Originally Posted by Rail Claimore
The practical thing to do would be to build the Clinton Street subway to complete an underground Loop, then have that subway extend almost directly northward to meet up with the red line at North and Clybourn, which will be completely rebuilt with the Circle Line subway anyway.
Doing this would solve the overcrowding problems in two ways. Operating the purple line at normal headways outside rush hour to downtown through a new underground tunnel and loop would ease demand on red line trains using the State Street subway. There would still be plenty of capacity left for ridership along the Dan Ryan if they used 4-car trains operating at the same headways. The second way is that this would free up the State Street subway for Circle Line trains in the future.
Operating four-car trains down to 95th St during the off-peak times except for overnight service is courting disaster (Red Line-Ryan riders are cranky enough as is...). While I don't necessarily disagree 8-car trains may be a tad longish currently after 10PM on weekdays, on weekends, and even between the rushes, 4 cars during these times is plain too short and will incite complaints. Dan Ryan ridership is higher than that. It would definitely not be feasible when (if?) they *FINALLY*
extend the Red Line to SOMEWHERE beyond 95th. I say this with awareness of the possibility Im misreading you. In that case that's on me. But if not, then as a Red Line rider I hafta quickly but respectfully disagree.
Rest of the idea is cool tho. I especially very much support a Clinton subway. Always have. Tho I would go with an alignment that links it with the Blue Line over linking it with the Red Line further north, both discussed in the Central Area Plan. I like the former plan with the purpose of getting people across the river to their Loop jobs or whatever and back quickly. It would also be a convenient way to get deep into downtown if interurban train service ever goes regionally hi-speed and thus gets popular (or at least useful) again.
As much as the coverage of CTA is the envy of so many who don't live here, its still quite flawed and among myriad other things I think its kinda senseless that the L doesn't directly serve the train stations, especially Union Station. The walk to Clinton/Congress from there is just that--a walk. Same with Clinton/Lake from Ogilvie. And it's an outdoor trek; sucks when it's cold. Millennium Station's a bit of a haul from State but at least it has the pedway. LaSalle's really the only one of the four with halfway convenient L access.
, I agree with you. Places like Navy Pier and McCormick Pl are woefully underserved by public tansit that's NOT the slow buses or those silly tourist trolleys. Heavy rail service for these places just ain't happenin' tho. Not for a very long time at least. Not with the financial and political issues surrounding the projects actually on the table. And as you succinctly noted a few posts back, those who control the purse strings don't always use those funds for the most sane purposes...
Why not just revive the old Circulator plan to serve these places? Wouldn't that be cheaper as an LRT system, or no? It was a great idea when it was first entertained years ago. Too bad the idiot relevant powers-that-be seemed either cool to the idea or actively opposed to it. Least it looks like this Carroll Av talk is the potential beginning of a revival of that, and perhaps it can snowball from there. It would definitely be a hit with tourists and conventioneers (and may even serve a purpose for those of us who actually live here) and keep em outta my way on the L.
Another question: Why route the Purple Line to the subways, anyway? Could it not continue to work in its current routing if these additions to the L system came to fruition? Does it have anything to do with this so-called "Pink Line" (
) routing on the Loop tracks (to me the CTA is playin' themselves if they want me to believe it was ever seriously to be a short-term "experiment;" I've smelled permanece all along...)? Viva
, you're always informed and insightful on these sorta things. Whaddaya say?