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  #14381  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 5:44 PM
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looks cool, but what's the function of the green truss bridge over the tracks?

this isn't any kind of transfer station where people would need to cross the tracks to get from one platform to the other to get on a different train.
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  #14382  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 6:12 PM
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looks cool, but what's the function of the green truss bridge over the tracks?

this isn't any kind of transfer station where people would need to cross the tracks to get from one platform to the other to get on a different train.
It is going to have two platforms with the tracks in the middle.

Since they can't put the entrance in the middle of Lake St this allows access to both platforms from one entrance.
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  #14383  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 6:30 PM
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It is going to have two platforms with the tracks in the middle.

Since they can't put the entrance in the middle of Lake St this allows access to both platforms from one entrance.
but who would ever need to access both platforms from one entrance?

it's not a transfer station; if you're headed inbound, then enter the inbound entrance, if you're headed outbound, then enter the outbound entrance.
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  #14384  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 6:43 PM
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but who would ever need to access both platforms from one entrance?

it's not a transfer station; if you're headed inbound, then enter the inbound entrance, if you're headed outbound, then enter the outbound entrance.
if im understanding correctly, this will only have one entrance to begin with.

but also as someone who has occasionally boarded on the wrong platform, and then needed to get over to the other side, i appreciate the option. for example, Morgan has this setup. ventra locks you out from re-entering the station for like 15 minutes as well after an initial swipe, so typically if you screw up and arent familiar with the system your SOL.
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  #14385  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 6:52 PM
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if im understanding correctly, this will only have one entrance to begin with.
oh, i didn't realize that. i assumed that one would be able to go directly up to either platform from street-level. at least that's how things would work in an ideal world.

so, if you need to get to the outbound platform, that means you first have to go up to the inbound platform, then up to the bridge, cross the tracks, and then back down to the outbound platform?

that seems a bit circuitous. from my experiences, transit works best when it works easiest. this doesn't sound like easiest, but par for the course for the CTA, i suppose.
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  #14386  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 6:59 PM
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^ If that is the case, it is a major design fail. I cannot tell from the renderings if there is a direct entrance to the westbound platform on the north side of Lake. It’s possible that there is a north-side entrance, but it’s just a high-barrier gate and stairs, and not handicap-accessible... hence the ground-level turnstiles by the plaza and a direct elevator up to the transfer bridge, then another elevator down to the westbound platform.

Even if the functionality of the station is in question, there’s still a lot to like about this plan. Bold, dramatic architecture, a station plaza that is wide open and welcoming, lots of capacity for large events. Compared to this, the IMD station where many United Center visitors currently exit feels small and cramped.

Hopefully the station construction also includes curb bump outs and such around the area to really magnify the pedestrian-friendliness of the area. Damen’s sidewalks are not exactly generous or welcoming.
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  #14387  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 7:01 PM
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but who would ever need to access both platforms from one entrance?

it's not a transfer station; if you're headed inbound, then enter the inbound entrance, if you're headed outbound, then enter the outbound entrance.
That would require two stations on opposite sides of Lake St.

This way the only land use on the other side, are some extra columns to support the elevator.

Even Morgan, where they built two entrances and turned both sidewalks into gangways, they still have a bridge over the top of the tracks.
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  #14388  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 7:38 PM
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yea i mean if you actually have 2 entrances the bridge seems a bit unnecessary, outside of the situation i outlined above. seems like its more of an architectural flourish, but i dont know how many people actually use the bridge at morgan, given the extra cost to include one. it does seem like a rare circumstance to need to go to the other side if theres no transfer available.

Last edited by Via Chicago; Jul 9, 2018 at 8:35 PM.
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  #14389  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 7:42 PM
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that said, its encouraging that FINALLY the city is beginning to understand the importance of design in transit infrastructure. daley was all about the ugly standardized prototypes for stations/libraries, and ill give rahm credit for focusing on elevating beyond that. although i honestly have no idea how theyre able to string together all these flashy big ticket buildings given current city budget constraints...
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  #14390  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 7:56 PM
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If you check out further renderings on Crains website, there indeed are stairs and an elevator on the north side of the station, so I'm pretty sure there is direct entry to the westbound platform.
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  #14391  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 3:47 AM
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I think these bridges might be essential for people in wheelchairs if the elevator on one side of another station is broken (so they have to backtrack to the other side) .

Plus, they're great for taking pictures!
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  #14392  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 4:40 AM
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If you check out further renderings on Crains website, there indeed are stairs and an elevator on the north side of the station, so I'm pretty sure there is direct entry to the westbound platform.
No, it appears there is not an entrance on the north side of Damen. Floorplans on page 4.

https://www.scribd.com/document/3835...ion#from_embed

There are, however, two sets of exit-only stairs at the east and west ends of both platforms. Seems like a pretty big disservice to riders coming from the west. Hopefully one or both of the exit-only stairs can have rotogates added so (able-bodied) passengers heading west can directly access their platform.

Also surprised to see no retail space given the land CTA has to work with. I know CTA has issues leasing those spaces out sometimes, but usually they're pretty terrible, tiny spaces that are invisible except to train commuters. When they are well-designed with visibility from the street, they seem to do pretty well... 'L' Cafecito at the Damen Pink Line stop is my go-to for coffee, even when I'm not getting on a train. Several stops have successful Dunkin Donuts franchises. Seems like here CTA could have a pretty successful cafe space with the option for plaza seating...
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  #14393  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 3:50 PM
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I think these bridges might be essential for people in wheelchairs if the elevator on one side of another station is broken (so they have to backtrack to the other side) .
that dosent make any sense though, since the bridges are ultimately accessed by stairs
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  #14394  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 3:58 PM
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No, it appears there is not an entrance on the north side of Damen. Floorplans on page 4.

https://www.scribd.com/document/3835...ion#from_embed

There are, however, two sets of exit-only stairs at the east and west ends of both platforms. Seems like a pretty big disservice to riders coming from the west. Hopefully one or both of the exit-only stairs can have rotogates added so (able-bodied) passengers heading west can directly access their platform.
That's a bummer. But it's actually people boarding the train to head west that would be inconvenienced the most, I think, as they would want to be on the north platform.

Not that their needs aren't important, of course, but I'm guessing that 90% of people boarding at this station are headed downtown, thus would board directly onto the south platform. If I'm wrong then the CTA is full of idiots
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  #14395  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 4:12 PM
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No, that's correct... CTA is anticipating a dispersed flow of passengers coming from downtown before games/events, who can use either of the exit-only stairs on the north platform or walk up and over the tracks to the south exit. After the game, CTA expects a concentrated flow of passengers to walk directly up the stairs/escalator onto the south platform to head back downtown. Hence the wide staircase, multiple sets of turnstiles and generous plaza for crowds to back up in.

It might be overkill for the limited number of people who will ride CTA to games, but if the city and the Bulls/Blackhawks organization can ever get an entertainment district off the ground, people may be more willing to ride transit and go drinking before/after the game, and then the station would see volumes closer to Addison on the Red Line. It's probably good that the station is being built this way, even if will seem oversized in the near term.
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  #14396  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 5:30 PM
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It's not much, but an image in the Crain's article about the new Damen station shows the United Center parking lots as future mixed-use developments. If plans are currently in the works, then this would be major boom for the Near West Side. I would imagine an immediate land rush of anything west of Damen
Although I'm really happy they are finally building a station out there, I'm guessing this will cost somewhere in the $50m+. Is there a reason we have to build only mega stations now and can't just build something similar to what Lincoln Park or Lakeview stops have? Perhaps you could then build 2-3 stations instead of 1. The Cermak station was around $40m and looks like crap less than 5 years later when a simple platform & canopy likely would have sufficed.

Last edited by Steely Dan; Jul 10, 2018 at 6:56 PM.
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  #14397  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 6:24 PM
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Although I'm really happy they are finally building a station out there, I'm guessing this will cost somewhere in the $50m+. Is there a reason we have to build only mega stations now and can't just build something similar to what Lincoln Park or Lakeview stops have? Perhaps you could then build 2-3 stations instead of 1. The Cermak station was around $40m and looks like crap less than 5 years later when a simple platform & canopy likely would have sufficed.
ADA compliance is one reason. The city is trying to get all of its stations to have elevators for accessibility. A small station may be good for us stair-loving folks but there's more to it than just making a cheap station. The other thing is that this is going to be a "showcase" station for a lot of out-of-towners, people attending events at the United Center. It's not just a CTA stop; it's a welcome mat and advertisement for the city.

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  #14398  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 7:42 PM
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ADA compliance is one reason. The city is trying to get all of its stations to have elevators for accessibility. A small station may be good for us stair-loving folks but there's more to it than just making a cheap station. The other thing is that this is going to be a "showcase" station for a lot of out-of-towners, people attending events at the United Center. It's not just a CTA stop; it's a welcome mat and advertisement for the city.
People still go to Wrigley even though they don't have a $50m station. I believe the same would hold true for the United Center. More people aren't going to use the Cermak stop just because they wrapped it in an overpriced metal tube. They use it because that's where the convention center is. They just want a train stop. I get that it's a chance for a 'showcase' station but I don't really recall the last time they've built a non-showcase station. Even the Morgan stop was $38m and that certainly didn't need to be a showcase station.

Just seems like constantly one-uping the last station with the next is just a bit of a waste of VERY scarce resources.
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  #14399  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2018, 12:40 AM
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Love the design! Looks like the station lobby will feel huge and airy, which is exciting since most CTA stations by design feel small and cramped. I really like the structural expressionism of the design. Really cool.

Hopefully it gets used regularly by a good number of fans on game days. The sooner we can prove to the UC organization that they don't need to be 100% dependent on parking for Hawks/Bulls/events at the UC, the faster we will see those lots redeveloped into housing/retail. They can still keep the same number of parking spots as well, by simply hiding a garage around a retail or residential wrap that fronts the street.
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Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 3:39 PM
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People still go to Wrigley even though they don't have a $50m station. I believe the same would hold true for the United Center. More people aren't going to use the Cermak stop just because they wrapped it in an overpriced metal tube. They use it because that's where the convention center is. They just want a train stop. I get that it's a chance for a 'showcase' station but I don't really recall the last time they've built a non-showcase station. Even the Morgan stop was $38m and that certainly didn't need to be a showcase station.

Just seems like constantly one-uping the last station with the next is just a bit of a waste of VERY scarce resources.
I disagree. Good design should absolutely be included when the city is considering a 100-year investment like this. We all have to live with this station long after the bills are paid off and Rahm Emanuel is a distant memory. A cramped, utilitarian station like the ones from the 90s on the Green Line would cost nearly as much (because transit be expensive, yo) and would not be a point of pride for the community or an anchor of redevelopment.

It may seem like a palace because our expectations are so low, but this is pretty much the standard in Chicago's peer cities globally. Check out the London Transit Thread, or the Paris Transit Thread. In those cities, even stations in fringe, low-income neighborhoods are being renovated with this caliber of design. There are tangible benefits, too - the wide open spaces and transparent materials like glass improve sightlines, which reduces crime and makes riders feel safer. Higher quality materials can be more durable and resistant to vandalism, corrosion, etc.

Also, as I pointed out - if this station is ever gonna be successful at luring United Center crowds onto the CTA, it has to be this big. Otherwise event day crowds will overwhelm the station and spill onto narrow sidewalks.
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