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  #5561  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2009, 1:00 AM
arenn arenn is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
^Only structures listed on the National Register. I doubt that would include any Brown Line stations, except perhaps Armitage.
Doesn't it also affect structures that are deemed eligible for inclusion?
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  #5562  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2009, 5:22 PM
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Just caught the tail end on WGN Noon News of the Red, Orange and Yellow Line extension plans. Did anyone see it? Anything new to report?
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  #5563  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2009, 5:33 PM
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Just caught the tail end on WGN Noon News of the Red, Orange and Yellow Line extension plans. Did anyone see it? Anything new to report?
All I've seen is the Trib article on it - don't know it they approved it yet, but I'm sure they will.

Quote:
CTA board expected to OK extending 'L' lines
August 12, 2009 4:23 AM | 11 Comments

The Chicago Transit Authority board today is expected to approve the extensions of three rail lines to better serve city and suburban commuters.

The move to expand the Orange, Red and Yellow/Skokie Swift lines--and select specific routes--culminates years of planning, although construction is likely years away.

The board meeting is set to start at 10 a.m. at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake St.

Under the plans, the Red Line would be extended to 130th Street from its current terminus at 95th Street on the Dan Ryan Expressway...........

-- Jon Hilkevitch
Chicago Tribune
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  #5564  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2009, 5:44 PM
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Although I applaud the extensions. I question their efficiency...particularly the yellow line.

I think the city overall would be better served by a new north-south line running through the dense nighborhoods closer in say a Western ave line intersecting all the radial lines..even the yellow at Asbury.....

Help pay for it by upzoning all parcels with 1/3 of a mile of the line


just a random thought
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  #5565  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2009, 7:18 PM
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If anything, I'd rather see an East/West line around Montrose, connecting Red/Brown/Blue.
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  #5566  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2009, 8:22 PM
whyhuhwhy whyhuhwhy is offline
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If anything, I'd rather see an East/West line around Montrose, connecting Red/Brown/Blue.
I'd rather see more East/West lines period. Or a line where you can actually access the city's parks. Neither is ever going to happen though. I think a Blue line extension past O'Hare and past Forest Park are far bigger priorities than what they are proposing, given the insanely horrible Eisenhower expressway and Kennedy/Edens junction bottleneck that makes it almost impossible to get into the city from the western and northern suburbs every afternoon. Every once and a while I have to drive on those stretches and am just absolutely amazed. Driving inbound on the Eisenhower, it's like the expressway was designed for and has the amount of lanes for the 1950's.
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  #5567  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2009, 10:18 PM
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The Ike is a known and obvious bottlebeck. It's unclear a rapid transit extension is warranted - depending on the exact alignment and operating plan (e.g. if the extension had BART-style headways and fares in the furthest stretches) perhaps a west extension could be successful, but it's tough to imagine or locate a viable alignment to Oak Brook/Lombard. Getting it to 4-lanes each direction through Oak Park and the Avenues is probably a necessary project, but I fear what the traffic engineers will try to do to the area around Oak Park avenue, which is a surprisingly thriving and dense piece of urbanity (served by a transit stop but no highway access, and the built form and mode choice patterns show it).

Both the I-90 and I-290/88 corridors would probably be most effectively served by a robust express bus network hubbing at Rosemont and Forest Park, respectively, with serious facilities in place to bypass any congestion a la Houston's fully separated entry/exit ramps and HOV lanes. If memory serves, I'm pretty sure the Alternatives Analysis study of the Northwest corridor (I-90) which looked at Blue Line extensions, express bus, local bus, and commuter rail options showed the express bus as far and away the most cost effective at improving accessibility and reducing travel times - but I can't find the doc to be sure so don't quote me on it or present that statement as fact ("I read on the internet that..."). Of course, we know how that whole study turned out... due to the triumph of politics.

Of the proposed extensions, well, clearly there are political considerations at play. To my eyes, based on travel patterns and regional economics, the "no-brainer" of these 3 is the Orange Line extension, though all have potential merit assuming costs can be kept from ballooning to the stratosphere.

The Brown Line extension to Jefferson Park is probably the only hope for any sort of E-W rapid transit in the city, which is also a marginal project that has good ridership potential but exorbitant cost. Most other crosstown corridors just dont have the trip density to support rail rapid transit, and would be better off just getting serious bus improvements (rush-hour bus-only lanes, signal priority, some use of pre-paid multi-door boarding, etc.).

The other main issue with crosstown corridors is that average trip lengths tend to be very low, between 1.5-3 miles, which is not an optimal range for rapid transit which shines for trip lengths in the 4-8 mile range. At short trip lengths, the bus almost always wins for the simple reason that it has more closely spaced stops that get people to/from destinations with less walking - the station access times at both ends of the trip negate the travel time savings of rail for most people when their overall trip length is short. The Brown extension under Lawrence to Jeff Park potentially works because of the demand generated by O'Hare and surrounding economic activity at Rosemont, Cumberland, etc. in conjunction with the high residential density of the north side - e.g. it serves a relatively high concentration of long trips for which rail would be much more attractive than a very long bus ride, but it's also exorbitantly expensive to build so it's not a no-brainer extension.

Last edited by VivaLFuego; Aug 12, 2009 at 10:32 PM.
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  #5568  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2009, 11:49 PM
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For those interested in more info on the proposed extensions:
http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...ugust_2009.pdf
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  #5569  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 12:54 AM
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Any time and money that is spent on extensions is taken away form the Clinton Street Subway, which is my first priority. After that the near south infill stations on the Orange(18th/Clark) and Green (18th/Cermak) would be a priority.
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  #5570  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 1:13 AM
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Originally Posted by whyhuhwhy View Post
I'd rather see more East/West lines period. Or a line where you can actually access the city's parks. Neither is ever going to happen though. I think a Blue line extension past O'Hare and past Forest Park are far bigger priorities than what they are proposing, given the insanely horrible Eisenhower expressway and Kennedy/Edens junction bottleneck that makes it almost impossible to get into the city from the western and northern suburbs every afternoon. Every once and a while I have to drive on those stretches and am just absolutely amazed. Driving inbound on the Eisenhower, it's like the expressway was designed for and has the amount of lanes for the 1950's.
I wish they'd never taken away the Douglas Branch. It used to run all the way to Oak Park Ave. through Berwyn until 1952, when it was cut back to 54th/Cermak. The abandoned part of the run, now called the Vacin Fairway, is still there and serving as a big parking lot. And all that stands between Oak Park Ave. and Harlem is a park. So the L could in fact be easily extended to Harlem (well, easy in the sense that there would be no need to acquire any property to do it).


Last edited by Via Chicago; Aug 13, 2009 at 1:28 AM.
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  #5571  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 2:40 AM
arenn arenn is offline
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Is the STAR line even viable anymore now that the EJ&E is owned by CN and is seeing heavy freight use?
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  #5572  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 7:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VivaLFuego View Post
The Ike is a known and obvious bottlebeck. It's unclear a rapid transit extension is warranted - depending on the exact alignment and operating plan (e.g. if the extension had BART-style headways and fares in the furthest stretches) perhaps a west extension could be successful, but it's tough to imagine or locate a viable alignment to Oak Brook/Lombard.
Local from Lombard-Forest Park, express to UIC-Halsted with a few transfer stations at Cicero, Western, etc. Alignment would use the Illinois Prairie Path and then subway or elevated down Butterfield, with a jog on 83 and 22nd to serve Oak Brook Mall. Realistically, it would only be justified if Lombard and Oakbrook Terrace were to mount a massive, Tysons Corner-style refashioning into a series of walkable destinations.

Quote:
Getting it to 4-lanes each direction through Oak Park and the Avenues is probably a necessary project, but I fear what the traffic engineers will try to do to the area around Oak Park avenue, which is a surprisingly thriving and dense piece of urbanity (served by a transit stop but no highway access, and the built form and mode choice patterns show it).
The obvious choice is to use the CTA's extra right-of-way, rather than any sort of taking of private property. It's got to be cheaper than ripping down 5 blocks' worth of apartment buildings and installing a huge new retaining wall. If express tracks are ever warranted on the Blue Line, then Oak Park would just have to be a bottleneck.

Quote:
The Brown Line extension to Jefferson Park is probably the only hope for any sort of E-W rapid transit in the city, which is also a marginal project that has good ridership potential but exorbitant cost.
I've never seen any serious discussion of this. IDOT includes it as a "supporting transit planned project" in highway analyses but I've never seen it mentioned by CTA, RTA, or CMAP.

Crosstown corridors may not support rail rapid transit, but what about intermediary technologies like light rail/tram or trolleybus, where the traffic benefit might jibe better with the capital cost?
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Last edited by ardecila; Aug 13, 2009 at 7:22 AM.
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  #5573  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 1:25 PM
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CREATE funding becoming political football

Barrington Mayor shows up at freight forum trying to connect CREATE funding to EJE community road/rail seperations. And a WI US Rep takes advantage of that conflict to try to derail all funding.


Freight forum stokes EJ&E concerns
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Squabbling in Congress over how to pay for transportation could mean no federal cash in the near future to fix Chicago's freight train bottleneck, a top official warned, the Daily Herald reports. At a forum on freight rail, representatives from the U.S. and Canadian governments and the business community emphasized that trains are cheaper and more fuel-efficient than trucks to move goods. Transport Canada official Kristine Burr said the public and private sectors were investing $2 billion in freight rail projects there.

"We wanted to make sure the transportation system is as effective and productive as possible," Burr said during the event, held at the Union League Club of Chicago and organized by the Metropolitan Planning Council.

In contrast, U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, a member of the influential House Transportation Committee, said federal funding for projects such as CREATE, a program to modernize the congested rail system in Chicago with improvements like grade separations, won't happen anytime soon.
The current surface transportation act expires Sept. 30. A new $500-billion proposal to be spent over six years is under discussion but the White House and Senate are pushing a smaller 18-month version. The problem is, "there's no consensus on how to fund it," said Petri, a Wisconsin Republican. (Duh, theres no consensus because your an obstructionist)

The issue hit home for Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and Barrington Mayor Karen Darch, who attended the forum. Both communities opposed the merger of the Canadian National Railroad and the smaller EJ&E railway that runs from Waukegan to Gary, Ind. The government approved the merger and agreed with CN's contention it would ease freight problems in Chicago.

Towns along the EJ&E fought the plan, saying it would increase traffic, delay emergency responders and cause environmental problems.

The mayors said there was a disconnect between the government approving the merger but holding back money to pay for improvements.
"There needs to be more planning," Darch said. "If you approve a deal making freights flow faster, there's got to be planning for the impact on communities."

Petri, however, said "we need to see progress made in moving goods through the Chicago area. CREATE is part of that but it's slow in coming. CN has stepped up to bat to try and close the gap."

Ron Pillsbury, a vice president with McCain Foods Ltd. who spoke at the event, said train delays are costly for everyone.

"It adds costs getting from Point A to Point B," Pillsbury said. "Ultimately the consumer pays for it."

CREATE has received about $220 million in public and private dollars and the state recently committed $320 million, but the entire project could cost up to $3 billion.

The forum was co-sponsored by the Canadian Consulate General of Chicago.

http://www.rtands.com/newsflash/frei...-concerns.html
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  #5574  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 1:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Via Chicago View Post
I wish they'd never taken away the Douglas Branch. It used to run all the way to Oak Park Ave. through Berwyn until 1952, when it was cut back to 54th/Cermak.
Unfortunately, the reason it was cut back has not changed: a grade crossing every 165 feet. Although, maybe today, Berwyn would
allow automated crossing gates to be used. They wouldn't in the early 50s, and the crossing gatemen were costing more in salaries than the end of the line was generating in fares.

Still, how practical is it today to install a rapid transit line in the alley behind residential buildings when there are several frequent bus services on the street in front of the buildings?
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  #5575  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 1:36 PM
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Is the STAR line even viable anymore now that the EJ&E is owned by CN and is seeing heavy freight use?
The ROW is 100 feet wide in most places. CN's position during the public discussion last year was that the prospects for STAR wouldn't be affected by their acquisition. That doesn't make the STAR line any less stupid an idea, though.
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  #5576  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 2:49 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs View Post
Barrington Mayor shows up at freight forum trying to connect CREATE funding to EJE community road/rail seperations. And a WI US Rep takes advantage of that conflict to try to derail all funding.
^ Thank God Obama is President, Emmanuel is Chief of Staff, Oberstar is head of the Transportation committee (and views CREATE as having a high priority), and LaHood is from Illinois. I think they can overpower this obstructionist fuckwad from Wisconsin.
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  #5577  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 5:29 PM
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Is the STAR line even viable anymore now that the EJ&E is owned by CN and is seeing heavy freight use?
I don't think the Star Line ever was, is or will be viable, regardless of EJ&E status.
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  #5578  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 8:38 PM
whyhuhwhy whyhuhwhy is offline
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^ Thank God Obama is President, Emmanuel is Chief of Staff, Oberstar is head of the Transportation committee (and views CREATE as having a high priority), and LaHood is from Illinois. I think they can overpower this obstructionist fuckwad from Wisconsin.
Yeah thank God our deficit has only quintupled in one year and will probably be only $2.5 trillion by this time next year... that's not concerning. LOL. I feel lucky that I don't have any children to pass this burden on though.
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  #5579  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 8:42 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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^ I'm certainly not in favor of out of control spending, but don't you think CREATE and other rail projects are worthwhile public investments?
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  #5580  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 8:50 PM
whyhuhwhy whyhuhwhy is offline
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^ You don't think CREATE is a worthwhile project?
That's the problem, I absolutely do, so I'm conflicted. I wish we could spend all the money in the world and get it done yesterday. The problem is we just don't have the money to spend right now. Some can shout up and down and whine that this opinion is "getting in the way" but let's take a slow, deep breath for a second. We are literally just using our credit lines and I don't see even the slightest restraint in spending what will no doubt be my children's money and their burden (if I ever have any). If we had the money, so be it, let's do it. In fact I want it done just so we don't keep increasing the cost of it down the road, so I'd support it in its current form even with the out of control government spending we are in the middle of. Let's do it. But I also have to commend any politician that shows at least some restraint in spending my children's money at a time that apparently Paris Hilton with a brand new Platinum credit card is at the helm of our country. And yes I voted for him (but will not again). We increased our deficit by $187 billion... JUST LAST MONTH. I don't believe people that say no to this are "obstructionist" in other words.
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