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Juniorz

Renew The Blue: Forest Park Branch

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The Blue Line Forest Park Branch Feasibility/Vision Study study area includes the CTA Blue Line Forest Park branch and an expanded area to the west to evaluate proposed IDOT high-capacity transit expansion alternatives. Specifically, from east to west, the study area is from Canal Street (one block east of Clinton Station) to Mannheim Road. From north to south, the study area is from Roosevelt Road to Madison Street. Visit www.transitchicago.com/blueweststudy for detailed information

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The Blue Line Forest Park Branch Feasibility/Vision Study study area includes the CTA Blue Line Forest Park branch and an expanded area to the west to evaluate proposed IDOT high-capacity transit expansion alternatives. Specifically, from east to west, the study area is from Canal Street (one block east of Clinton Station) to Mannheim Road. From north to south, the study area is from Roosevelt Road to Madison Street. Visit www.transitchicago.com/blueweststudy for detailed information

In short another study following hundreds of other ones on the same subject, meaning nothing. From the link, apparently the lead agency is IDOT for rebuilding I-290, anyway.

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This also includes a Heavy Maintenance Project in 2014 to the Forest Park Branch, which will include station & track renewal & upgrades

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They should wait until they know what the hell to do with 290 first...

Reality is its another project they don't have money for with another consulted getting richer.

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Reality is its another project they don't have money for with another consulted getting richer.

Either this is the foreshadowing of other people's conclusion that "they'll have to shut down the Congress like the Dan Ryan," or it is a "vision study" like the North Red one, which gets us to the reality you described.

Anyway, reading the press release, Durbin again takes credit for getting some consultant money in this direction, but no construction money. So, I essentially agree with your conclusion.

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Either this is the foreshadowing of other people's conclusion that "they'll have to shut down the Congress like the Dan Ryan," or it is a "vision study" like the North Red one, which gets us to the reality you described.

Anyway, reading the press release, Durbin again takes credit for getting some consultant money in this direction, but no construction money. So, I essentially agree with your conclusion.

I'm surprise Claypool and Emanuel didn't take credit for the amount of consulted jobs it create. :lol:

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I'm surprise Claypool and Emanuel didn't take credit for the amount of consulted jobs it create. :lol:

Because then there would be a Tribune investigation into how many of them are politically connected, which is most of them.

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Either this is the foreshadowing of other people's conclusion that "they'll have to shut down the Congress like the Dan Ryan," or it is a "vision study" like the North Red one, which gets us to the reality you described.

Anyway, reading the press release, Durbin again takes credit for getting some consultant money in this direction, but no construction money. So, I essentially agree with your conclusion.

I guess that if the "shut down the Congress line" thing happens, what would happen during such a shutdown is that Blue Line service would be rerouted to the Douglas Line, even though there is the Pink Line there.

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I guess that if the "shut down the Congress line" thing happens, what would happen during such a shutdown is that Blue Line service would be rerouted to the Douglas Line, even though there is the Pink Line there.

Not likely, since the Pink doesn't have the capacity, the junction is three stations into the Congress portion, and it looks like half the trains are turned back at UIC as it now is. The original crossover was at LaSalle (when there was a Milwaukee subway, but not yet Congress).

As others have noted before, Blue would not be such a crisis because of the parallel Green.

I'll also throw out there that the median was designed for four tracks (2 for the CA&E), so theoretically temporary bypass tracks could be used. Update: But I'll also throw in, based on the Tribune article, that IDOT may want that space back to widen the expressway.

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I'll also throw out there that the median was designed for four tracks (2 for the CA&E), so theoretically temporary bypass tracks could be used. Update: But I'll also throw in, based on the Tribune article, that IDOT may want that space back to widen the expressway.

Maybe someone will correct Busjack since he says he doesn't read my posts....you don't think he doesn't click the button???

The Eisenhower median has room for two more tracks only between the portal east of Halsted St. and Kenton Ave (4600 W). Four tracks was not provided for all the way to Forest Park terminal. Space for only one extra track was provided from Kenton Ave. west to the bridge over the expressway just east of the Forest Park terminal. The bridge does have a width for three tracks. There is also a tunnel for a third track at Lotus Ave. where the 'L' leaves the median. The reason for the reduction at Kenton was that one original proposal when the expressway line was constructed was for the Lake St. elevated to be diverted over to the expressway route along the railroad embankment also located at 4600 west. It is true that an allocation for operation of the CA&E interurban was included along the entire route of the Congress line. A ramp west of Halsted St. would have carried interurban operations back up to the 'L' structure to serve the Wells Street terminal. Also true, agreements for construction of the initial subways included permission for interurban operations there too.

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The whole Congress line/Eisenhower needs to be revamped. There's obvious problems that stem from the original construction of both projects in the 50's. That will probably be addressed in this future project. Like why does the Congress line take up so much space from the Lotus portal to Halsted. Most likely the Ike is going to use that space to expand itself there. Then there's a grassy area between the EB and WB Ike in Oak Park that looks like it's wide enough to support the blue line. They could utilize that space for the blue line and if there's a shortage of space for the WB Ike, they could put in express lanes like they do on the Kennedy or Ryan. Then they could get rid of those nasty Ike entrance ramps that merge into the center lanes. On the rail side they can remove those long entrance ramps and actually have a station at the street it crosses. Finally as far as the expansion goes, they want to look at options for expansion on the Ike with HOV like lanes. That sounds to me like they want to start up a BRT network there that uses a lane/shoulder of the expressway. That's the future and it's cheaper than a rail expansion. I wouldn't doubt we see this on all expressways in the future.

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The whole Congress line/Eisenhower needs to be revamped. There's obvious problems that stem from the original construction of both projects in the 50's. That will probably be addressed in this future project. Like why does the Congress line take up so much space from the Lotus portal to Halsted. Most likely the Ike is going to use that space to expand itself there. Then there's a grassy area between the EB and WB Ike in Oak Park that looks like it's wide enough to support the blue line. They could utilize that space for the blue line and if there's a shortage of space for the WB Ike, they could put in express lanes like they do on the Kennedy or Ryan. Then they could get rid of those nasty Ike entrance ramps that merge into the center lanes. On the rail side they can remove those long entrance ramps and actually have a station at the street it crosses. Finally as far as the expansion goes, they want to look at options for expansion on the Ike with HOV like lanes. That sounds to me like they want to start up a BRT network there that uses a lane/shoulder of the expressway. That's the future and it's cheaper than a rail expansion. I wouldn't doubt we see this on all expressways in the future.

It sounds like most, if not all, of your statements relate to the IDOT side of the project. I'll agree that the left ramps at Harlem and Austin make no sense. The HOV lanes make more sense than putting in express/local, since other than the excess space in the median, there doesn't seem to be sufficient expressway right of way.

You also leave open the reason why the L was shifted to south of the expressway around Central.

Surprisingly, most of the Congress stations are not classified as accessible, despite the ramps, but moving the platforms closer to the entrances would entail adding elevators. I suppose that that would be part of the alternatives analysis.

Finally, unless IDOT does something like the Oak Park proposal to put a park over the expressway, I don't see how stations in the middle of the expressway help neighborhood development. There would have to be something like the Blue Line stations from Jefferson Park west, where, in effect, there is a pedestrian bridge or tunnel to get passengers from the station to the neighborhood, instead of dumping them in the middle of the overpass. Again, maybe that's part of the alternatives analysis.

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It sounds like most, if not all, of your statements relate to the IDOT side of the project. I'll agree that the left ramps at Harlem and Austin make no sense. The HOV lanes make more sense than putting in express/local, since other than the excess space in the median, there doesn't seem to be sufficient expressway right of way.

You also leave open the reason why the L was shifted to south of the expressway around Central.

Surprisingly, most of the Congress stations are not classified as accessible, despite the ramps, but moving the platforms closer to the entrances would entail adding elevators. I suppose that that would be part of the alternatives analysis.

Finally, unless IDOT does something like the Oak Park proposal to put a park over the expressway, I don't see how stations in the middle of the expressway help neighborhood development. There would have to be something like the Blue Line stations from Jefferson Park west, where, in effect, there is a pedestrian bridge or tunnel to get passengers from the station to the neighborhood, instead of dumping them in the middle of the overpass. Again, maybe that's part of the alternatives analysis.

Like I said before the Central section of the IKe was built last and Central portion of the blue line was built ahead of it. As far as the neighborhood investment, they probably wouldn't build feeder bus ramps because there is alternative rail service nearby. On the NW side there is no other CTA rail alternative. Most stations would simply be closer to the street, like the Ryan or Kennedy transit stations. Maybe that's what they mean by being more community based. They most likely will incorporate elevators into the projects to make those ADA accessible. I remember reading something saying they had until 2030 to have a fully accessible service. Probably after this there going to make the NW side stations south of Jeff Pk accessible in the 2020's.

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Like I said before the Central section of the IKe was built last and Central portion of the blue line was built ahead of it. As far as the neighborhood investment, they probably wouldn't build feeder bus ramps because there is alternative rail service nearby. On the NW side there is no other CTA rail alternative. Most stations would simply be closer to the street, like the Ryan or Kennedy transit stations. Maybe that's what they mean by being more community based. They most likely will incorporate elevators into the projects to make those ADA accessible. I remember reading something saying they had until 2030 to have a fully accessible service. Probably after this there going to make the NW side stations south of Jeff Pk accessible in the 2020's.

What year do you think is the Ike is going to be rebuild?

People are forgetting about the 420 million to redo the Circle interchange.

Then working for IDOT must be a great job considering salaries and benefits take up half the budget.

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Community based seems more like transit oriented development, i.e. private interests building housing and businesses near a train station.

A survey cited in the CTA Tattler indicated that CTA was bad at that, especially on the Dan Ryan Red Line, to which my reaction was "what do you expect; it is in the middle of the expressway." For instance, when it was open, I doubt that many people walked from the Garfield Red Line station to the fenced in Grand Boulevard Plaza shopping center.

Of course, I temper that with my prior observations that the Green Line did nothing to benefit its area economically.

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Community based seems more like transit oriented development, i.e. private interests building housing and businesses near a train station.

A survey cited in the CTA Tattler indicated that CTA was bad at that, especially on the Dan Ryan Red Line, to which my reaction was "what do you expect; it is in the middle of the expressway." For instance, when it was open, I doubt that many people walked from the Garfield Red Line station to the fenced in Grand Boulevard Plaza shopping center.

Of course, I temper that with my prior observations that the Green Line did nothing to benefit its area economically.

While i agree with what your saying.Some of the blame should go to the alderman of these for not doing trying to get TIF funds.I know Daley rewarded his buddies with then.This would be a good time to put pressure on Emanuel to get then for the community. .

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There will be an advisory group meeting that is open to the public on Wednesday, July 17th from 9-11am, with additional outreach opportunities going forward.

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There will be an advisory group meeting that is open to the public on Wednesday, July 17th from 9-11am, with additional outreach opportunities going forward.

I don't want to discourage you.You can have 50,100 meetings.But,with no funding to do the work whats the point of the meeting.

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I don't want to discourage you.You can have 50,100 meetings.But,with no funding to do the work whats the point of the meeting.

Still have to follow due diligence within the law (or at least the process in doing projects like these).

Of course, what grassroots orgs and the jive turkey braintrust will do with it? We all know the answer.

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Still have to follow due diligence within the law (or at least the process in doing projects like these).

Of course, what grassroots orgs and the jive turkey braintrust will do with it? We all know the answer.

True, but as such things as the Lincoln hearings and the fact that there is only money for consultants, no point in wasting one's time attending, as you small type conclusion suggests.

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Well, it took me long enough to find this one:

Notice on page 21 at the bottom (from CTA slide) :

Recommendation: Complete Reconstruction and Modernization

Actually, the whole thing is full of good information about both the I-290 expansion and CTA Blue Line Extension to Manheim/Reconstruction of most of the existing Forest Park branch minus the Forest Park station itself.

Here:

http://eisenhowerexpressway.com/pdfs/i290cag%2016%20presentation2013jul17071613final.pdf

My favorite parts:

Using existing easements of I-290, CTA, and CSX leaves an 8 lane I-290 with 2-foot to 4-foot wide shoulders in its narrowest section (Ugh!)

Option of changing easements to widen I-290 onto CTA property and CTA onto CSX property still leaves CTA with room for 3-tracks(why does CTA need 3 tracks no matter what?) and CSX with only 2 of their existing 3 tracks(which they've stated over and over that they are unwilling to do)

The before and after pictures of the Harlem and Austin interchanges. (Think wider, existing top with Harlem and Austin Avenues but the bottom of these same ramps start way, way back with exit/entrances on the right sides of I-290 that then swoop over the expressway lanes to make a single intersection on top. Better yet, zoom into the pictures until you see the I-Beams and ramps clearly)

Right hand dedicated bus stop lanes at the Blue line on both NB and SB Harlem and Austin Avenues, with station access on both sides of each road (IDOT picture, not CTA design - yet)

Raingarden on S side of I-290/N side of CTA tracks

Shared use trail on N side of I-290

Walkshed/Walking Area CTA study includes Closed Kostner, Central, and California Stations - (to reopen??-why study something closed for so many years? maybe to prove why they should be demolished)

Proposal to move "turn back" track from UIC to IMD.

And as before, the ever higher potential that the left most of the 4 lanes on I-290 from Manheim to Racine may be both tolled and/or High Occupancy Vehicle. (At least not Completely tolled like the existing portion of the O'Hare-Elgin Expressway is going to be)

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..

Actually, the whole thing is full of good information about both the I-290 expansion and CTA Blue Line Extension to Manheim/Reconstruction of most of the existing Forest Park branch minus the Forest Park station itself.

Here:

http://eisenhowerexpressway.com/pdfs/i290cag%2016%20presentation2013jul17071613final.pdf

...

The before and after pictures of the Harlem and Austin interchanges

These were once called "urban diamonds," but Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) is the term used here and currently used by the feds. The two examples near here are I-55 at Damen and I-80 at Torrence.

The thing noticeable on the transit front is that page 10 of the pdf indicates most benefits from extending the Blue Line to Mannheim, but around page 12 seems kind of cold toward any further transit extension.

Station design in the vision part appears to do away with the long ramps now at most Congress stations in favor of something more like at Harlem-Higgins or Cumberland, but doesn't show bus transfer facilities other than saying "improved bus connection."

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