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If I ran Transit for one day...


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5 minutes ago, YoungBusLover said:

I'll just add my two cents here, Although I like the idea @NewFlyerMCI proposed on paper in reality I don't see much good it would do for residents west of 63rd and State. Most will still take 63rd to the red line and go downtown nonetheless to any other N/S route. What I wouldn't mind seeing is the Green line cottage grove branch getting extended to run alongside South Chicago to 92nd/Commercial. 63rd needs bus lanes in the worse way added with more frequent service to support the demand it already has currently. I've lived in Englewood/Woodlawn for the good portion of my early years and a lot of the residents that I remember talking to about it the east side of the green line was they wished that the green line wasn't torn down. They always felt the faith leaders, U of C and other sources we're more of a hindrance than a helpful resource to the demise of the green line. The notion of "Tearing down the Green line will cut down on noise,create an economic boom for the community and rid of all crime centered around the "L". 20+ years later and not much has been developed that has benefited Woodlawn. Transit is still lack luster.

I can agree with you that a small faction made a lot of noise and got the Green Line cut back to Cottage Grove.  Unfortunately,  if the majority was against it,  they were a silent majority.   I personally think that leaving the branch open to Dorchester would be the best option . Perhaps someone can revive the idea and use the Obama library as a catalyst.

That said, I'm not sure connecting that with the Metra South Chicago branch is a good idea.   I have to admit that I used to support the idea at one time, but I know anyone riding that sector isn't going downtown    Also there's no generator that makes it worthwhile to ride between those sectors. I could be wrong but I just don't see it  

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1 hour ago, artthouwill said:

I'm not sure how the alignment west of Ashland follows 63rd.  Is it supposed to be built over 63rd?  If I recall correctly there are very few, if any, alleys running east west along the 63rd corridor between Damen and Cicero.   Also,  there was once a law passed prohibiting future L lines being built over streets,  which is how we got Ls running through alleys.  However one of the proposals for extending the Orange Line to Ford City had that line running over Cicero especially south of 67th.   I don't see residents west of Damen wanting an L over there 

I actually didn’t know about that law, thanks for that. The default was over 63rd, but also, I’m not a stickler for things having to be elevated. I would be just as fine with a subway, especially since construction would be super disruptive either way.

1 hour ago, artthouwill said:

The most expensive part comes between Harvard and King Drive.   How do you build a structure to connect this line to the Red Libe, and now this structure has to soar over a railcars and a Metra flyover?   That's a tall task    i would rather just use the existing structure and build a south connection at 59th Junction and either build a new Harvard Station or forego a Red Line connection altogether  

The portion over the Red Line was definitely a challenge and one I wasn’t immediately sure how to solve. I had concerns about the grade, especially coming down to meet King Dr, which is why I think any design would need high-speed elevators. Same reason I also didn’t include a transfer to the Red Line in my last Green Line proposal. It’s something that might be better below-grade, with the tradeoff being everything west of the 67thstop would be below-grade, which again, isn’t an issue for me personally. I’m not sure about forgoing a red line connection, but at the very least the green line ones are there. Tall task convincing the public it’s not feasible 

1 hour ago, artthouwill said:

As @Busjack mentioned,  we know the residents of Woodlawn didn't want the L, otherwise the Green Line would be operating to Dorchester instead of Cottage Grove

I think the Venn diagram between the Woodlawn residents of Brazier’s time, and now, is slowly becoming two circles. I’d need to see the Census, but I believe there’s also less people now. If I were in town, this is something I’d actually try to do a survey on.

1 hour ago, artthouwill said:

Finally, someone would call the idea of removing ME SC service to downtown racist, which is why that low ridership branch is still in existence as a daily operation.   And to replace it with a service that really goes nowhere? 

I need to find the tweet, but we did the math: choosing a random spot in the central loop, the trip today with Metra from 75th/Windsor Park would be 42 mins, 27 mins on the train and 15 walking. My proposal, which would include a transfer at the Red Line, would be 45 mins, 37 mins on the train (calc’d+ transfer penalty) and + 8 mins walking. In the absence of free xfers from Metra, this proposal is already better for anyone not going to the loop, and almost/equally as good for ones who are. The 6 would be kept for Hyde Park service, and a transfer to the MED is provided at 67th for anyone gung-ho on remaining a rider. I’d also argue that the Red, Green Lines & Midway aren’t nowhere

1 hour ago, artthouwill said:

f money weren't an issue, I'd rather bore a subway under 79th, possibly 63rd, but definitely 79th between South Shore and Midway serving Ford City.  But I think the City would be better served by crosstown North south service along Ashland,  Western,  and Cicero.   The X routes handle that currently,  and cheaper, but I'm sure a subway would be popular along those corridors.

79thwas one of my initial considerations for this idea. I chose 63rddue to placement near the beginning of both the ME-SS & South Chicago Ave, along with Midway & the Green Line. I actually have north-south crosstown mock-ups planned, I am still deciding on Western or Ashland, I wanted to avoid both since they’re close together and both have their merits, the other corridor was going to be Pulaski. I actually have the line drawn, stops made and stations drawn, I just need to pick a corridor so I can see which goes where.

Idk why I’m suddenly unable to quote on mobile, but wrt to Kimball, the general consensus on Twitter seems to be subway, with a yard restructure and moving of the station (can’t remember if Kedzie was supposed to be closed). Personally, as long as we aren’t doing SEPTA KOP math, I think the cost would be worth it. Hugely transformative project, especially wrt airport access and crosstown service

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1 hour ago, Busjack said:

I'll say 2 quick things:,

  • The RLE as been justified by there being a corridor, minimal need for land acquisition, and an identifiable population that has a long bus trip.
  • There are proposals for development, including this one at 63rd and Dorchester.

The one thing Byron Brazier didn't address is transportation infrastructure.   I suppose he imagines his idea to be everything in one place.   But u promise lack of transportation will hurt more than help.  A Green Line extension back to at least Dorchester helps, especially if he wants a  25 story apartment building. 

I will say this.   Development has grown around the Green Line between the Kennedy and Western  to the point that a Morgan stop was added and a Damen station is about to be built.  There is still no growth between California and Central Park.  On the South Side a ten story apartment building has arisen next to the 43rd Street station.   It's still under construction but probably will be open next year  

Along the idea of miminal residential displacement,  I again would like to see a South Chicago Ave alignment of the Green line to at at Commercial Avenue,  if not 112th and Avenue O.  Tha abandoned row of railroad next to South Chicago Ave could be used.  Only a connection between Marquette and 63rd would have to be built with CTA already owning the land gor Lower 63rd Yard. Of course it the line would go to 112th, construction would have to be in the median of the Indiana toll road nd along 112th.    I would either add a stub track at Garfield,  making the NB platform and Island platform or build a new 58th Street station with 2 Island platforms with one track in the middle.  All thru Green Line trains would operate between Harlem and Commercial or further  with shuttle service from Garfield or 58th to the branches    Stops would include 69th/Keefe 71st/Cottage Grove,  79th/Stony Island,  Vocational/87th,  Commercial, and if needed,  Ewing,  108th and 112th/Avenue O.

There's an island in the middle of Avenue C ( or one of those streets ( between Indianapolis and 112th,  but it's in the middle of a residential area and I don't think residents want an L going down the middle of the street.   It's not a wide island anyway, so the short route through Indiana works better 

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41 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

The one thing Byron Brazier didn't address is transportation infrastructure.   I suppose he imagines his idea to be everything in one place.   But u promise lack of transportation will hurt more than help.  A Green Line extension back to at least Dorchester helps, especially if he wants a  25 story apartment building. 

I will say this.   Development has grown around the Green Line between the Kennedy and Western  to the point that a Morgan stop was added and a Damen station is about to be built.  There is still no growth between California and Central Park.  On the South Side a ten story apartment building has arisen next to the 43rd Street station.   It's still under construction but probably will be open next year  

I think he was focused more on 63rd Metra than CTA, but I agree with your point about a single station extension. Metra’s only helpful for getting people downtown, but otoh, maybe those are the people he wants to attract. He’d need to talk to them about beefing up service tho, 63rd doesn’t see a lot of trains.

I’m hoping the 43Green develop goes well. I was interested in what the prices will be since I’m considering moving back to the city next summer. Units are supposed to come with laundry, and trying to find that in an apartment on the south side is next to impossible outside of Hyde Park, where I don’t have any immediate inclination to stay

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3 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

I think he was focused more on 63rd Metra than CTA, but I agree with your point about a single station extension. Metra’s only helpful for getting people downtown, but otoh, maybe those are the people he wants to attract. He’d need to talk to them about beefing up service tho, 63rd doesn’t see a lot of trains.

I’m hoping the 43Green develop goes well. I was interested in what the prices will be since I’m considering moving back to the city next summer. Units are supposed to come with laundry, and trying to find that in an apartment on the south side is next to impossible outside of Hyde Park, where I don’t have any immediate inclination to stay

My understanding was that they wanted to attend people who worked downtown and wanted a convenient and quick one seat ride.   So I imagine they would want market rent as u don't recall reading anything about address housing ser asides like in the Brazier proposal. 

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This was the South Chicago alignment that I had, but didn't go with. I chose the ME-SS alignment due to more density and ease of access for reaching the stations. I also had concerns about the walksheds of the stations (due to the tracks + skyway), but it's not as bad as the Orange line.

Ewing was chosen as a terminus over 93rd since the tracks continued that way, the river is an obstacle to getting to the Exchange station (although the 30 would still exist as route) and there's more space for a small yard so that the line isn't entirely ran out of Midway. 

Sorry for the delay, i've been dealing with multiple power outages due to these summer storms (3 in 3 days!)

CTA Teal Line (SC).png

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I also wanted to share the other two projects I'd worked on and delayed posting.

Western is routinely the 2nd or 3rd busiest bus corridor in the city and there have been many calls for service other than just a bus; typically BRT or rapid transit, less often light rail. The city is also in need of circumferential transit; getting around on the train w/o going through downtown shouldn't be the only option, especially as you often save little to no time (for instance 79th to Midway takes about the same regardless of bus or train). This new train line would transform travel north-south across the west side, reducing travel time for passengers and also providing direction connections to the VA, IMD, Malcom X College & United Center, along with transfer stops with 4 L trains and 4 Metra and service along Western's commercial corridor

Current considerations:

  • I thought about Lincolnwood Town Center as end point, but I didn't know how much longer that place would hold on
  • This would probably work best as a subway, but if elevated, could take advantage of some freight ROW from about Chicago to 79th.
  • 16th was supposed to 18th (to find the Metra entrance)

980241430_CTAGoldLine.thumb.png.7819d7f8b06ae6061c6fa1d9abedbe4b.png

This revamp of the Pink Line aims to do restore rail service to North Riverside and connect the downtown train terminals properly via rapid transit. The previous ROW still exists (and is now parking), and restoration of rail service can supplant Cermak's commercial corridor and will be further bolstered by NRM. The new alignment would be via tunnel under Monroe, Michigan &. Grand.

For the loop, CUS & OTC will have direct connections to CTA via auxiliary exits at Madison/Canal & Adams/Canal, right across from the three entrances (OTC, CUS & CUS north platforms). There will also be a direct connection to the MED & SSL at Randolph, along with a connection to the Pedway. At State, there will be a direction connection to the Red Line (and by extension, the Blue Line). Connections Quincy & Washington/Wabash can be made via Ventra card similar to State/Lake & Jackson/HWL. Millennium station was the original terminal, but I included a small extension to Streeterville & Navy Pier for more ease of access. This alignment would improve city and suburban access to the Loop and rest of Chicago, allow for a restructure of buses (120, 121 & 124 could probably be sunset) and bring back service to Cicero & Berwyn

1213674098_NewCTAPinkLine.thumb.png.79025491e0f2eb6ca42dfb6f0219c121.png

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On 8/10/2022 at 1:57 PM, NewFlyerMCI said:

That was part of the impetus for this. My mother and grandmother talk about how the Green edit used to go to Stony Island all the time. Like every 3rd conversation about the CTA (that, and they still talk about the 27 South Deering).

it’s the same thing when people oppose bus projects over parking; the bus will bring you more customers (economic boom) than any parking spaces directly in front of your business will do (of which there aren’t many, even counting the other side of the street).

Today it was announced that a new mixed use development will be built in Woodlawn at 63rd and Maryland,  just steps from the Cottage Grove Green Line station.  It will include 58 apartments ( 41 affordable and 17 market rate).   I guess the future Presidential Library is spawning this.

To me it helps, but doesn't mean anything if the Green Line isn'textended back to Stony Island,  or Dorchesterat least.  What's the use of all of this affordable housing with no good transportation infrastructure?  The Metra station at 63rd is a goodoption,  but it'sjust one option.. I would have found for the extension as part of any deal for the future Library. 

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On 8/16/2022 at 6:55 PM, artthouwill said:

Today it was announced that a new mixed use development will be built in Woodlawn at 63rd and Maryland,  just steps from the Cottage Grove Green Line station.  It will include 58 apartments ( 41 affordable and 17 market rate).   I guess the future Presidential Library is spawning this.

To me it helps, but doesn't mean anything if the Green Line isn'textended back to Stony Island,  or Dorchesterat least.  What's the use of all of this affordable housing with no good transportation infrastructure?  The Metra station at 63rd is a goodoption,  but it'sjust one option.. I would have found for the extension as part of any deal for the future Library. 

To be fair, if it's steps from the Cottage Grove station, that's sufficient. The real issue is the branch frequencies on the green line, 24-27 min headways on the weekend isn't the biggest boon. That said, I agree with your larger point

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1 minute ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

To be fair, if it's steps from the Cottage Grove station, that's sufficient. The real issue is the branch frequencies on the green line, 24-27 min headways on the weekend isn't the biggest boon. That said, I agree with your larger point

I agree with you on the ridiculous branch headways.   But with most of the mainline at 10 to 12 minutes intervals,  what you we expect?

How about building a connection from the Green Lune just north of 63rs that connects to the Red Line near 59th?  The Ashland branch can be either short turn Red Line service or Purple Line service routed through the subway.  That would mean all Green Line service would operate between Harlem and Cottage Grove  (or whatever extension hapoebs(.  This makes both branches more attractive 

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3 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

I agree with you on the ridiculous branch headways.   But with most of the mainline at 10 to 12 minutes intervals,  what you we expect?

How about building a connection from the Green Lune just north of 63rs that connects to the Red Line near 59th?  The Ashland branch can be either short turn Red Line service or Purple Line service routed through the subway.  That would mean all Green Line service would operate between Harlem and Cottage Grove  (or whatever extension hapoebs(.  This makes both branches more attractive 

My only issue with short-turn service is less service to 79th & 95th. Personal bias aside (although, I tend to avoid 79th out of safety concerns, so not really?), those are two of the busiest non-shared, non-loop Red Line stations. If the purple line can go thru the subway w/o the red line losing trains and head to Ash/63rd, I'd be all in favor

Long term, the warehousing district along the green line needs whatever isn't being used to be developed into affordable housing. More density = more passengers = more reason to increase Green line frequencies = better branch headways. I imagine taking a train out of the loop would also make that process easier

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I've always thought that a shuttle with a cross-platform transfer at Garfield would be the easiest way to make the branches useable. Given the recent reconstruction, maybe a pocket track to turn a shuttle train just north of the station would work.

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18 minutes ago, Tcmetro said:

I've always thought that a shuttle with a cross-platform transfer at Garfield would be the easiest way to make the branches useable. Given the recent reconstruction, maybe a pocket track to turn a shuttle train just north of the station would work.

WMATA’s West Falls Church and Ronald Reagan National Airport stations have set-ups I feel would be ideal for this sort of action.

I imagine people might be a tad irritated if they take a shuttle train to Garfield and see it leave and come back before a train to Harlem 😂

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22 minutes ago, Tcmetro said:

I've always thought that a shuttle with a cross-platform transfer at Garfield would be the easiest way to make the branches useable. Given the recent reconstruction, maybe a pocket track to turn a shuttle train just north of the station would work.

I have floated that idea before, but it was in yhe context of a Green Line extension along the Skyway to at least Ewing.   That would be the main line and both current branches would have the shuttle trains.    I also floated building a 58th St Transfer Station with 2 Island platforms.   The Green Line trains would stop on the outer track of each platform  and the shuttle trains would stop on a single track between the platforms.   Passengers from the shuttles would exit on the northbound platform and Passengers could board from the southbound platform  

As Currently as is, I would make the  Cottage Grove branch the shuttle because its a shorter distance from Cottage Grove fi Garfield than from Ashland.   Add to that the fact that Ashland has more storage space With the yard and the stub fracks makes Cottage Grove the better shuttle choice 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's how I'd have it:

  • All Novas 8200-8449 would be at Forest Glen. If CTA does decide to order 500 more, then let them be spread to other garages.
  • Forest Glen Garage would be rebuilt as an indoor garage with lifters for 60' buses & bus charging stations.
  • The Forest Park Branch would be rebuilt for trains to run at 55 mph like they're supposed to instead of 15 mph.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Another idea: Convert #44 Wallace/Racine to an express route renamed #44 Racine Express, making limited stops along 47th Street between Racine & the Red Line, making its last stop (northbound) at 47th Red Line Station before running along I-94/55/Du Sable Lake Shore Drive/Columbus/Roosevelt, then making its first stop after running express at Michigan/Roosevelt, then traveling northbound to Navy Pier via Michigan/South Water/Columbus/Illinois/Streeter (or via Roosevelt/State/Illinois/Streeter (following #29 State)). As for Southbound, via Grand/Columbus/South Water/Michigan/Roosevelt, making its last stop on Roosevelt between Michigan & Indiana before running express via Roosevelt/Columbus/Du Sable Lake Shore Drive/I-55/94 to 47th/Wentworth-Wells, then continuing via 47th Street/Racine to 87th. 40 ft. buses, same hours, same frequency.

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3 hours ago, ChicagoRail said:

Another idea: Convert #44 Wallace/Racine to an express route renamed #44 Racine Express, making limited stops along 47th Street between Racine & the Red Line, making its last stop (northbound) at 47th Red Line Station before running along I-94/55/Du Sable Lake Shore Drive/Columbus/Roosevelt, then making its first stop after running express at Michigan/Roosevelt, then traveling northbound to Navy Pier via Michigan/South Water/Columbus/Illinois/Streeter (or via Roosevelt/State/Illinois/Streeter (following #29 State)). As for Southbound, via Grand/Columbus/South Water/Michigan/Roosevelt, making its last stop on Roosevelt between Michigan & Indiana before running express via Roosevelt/Columbus/Du Sable Lake Shore Drive/I-55/94 to 47th/Wentworth-Wells, then continuing via 47th Street/Racine to 87th. 40 ft. buses, same hours, same frequency.

No. Just no. You're literally cutting out the key important core ridership from 47th/Halsted through the the West Side of Chinatown.  There is no demand from the Southside that would even rally behind such a change. Let alone the residents 47th onward northbound. If anything bring back the downtown portion of the 44 but send it down Canal via the Halsted Orange Line Station making limited stops to Union Station or the Clinton Blue Station.

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