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  #16121  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2023, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by twister244 View Post
Are there any other cities planning on something like this, or can we gloat at being first here?
I’d say that they need to get it approved and off the ground to be able to float about being the first. Many ideas like this have come and gone, but having United Airlines behind it gives this some credibility.
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  #16122  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2023, 4:19 AM
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The article specifies they will start offering service from Newark airport to Manhattan. Not sure we’ll be first. I live near the helipad and I’m really not looking forward to this noise every 15 minutes.
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  #16123  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2023, 7:30 PM
Kngkyle Kngkyle is offline
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Ah yes. More transport innovation from Silicon Valley. An electric helicopter that almost certainly burns more CO2 to produce than a normal helicopter does in its entire lifecycle.

The heliport location also makes this largely useless since you still have to get a car to get anywhere.... this is in contrast to Manhattan where you can actually just walk from Wall Street to the helipad. Manhattan being an island and the tunnels/bridges being gridlocked 75% of the time also makes NY a much more compelling use case... a use case that is already proven with Blade offering traditional helicopter service for $195 per seat.
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  #16124  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2023, 2:10 AM
streetline streetline is offline
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Given the location of the "vertiport" a ~10 minute drive from downtown, I'd think they'd need an integration deal with some ride hail app to make this work.

I suppose some execs might just have their secretaries schedule a car and a VTOL and a plane ticket separately and not care, but they'll broaden their audience if people in a hurry can book at least the car and VTOL together with one tap.

And given they're flying specifically to O'Hare, and probably heavily targeting United ticketholders even if they'll take others' money, I'm expecting they'll end up encouraging people to share VTOL rides during the times leading up to popular airline route departures.

It could be like a flying public bus for people with expense accounts.
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  #16125  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2023, 2:44 PM
Chicago29 Chicago29 is offline
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23 March Damen Green Line station progress via FH Paschen- https://www.instagram.com/p/CqIxQyQN...d=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
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  #16126  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2023, 9:07 PM
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Unbelievable how long it takes to pour foundations for a one-story building... and after several years of delay on the actual construction start!

I know they are reinforcing the existing steel El structure, which is more time-consuming work and very delicate with Green Line trains passing every few minutes...
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  #16127  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2023, 8:18 PM
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HSR Alliance gave an update and it seems like Chicago Gateway didn't get a MEGA grant because it didn't quite fit the criteria of the program. The good news is that Amtrak recognizes this is a critical project and is splitting the program into 4 different projects, and will apply for FY22-23 FSP grant for all 4 projects
Looks like Amtrak is also seeking $175 million for the program through their annual portion of IIJA. Amtrak wasn't kidding about applying for every possible grant to fund Chicago Gateway. Hopefully we hear some good news soon.

Grant request: https://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/...ials-FINAL.pdf
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  #16128  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 9:06 PM
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Union Pacific Transferring Commuter Rail Services to Metra
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Union Pacific is working with Metra to safely and seamlessly transfer its commuter rail operation in Chicago, including the employees who perform the work. Union Pacific anticipates completing the transfer by the end of first quarter 2024.

As part of the transition, Metra will take over services including train crew, mechanical, car cleaning, rolling stock maintenance, ticket sales and some engineering services. Several management employees transitioned to Metra earlier this year, with plans to start transferring Mechanical and Transportation craft professionals in third quarter 2023.

“We greatly appreciate Metra’s collaboration in continuing to provide excellent and safe service to commuters during this transition,” said Eric Gehringer, executive vice president-Operations. “Thank you to our employees for your outstanding dedication and teamwork to provide uninterrupted commuter experience.”

Union Pacific will continue to maintain the track and manage train movements on its lines: Union Pacific West, Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific North.
https://www.up.com/media/releases/me...-nr-230330.htm
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  #16129  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 9:16 PM
twister244 twister244 is offline
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Originally Posted by Randomguy34 View Post
Union Pacific Transferring Commuter Rail Services to Metra

https://www.up.com/media/releases/me...-nr-230330.htm
Does UP even use these tracks for anything other than passenger rail? I've always assumed they are shared lines, but maybe I totally made a bad assumption. I'm only familiar with the UP-NW route and have never seen anything other than Metra on the routes.
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  #16130  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 1:10 AM
sukwoo sukwoo is offline
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Originally Posted by twister244 View Post
Does UP even use these tracks for anything other than passenger rail? I've always assumed they are shared lines, but maybe I totally made a bad assumption. I'm only familiar with the UP-NW route and have never seen anything other than Metra on the routes.
The UP-West runs on Union Pacific's trunk line to California. Lots of freight traffic.
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  #16131  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2023, 5:16 PM
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April 2023 Plan Commission

132 E. Van Buren St. &
401-407 S. Michigan Ave.
(Loop, 42nd Ward)

A proposed Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance application, submitted by the Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority ("Metra"), for the property located at 132 E. Van Buren St. and 401-407 S. Michigan Ave. The site is currently zoned IPD No. 677, T District, POS-1 and is within the Public Use Zone of the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection District. The applicant proposes to rehabilitate the Van Buren commuter rail station. The project will renovate station components and include a green roof as part of overall roof improvements, tunnel and stair construction, elevator “Pop-up” enclosures, ADA Improvements, platform improvements, and Van Buren Pedestrian Bridge ADA improvements.
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  #16132  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2023, 6:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BVictor1 View Post
132 E. Van Buren St. &
401-407 S. Michigan Ave.
(Loop, 42nd Ward)

A proposed Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance application, submitted by the Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority ("Metra"), for the property located at 132 E. Van Buren St. and 401-407 S. Michigan Ave. The site is currently zoned IPD No. 677, T District, POS-1 and is within the Public Use Zone of the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection District. The applicant proposes to rehabilitate the Van Buren commuter rail station. The project will renovate station components and include a green roof as part of overall roof improvements, tunnel and stair construction, elevator “Pop-up” enclosures, ADA Improvements, platform improvements, and Van Buren Pedestrian Bridge ADA improvements.
Trying to read between the lines here, perhaps a little too closely. Is there even the smallest chance this funding could attempt to parlay this into decking over the station and that segment of Grant Park? I mean, talking about green roofs and "pop-up enclosures" certainly makes me ponder that the push to deck over the station could be attempted. How I wish......

Last edited by nomarandlee; Apr 3, 2023 at 6:43 PM.
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  #16133  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2023, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
Trying to read between the lines here, perhaps a little too closely. Is there even the smallest chance this funding could attempt to parlay this into decking over the station and that segment of Grant Park? I mean, talking about green roofs and "pop-up enclosures" certainly makes me ponder that the push to deck over the station could be attempted. How I wish......
No. There was an article detailing some of the renovations that included an elevator shaft where the current Paris metro donated iron work is. It would be a pretty conventional “pop up” elevator shaft that meets ADA requirements. The roof that would be greened is the one over the current station that is west of the tracks probably would not even include the overhang over track 1, but I could be wrong.
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  #16134  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2023, 3:25 AM
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Yeah the green roof would replace the ugly gravel roof portion above the stationhouse, and tidy up all of the mechanical equipment in that area.

Supposedly it will also include a 3rd platform on the east side that will turn this from a 3-track station into a 4-track station. A 4th mainline track is needed through this area once South Shore starts running their West Lake trains to Dyer.

Overall this is a much-needed investment in a crumbling area of Grant Park. Hopefully they can do Congress Plaza next... for such an important part of the cityscape and a historically important site of protest, it's really in terrible condition.
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  #16135  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2023, 5:47 PM
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Does anyone know the most effective methods of lobbying for small changes in the walkability/streetscape of your neighborhood? (Ie. raised crosswalks, bumpouts, etc.)

Last night I walked to meet a family member to watch the championship game at a bar two blocks away from my apartment, and each way almost got hit by a car turning into a crosswalk where I had the right of way... so yeah, I'm thinking I'm pretty fed up.

https://www.looper.com/img/gallery/t...1638649352.jpg

Last edited by Tom In Chicago; Apr 10, 2023 at 3:27 PM. Reason: Please use hyperlinks for unsourced off topic images
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  #16136  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2023, 6:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ithakas View Post
Does anyone know the most effective methods of lobbying for small changes in the walkability/streetscape of your neighborhood? (Ie. raised crosswalks, bumpouts, etc.)

Last night I walked to meet a family member to watch the championship game at a bar two blocks away from my apartment, and each way almost got hit by a car turning into a crosswalk where I had the right of way... so yeah, I'm thinking I'm pretty fed up.
Write to your alderman or their chief of staff... each alderman gets "menu money" every year to do small projects. If you can rally a few hundred neighbors to support your idea and the cost is reasonable, there's a good chance you can make it happen. Raised crosswalks are not fully embraced by CDOT yet, but you can get a bumpout, a flashing stop sign, a median refuge island, restriping the crosswalk with paint, etc.

CDOT is also piloting "left turn hardening" which could be a solution for your problem, but those little flexposts don't survive very long:
https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/dept...e-to-impr.html
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  #16137  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2023, 7:38 PM
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Here's a Q&A Crain's editorial board held for Johnson two weeks ago, below are his responses regarding transit. Glad to see the Union Station revamp and BRT are a priority!

Quote:
How well is the CTA working now?
I think from the standpoint of the riders, we're fed up with CTA service. And I think CTA workers are also fed up with being assaulted and attacked. They’re not social service workers, but they often find themselves at the front lines of the social issues our City is facing. On-time performance has plummeted. People are waiting longer for their bus or train to arrive, and they don’t feel safe on the platforms. Staffing levels are way down.

What should be done differently?
There is a wide range of things that should be done differently. The CTA needs to make reliability its Number One priority. If service is fast, reliable, clean, and safe, people will leave the car at home and take the train or bus instead. I think the CTA could be more customer-oriented. Bus rapid transit (BRT) should be expanded and fully implemented across key corridors in Chicago. I want to create 500 bus priority signals to speed trips. I will work with the CTA to address the staffing shortage it is facing. There was a study that looked at this issue and its leading recommendation was to listen to the transit workers themselves, to make them a part of the decision-making process. It also concluded that transit agencies need to figure out how to have better working environments. The CTA can and must be a place where Chicagoans go and seek a fulfilling career. We need to hire and train 1,000 new bus and train operators, and we need to pay them fairly.

Where does revamping Union Station stand on your priority list?
I fully support the coalition of state, local, and federal leaders in their request for $251 million in MEGA grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for this important project. While Chicago wasn't on the list of recipients this year, I think next year we can put together an even better proposal from an even bigger coalition.

Should the city continue with its $9.5 billion O’Hare terminal expansion and modernization program?
The Department of Aviation is leading that project. The CDA is self-supporting and gets its money for airport improvements from airport-related fees, taxes, and agreements with the airlines. O’Hare airport is one of Chicago’s greatest assets, and these projects will help keep it that way. Raising the airline fuels tax would also help fund needed improvements.
https://www.chicagobusiness.com/poli...-questionnaire
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  #16138  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2023, 1:36 AM
Roy_Batty Roy_Batty is offline
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Does anyone know if there are any future plans to build overpasses for grade separation in those tracks north to Union Station in West Loop? For all the new high density developments in West Loop, level crossings make the neighborhood feel somehow underdeveloped and industrial. Not to forget these tracks are used by 3 Metra lines and Amtrak services to the west, being one of the main arteries feeding Union Station.
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  #16139  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2023, 5:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Roy_Batty View Post
Does anyone know if there are any future plans to build overpasses for grade separation in those tracks north to Union Station in West Loop? For all the new high density developments in West Loop, level crossings make the neighborhood feel somehow underdeveloped and industrial. Not to forget these tracks are used by 3 Metra lines and Amtrak services to the west, being one of the main arteries feeding Union Station.
NONE, although there is a plan to add a Metra station at Racine. https://chicago.urbanize.city/post/w...-alderman-says
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  #16140  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2023, 3:59 AM
Roy_Batty Roy_Batty is offline
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I just read in Chicago YIMBY that the Van Buren Metra station overhaul is going to cost 100 million USD. That only includes changing and expanding the entrance in the east side of Michigan Avenue (the one with the Paris Metro art nouveau access structure), replacing broken windows and overall esthetics of the west entrance, making the roof a rooftop garden, adding stairs and a ramp to the existing bridge crossing the station, some basic updates to the house station + platform and adding a new access via Jackson street with ramps and elevators. How can this cost 100 million USD? This seems overly expensive.
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