wonders if her dream roadwork project -- the long-proposed extension of Illinois Highway 53 -- will ever be built.

"I don't think it's ever going to happen," said Howe, 65. "It's been in the planning for how many years?"

If it's any consolation, the thinkers at northeastern Illinois' top planning agency feel Howe's pain and that of thousands of others who complain of traversing Lake County's labyrinth.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, or CMAP, has unveiled a transportation wish list that has the Illinois 53 extension and its companion project, the Illinois 120 corridor, at the top................

stop building roads in sprawl move closer to where you work; encourage employment density and concomitant household density



I have no pity on suburbanites who bitch about their crazy commutes....they bough the myth hook line sinker

lawfin Aug 10, 2010 7:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 4940286)
...............

stop building roads in sprawl move closer to where you work; encourage employment density and concomitant household density



I have no pity on suburbanites who bitch about their crazy commutes....they bough the myth hook line sinker


Build transit; build / reuse developments that can effectively utilize transit; increase transit services in dense areas instead of cutting services and building more choked roads

Mr Downtown Aug 10, 2010 8:24 PM

"Move closer to where you work" sounds so easy. But grown-ups often own their houses, have spouses who work, or have kids they want to benefit from specific school districts. Do you expect them to move every time one spouse or the other changes jobs?

VivaLFuego Aug 10, 2010 8:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4942198)
From an energy standpoint, does AC third rail power supply offer more cost savings for electricity over direct current power supply? I know about the acceleration advantages, noise and smoother operation, just wondering about the actual pull of electricity into the traction motors.

While I'm not an electrical engineer, I'll attempt a layman's explanation as I understand it. Generally, AC power running at high voltages (e.g. up to 25kV) on overhead wires is less susceptible to current loss over long distances than the lower voltage (generally 500-900V) DC power used for third rails (very high voltages are more prone to arcing and thus are avoided on third rails). The current loss on third rail systems is mitigated by having more closely spaced power substations than would otherwise accompany a high voltage AC system -- substations are, of course, very expensive.

In terms of how this all nets out for energy efficiency and cost efficiency, I think the answer is "it depends." DC is more prone to current loss than AC, third rail is generally cheaper to install/maintain than an overhead catenary, but DC systems will require a greater number of expensive substations. So, the most efficient solution depends on all of those.

In general, global precedent and experience certainly implies that for short, "metro" rapid transit routes, third rail DC is more cost effective, while for longer commuter rail or intercity routes, overhead AC is preferred.

Mr Downtown Aug 10, 2010 8:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4942198)
does AC third rail power supply offer more cost savings for electricity over direct current power supply?

Theoretically there would be substantially less loss between substations. AC can be transmitted long distances with much less loss.

I'm told that power consumption is now a limiting factor on some CTA lines, which prevents more trains from being run during rush periods. But that's not why AC was specified for this order. Instead, Kruesi was at a transit conference in Paris and was embarrassed when someone said "you guys in Chicago are still buying DC cars?"

Dr. Taco Aug 10, 2010 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4941959)
They are --- or rather, they use AC motors in the propulsion system, but the third rail is still 600VDC and probably will remain so. The railcars have transformers to convert the power supply.

I could have sworn I read or heard somewhere that these cars can run off either AC or DC, and eventually they'll get rid of all DC-only cars so they can turn the system to an AC system, which would definitely be a more efficient system in general.

But compared to the old cars, I felt like I was in the future riding those new cars :tup:

VivaLFuego Aug 10, 2010 11:20 PM

^Definitely no DC motors on these cars. You may be thinking of the regenerative braking system, which I think is switched off at the moment but I'm not 100% sure. I'm also not sure what the expected energy savings from regenerative braking are for these particular railcars. Of course, power draw is both a systematic issue and driven by peak demand, and thus there would not be appreciable savings until a substantial portion of the fleet have the technology and the magnitude of savings (both relative and absolute) will vary somewhat with the service level. The general range for net power savings seems to be in the 5-15% range, if the entire fleet is converted.

VivaLFuego Aug 10, 2010 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4942456)
"Move closer to where you work" sounds so easy. But grown-ups often own their houses, have spouses who work, or have kids they want to benefit from specific school districts. Do you expect them to move every time one spouse or the other changes jobs?

While you raise a good point regarding short-term mobility vis-a-vis home and work locations, the article does say she's being doing this for 20 years; i.e. basically since I-355 first opened, and thus presumably with the assumption of an imminent extension further northward. After 20 years, it's pretty hard to be sympathetic towards her plight on either the schooling or underwater-mortgage grounds.

In support of your general point, I know a good number of people who, 5 years ago, swore they'd never work in the suburbs, or buy a car anytime soon (maybe after the family/kids got started), but ended up doing both sometime since 2008, commuting from the city to jobs in the I-90 or I-88 corridors. They really didn't want to do the commute; they also really didn't want to move from their urban neighborhoods. Importantly, they also needed jobs.

The difference of course is that most of them would rather their jobs just relocate downtown, rather than following Sugar Grove Mama and complain to a newspaper about how another expressway should be built.

emathias Aug 11, 2010 12:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4942461)
Theoretically there would be substantially less loss between substations. AC can be transmitted long distances with much less loss
...

From what I know of electrical properties, both DC and AC can be transmitted over great distances with relatively little loss. In the case of a system where there is a single, well-defined use of the power the other factors involved in electrical transmission and use would play a much larger role in power loss than simple AC vs DC.

ardecila Aug 11, 2010 2:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4942752)
The difference of course is that most of them would rather their jobs just relocate downtown, rather than following Sugar Grove Mama and complain to a newspaper about how another expressway should be built.


I'm gonna get a little bit wonkish here, but...


In defense of Sugar Grove Mama, the lack of a complete second orbital highway is really a drag on mobility through the region, placing heavy traffic on the Tri-State and the routes through the city. The 53 extension and the Illiana are two of the three missing segments in that orbital highway, so I support those plans - especially because they would be paid for with toll revenue and not the state's money. The federal contribution would come from the highway "pot" of funds, which is distinct from the transit "pot".

What all that means is that highway construction would NOT be done at the expense of transit. People tend to think that one competes with the other for money, but that just isn't the case here in Chicagoland. The state is broke, of course, so it's not like there's any money to be had from the general fund anyway.

I'd also love to see something like LA's Measure R, or Denver's FasTracks... we don't have ballot initiatives like California does, but we could do an "advisory referendum" (essentially just a massive, government-led poll) on a Chicagoland-only tax increase for transit expansion. If that Tribune poll a few weeks ago was correct, then the referendum should get significant support. Publish a list of visionary, well-planned transit projects with a definite pricetag and send it to the voters.

I would include about $12-15 billion worth of transit projects. There are some ideas that have real potential, but the people in charge are pushing total loser ideas, like the STAR Line or the SouthEast Service. The Inner Circumferential Rail, for example..

nergie Aug 11, 2010 3:45 AM

Virgin America skips O'Hare
 
I just read that Virgin America will skip ORD again and make its appearance at DFW. The reason again is gate space, this is exactly why the Western Terminal needs to get built. The city needs to control the gates, not AA or UA.

While some will argue this is not a big loss, it is more passengers that will not be using ORD and less revenue for the city. What the hell is wrong with Aviation commission. In my opinion ORD is one of the, if not the most important asset for Chicago. Yet in last 10 years passenger traffic has fallen by 21% and flights by 12.5%. Yeah some of it is the recession, but darn it the city needs to step up and do something.:hell:

Mr Downtown Aug 11, 2010 4:11 AM

^How would having a gate devoted to two Virgin America flights a day increase passenger numbers more than having eight UA or AA departures from the same gate?

lawfin Aug 11, 2010 6:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4942456)
"Move closer to where you work" sounds so easy. But grown-ups often own their houses, have spouses who work, or have kids they want to benefit from specific school districts. Do you expect them to move every time one spouse or the other changes jobs?

Thanks for the trenchant tidbit....I'll keep it mind when I grow up.

Adults also are capable of evaluating options; choosing between options; and realizing that said choice among said options have consequences.

I know america...consequences.....novel concept

nergie Aug 11, 2010 1:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4943127)
^How would having a gate devoted to two Virgin America flights a day increase passenger numbers more than having eight UA or AA departures from the same gate?

Having additional gates allows the airport flexibility to add carriers. Take VA for example, the airline has been looking at mid-continent airport which they would eventually to collect passengers from other midwestern and mid-continent cities. This brings in additional passengers.

UA and AA hubs are a good thing, but it also leaves the city very little flexiblity in doing things at the airport without the airlines buy in. ORD will need gate capacity, to compete with the likes of ATL, DIA and other airports.

Chicago should be angling to make ORD the Star Alliance or One World hub for North America. As such, untangling the runways and building 1st rate facilities with sufficient gate capacity should be the priority of OMP.


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