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Pace831

CMAP Regional Sidewalk Inventory

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13 hours ago, Pace831 said:

CMAP issued a report on sidewalk availability within a half mile of rail stations. Most CTA stations were found to have generally good sidewalk coverage, while only 35 Metra stations had an "excellent" rating. Opportunities for improvement are discussed. The data came from the Regional Sidewalk Inventory which was published in July.

Supposedly,  there's a correlation between sidewalks and transit use.  If there were more sidewalks closer to the Metra stations. people would be more inclined to walk to those stations.   Hogwash.   With no sidewalks  (unless I took the long way), I walked to the Belmont station on the BNSF.  Though Belmont had sidewalks. it was quicker for me to cut through the residential streets.   Sidewalk access isn't helping the MED.  

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33 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

Supposedly,  there's a correlation between sidewalks and transit use.  If there were more sidewalks closer to the Metra stations. people would be more inclined to walk to those stations.   Hogwash.   With no sidewalks  (unless I took the long way), I walked to the Belmont station on the BNSF.  Though Belmont had sidewalks. it was quicker for me to cut through the residential streets.   Sidewalk access isn't helping the MED.  

So you’re using one personal anecdote as “proof” that the correlation between sidewalks and transit use is imaginary? There are other influences affecting ridership on the MED (by which I assume you mean the in-city segment), allegedly including expensive fares, preference for buses, outdated system, personal safety concerns, etc. All of these deterrents combined can easily overcome the relative advantage of a sidewalk. You’ll note the report generally names city stations as having the least opportunities for investment in sidewalks. The issues described are mainly in the suburbs, where traffic volume and speed are the main deterrents to walking.

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28 minutes ago, Pace831 said:

So you’re using one personal anecdote as “proof” that the correlation between sidewalks and transit use is imaginary? There are other influences affecting ridership on the MED (by which I assume you mean the in-city segment), allegedly including expensive fares, preference for buses, outdated system, personal safety concerns, etc. All of these deterrents combined can easily overcome the relative advantage of a sidewalk. You’ll note the report generally names city stations as having the least opportunities for investment in sidewalks. The issues described are mainly in the suburbs, where traffic volume and speed are the main deterrents to walking.

A lot of suburban stations have ample parking.   Also,  a lot of stations are in the downtown area of the suburbs while other (the Highlands on the BNSF)  are kind of neighborhood stops.   If the neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks,  apparently the people in the neighborhood are okay with that.     I get that possibly some of the suburbs have major streets without sidewalks  limiting safe access to buses and trains.   A lot of the Metra stations I've seen on the majority of Metea Lines have good sidewalk access.  I just don't think that building sidewalks out to 1/2 miles of every station that is deemed inaccessible will somehow increase ridership significantly.   The majority of Metra riders drive to their stations ( or taxi, Uber,  or get a ride) with others linking by Pace.  When building new housing near a train station,  municipalities and builders should incorporate sidewalks to access the station.   One glaring example to support that is the O'Hare Transfer Station.   The City didn't consider linking the station to the Consolidated Rental Facility and ATS station (although I think that's being rectified).  

Outside of that. I believe there are other factors besides sidewalks. 

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3 hours ago, artthouwill said:

A lot of suburban stations have ample parking.   Also,  a lot of stations are in the downtown area of the suburbs while other (the Highlands on the BNSF)  are kind of neighborhood stops.   If the neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks,  apparently the people in the neighborhood are okay with that.     I get that possibly some of the suburbs have major streets without sidewalks  limiting safe access to buses and trains.   A lot of the Metra stations I've seen on the majority of Metea Lines have good sidewalk access.  I just don't think that building sidewalks out to 1/2 miles of every station that is deemed inaccessible will somehow increase ridership significantly.   The majority of Metra riders drive to their stations ( or taxi, Uber,  or get a ride) with others linking by Pace.  When building new housing near a train station,  municipalities and builders should incorporate sidewalks to access the station.   One glaring example to support that is the O'Hare Transfer Station.   The City didn't consider linking the station to the Consolidated Rental Facility and ATS station (although I think that's being rectified).  

Outside of that. I believe there are other factors besides sidewalks. 

The goal isn’t necessarily as simple as “build sidewalks on every street within 1/2 mile to boost ridership”. Rather, they want to fill in gaps between the station and popular destinations. For example, University Park is listed as a high opportunity station. The main attraction there is Governors State University, which already has a path to the edge of the campus near the station. It would not be difficult or expensive to install a crosswalk and a walkway that connects the existing path with the station entrance. Another consideration is, as you noted, potential future developments which should be designed to minimize car dependency. There’s also a social justice aspect, as the sidewalks would increase independence for people who cannot easily access cars due to low income, age, disabilities, etc.

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11 hours ago, Pace831 said:

The goal isn’t necessarily as simple as “build sidewalks on every street within 1/2 mile to boost ridership”. Rather, they want to fill in gaps between the station and popular destinations. For example, University Park is listed as a high opportunity station. The main attraction there is Governors State University, which already has a path to the edge of the campus near the station. It would not be difficult or expensive to install a crosswalk and a walkway that connects the existing path with the station entrance. Another consideration is, as you noted, potential future developments which should be designed to minimize car dependency. There’s also a social justice aspect, as the sidewalks would increase independence for people who cannot easily access cars due to low income, age, disabilities, etc.

There's a far bigger problem with the University park station & Governor's State U.  The university is not near the station, even though all the land around the station is state owned land.  What dimbulb thought putting the school a long distance from the station was a good idea?  When I was there 25 years ago, it was a long & bizarre bus ride to & from the school to the station.

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18 minutes ago, strictures said:

There's a far bigger problem with the University park station & Governor's State U.  The university is not near the station, even though all the land around the station is state owned land.  What dimbulb thought putting the school a long distance from the station was a good idea?  When I was there 25 years ago, it was a long & bizarre bus ride to & from the school to the station.

The school opened before the station did, which is perhaps an example of failure to plan for transit before construction, but not what you described.

According to the Will County Supervisor of Assessments, your claim that "all the land around the station is state owned" is false.

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