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  #14581  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2018, 4:52 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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The fuel taxes should be indexed to inflation but limited by how much it can rise in a year to get there (say 5 or 7.5 cents a year) to soften the blow.

I'd also support congestion pricing the city and overhauling the tollway system so that it could provide funding to Metra/Pace along with implementation of demand pricing.
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  #14582  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2018, 11:31 PM
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Thought I saw this somewhere, but can't remember...

https://www.cityofchicago.org/conten...sCorridors.pdf
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  #14583  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2018, 4:30 AM
emathias emathias is offline
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Did anyone go to that South Loop 15th Street subway station meeting tonight?
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  #14584  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2018, 7:10 AM
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^ I would have, had I known about it!

There's already an FB group against the project, but only 36 people in it thankfully (so far).

Apparently Related has already reached deals with four of the homeowners along 15th to tear the houses down (or keep them vacant during construction).



EDIT: see better quality picture of station below
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Last edited by ardecila; Dec 20, 2018 at 5:36 AM.
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  #14585  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2018, 3:39 PM
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Yes, I was there, and it was about the shitshow you’d expect. The Dearborn Park II soccer moms came loaded for bear. Much as I cringed when they talked about this new station headhouse “looming” over their homes, or that there was no need for restrooms in Cottontail Park because users can “just go back to their houses”—they’re not entirely crazy to be concerned about the crime and scary guys currently found at the Roosevelt station coming to invade the quiet child-centered world of DPII and the park. I was a little surprised that everyone seemed to accept the development of the 62 acres as a fait accompli; no one stood up to suggest that it all should become a park.

At my first meeting with Related, months ago, I had pressed them on what exactly is under Clark Street that makes it impossible for the station entry to be on the west side. It seems that there’s a big water main, a big MWRD interceptor, and ComEd and fiber in the old freight tunnel, so that blocks you all the way down to -50 or -60. I was astonished that they were throwing around a $300m figure for just this simple headhouse and the two platforms. Because the platforms are so close to the surface, the design Carol Ross Barney showed has daylight permeating the headhouse and reaching down to the platforms.





Ald. Dowell was circumspect in her statements, and this still could get rammed through in the final days of the Emanuel Administration, but I think last night’s meeting made it clear that the best way forward is to spend the extra money to put at least the entry, if not the platforms, west of Clark.

The meeting began with the smell of distrust, as Related admitted that it had in fact bought those four townhouses using a blind trust. But why, exactly? They’d be the ones most affected by construction, true, but they’re only reachable by an easement through the HOA to the north, which naturally felt they should have been consulted. Maybe Related should buy all the houses within 200 feet and go all Disney World, having employee-residents show up at future meetings to beg for the new station.

Last edited by Mr Downtown; Dec 18, 2018 at 11:56 PM.
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  #14586  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2018, 6:30 PM
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I watched a video someone kindly posted on Facebook. I thought it was clear that Curt Bailey was referring to the single-family detached houses fronting directly on 15th. Excavation for the station box would cut off front-door access for these homes even if the auto court remains unscathed, and the noise/vibration could be an issue so close to the work site. Plus if Related can tear them down, they don’t need to worry about shoring up these homes or preventing settlement issues. If they have reached deals for four of those homes, then that only leaves two remaining. It’s not even clear where the tunnel sits exactly, it may pass beneath some of those homes directly, assuming they sit on shallow foundations.

Interesting to note the congested conditions under Clark St. Presumably there has to be some path through the underground thicket, or the existing Red Line tunnel would not be able to traverse Clark either, so there must be a way to thread the needle for a pedestrian tunnel even if it is costly. After Wells-Wentworth opens, it may be possible to close off Clark in order to dig up the road and build such a connection without traffic.

I do agree with Carol Ross Barney, though, that placing the head house directly over the platforms (east of Clark) allows for more natural light, crime deterrent, and just a more pleasant design overall. However, if Clark is not tamed from its auto sewer nature, people will be reluctant to walk across it even to reach the Red Line.
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  #14587  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2018, 7:14 PM
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Thanks for the updates, guys. Glad to see that this subway station is still in the plans
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  #14588  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2018, 7:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
It’s not even clear where the tunnel sits exactly, it may pass beneath some of those homes directly, assuming they sit on shallow foundations.
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=1...6214/-87.63067

This is the tunnel, if you trust the outline.
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  #14589  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2018, 8:49 PM
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This is the most accurate map I have of where the tunnel actually is.




Those houses "fronting on 15th" don't actually; they have their backs to 15th. Apparently the developer didn't think they'd sell if they fronted on 15th, so he flipped them around and then had to arrange an easement for them to be accessed from the private street to the north. I'll have to go look up whether they're a condo association or have fee ownership. EDIT: They have fee-simple ownership of their lots.

Last edited by Mr Downtown; Dec 19, 2018 at 3:39 PM.
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  #14590  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2018, 10:21 PM
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Well there you go, at least one house sits on top of the tunnel. Hit the “offset” button on that tunnel wall about 15’ for the southbound platform and that wipes out those first four houses, or at least comes close enough to require expensive shoring.

The remaining two houses on the Clark corner could probably be left intact, but if Related can buy them then they get a more useful site for Cottontail Park expansion or a small mixed-use building in the future. Maybe it could be both, with a little cafe pavilion ala Connors Park.
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  #14591  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2018, 4:56 AM
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Not to start any rumors or anything, but if they bought all six of those houses, they've now got an 80x190 site that's just about perfect for a modest highrise, steps from a new Red Line station (not that Related Midwest needs any more dirt). I'm pretty sure the PD for DPII still has a bunch of unclaimed units—due to being built out as nearly all townhouses—that they could use.
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  #14592  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2018, 3:38 PM
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^Which would be prescient considering these South Loop haciendas will eventually bite the dust even if it takes 40-50 years.
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  #14593  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2018, 4:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Not to start any rumors or anything, but if they bought all six of those houses, they've now got an 80x190 site that's just about perfect for a modest highrise, steps from a new Red Line station (not that Related Midwest needs any more dirt). I'm pretty sure the PD for DPII still has a bunch of unclaimed units—due to being built out as nearly all townhouses—that they could use.
Good point, they could park a lot of their mandated affordable units there as well.

Ahhhhhh how much I'd love to see the look on the faces of those entitled DPII brats if they were told that 500 low income apartments were going up next door in a highrise that would serve double duty by casting a shadow over little Billy's playpit, while also being adjacent to the brand new Red line subway stop bringing in all those scary folks from the south side!!

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  #14594  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2018, 8:21 PM
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Regardless of where the headhouse is and the elevators are, I hope they at least put stairway entrances on both sides of Clark. I would imagine they will, but sometimes you never know. In a perfect world, I'd want at least stairway entrances on both sides of Clark and on 15th, but I can only imagine the pushback that might get. Actually, why does it need a headhouse at all? This seems like one of the few places Chicago might be able to implement entrances much closer to New York-style, which seems much preferable to me.

On an unrelated note, is there ever talk of putting a new Red Line station in at Cleveland and Clybourn? By even the most conservative estimate, it's exactly a mile between Clark/Division and North/Clybourn, with Cleveland being slightly closer to Clark/Division, but the way the streets are there it looks like Cleveland would result in the most functional location. It definitely wouldn't be cheap, but, especially if combined with a redevelopment of that Jewel-anchored shopping center and the vacant lots along Scott, it could easily become one of the most-used stations in the network over the decade following its completion. Was such an addition even slightly planned for during construction? Anyone else think it'd be useful, or would you rather just see any bucket of money big enough to build that station go toward a Clinton Street subway, with a station on Division at Larrabee or Harlsted or whereever it crossed Division?
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  #14595  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2018, 9:56 PM
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^

Why not both

I’d rather see the Clinton St subway brought to life before adding another stop to the red line. A red line stop at Division and Clybourn does make sense though. Same with a brown line stop on a Division and maybe even Halsted. The Halsted stop would make most sense if the Clinton St subway were actually built.
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  #14596  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2018, 5:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Regardless of where the headhouse is and the elevators are, I hope they at least put stairway entrances on both sides of Clark. I would imagine they will, but sometimes you never know. In a perfect world, I'd want at least stairway entrances on both sides of Clark and on 15th, but I can only imagine the pushback that might get. Actually, why does it need a headhouse at all? This seems like one of the few places Chicago might be able to implement entrances much closer to New York-style, which seems much preferable to me.
New York style (or State St, Dearborn Subway) stations require fare control to be underground, which means a bigger excavation and higher costs. Depending on the station and the depth of the tunnel, there is either a mezzanine squeezed between the street and the platform level, or there are separate fare controls for each platform and riders cannot cross between platforms without exiting the station and paying again.

At 15th St, the Red Line tunnel is pretty shallow, so I'm not sure there is room to build a mezzanine between grade level and the roof of the tunnel. That means two separate fare control areas underground, with two station attendants, twice as many farecard machines and turnstiles, etc plus a bigger excavation and no way to cross between platforms.

Really the head house is the better solution, and there's no reason NOT to do it since CTA already owns the land. A mixed use building atop the headhouse would be nice - it's a non-starter today, but CTA could certainly add this in 20-30 years once the grant money is paid back.

Quote:
On an unrelated note, is there ever talk of putting a new Red Line station in at Cleveland and Clybourn? By even the most conservative estimate, it's exactly a mile between Clark/Division and North/Clybourn, with Cleveland being slightly closer to Clark/Division, but the way the streets are there it looks like Cleveland would result in the most functional location. It definitely wouldn't be cheap, but, especially if combined with a redevelopment of that Jewel-anchored shopping center and the vacant lots along Scott, it could easily become one of the most-used stations in the network over the decade following its completion. Was such an addition even slightly planned for during construction? Anyone else think it'd be useful, or would you rather just see any bucket of money big enough to build that station go toward a Clinton Street subway, with a station on Division at Larrabee or Harlsted or whereever it crossed Division?
No talk of this. The 15th St station is only being pushed because Related as a single landowner will benefit tremendously and is willing to take on all that grief. Cabrini Green is split between many different developers with CHA and Holsten being the biggest ones. Nobody is proposing the level of density that the 78 will have, because CHA's staff has basically internalized the 1990s critiques of high density public housing. Cabrini Green when built-out will have a lower average density than most old-school Chicago neighborhoods, even the gentrified ones.

I still think the Clinton St subway is a good idea, but never really had political support. IN that scenario, the Red Line would shift to the new Clinton alignment for an easy connection to Union/Ogilvie, and would have a station at Division by the Target. The rest of the State Street subway would probably become a full-time Purple Line service.
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  #14597  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2018, 9:54 AM
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The CHA was planning mid-density, but I think Rahm and others have pushed them to be more open to higher densities. Some updated plans have shown some of that, so I'm hopeful that as things actually get built, there will be a higher end result than the original plans showed. Certainly if the City decided to push for a Clinton Street subway, it would probably also push for higher density near the stations.

As far as routing, I always thought that dining both Purple and Yellow line trains as expresses South of Howard, at least during Rush Hour, would be good, so they could both use the State Street tunnels. Something like running the Orange Line through it to Belmont or Kimball might be useful but that's a different discussion.
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  #14598  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2019, 12:02 PM
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The O'Hare people mover will be temporarily shut down starting next week to be upgraded, increased in capacity, and extended to the intermodal center. There will be busses filling in in the mean time. All the better reason to take the Blue Line out there.
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  #14599  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2019, 6:33 AM
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Metra Dreams Big

From an article in Trains Magazine-

Quote:
As part of his presentation Monday at the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association Conference, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Executive Director Bruce Marcheschi not only outlined Metra’s capital plans for 2019, but the far greater vision that would come with a $5-billion, 10-year capital funding plan it is seeking from the state of Illinois.

Marcheschi called this “The Ask,” and it’s a big one – not only because of the dollar figure involved, but also because he noted it has been 10 years there was a state plan covering Metra capital needs. With a new governor, J.B. Pritzker, taking office on Wednesday, Marcheschi and Metra hope that might change.
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What does “The Ask” entail?

-Rolling Stock: 40 new locomotives, 400 new coaches, and conversion of 54 existing locomotives to A.C. traction motors. Some of Metra’s coaches, for example, date to the 1950s. “We’re putting an RFP [Request For Proposal] together to go onto the street sometime in this first quarter, looking at at least 400 coach car purchases,” Marcheschi said.

-Station improvements: More warming shelters, with improved lighting and security cameras. “The station is really the first place our passengers get our experience,” Marcheschi said. “Is it clean? Is it safe? Am I well-guided? Do I know where I’m going? If we can’t get that first, then we miss the first step of the whole customer service program that we want.

-Service improvements: More express trains, which requires more capacity – not just in terms of cars, but yard space for those car, along with track improvements to run at higher speeds, more crossovers for dispatching flexibility, and extended platforms to accommodate longer trains.

-Refurbishment or replacement of 10 bridges a year – which still would address just a fraction of the more than 400 bridges Metra uses that are a century old or older.

-Electrification of the Rock Island District, the 40-mile route between downtown Chicago’s La Salle Street Station and Joliet, Ill. The Metra-owned line currently sees 67 trains each weekday. “We feel electrification is more reliable, it’s more efficient, and it reduces emissions. So that’s something that we’re looking at.”

-Replacement of the complex junction at Tower A-2, two miles from Chicago Union Station. “Seven lines of train service traverse it every day; 337 train movements every day,” Marcheschi said. “If something happens there, it can spoil the whole day.” A study of design options for A-2 is set to begin in a matter of weeks, he said. “Right now, we’re looking at a flyover. We’ve got the Union Pacific and Metra cross each other over a set of 12 double-slip switches. … We’re just starting the design concept right now.”

-The 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project, to address one of Chicago’s most notorious rail bottlenecks. Some $474 million of this project has been funded. But the full $1.1 billion 75th Street plan would also include a connection between the Metra Rock Island District and the line used by SouthWest Service trains; that would allow SouthWest trains to originate at LaSalle Street Station rather than Union Station, opening up platform capacity at Union Station. Related changes would also include increasing capacity at LaSalle Street and a section of triple track to reach the station.

-Service to O’Hare International Airport. The lightly-used Metra O’Hare Transfer station (which sees 10 weekday-only round trips on the North Central Service) would see dedicated service every half-hour from both Union Station and the nearby Ogilvie Transportation Center.

“Again, that’s $5 billion over 10 years,” Marcheschi said. “If we get that, we’re in a good spot.”
Quote:
In the meantime, there are the capital plans for 2019 – in comparison, a modest $185.6 million, all from federal funding, which will include $40.3 million for rolling stock, $54.6 million for track and structures, and $31.8 million for signals, electrical, and communications. The latter figure, Marcheschi noted, reflects the last year Metra has to divert capital funds to positive train control installation.

Bridges are going to be a major focus in Metra’s 2019 capital spending, reflecting the system’s aging infrastructure. The largest bridge projects in the budget are $12 million to replace bridge A-32 on the Milwaukee North line, with design beginning in the first quarter of 2019 and construction starting in 2020; $7 million to rehabilitate the timber Morgan Street bridge on the Rock Island District, with construction to begin later in 2019; and $4 million to rehab the 96th Street bridge on the Rock Island District.

Station projects on tap include a $40 million rehab of the Van Buren Street station on the Metra Electric line, a structure which dates to 1896. Design work is scheduled to be completed by mid year, with construction, in phases, beginning in 2020. There will also be a new Peterson Ridge station on the UP North line, budged at $15 million, and a rebuild of the 59th/60th Street Station on the Metra Electric, near the site for the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park, near the University of Chicago. That will be a $14 million project. “We were just going to do a rehab,” Marcheschi said, “but when they decided to put the Obama library in the vicinity, we said, ‘Well, it can’t be just a rehab. It’s got to be much more than that.’ And it will be.”
In other Metra news, the commuter rail service introduced the repainted Metra locomotive 405 in the colors of the former Milwaukee Road.

img src - metrarail insta

405 joins loco 425, painted in the yellow and Rocket Red of the former Rock Island, introduced in December, 2017.

img src - metrarail insta
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  #14600  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2019, 1:11 PM
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At a bare absolute minimum they have got to get all the rolling stock. They are so short on spares for both locomotives and coaches plus the old power constantly breaks down. Fortunately since only one company bid on their gallery car RFP and they've had to go back and look at modern bilevels.

Seems they're going straight to the state for the RI connection at 75th Street which appears to be a change.
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