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  #15661  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2021, 1:40 AM
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Originally Posted by WrightCONCEPT View Post
I think that is the key part to the statement, the City has done nothing with that. That same mistake continued even with the Green Line rebuild of the Mid 1990's and Cermak branch rebuild of early 2000 where there is a lack of thought from the City about TOD.

However in order to invest the same way for the Metra Electric to increase service and provide much needed station modernization, the same thought to the surrounding neighborhoods will be needed. The same thing can be said for a Brown Line extension to Jefferson Park that appears more justified of a transit investment. If the city doesn't have the follow-through to look at rapid transit expansion as part of a community and economic redevelopment lens then the same results will occur no matter what and where they invest in the infrastructure.

So who is providing the design charrettes to these neighborhoods to talk about the future of these station areas without the fear of that G word...yeah gentrification?
Check out the presentations from the recent transit supported development planning meetings. Their proposals for multi-family and mix used development near the stations is looking in the right direction. Even if all the infill they have mapped out doesn’t materialize, the city seems to be focusing a lot on developing multi-family housing near transit so I’d aspect at least that part to come to fruition.

http://https://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/6/PR_20211207_PM3_FINAL1.pdf

https://www.transitchicago.com/asset..._PM3_FINAL.pdf
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  #15662  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2021, 6:15 PM
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Apparently the city's contract with JCDecaux for bus shelters and other street furniture will expire in 2022. The useful life of the bus shelters is only projected to 2030.

So the city is seeking new partnerships for street furniture that could include bus stop replacement. I actually don't hate the black-iron design of the JCDecaux shelters (done by Robert AM Stern, fyi) but wouldn't mind seeing something more contemporary. These things often bring out a high caliber of design as seen in NYC and SF.

https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/dept...marketing.html
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  #15663  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2021, 6:27 PM
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Agreed. For the record I don't think the existing shelters are bad even if they have a sort of "snap-together" quality about them, but I think Chicago can do better and I completely agree they need to go in a modern direction. The NY MTA shelters are muscular and handsome, but some of JCD designs in Europe are stunning:

The new shelters being installed in Paris:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/23/26...b8198f23a9.jpg
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https://www.displaydaily.com/images/...er_concept.jpg
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  #15664  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2021, 4:19 PM
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Streetsblog says this article talks about the need to better integrate metra and CTA on the South Side. I don’t have a subscription. Are there any interesting insights?

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/opin...akefront-op-ed
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  #15665  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2021, 4:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klippenstein View Post
Streetsblog says this article talks about the need to better integrate metra and CTA on the South Side. I don’t have a subscription. Are there any interesting insights?

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/opin...akefront-op-ed
the most pertinent paragraph:

Quote:
As we envision it, the lakeshore line would effectively become a branch of the el, with the same fare—Ventra fare cards—and convenient free or low-cost transfer to other CTA service. Metra would continue to operate the trains and CTA would pay the net cost of doing so, which we estimate to be in the low tens of millions of dollars annually— not a trivial sum, but a bargain in the grand scheme.
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  #15666  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2021, 5:20 AM
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Several contemporary bus shelter designs were proposed and a few samples actually got installed for a brief time back when the JCDecaux contract was awarded in 2000. I worked on one of the other bids, and coincidentally one of the modern ones was on "my corner" at 9th & State for several months. I'll have to see if I can find a photo. I of course preferred the contemporary one—but I didn't hate the Robert AM Stern design Richie Daley chose.
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  #15667  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2021, 5:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
I of course preferred the contemporary one—but I didn't hate the Robert AM Stern design Richie Daley chose.
I always thought the biggest issue was the random 'holes' in the design that allowed snow/rain/wind to easily pass through. Feels like solving that + some better bustracker signage would go a long way
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  #15668  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2022, 3:28 AM
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The Buttigieg Dividend?

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/greg...-michigan-city

Boost finalized for South Shore Line riders

Quote:
Under a deal announced today, the railroad will add 17 miles of double-track main line between Gary and Michigan City. With work already underway on a similar double-tracking project from the state line to Gary, the $300 million, two-year job should make it easier for riders and commuters, and speed freight traffic.
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  #15669  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2022, 3:53 AM
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Yes please
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  #15670  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2022, 5:45 PM
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NICTD is also working on the West Lake Corridor, these are great times for transit in The Region. Heavy construction expected to begin this spring.

On our side of the state line, not so much...
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Last edited by ardecila; Jan 12, 2022 at 5:59 PM.
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  #15671  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2022, 6:12 PM
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The West Lake Corridor is so close to the IL state line however that it is almost like a transit expansion for the south suburbs. And all on Indiana's dime!
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  #15672  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2022, 6:18 PM
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Yes, hopefully it is the final nail in the coffin for Metra's idiotic South-East Service expansion plan (which was only 2-3 miles parallel to Metra Electric anyway...)
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  #15673  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2022, 6:36 PM
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Yeah, that alignment would not have been the most ideal, but to Metra's credit, I don't think there are existing N-S rail ROWs further east that would have been a better fit. Until you get into Indiana that is.

The SES would have been a fine compromise if Metra was willing to transfer the ME line to the CTA. I would have taken that deal.
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  #15674  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2022, 6:57 PM
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The double tracking project will reduce commute trips from South Bend to almost 90 minutes. Impressive considering that's about the same distance to Milwaukee.
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  #15675  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2022, 7:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Randomguy34 View Post
The double tracking project will reduce commute trips from South Bend to almost 90 minutes. Impressive considering that's about the same distance to Milwaukee.
There are some indications that Amtrak is considering shifting its Michigan and East Coast trains onto the South Shore Line (likely from Burns Harbor into the city) to take advantage of the greater reliability. This would be in place of the dedicated "South of the Lake" Amtrak line that was planned ~10 years ago.

Once in the city, it's not clear how those trains would get from the SSL/Metra Electric to Union Station, there's a few different routes they could take but all require hundreds of millions in upgrades/construction.
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  #15676  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2022, 4:05 AM
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Well, assuming the city doesn't tap the brakes as some are now calling for (see editorial in Crain's last week).

The Loop has a huge volume of infrastructure serving it to enable all that density. Fulton Market has only 2 L stops on the Green/Pink Lines no less, no Metra access and no direct connections to the North Side except the traffic-choked and overcrowded Halsted/Ashland buses. If you want to drive, most of the intersections in Fulton Market are still 4-way or 2-way stops, no stoplights. They get overwhelmed and gridlocked with only moderate traffic levels.

Hard to see how this growth can continue much longer unless the city finds better ways to handle transportation in/out of the area. Covid gave them a headstart since all of those shiny offices are sitting unused, but I don't think the city will have anything at the end of the pandemic when workers come flooding back, except maybe some better gates at the Metra crossings. The Fulton streetscape was nice and certainly makes walking more pleasant in the neighborhood, but it's not gonna help tens or hundreds of thousands of people come and go daily.
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  #15677  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2022, 4:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Well, assuming the city doesn't tap the brakes as some are now calling for (see editorial in Crain's last week).

The Loop has a huge volume of infrastructure serving it to enable all that density. Fulton Market has only 2 L stops on the Green/Pink Lines no less, no Metra access and no direct connections to the North Side except the traffic-choked and overcrowded Halsted/Ashland buses. If you want to drive, most of the intersections in Fulton Market are still 4-way or 2-way stops, no stoplights. They get overwhelmed and gridlocked with only moderate traffic levels.

Hard to see how this growth can continue much longer unless the city finds better ways to handle transportation in/out of the area. Covid gave them a headstart since all of those shiny offices are sitting unused, but I don't think the city will have anything at the end of the pandemic when workers come flooding back, except maybe some better gates at the Metra crossings. The Fulton streetscape was nice and certainly makes walking more pleasant in the neighborhood, but it's not gonna help tens or hundreds of thousands of people come and go daily.
Great points.

I'd argue there are 3 L stops though, Ashland, Morgan, and Grand. Grand will actually be closest to many of the new developments north Of Kinzie like 330 N Green and many others - and it's on a different line. Also Fulton Market is just as accessible to Ogilvie as much of the western Loop is. Instead of hoards of commuters walking over bridges over the South Branch to the Loop from Ogilvie, many will end up walking west over the Kennedy to Fulton. It's the same distance in many cases and Ogilvie's entrances extend all the way up to Randolph. I think a Metra stop will come eventually as well. Also I think there will be a lot more people living in Fulton than the loop which is pretty devoid of residential internally.

But yeah, I think we might be in for a shock after the pandemic is over with all the new construction in Fulton and how much more congested it might be.

Rethinking this, it would probably be a nightmare boarding any of the L (Ashland, Morgan, Grand) trains outbound from the Loop during rush hour, though the Brown and Red are the worst. The Merchandise Mart brown/purple line comes to mind going north. It's basically impossible to get onto during rush hour.

Maybe the 'tapping the breaks' is to adjust zoning more towards residential which they've already started to do. https://blockclubchicago.org/2021/03...fulton-market/ This is a major reason the Loop is so congested, it's all commercial.

Last edited by rivernorthlurker; Jan 29, 2022 at 5:04 AM.
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  #15678  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2022, 4:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Well, assuming the city doesn't tap the brakes as some are now calling for (see editorial in Crain's last week).

The Loop has a huge volume of infrastructure serving it to enable all that density. Fulton Market has only 2 L stops on the Green/Pink Lines no less, no Metra access and no direct connections to the North Side except the traffic-choked and overcrowded Halsted/Ashland buses. If you want to drive, most of the intersections in Fulton Market are still 4-way or 2-way stops, no stoplights. They get overwhelmed and gridlocked with only moderate traffic levels.

Hard to see how this growth can continue much longer unless the city finds better ways to handle transportation in/out of the area. Covid gave them a headstart since all of those shiny offices are sitting unused, but I don't think the city will have anything at the end of the pandemic when workers come flooding back, except maybe some better gates at the Metra crossings. The Fulton streetscape was nice and certainly makes walking more pleasant in the neighborhood, but it's not gonna help tens or hundreds of thousands of people come and go daily.
Well, if the city "taps the breaks" where are they going to get any of the money for the Invest South/West initiative and the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund? That money practically pours out of the West Loop to the rest of the city. Unless they unseat the more nimbyish aldermen in downtown (looking at you Reilly) then good luck getting that money for development.

How about their affordable housing goals? All the new affordable housing built in the West Loop is wonderful reelection material. Unless the city challenges the prerogative of downtown wards then good luck getting the money for the south and west side projects. It would be idiotic of them to tap the breaks on this. Better to have a traffic clusterf*ck than be accused of not investing in other neighborhoods.
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  #15679  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2022, 5:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Well, assuming the city doesn't tap the brakes as some are now calling for (see editorial in Crain's last week).

The Loop has a huge volume of infrastructure serving it to enable all that density. Fulton Market has only 2 L stops on the Green/Pink Lines no less, no Metra access and no direct connections to the North Side except the traffic-choked and overcrowded Halsted/Ashland buses. If you want to drive, most of the intersections in Fulton Market are still 4-way or 2-way stops, no stoplights. They get overwhelmed and gridlocked with only moderate traffic levels.

Hard to see how this growth can continue much longer unless the city finds better ways to handle transportation in/out of the area. Covid gave them a headstart since all of those shiny offices are sitting unused, but I don't think the city will have anything at the end of the pandemic when workers come flooding back, except maybe some better gates at the Metra crossings. The Fulton streetscape was nice and certainly makes walking more pleasant in the neighborhood, but it's not gonna help tens or hundreds of thousands of people come and go daily.
In some ways, I see the concern, but in other ways... I feel like there are other parts of the city where it can feel even more disconnected. While the West Loop has two (or three) L stops, they get you to the loop very quickly. Plus, it takes two seconds to transfer to the Red/Blue lines from there. If they build a Metra stop nearby, that opens things up a bit to the suburbs. Also, the Kennedy is right smack dab there too. When I would go to Boystown this past Summer, I would just walk over to Halsted and take the bus. It was super easy and convenient.

Honestly, I felt more connected to the rest of the city than I do in East Lakeview where the only advantage I have is LSD being a block away if I want to shoot downtown in my car. I can get to downtown via the Brown/Red line, but it takes a 10-15 min walk along with several L stops. And the airport? That feels so far away given there's no direct route there without either a bus or Uber through a ton of traffic on Belmont. When I was in the West Loop, it was very easy to transfer to the Blue line and shoot out to O'Hare.

I get the concern about West Loop transit infrastructure, but it's in a great location geographically given the intersections of L's, buses that get you to the north side, along with the highways. Could be much much worse.....
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  #15680  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2022, 6:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bonsai Tree View Post
Better to have a traffic clusterf*ck than be accused of not investing in other neighborhoods.
The city should push Fulton Market to the absolute limits regardless of the existing infrastructure. If people really want to be there, they will hike if must needs.

The Loop was already a monster of a neighborhood well before the L tracks were built. There’s no real reason for Fulton Market to be lesser than the pre-car, pre-CTA Loop.


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Last edited by galleyfox; Jan 29, 2022 at 3:10 PM.
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