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  #2101  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2017, 9:41 PM
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Originally Posted by woodrow View Post
I saw some other images that makes me think it is even bigger than what we see, plus the price includes major redo of the CTA connection to the terminal. Tearing down one of the spiral ramps, making corridor a straight shot, etc.
Apparently not, the new passage looks like it will follow the course of the old one, but it will be heated/cooled. Hopefully more moving sidewalks are installed to speed up the long walk.
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  #2102  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 6:09 AM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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Consolidated rent-a-car facility photo (1 of 2) from November:

Sorry about the size. (If there is a way to embed these so they're smaller let me know.) Will write comments in a separate post.


i.imgur.com/n9w25Um.jpg
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  #2103  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 6:10 AM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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Consolidated rent-a-car facility photo (2 of 2) from November:

Sorry about the size. (If there is a way to embed these so they're smaller let me know.) Will write comments in a separate post.


i.imgur.com/5Wvo8hW.jpg
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  #2104  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 6:36 AM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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So the CONRAC has basically reached its final size (except for the future vertical expansion). But if you look at the surface space currently taken up by all the rental companies, it looks like they might be taking up more than 3 times the footprint of the CONRAC (i.e., 3 floors' worth of the new building, since its bottom 3 floors will be dedicated to car rental). So the new building seems barely sufficient to cover existing demand, much less future demand. Hopefully there would not be big obstacles to later converting parts of Floor 4 to rental services.

A couple other observations:

Since the top 3 floors are long-term self-park, you'd think there would be a direct (cruising speed) ramp straight up to Floor 4 for those users, rather than making every single vehicle putt-putt around the helix on its way in and out, which takes more time, burns (some) more fuel, and will be badly handled by future self-driving vehicles since they won't be able to see ahead further than 20 feet in the helix.

The siting of the ATS station seems increasingly unfortunate given the otherwise perfect location of the Metra NCS tracks, and the latest push for an airport express. Even if an airport express eventually is brought right into a tunnel in the terminal area, you can picture an interim phase of several or many years where a starter system runs just to the Metra station here.

Finally, will this new ATS terminus have no kiss-and-fly dropoff? You'd think a ramp off Mannheim right to the foot of the station would make sense, and would reduce the number of vehicles clogging the terminal loop.
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  #2105  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 2:16 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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What are they going to do with all those parking lots now? Hopefully build a street grid and construct a high density urban neighborhood complete with skyscrapers right?
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  #2106  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 3:36 PM
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Originally Posted by denizen467 View Post

The siting of the ATS station seems increasingly unfortunate given the otherwise perfect location of the Metra NCS tracks, and the latest push for an airport express. Even if an airport express eventually is brought right into a tunnel in the terminal area, you can picture an interim phase of several or many years where a starter system runs just to the Metra station here.
A theoretical airport express that will command a premium will not use the O'Hare transfer station and make everybody haul over to the ATS, wait for it, then take the ride to terminals. Any express station will surely be walkable from the main terminal complex.

Quote:
Finally, will this new ATS terminus have no kiss-and-fly dropoff? You'd think a ramp off Mannheim right to the foot of the station would make sense, and would reduce the number of vehicles clogging the terminal loop.
Yes and a cell lot.
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  #2107  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 6:29 PM
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America really has an abundance of cheap land, doesn't it?
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  #2108  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2017, 5:21 AM
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
A theoretical airport express that will command a premium will not use the O'Hare transfer station and make everybody haul over to the ATS, wait for it, then take the ride to terminals. Any express station will surely be walkable from the main terminal complex.
Eventually. But a new tunnel connection between the existing Metra r-o-w and the terminals could cost more than the rest of the line put together, and in any event would probably be completed years later, especially since T2 v2.0 would have to be designed first and some degree of construction begun. In contrast, setting up an interim phase where an airport express runs to the O'Hare Transfer Station could be done nearly overnight (though gradually shrinking trip time to 20 minutes will take a fair amount of capital expenditure). A starter system like that would mean more realistic, phased capital investment, allowing the system to prove itself slowly as further phases are planned.

Remember, the ATS is getting new rolling stock, and with the heavy car rental usage coming up, frequency will be improved. There further could be some throughput benefit if they completed the loop where T1, instead of being a turnaround station, is connected via the north side back towards T5.

I think the much bigger determinative factor in airport express success is convenience of the downtown terminal. Block 37 is a terrible idea I think; it's got to be in the west loop, where an influx of taxis can be handled, and the office center of gravity has moved. A second station in River West or slightly upriver, like around Finkl, would be a good destination for people taking private cars from nearby neighborhoods like River North, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, etc. (in the case where MD-W / CSX alignments are not chosen); otherwise it's doubtful those people would drive backwards down to Union or Ogilvie.

Even if an airport express were $30 and took 30 minutes, that's still cheaper than a taxi, and you know exactly when it arrives, compared to the nail-biting vagaries of the increasingly congested Kennedy -- and also increasingly congested I-190 (it's hard to believe but at 6am on a Monday there is already a traffic jam there, worsened further by traffic not going to the airport but going onto I-294 southbound). Grabbing market share from taxi/uber should be easy; if not too pricey it also could grab market share from the family-member-giving-you-a-ride segment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
Yes and a cell lot.
A cell lot need not be near the ATS (or this parking structure); in fact, it would probably be better to locate it far away so as to distribute vehicle congestion across Bessie Coleman and Mannheim.
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  #2109  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2017, 8:06 AM
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There may be a way to get to the terminal complex without a tunnel by widening the 190 corridor. There's room for a pair of tracks on the north side of 190 if the taxiway bridges are widened. Might need some short tunnels or flyovers to avoid ramps, but that's still cheaper than digging a long tunnel through soft soil. The station itself could even be on the ground level of the garage if the city is willing to lose a few parking spaces.

I disagree about Block 37; I think it's the perfect location for a terminal. The office center of gravity may be shifting west, but the critical mass of hotels is still around the Mag Mile/Cultural Mile, and business travelers need to sleep somewhere. For Chicagoans, Block 37 offers excellent CTA connections to both rail and bus.

The challenge of Block 37, of course, is getting trains to there... it's not a challenge for Elon Musk, who probably plans to tunnel the whole route using his magical fairydust, but for everyone else the cost of accessing Block 37 without using the Blue/Red Line tunnels will be daunting.

In lieu of Block 37, it occurs to me that a developer might be able to develop the Thompson Center site with an O'Hare Express terminal (maybe tunnel below Randolph?) and have the real estate subsidize the rail construction, or vice versa. I doubt even a mile-high tower could generate enough revenue to fund a subway tunnel at US costs, though.
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