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  #14861  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 4:56 AM
emathias emathias is offline
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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
I like the plan to but I've always thought it most ideal to attempt to potentially run up the ME through Lakeshore East, across the river, and north up Columbus, turning west at Chicago (or Division) and connecting to a densely developed Tribune Plant site before going either north or south to Lincoln Yards/West Loop.

All in that would be about 2.5 miles of completely new below-grade track that would give downtown Chicago much of what was needed for a circulator.
Yep. I know, I know, just let me get my checkbook ...
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  #14862  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 5:01 AM
emathias emathias is offline
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
Limited capacity passengers per hour and the absolute nuclear firestorm of homeowner opposition I think are problems with this.

Dedicated bus lanes would be much cheaper.
They're not that noisy, and they're high enough to be less intrusive than the 606 so I don't really see much homeowner opposition. Capacity wouldn't need to be all that high to be useful, and buses would only be effective if given dedicated lanes, but there are no streets in that alignment where that's possible - unless you think residents would object to less to halving capacity on their favorite EW route to/from the Kennedy. I can't even imagine the outcry for that. Aerial trams are grade-separated, so offer the most value at rush hour. Buses are exactly the opposite of that. Bus capacity at rush hour can't possibly be very high on Armitage, North, or Fullerton between Milwaukee and Halsted anyway. I think trams can do 6,000/hr, which should be enough. It's not as if buses are going to be gotten rid of on those routes, so this is supplemental for just people moving from those lines to other lines or Lincoln Yards.
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  #14863  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 1:05 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
They're not that noisy, and they're high enough to be less intrusive than the 606 so I don't really see much homeowner opposition. Capacity wouldn't need to be all that high to be useful, and buses would only be effective if given dedicated lanes, but there are no streets in that alignment where that's possible - unless you think residents would object to less to halving capacity on their favorite EW route to/from the Kennedy. I can't even imagine the outcry for that. Aerial trams are grade-separated, so offer the most value at rush hour. Buses are exactly the opposite of that. Bus capacity at rush hour can't possibly be very high on Armitage, North, or Fullerton between Milwaukee and Halsted anyway. I think trams can do 6,000/hr, which should be enough. It's not as if buses are going to be gotten rid of on those routes, so this is supplemental for just people moving from those lines to other lines or Lincoln Yards.
Specifically I think the height would be a major part of opposition. You're tying to logically think about what these people would oppose when it isn't about logic at all.

I've seen 6,000/hr as proposed but am not aware of any system that actually operates at this level. 2,000-3,000/hr seems more common. Which are throughputs that are readily achievable with more advanced bus service that could be deployed at far lower cost than building a tramway.
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  #14864  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 2:20 PM
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I was quite impressed with the systems I toured in La Paz and Medellín (and under construction in Guayaquil and Bogotá) in November. Much cheaper than any type of rail; much more politically feasible than dedicated busways.

But imagine the local reaction to something like this down the middle of North Avenue



or to riders having this view into the McMansions on Howe or Orchard:

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  #14865  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 4:54 PM
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I'm not sure that I'd say a busway is more or less politically feasible than a tram in a neighborhood since I don't think we've seriously proposed it and let the locals shoot at it.
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  #14866  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 5:18 PM
Baronvonellis Baronvonellis is offline
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Yes, that would be amazing! I don't know why people would be against it. Buses get jammed in all the traffic around that area. Gondolas look really cool and futuristic, they make no noise from the ground and 0 pollution. Plus, it's so peaceful and relaxing to float up in the air like that and admire the views. Compared to the noisy loud L trains, I don't think people would even notice they were there.
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  #14867  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 5:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
In Phase 2, an expensive new Munich-style tunnel under Clark and Chicago Ave. would give access to the heart of the Loop. Transfer stations (with timed meets) where the downtown routings cross give passengers their choice of Central Loop–River North or West Loop. O’Hare access is most expedient today via CP/NCS but may be more practical long-term via MD-W.
I'd keep the tunnel as you proposed it, but add an extra leg below Ogden so UP-W, MD-N and MD-W can approach the tunnel from the north and serve the Near North area.
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  #14868  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2019, 10:20 PM
emathias emathias is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
I was quite impressed with the systems I toured in La Paz and Medellín (and under construction in Guayaquil and Bogotá) in November. Much cheaper than any type of rail; much more politically feasible than dedicated busways.

But imagine the local reaction to something like this down the middle of North Avenue
...
or to riders having this view into the McMansions on Howe or Orchard:
...
I was thinking it could run above the 606, which has already overcome political opposition, and it would pull in additional tourists and eventually it might be viable to pull it west to the western end of the 606 to get some grade-separated transit into Humboldt Park (again - given the spur there was torn down a half-century ago). It could serve all sorts of things that some politicians like, creating quite a coalition of supporters. Politicians that like the transit, politicians that like pulling transit into underserved areas, politicians that like transit that doesn't use carbon, politicians that like shiny, new things in their wards, politicians that like the idea of pulling more tourists out of downtown and into the neighborhoods. Gentrifiers might have mixed opinions - better transit, but might raise property values again. Of course some homeowners might object, and some might say it doesn't carry enough, but those are details to be negotiated in my opinion, not dead stops.
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  #14869  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2019, 9:23 PM
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^That makes sense for west of Ashland—but where could it be routed between Clybourn and the lakefront that it's not providing views down into the backyards and bedrooms of the city's wealthiest and most powerful census tracts?
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  #14870  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2019, 7:20 PM
Jim in Chicago Jim in Chicago is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Well, I'm not sure that's likely. But it does give me a chance to post my RER/S-bahn fantasy for Chicago.


Begin with 30-minute service on four lines, through-routed via the St. Charles Air Line and Union Station through tracks. This only requires three new turnouts. In Phase 2, an expensive new Munich-style tunnel under Clark and Chicago Ave. would give access to the heart of the Loop. Transfer stations (with timed meets) where the downtown routings cross give passengers their choice of Central Loop–River North or West Loop. O’Hare access is most expedient today via CP/NCS but may be more practical long-term via MD-W.
I'll vote for any S/RER service like the one that allows me to go from Koeln Hbf to Dusseldorf Flughafen non-stop in less time than it takes me go from the Loop to ORD! And the cars are clean, the tracks don't squeek, you aren't flung from side to side and random people aren't screaming at each other.
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  #14871  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2019, 7:47 PM
Baronvonellis Baronvonellis is offline
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Yea, German and most Europe transit systems are lightyears ahead of Chicago for convenience and speed.

Why do trains in Chicago fling you around like a rag doll? I've never been on a train in Europe that did that. Is the suspension crap?
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  #14872  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2019, 10:31 PM
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Several reasons: we're not very good with track in the US, because we've spent decades thinking primarily of freight trains and because we take the lowest bidder rather than being able to select the company with experience (this was a national scandal on the CTA O'Hare Extension back in the 1980s).

Then, CTA cars are basically lightweight streetcars running at 55 mph. They don't weigh much, and have short wheelbases. By contrast, Metra bi-levels are topheavy, so they sway quite a bit any time the two rails aren't perfectly aligned.
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  #14873  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2019, 10:52 PM
urbanview urbanview is offline
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Originally Posted by Baronvonellis View Post
Yea, German and most Europe transit systems are lightyears ahead of Chicago for convenience and speed.

Why do trains in Chicago fling you around like a rag doll? I've never been on a train in Europe that did that. Is the suspension crap?
U don't say! They have money to put into transit, we don't.

Last edited by urbanview; Jul 30, 2019 at 11:28 PM.
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  #14874  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2019, 3:36 PM
Jim in Chicago Jim in Chicago is offline
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Originally Posted by urbanview View Post
U don't say! They have money to put into transit, we don't.
Or, another way to state this would be "they've chosen to fund public transit" we've chosen to fund other things.
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  #14875  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2019, 3:54 PM
sammyg sammyg is offline
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Originally Posted by Jim in Chicago View Post
Or, another way to state this would be "they've chosen to fund public transit" we've chosen to fund other things.
That's right - we suddenly had billions to bribe Amazon to come here, when there's not enough money to complete the order of 7000-series railcars. (Not 5000 like I said before)
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  #14876  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2019, 4:53 PM
Baronvonellis Baronvonellis is offline
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Well yea, we have unlimited billions to buy the latest stealth fighter jets, laser guided missiles and mulit-decade skirmishes on the other side of the planet. But when it comes to trains in the US, they are far too expensive and we can't afford them lol.

I was referring to the L trains that fling me side to side, the metra trains seem more stable to me.
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  #14877  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2019, 11:01 PM
OhioGuy OhioGuy is online now
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I f*cking hate buses on the Mag Mile during evening rush hour. They move so incredibly slow. It just took me 30 minutes to go 1 mile from Oak Street to the river on the 147. I should have just walked from the Delaware stop down to the park. I can walk much faster. I gave up at the Wrigley building and walked. I want a bus tunnel!
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  #14878  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 12:03 AM
emathias emathias is offline
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Originally Posted by OhioGuy View Post
I f*cking hate buses on the Mag Mile during evening rush hour. They move so incredibly slow. It just took me 30 minutes to go 1 mile from Oak Street to the river on the 147. I should have just walked from the Delaware stop down to the park. I can walk much faster. I gave up at the Wrigley building and walked. I want a bus tunnel!
Me, too! There's already a lower Michigan all the way to Grand Ave, so they'd just have to do the 1/2 mile to Oak Street. Granted, the interchange at Oak would be quite complex, but they're planning to rebuild that entire area sometime anyway, so why not at least engineer it so that if they ever got around to doing a lower Michigan from Grand to Oak it could connect up easy.

I think it'd be best paired with a Lower Chicago Ave, too, to get the 66 bus through quickly. It can take nearly half an hour to get from the Brown Line Chicago Ave station to Navy Pier,w hich is insanely slow. Making a tunnel between Orleans and Fairbanks would be very helpful and, coupled with some BRT investments west of the River, the Chicago Ave 66 bus could really gain some ridership and also actually be useful for continuing on the gentrification of Ukrainian Village and southern portions of Humboldt Park.
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  #14879  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 12:46 AM
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Or, you know, we could just build bus lanes. The city is already doing bus lanes on Chicago from Michigan to Larrabee, funded in part by One Chicago... not sure if those are done yet but they are many orders of magnitude cheaper than a tunnel.

https://chi.streetsblog.org/2019/04/...the-new-lanes/
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  #14880  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 11:09 AM
OhioGuy OhioGuy is online now
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I doubt city officials would want to interrupt the signal timing of the traffic lights along the Mag Mile to allow for legitimate BRT. Plus there are so many buses through that stretch the lights would almost have to stay constantly green for north-south traffic and very little east-west traffic. Although I guess you’re only suggesting bus lanes and not anything related to signal priority. How have the bus lanes for Loop Link fared? Beyond creating fixed shelters for the homeless, has Loop Link been all that successful?

Last edited by OhioGuy; Aug 1, 2019 at 1:23 PM.
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