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  #8901  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 8:51 PM
lawfin lawfin is offline
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Emathias, is the line of which you speak essentially the 1968 Monroe circulator?


I am with you on putting some variant of that where there is already existant intensity. Not to say a circulator such as circle line would not be useful as well. I think it would be. It is as you say a matter of priorities.

Ideally, i'd have such a variant of the monroe circulator, some variant of the circle line, and an outer loop maybe along western.

I really think if chicago's L system transitioned to a more dense graph from the relatively sparse graph it is now that ridership would would transition from under performing on a per mile basis to over performing on a per mile basis
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  #8902  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 8:55 PM
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On an aside did the above monroe line contemplate transfer stations between the north redline maybe at division of chicago and the circulator line? This would increase usefulness at first glance
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  #8903  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 8:59 PM
Baronvonellis Baronvonellis is offline
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As soon as I get $100 billion I will build you guys 10 concentric looped subways radiating out from the CBD all the way to Beverly so that you can get everywhere in Chicago.
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  #8904  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 9:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Baronvonellis View Post
As soon as I get $100 billion I will build you guys 10 concentric looped subways radiating out from the CBD all the way to Beverly so that you can get everywhere in Chicago.
Can we hold you to that?
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  #8905  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 9:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
...
Oh gee I dunno, maybe via the two different subway stops that are only two short blocks from Michigan Ave? Streeterville is almost all residential to the East, the only part that has high traffic uses like retail and office is Michigan Ave and it is already served by rail. As I said before, you build a line in Streeterville and it will be competing with walking in terms of speed, completely useless.
Almost all residential? By Streeterville, I'm including everything between Michigan and LSD and the River - but theoretically also LSE.

That puts people 1/2 mile closer to Navy Pier, and serves North Pier, the Northwestern Medical campus, the Northwestern University Law campus, the Hancock building, and, don't forget, dozens of big hotels in the area.

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Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
So I guess you think its practical for me to transfer at Jackson if I want to go to the Hancock Building as well....
"Can you get there via train currently" is properly answered with a Yes. Is it advantageous for you to use the train to get there - perhaps not. Have I made that transfer myself? Yes.

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Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
Uhhh except not, it serves the entire city by allowing people to AVOID the central area. Instead of going all the way to Jackson and back out to get to Lincoln Park or transferring to a bus, I could simply transfer at North and be over there in 5 minutes instead of 20. Same goes on the West side.
To most parts of Lincoln Park, you'd still need two transfers to get there. Especially at late hours with lowered frequency of service, I'm not sure two transfers would leave you with quite the advantage you have in mind.

Like I said, I don't think what you're advocating is without merit - we simply disagree on prioritization. You seem awfuly worked up about the whole thing. The changes I advocate for aren't because I'd personally benefit from them, I advocate them because I think the numbers show them to be the most useful to the largest number of riders (both residents and visitors). Maybe I'm misreading your intent, but you personalize a lot of your examples, so it comes across as you advocating for something purely because you think it will benefit you. If that's the case, I think it clouds your judgement. I don't live in the West Loop, and I don't live in Streeterville. I still think a subway connecting them would add a lot of value, particularly if done as part of a larger set of system enhancements - in particular the Streeterville section would enable a better north-south link between the north and south lakefront areas.

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Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
How does one get to the West loop if they are in Lincoln Park? The don't. You aren't going to transfer at Lake and walk to Clark/Lake. The idea is to open up more than just the CBD (note that I never said CENTRAL AREA once and said CBD which is vastly different in Chicago than the central area) to development and to the rest of the city.
No, you don't walk to Clark Lake, you exist State/Lake subway station and transfer to State/Lake elevated station if you come down on the Red Line. If you come down on the Brown or Purple Line, you transfer at Adams/Wabash or Clark/Lake. A Lincoln Park to, for example, Randolph Street restaurant trip would be unlikely to be improved by your suggested routing now that there's a Morgan/Green stop, so it's actually a poor example for your case. I'm not saying there aren't other, better, cases to be made, but getting from Lincoln Park to, say, Moto will be very easy via the 'L' with the completion of the Morgan station. Red to Green is an easy transfer, and Purple/Green during rush hour is also easy. Brown/Green is a little longer, but only by about 6 minutes.

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Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
What you are talking about would be a marginal convenience at best for the residents of Streeterville, what I'm talking about would be a game changer for how Chicago functions as a city. You tell me which is worth $2 billion...
It would be a large conveniene for anyone living or working in the West Loop, wanting to get to Michigan Avenue or McCormick Place or the Museum Campus, for anyone arriving in Chicago at Union Station or Ogilvy, or, ultimately for a very large population of persons. Just not of a lot of use for people on the Northwest Side without additional tie-ins.
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  #8906  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 9:40 PM
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There is a bunch of stuff up on the CREATE page about the Grand Crossing rail connection project, including diagrams of the alternatives.

For the southern half of the project, there are two alternatives. One which seems sort of like a baseline alternative would would use the NKP flyover of the CN/IC and add a single track between the NS line and the Skyway. The other alternative does both of the things mentioned above plus includes several more new tracks north of the NS right of way where the NKP used to be and where Con Ed has some power lines.

For the northern half, one alternative would hug the east side of the NS ROW adding a track there as far north as 42nd St. The other alternative would build a new connection from the NS line to the Metra SWS line through Englewood from roughly 61st & Stewart to 59th & Wallace and utilize the Metra line from there.
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  #8907  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 9:46 PM
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Originally Posted by lawfin View Post
On an aside did the above monroe line contemplate transfer stations between the north redline maybe at division of chicago and the circulator line? This would increase usefulness at first glance
it didn't, but I think a modern version of it would likely try to include that because it would add a lot of value even though it would also add a lot of cost. The 1968 plan had a turnaround circling around the Hancock building. I think a better route for today's needs would be to continue west, turning north under Washington Square, with a transfer station at Clark/Division and then terminating somewhere between Armitage and Fullerton in Lincoln Park, with the potential for a future extension further north along Sheridan or Clark/Broadway.

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Originally Posted by lawfin View Post
Emathias, is the line of which you speak essentially the 1968 Monroe circulator?
Your image doesn't seem to be displaying for me (chicago-l.org may prevent direct image linking), but looking at the URL, yes, that's the plan I refer to. Specifically, the green portion. The subway loop, I think, would be too expensive for limited utility improvement.

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Originally Posted by lawfin View Post
I am with you on putting some variant of that where there is already existant intensity. Not to say a circulator such as circle line would not be useful as well. I think it would be. It is as you say a matter of priorities.

Ideally, i'd have such a variant of the monroe circulator, some variant of the circle line, and an outer loop maybe along western.

I really think if chicago's L system transitioned to a more dense graph from the relatively sparse graph it is now that ridership would would transition from under performing on a per mile basis to over performing on a per mile basis
I think using the 1968 plan, with the north extension to NOrth Ave I mention above, would greatly enhance the utility of a Circle Line because it gets people from the west to the far east part of downtown for festivals and events in addition to Michigan Ave and the CBD. Ultimately, almost any two projects will yield better results than just the sum of them done individually.
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  #8908  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 3:03 AM
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This project keeps getting worse and worse. Now it's just blatantly a subsidy for NS.

The best and cheapest option is simply to run Amtrak trains all the way up the St Charles Air Line to a new direct connection into Union Station. This alignment is 100% grade separated with no tight curves and will soon have zero freight interference. If there is a connection at Grand Crossing at all, it should be in the northeast quadrant moving trains from Michigan and points east onto the SCAL.

Why depress roads all over the place, rip up half of Englewood (not exaggerating here) and spend hundreds of millions of public dollars so that one track can be installed that NS will ever-so-kindly share with Amtrak, assuming Amtrak can fit into its busy freight schedule...

What a racket. The railroads have figured out, yet again, how to get billions of dollars of taxpayer money while contributing very little to the general welfare.
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  #8909  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 12:44 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
This project keeps getting worse and worse. Now it's just blatantly a subsidy for NS.

The best and cheapest option is simply to run Amtrak trains all the way up the St Charles Air Line to a new direct connection into Union Station. This alignment is 100% grade separated with no tight curves and will soon have zero freight interference. If there is a connection at Grand Crossing at all, it should be in the northeast quadrant moving trains from Michigan and points east onto the SCAL.

Why depress roads all over the place, rip up half of Englewood (not exaggerating here) and spend hundreds of millions of public dollars so that one track can be installed that NS will ever-so-kindly share with Amtrak, assuming Amtrak can fit into its busy freight schedule...

What a racket. The railroads have figured out, yet again, how to get billions of dollars of taxpayer money while contributing very little to the general welfare.
^ You are definitely one of the 2 or 3 top transportation experts on this forum, and I'm sure I'm not the only one here who appreciates your input. But I'm just wondering, isn't it the whole purpose of the CREATE project to benefit Chicago's freight rail system? Untying freight bottlenecks is the primary purpose of this investment, while benefitting passenger rail is seen as a secondary goal; is that not correct?

Btw, using public dollars to benefit private companies is certainly not just happening in one part of Chicagoland. We all know that the O'Hare expansion will ultimately be rigged to benefit United and American Airlines, even though funding for the project will be mostly on the taxpayer's dime.
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  #8910  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 1:56 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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^^^ Well I think increasing the dominance of United Airlines is a critical goal for the City of Chicago, especially now that they gobbled up Continental. If United does well, then the City will benefit from increased employment, increased tax revenue, increased route options, increased reputation, etc... Helping United become the biggest global airline by crowding out the competition should be a priority for Chicago.


Same applies for freight rail. Chicago should do everything in its power to maintain its role as the critical center of shipping in the USA. It's not as if the city and private interests didn't work together to screw the rest of the country in the first place by ensuring that all the railroads terminated, and didn't just have stations, in Chicago. We intentionally made ourselves a choke point so we could control the industry and it's high time we re-embrace that role and improve our choke point so it can again become an engine of growth.
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  #8911  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 2:08 PM
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The hidden point in the Grand Crossing project (which I can't find a single mention of in their presentation) is that NS is already buying up all the property south of Garfield to expand their rail yard to 61st.
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  #8912  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 2:21 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
We all know that the O'Hare expansion will ultimately be rigged to benefit United and American Airlines, even though funding for the project will be mostly on the taxpayer's dime.
How on earth will taxpayers be on the hook for O'Hare expansion? Aren't those strictly revenue bonds rather than G.O. bonds?
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  #8913  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 2:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
We intentionally made ourselves a choke point so we could control the industry
Where did you get that idea? Railroads in the 19th century were as cutthroat and uncoöperative as it's possible to imagine. But railroads were initially ways to link busy waterways overland to distant ports, or to bring commodities from agricultural and mining hinterlands to ports. Decades before a transcontinental railroad was even thought possible, no one gathered in a room and decided to make Chicago a chokepoint. And a dozen railroads built routes that completely bypassed Chicago in one way or another.
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  #8914  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 2:37 PM
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...uncoöperative...
An umlaut? Are you on a german keyboard?
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  #8915  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 2:57 PM
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emathias, you're arguing against your own argument. You say that loop should have been put in 50 years ago to accommodate the growth that was just starting to occur, so that it could better serve the capacity that Streeterville has now reached, today. Then you turn around and say that we shouldn't provide new infrastructure to under-served growth areas because we need to serve where people already are. You can't stand on both sides of the fence at once.

Other than that, am I missing something? Are the people who live in Streeterville crying for public transportation? Are they under-served by buses or cabs? I would find a claim to that effect very dubious. If you need to make it from Northwestern to Union Station in under 20 minutes, you're either taking a cab or running, even if there is a subway line, because you can't count on the train being there immediately when you need it anyway.

I think you're all mentally masturbating over this because there's not a whole lot else to talk about at the moment.
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  #8916  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 3:31 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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Where did you get that idea? Railroads in the 19th century were as cutthroat and uncoöperative as it's possible to imagine. But railroads were initially ways to link busy waterways overland to distant ports, or to bring commodities from agricultural and mining hinterlands to ports. Decades before a transcontinental railroad was even thought possible, no one gathered in a room and decided to make Chicago a chokepoint. And a dozen railroads built routes that completely bypassed Chicago in one way or another.
Sometimes I think you just like making shit up. The first railway in Chicago didn't even go to the East. In fact, the first railroad in Chicago went West to Galena in direct competition with the major waterway you claim the railroads were built to supplement. The Galena & Chicago Union Railway was built between Chicago and Galena with the intent of competing with the Illinois and Michigan Canal - Hennepin Canal water route for bringing the lead from Galena back to Chicago.

The railroads didn't begin elsewhere with the intention of connecting to Chicago's waterways, they began in Chicago with the intention of connecting everyone else to Chicago. However, even that was a brief period that only lasted less than 20 years before Chicago had full connections to the East coast at which point Chicago's business leaders (many of whom built or owned railroads crucial to their businesses) embarked on a plan of intentionally forcing all freight to be sorted in Chicago.

To further point out how absurd your statements are, the Galena & Chicago Union began construction in 1848. The Transcontinental Railway was authorized in 1862 and began construction in 1863. So you are making the absurd claim that no one could possibly have imagined a transcontinental railway a mere 15 years (at most) before the transcontinental railway began construction? That's absolutely absurd considering construction had already began on lines to St Louis and even Kansas City in that time pretty obviously indicating a westward expansion. Why didn't lines get built between St Louis and Indianapolis or Ohio? Because Chicago's business leaders (and State politicians) choked off any possibility of the railways going anywhere but to Chicago where they would stop, the freight would be sorted, and then distributed elsewhere.

I've heard this pseudo cabal of railways, business interests, and politicians mentioned in several places and I can't believe you are denying that it didn't have a major role in making Chicago not just a big station on the railways, but the the "nations freight handler"...
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  #8917  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 4:01 PM
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Originally Posted by aic4ever View Post
emathias, you're arguing against your own argument. You say that loop should have been put in 50 years ago to accommodate the growth that was just starting to occur, so that it could better serve the capacity that Streeterville has now reached, today. Then you turn around and say that we shouldn't provide new infrastructure to under-served growth areas because we need to serve where people already are. You can't stand on both sides of the fence at once.
I never said once that we shouldn't provide infrastructure in outer parts of the central area and I'm not on both sides of the fence. Nowhereman1280 is the one saying he thinks a West Loop to Streeterville link is silly and unnecessary (paraphrased). I have said that an outer line is of less pressing need than a central line, but I never said it was silly and unnecessary - in fact in my last post I pointed out that doing two lines would be synergistic and provide better than 1+1 results.

My entire point has been that because we have limited funds, the money should first go to areas that are already set up to take the most advantage of the transit investment. If we can fund both, then by all means let's do both. But I don't think we should do the outer ones first. I would prioritize *both* the 1968 West Loop-Streeterville project *and* the Circle Line ahead of the Red Line extension, for example.

As I've said in multiple posts that it's a matter of prioritizing existing needs and high-density areas ahead of presently developing needs and less-dense areas.

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Originally Posted by aic4ever View Post
Other than that, am I missing something? Are the people who live in Streeterville crying for public transportation? Are they under-served by buses or cabs? I would find a claim to that effect very dubious. If you need to make it from Northwestern to Union Station in under 20 minutes, you're either taking a cab or running, even if there is a subway line, because you can't count on the train being there immediately when you need it anyway.
Listen, Nowhereman1280 has tried to make this about Streeterville residents, which really is a very tiny percentage of who would find utlity in the 1968 plan. I focused on Streeterville originally because it has the high density that I thought would make it more obviously a beneficial link, but the plan includes linkes between all of the West Loop, Streeterville, Museum Campus, and McCormick Place. It could also relatively easily be extended to include east Bronzeville and further south, and the east edge of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Beneficial links in original plan, without extensions:
1) West Loop train stations to Central Loop, East Loop, greater Grant Park, Museum Campus, Soldier Field, McCormick Place, Streeterville
2) Streeterville/Michigan Ave to greater Grant Park, Museum Campus, Soldier Field, McCormick Place (remember, lots of hotels in Streeterville/Mag Mile district

So you do benefit Streeterville residents, but more than that, you benefit commuters and day-trippers coming from the suburbs by rail who want to get to Grant Park or the Museum Campus or Michigan Avenue. You also benefit people in hotels in Streeterville/Michigan Ave who want to get to McCormick Place. And, yes, you do benefit people who want to get from Streeterville/Mag Mile to the West Loop and vice versa.

Ultimately what connecting Streeterville, McCormick Place, and the West Loop through the central Loop accomplishes is the unification of the Central Area. Whereas the Circle Line seeks to make it easier to work around the Central Area, the 1968 distributor subway makes it easier to operate within the Central Area.

Beyond that:

Extension north to SE corner of the Lincoln Park neighborhood could yield additional benefit of a rail link to the Zoo, the densest part of Lincoln Park, the north portion of the Gold Coast, the Chicago History Museum, a transfer at Clark/Division, and the potential to serve as a different routing tie-in for a Circle Line. Taken together, this could provide a higher-capacity supplement for lakefront express buses and the 151/156 routes. I'm not against buses by any means, but a subway provides more consistent service and frees up road capacity without additional investment in roads. Getting some of the buses off Michigan Avenue would improve the speed there for the remaining buses.

Extension south from McCormick Place would serve the South Lakefront and support development in what should naturally be a highly desirably part of the city. This is much more speculative, so I'm not really advocating it, but the 1968 plan makes this sort of investment more possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aic4ever View Post
I think you're all mentally masturbating over this because there's not a whole lot else to talk about at the moment.
We'd love there to be more to talk about, 'tis true, but I also do think that the 1968 plan would still be a great benefit to the city - and if that gets funding, then I also think the Circle Line adds a lot of value.
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  #8918  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 5:30 PM
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Chicago's Transit Doing Pretty Well

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Although commuters are rolling along in some of the oldest train cars in the country, Chicago's mass transit system is equal to or better than other big cities in cost-effectiveness and reliability, a transportation "report card" shows.
I'm not super in to transit and don't come to this thread often, but thought you guys might like this article in The Trib today.
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  #8919  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 5:42 PM
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I'm not super in to transit and don't come to this thread often, but thought you guys might like this article in The Trib today.
I read it on the el this morning. Kind of surprised really.
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  #8920  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 6:30 PM
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^Regarding antiquated rolling stock, can you imagine how much more strapped the agencies would be and how much more negatively the public would perceive them if Chicago had a serious graffiti problem like New York in the 70s-80s or many European systems? Italy comes first to mind, I was last there in '07 and regional and commuter Trenitalia trains are often pretty filthy with many carriages "bombed" with graffiti on the exterior. The Rome metro was also like riding the NYCTA in the mid-80s.
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