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  #5661  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 10:57 PM
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Haven't spent enough time looking around the new Metra website to form an opinion, but here's a quick comparison:

Old vs. New




^I love that old rainbow divider lifted from FrontPage or Geocities.
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  #5662  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 7:36 PM
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Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't there used to be FOUR entrances/exits for the Grand Ave. Red Line Station? Did one just become swallowed up by Rock Bottom's parking lot before our very eyes?

And does it seem to anyone else that the street surface has become substantially wider while the sidewalk surface has substantially decreased east and west along Grand Ave. from the Michigan Avenue overpass west to LaSalle?

If this was the trade off to improve the Grand Avenue station, it wasn't worth it.
I was wondering the same thing! I thought I was crazy!

They've paved right over the southwest entrace to the Grand Ave Red Line in front of Rock Bottom. I use to always wander out of Rock Bottom and right down into the subway, but when I walked by yesterday going to the train I was shocked to see no trace of the entrance.

They tore out the entrace and on top of that made the sidewalk even more narrow than it already was. The parking lane of the street use to end a half a block up and there was an extra wide sidewalk with the station entrance.

They have the north side of the street tore up now - and I have a feeling they'll do the same thing to that side. Or else they'll make that the elevator entrance like they did to the southwest corner of Chicago and State. That use to be an entrance to the red line as well - but now it's just the elevator.

It really pissed me off that when you're coming east on Grand you have to now walk all the way across the street and another 80 feet past to the existing entrance to come in from the opposite side.

Why!? So there's another turning lane on Grand?
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  #5663  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 8:42 PM
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Some of it is undoubtedly temporary changes due to construction, to assist in managing the traffic flow.
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  #5664  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 8:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago View Post
I was wondering the same thing! I thought I was crazy!

They've paved right over the southwest entrace to the Grand Ave Red Line in front of Rock Bottom. I use to always wander out of Rock Bottom and right down into the subway, but when I walked by yesterday going to the train I was shocked to see no trace of the entrance.

They tore out the entrace and on top of that made the sidewalk even more narrow than it already was. The parking lane of the street use to end a half a block up and there was an extra wide sidewalk with the station entrance.

They have the north side of the street tore up now - and I have a feeling they'll do the same thing to that side. Or else they'll make that the elevator entrance like they did to the southwest corner of Chicago and State. That use to be an entrance to the red line as well - but now it's just the elevator.

It really pissed me off that when you're coming east on Grand you have to now walk all the way across the street and another 80 feet past to the existing entrance to come in from the opposite side.

Why!? So there's another turning lane on Grand?
From this: http://egov.cityofchicago.org:80/cit...o&context=dept

It seems like CTA station exit and entrance closures will be temporary. However, they are less than clear in their language, IMO.
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  #5665  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 10:15 PM
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Rickshaws in Chicago

I saw rickshaws (the bicycle ones) for the first time ever a few days ago downtown.

I did a double take, because I have never seen them in Chicago before; come to think of it, I've never seen them in the United States outside of NYC.

What's up with that? It's exciting if we are indeed to expect a new mode of transportation to emerge downtown. Anything that adds more options to get around will only help to boost the central area economy.

This also could be a signal that Chicago's downtown has reached a critical mass of residential/tourist/shopping/entertaining density to support the beginnings of such an industry.
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  #5666  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 10:17 PM
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Circle Line Screen 3 Open House Presentations

The Chicago Transit Authority invites the public to open houses on preliminary Screen 3 findings and recommendation of a locally preferred alternative, which will conclude the Alternatives Analysis study for the Circle Line. Previously in Screen 1 and Screen 2 of the Alternatives Analysis study, CTA presented an assessment of transit improvement options which included a selection of transit vehicle types and potential corridors for a Circle Line.

The Screen 3 public open houses are scheduled as follows:

UIC Molecular Biology Research Building
900 S. Ashland Avenue
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Bucktown/Wicker Park Public Library
1701 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Benito Juarez Community Academy
2150 S. Laflin Street
Thursday, October 1, 2009
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Presentation will begin at 6:15pm. All venues are accessible to people with disabilities.
Damn, CTA loves to spring these things on us with very little notice. Someone please attend one of the meetings... there are 3 of them, so hopefully somebody can find time. I won't be around. This is, however, possibly one of the biggest catalysts for change that will drive the development of the city for another 30 or 40 years.
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  #5667  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
This is, however, possibly one of the biggest catalysts for change that will drive the development of the city for another 30 or 40 years.
^ I still have yet to be convinced that mass transit is much of a driver of development in Chicago outside of the downtown area
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  #5668  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2009, 12:07 AM
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^ I still have yet to be convinced that mass transit is much of a driver of development in Chicago outside of the downtown area
It's not, per se, but the Circle Line will run through several wards where the aldermen have shown an unusual awareness and support for TOD principles. Manny Flores and Scott Waguespack are definitely on the progressive side when it comes to this, and I believe Danny Solis is as well, although he's under marked pressure to resist gentrification in Pilsen.
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  #5669  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2009, 4:51 AM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ I still have yet to be convinced that mass transit is much of a driver of development in Chicago outside of the downtown area
I don't buy that for a second, if you saw the view from my building, it would be quite apparent the effect the CTA has had on development. You can clearly see that the densest areas of the north side are all clustered along the Red Line, not just along the lakefront. Same goes for the Brown Line. I don't think it has as much of an effect on the South Side or west side, but CTA access is a definite locational preference in the North Neigbhorhoods (primarily because driving around here sux unless you are going somewhere with free parking that is easily accessible via LSD).
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  #5670  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2009, 5:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
I saw rickshaws (the bicycle ones) for the first time ever a few days ago downtown.

I did a double take, because I have never seen them in Chicago before; come to think of it, I've never seen them in the United States outside of NYC.
You mean pedicabs? They're ubiquitous in downtown Austin in the evenings, particularly on the weekends.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricksha...e_in_operation
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  #5671  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2009, 5:59 AM
emathias emathias is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
I saw rickshaws (the bicycle ones) for the first time ever a few days ago downtown.

I did a double take, because I have never seen them in Chicago before; come to think of it, I've never seen them in the United States outside of NYC.

What's up with that? It's exciting if we are indeed to expect a new mode of transportation to emerge downtown. Anything that adds more options to get around will only help to boost the central area economy.

This also could be a signal that Chicago's downtown has reached a critical mass of residential/tourist/shopping/entertaining density to support the beginnings of such an industry.
I don't know where you live, but there have been pedicabs in Chicago since at least 2001. I don't find it exciting at all. They're about as much a "new mode" of transit as those stupid, dangerous, impractical motor-driven "trolleys" are, they're not transportation any more than the horse-drawn carriages are.
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  #5672  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2009, 6:29 AM
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
I don't know where you live, but there have been pedicabs in Chicago since at least 2001. I don't find it exciting at all. They're about as much a "new mode" of transit as those stupid, dangerous, impractical motor-driven "trolleys" are, they're not transportation any more than the horse-drawn carriages are.
Exactly - I asked a pedicab driver how much it would cost to get from Wrigley to Lincoln Park (about a $5 cab ride) and he quoted me something like 25 dollars. He explained that they just pedal around wrigleyville with tourists, they don't really take people places.
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  #5673  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2009, 7:32 PM
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Ald. Reilly's weekly newsletter says that the CTA is doing an art installation at the Chicago Brown Line stop this weekend. I found on the CTA site that BJ Krivanek should be the artist and looking at his previous work it could be pretty interesting.

Anyone know exactly what they're installing, though? I couldn't find anything about what it will actually be.
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  #5674  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2009, 8:23 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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Originally Posted by sammyg View Post
Exactly - I asked a pedicab driver how much it would cost to get from Wrigley to Lincoln Park (about a $5 cab ride) and he quoted me something like 25 dollars. He explained that they just pedal around wrigleyville with tourists, they don't really take people places.
^ Yeah, I figured they were a tourist attraction.

Still, pedicabs started out this way in NYC as well, but in the densest parts of midtown Manhattan, where it's pretty tough to find a cab, it actually has emerged as a legit way to get somewhere if you really have to (and you're tired and don't want to walk any more).

Whether that ever happens in Chicago, we'll have yet to see.
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  #5675  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2009, 8:36 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ Yeah, I figured they were a tourist attraction.

Still, pedicabs started out this way in NYC as well, but in the densest parts of midtown Manhattan, where it's pretty tough to find a cab, it actually has emerged as a legit way to get somewhere if you really have to (and you're tired and don't want to walk any more).

Whether that ever happens in Chicago, we'll have yet to see.
Even if you can find a cab, a rickshaw can be the fastest way to go East/West in parts of midtown--they can drive around cabs stuck in traffic.
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  #5676  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2009, 9:13 PM
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I can see Peotone as a good site for a cargo airport, actually. It makes little sense as a major passenger airport, but getting cargo carriers to move to Will County would free capacity at O'Hare for additional passenger growth. Plus, it would allow for some redevelopment of the massive industrial parks of Elk Grove Village, Franklin Park, and Northlake, which are about to get sliced'n'diced by the Elgin-O'Hare anyway.

I dunno, I guess I have a lot fewer issues with exurban industrial development than exurban residential development, since industrial development has a monolithic scale that seems appropriate to the vast open spaces and 1-mile grid of the Midwestern countryside. It also removes pollution generators like truck traffic and factories from population centers closer in. I've also historically noticed that industrial employers are far more likely to work with Pace to provide transit services than office employers. Finally, many of the jobs created in a Will County industrial park would be stable low-income jobs that would benefit the people living in South Cook County and actually shortening their commute in practical terms, since many of them must currently travel congested roads to reach the the O'Hare area or the I-88/I-90 corridors.

Oh, and the I-80 corridor is quite possibly one of the busiest roads in the country in terms of truck volume. A Peotone airport would pull those trucks off of the Tri-State going to O'Hare and put them instead onto 55 and 57, which seems to be a better use of existing capacity.

Yes, yes yes. I agree with everything you said. Major distribution centers and intermodal facilities are already flocking to Will County because of the cheap land and transportation access to existing rail and interstate highways. This why I have been saying in the past that this airport only makes sense as a cargo airport. If a passenger carrier sees a viability in providing service there, then fine let them do it; but lets not waste taxpayer money gambling on whether or not passenger service will take off there (no pun intended) because that has not happened at Gary or Rockford even with subsidies. If there are cargo carriers willing to fly there, and if the railroads want to build more intermodal facilities to serve the new airport, then lets do it.


Regarding UP's new facility in Will County; I went past there on a Amtrak Train one month ago and the rail spurs are already in place.
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  #5677  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2009, 1:52 AM
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A freight only airport in Will County makes no sense. The competition shouldn't be looked at isn't O'Hare, but other airports in jurisdictions where you have lower costs and taxes. If it makes sense to locate in Will County instead of O'hare, why not Indianapolis? Even cheaper with less congested highways.

Incidentally, many if not most Midwest airports are already aggressively looking at air freight, hoping to peel away some of the specialty carriers from O'Hare. St. Louis plans a big push I know. Detroit and Memphis both have grand dreams of "aerotropolis".
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  #5678  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2009, 2:02 AM
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Ahhh the Elgin-O'Hare expressway that currently goes to and from neither Elgin or O'Hare...

I am with Chicago Shawn and ardecila concerning Peotone.

http://www.southsuburbanairport.com/
http://abelincolnairport.com/
http://www.faa.gov/airport_development/ssa/






http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,6599679.story


Elgin-O'Hare plan would cut travel to airport by nearly half, study says

Study sees benefits of Elgin-O'Hare proposal
By Jon Hilkevitch

TRIBUNE REPORTER

September 12, 2009

Building the long-planned extension of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway and a west bypass road connecting two interstate highways would cut travel times by up to half to O'Hare International Airport, according to a preliminary study the state released on Friday.

The project would also create tens of thousands of jobs and bring an estimated $5 billion in benefits to the local economy, concluded the draft environmental impact study issued by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Two alternative routes are under consideration to extend the eastern portion of the Elgin-O'Hare to create a western entrance to the airport, which currently is accessible only via Interstate Highway 190.

In addition, a western-bypass expressway, running north to south, would be built along the west side of O'Hare, potentially connecting Interstate Highway 90 and Interstate Highway 294.

The study found that building the western access and bypass road would significantly improve traffic conditions in the O'Hare area. It projected an up to 10 percent reduction in congested travel across area roadways; an up to 49 percent reduction in travel times to O'Hare and a growth in public transit ridership of up to 37 percent.

Transit improvements are part of the plan. Opportunities exist to extend the Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line to the west side of O'Hare and enhance the concept of Metra's proposed suburb-to-suburb STAR Line.

The initial planning work for the project is scheduled for completion next year, and more detailed studies will follow.

There is no timetable for construction yet. IDOT said the project, based on preliminary estimates, would cost $3.6 billion.

The public can submit comments to IDOT on the draft study until Oct. 26. The study is at elginohare-westbypass.org.

A public hearing is scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 8 at Belvedere Banquets, 1170 W. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village.

Last edited by bnk; Sep 12, 2009 at 2:15 AM.
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  #5679  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2009, 2:30 AM
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A freight only airport in Will County makes no sense. The competition shouldn't be looked at isn't O'Hare, but other airports in jurisdictions where you have lower costs and taxes. If it makes sense to locate in Will County instead of O'hare, why not Indianapolis? Even cheaper with less congested highways.

Incidentally, many if not most Midwest airports are already aggressively looking at air freight, hoping to peel away some of the specialty carriers from O'Hare. St. Louis plans a big push I know. Detroit and Memphis both have grand dreams of "aerotropolis".
If you're serving the Chicago market, you probably want to be in Chicagoland. Air cargo is usually packages, critical shipments, and perishables - not stuff that generally gets transported to trucks for long-haul journeys.
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  #5680  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2009, 4:09 AM
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Originally Posted by arenn View Post
A freight only airport in Will County makes no sense. The competition shouldn't be looked at isn't O'Hare, but other airports in jurisdictions where you have lower costs and taxes. If it makes sense to locate in Will County instead of O'hare, why not Indianapolis? Even cheaper with less congested highways.

Incidentally, many if not most Midwest airports are already aggressively looking at air freight, hoping to peel away some of the specialty carriers from O'Hare. St. Louis plans a big push I know. Detroit and Memphis both have grand dreams of "aerotropolis".
^Air Frieght is just one part of the whole intermodal freight delivery system. The other critical factor is rail access as well as interstates. And Indy just cant compete in the rail access arena. Right now in the state of intermodal, Chicago is the capitol. It is not just coincidental that this plan is being moved forward just when the massive UP intermodal south of Joliet is announced.
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