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  #13701  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2017, 11:01 PM
Tcmetro Tcmetro is offline
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Saw the new station today. I thought it was bright and airy, at least.

The CTA is far ahead of the MBTA and the NYC Subway in terms of station repair and cleanliness. SEPTA is probably on par with CTA with many of their stations being renovated recently.
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  #13702  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2017, 12:48 AM
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So, best of the worst?
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  #13703  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2017, 2:35 AM
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First new Loop 'L' station in 20 years creates curvy gateway to Millennium Park
By Blair Kamin - Contact Reporter
August 30, 2017, 6:20 AM


Quote:
Waave hello to the Loop's striking new elevated station. It's going to wave back.

The first new Loop elevated stop in 20 years, the $75 million Washington-Wabash Station stands out because the canopies covering its passenger platforms appear to undulate, like the skeleton of a skinny reptile.

Opening Thursday after more than two years of noisy, traffic-halting construction, the festive station is meant to serve as a gateway to the crowd-pleasing spectacle of nearby Millennium Park. And an impressive gateway it is, though it seems to copy the work of the global architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, whose best known completed work in the Midwest is his striking, bird-like addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Yet on the whole, the designers, Chicago-based exp, have created an authentic blend of form and function, not a superficial exercise in Calatrava Lite.
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  #13704  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2017, 11:46 AM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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Originally Posted by Via Chicago View Post
the current "medium sercurity prison inmate intake" industrial feel of the current schemes.
Definitely one way to describe it...

I still have never heard what the industry term is for those one-way turnstiles that look like they were designed for ground meat processing. Perhaps they were salvaged from the stockyards. Anyway I have this feeling ardecila will know and yet Mr Downtown will end up having posted the answer just a nose sooner.
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  #13705  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2017, 2:23 PM
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Roto-Gates.

I'm indebted to John Greenfield of Streetsblog Chicago for his one-liner about the new WaWa station: Ribbed for Your Pleasure.
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  #13706  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2017, 2:25 PM
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Aren't they colloquially referred to as Iron Maiden's, at least historically?
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  #13707  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2017, 11:07 AM
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^^ Thanks for scratching that itch Mr Downtown. In record time as well.
Though this name is not terribly unique. Better to call it something ominously final. If not Iron Maiden, then Portal of No Return? Iron Valve of Despair? Terror Gate That Separates A Curious 6 Year Old From His Grandma? Whoops, just had a flashback.


Mr Greenfield may be clever, but I would rather he explain his meaning when he described the station as "Chicago’s latest piece of marquis transportation project;" did he mean marquee or is this turn of words ribbed for our pleasure?
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  #13708  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2017, 10:06 PM
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  #13709  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2017, 10:36 AM
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^ What else is new in this city. Probably when picking a subcontractor, they didn't want to hire nobody nobody sent.


That's become a long reddit page - there are more posts than you'd see on a Tribune page or that you'll see here.
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  #13710  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2017, 3:20 PM
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^ What else is new in this city. Probably when picking a subcontractor, they didn't want to hire nobody nobody sent.


That's become a long reddit page - there are more posts than you'd see on a Tribune page or that you'll see here.
Stuff like this is not uncommon in a large, complex project. It's not that the roof was done improperly... most likely, the opening date was rushed before the work was 100% complete.

I'm not sure if accelerated opening date was driven by Rahm looking for a flashy ribbon-cutting, or the CTA's timeline for closing/demolishing the old Randolph/Wabash before winter sets in. Maybe both.
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  #13711  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2017, 8:28 PM
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With all the talk of developing Goose Island and areas around the North Branch, where are the transit plans to support that development? There have been a number of plans in the past that would do well to supplement the area, as well as a recent suggestion (I hesitate to call it a plan or even a proposal) to build some sort of railway similar to London's Docklands line that would serve those areas, but nothing came of those. That might be interesting, but really what makes the most sense to me is to actually do the Circle Line with the north end taking Ashland all the way to Cortland, plus do a Clinton subway that, instead of breaking from the Red Line at Larrabee, breaks at Halsted and then follows the west bank of the river to roughly Erie before lining up with Clinton, and then jogs east south of Congress somewhere to serve those new South Branch riverfront developments. Run the Circle Line as an independent line using the State Street subway, and run the Red Line through the Clinton Street subway. Sure the total cost of doing all that would probably be in the range of $8 billion but it would solve or greatly relieve many of the current issues. Then you could also easily run the Purple Line through the State Street subway, and give it extended hours service all day. You could even start running the Yellow Line south as an express, supplementing the Purple Line since neither one of them need high frequencies during the day on their own, but run together it might be nice. Plus that gives the whole north side one-seat access to Skokie and Evanston, which would be nice.


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Last edited by emathias; Sep 6, 2017 at 8:51 PM.
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  #13712  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2017, 1:38 AM
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^^ That makes me feel better. Well at least cautiously optimistic.

Any time I walk through the terminals and parking facilities of O'Hare, or through various other City facilities downtown, I'm always noticing things that weren't built and/or designed to last very many years without rusting, falling apart, becoming filthy, or falling far short of user friendliness. The pedway and parts of the Grant Park garages come to mind. When you compare to certain facilities in many west coast cities for example, you start to wonder about how the sausage is being made here.
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  #13713  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2017, 6:13 PM
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If Rahm can convince Amazon to build its second HQ in Chicago, I wonder if that would provide the impetus for building his long desired high speed rail connection between downtown & O'Hare? Or perhaps he'd make it part of negotiations to convince them to build here. Basically, if you build in Chicago, we'll build the fast train to O'Hare. (among many other items I'm sure he'd offer to get them to build in Chicago)
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  #13714  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2017, 7:00 PM
emathias emathias is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioGuy View Post
If Rahm can convince Amazon to build its second HQ in Chicago, I wonder if that would provide the impetus for building his long desired high speed rail connection between downtown & O'Hare? Or perhaps he'd make it part of negotiations to convince them to build here. Basically, if you build in Chicago, we'll build the fast train to O'Hare. (among many other items I'm sure he'd offer to get them to build in Chicago)
I'd rather money be spent on local subways like the map I posted a couple posts up.

Or, if express service to O'Hare is done, it be done with the Crossrail proposal and combined with a strong push for HSR between Chicago, Minneapolis via Milwaukee and Madison and Rochester, Detroit via South Bend and Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor, and Cinci or Columbus via Indy.

If St. Louis could link up with KC, and Detroit to Toronto, and a Ft. Wayne, Toledo and Cleveland route put together, too, all the better. Just routes to St. Louis and Minneapolis would be a good starting point. Both St. Louis and Minneapolis have the infrastructure to handle downtown train service, although both might link into their airports, too.

As far as cities that could make use of downtown connections, Cleveland probably could, too. Detroit is just starting to have worthwhile downtown transit, and Indy isn't really known for that, either. For the intermediate stops, Milwaukee, Madison, Champaign and Springfield all are pretty well set up for that, at least by American standards. HSR in them would help push them to densify their centers, too.
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  #13715  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2017, 7:00 AM
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^^ That's exactly what I thought of too. Nabbing Amazon, even if Amazon didn't make airport rail connections an explicit requirement, would give political, and financial, capital towards building an express train. A reliable airport train is really price of admission to being a global city.
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  #13716  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2017, 3:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denizen467 View Post
^^ That makes me feel better. Well at least cautiously optimistic.

Any time I walk through the terminals and parking facilities of O'Hare, or through various other City facilities downtown, I'm always noticing things that weren't built and/or designed to last very many years without rusting, falling apart, becoming filthy, or falling far short of user friendliness. The pedway and parts of the Grant Park garages come to mind. When you compare to certain facilities in many west coast cities for example, you start to wonder about how the sausage is being made here.
The sausage is being made in a much harsher, more extreme climate. With that said, a frequent lack of sufficient commensurate maintenance is not necessarily a good excuse.
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  #13717  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2017, 8:54 AM
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I have to say as someone who has flown in and out of Chicago from Berlin and other points in Europe for about a decade now I think Chicago does a pretty decent job, especially as the slow zones on the Blue Line have disappeared.

Compared to JFK in NYC, which is an expensive joke ($7.00 for a 10-minute AirTrain ride to the MTA?), or LA (let's not even bother) the CTA will take you to O'Hare OR Midway for $2.25.

In Berlin we don't even have rail service to Tegel (much less a modern airport but that's another story) and they stuck the Schönefeld airport S-Bahn station in Zone C so you get whacked with a higher ticket price.

It's not unusual for trains to Stansted or Gatwick to simply be cancelled and the London Tube is an expensive option to get to Heathrow.

Rome is a joke, Paris is pretty good and Amsterdam is a breeze but I'd say Chicago holds up pretty well to any European city of comparable size.

I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement but last time I flew into O'Hare I was through the airport down to Helmut Jahn's fantastic gateway to the CTA and in the Loop in an impressively short period of time.

Added bonus of watching the Chicago skyline bear down on you as you head into the Loop.
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  #13718  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2017, 1:33 PM
emathias emathias is offline
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Originally Posted by dropdeaded209 View Post
I have to say as someone who has flown in and out of Chicago from Berlin and other points in Europe for about a decade now I think Chicago does a pretty decent job, especially as the slow zones on the Blue Line have disappeared.
...
This. Anyone who doesn't think the existing connections are acceptable must not have a broad experience with other cities' airport connections. Are there cities with better connections? Of course. But there is a long list of important cities with either no connections to speak of, or really awkward ones that seem like they were a waste of money for what they actually provide.

In my opinion, a stand-alone airport express from the Loop to O'Hare would be a waste of money. An Express that was built as a piggy-back on HSR to cities North of Chicago, or as a terminal for HSR from cities to the South would be cool, but investing to keep the Blue Line runs at about 40 minutes is cheaper and benefits everyone on or visiting the Northwest side and not just business travelers. The RER connection in Paris is pretty good, and it only saves about 5 minutes compared to the time a fully healthy Blue Line run does, and since the Blue Line runs more frequently the effective average time is about the same.

For the cost of an airport express you could put a nice down payment on a Clinton subway or a downtown circulator that far more people would use.
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  #13719  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2017, 10:08 PM
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The el is pretty much a joke as airport access if we're trying to be a global city. Yesterday (Friday) on the radio news, in the span of 6 hours there were 4 separate announcements of stoppages on el lines. At night, there was a very publicized shooting on the train at Ashland/Lake which halted the Green Line. Earlier, the Red Line was stopped around Howard because of a sick passenger. Before that, there was an announcement about police activity on the Green Line. And late in the afternoon there was news of residual delays after problems on the Blue Line.

Crime (as well as panhandling and general dirtiness) and random stoppages of completely unforeseeable duration are not compatible with being a real airport link.

dropdeaded209's comments aren't terribly helpful in planning airport access. First, simply saying much of Europe is lousy and therefore Chicago has nothing to worry about is really celebrating mediocrity. Second, there nevertheless are excellent airport links in Europe, like Vienna's stellar new train, and the good ones dropdeaded209 listed, and then the Elizabeth Line / Crossrail is about to open to Heathrow. Third, Europe doesn't have the violent crime problem Chicago has, and because European cities already have a critical mass of non-poor riders going to the airport, there are more "eyes" everywhere and more safety. Meanwhile, in Chicago there is little reason to think crime will do anything but increase going forward (though one can hope). Fourth, we are in the midst of a process of planning a possible airport link, that means you don't compare to what Europe built in the 1970s or 1990s or 2010s; you have to project what society will need and expect in 2030 and 2040.

Finally, why even look at Europe; Asia is light years ahead on airport trains, and those should be the guideposts.

I'm not in a position to offer an instant financial justification for an airport link over other downtown rail projects; it's quite true those would benefit more riders. But the Kennedy is turning into gridlock, which will throttle the whole point of the airport, as well as choke much other activity. Moreover, a highly reliable airport link can easily help lure more jobs, and countless other activity, to the city. It even has that aspect of a Millennium Park or a museum expansion where a seemingly zero ROI on public investment will end up producing great dividends.
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  #13720  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2017, 6:35 AM
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Originally Posted by denizen467 View Post
dropdeaded209's comments aren't terribly helpful in planning airport access. First, simply saying much of Europe is lousy and therefore Chicago has nothing to worry about is really celebrating mediocrity.
you'll notice (or maybe you didn't) that I didn't say there wasn't room for improvement... also i don't think you can really blame the CTA for stopping when a passenger is sick...

i'm certainly in agreement that we can do better but i thought it was worth pointing out we're not exactly starting from zero... on that note the smell upon entering the O'Hare station is another, albeit perhaps more minor, issue....
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