Today’s Headlines

  • Lucas Museum by Soldier Field Could Bring Galaxy of Transpo Upgrades (Sun-Times)
  • Lakeview Residents Organize Against Belmont Overpass (DNA)
  • Chicago Ranked as a Relatively Safe City for Pedestrians (Sun-Times)
  • 90% of CTA Rides Now Paid With Ventra (RedEye)
  • Meeting on Red, Purple Overhaul 5:30 Tonight at Truman College (RedEye)
  • Class-Action Lawsuit Targets Chicago’s Red Light Cam Program (Expired Meter)
  • Metra Apologizes for Breakdowns That Marooned Passengers on Trains (Tribune)
  • 4 Injured After SUV Driver Blows Light on Michigan by Grant Park (Tribune)
  • Ride of Silence Honoring Crash Victims Meets at 6 Tonight at Daley Plaza (Keating)
  • Divvy Coming to West Rogers Park (DNA)
  • Gabe Klein Joins Board of RideScout, a Smartphone Transit App (Expired Meter)
  • Funds Sought to Finish Film About Turning ‘L’ Car Into Mobile Theater (RedEye)

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  • Anne A

    I’m glad to hear that Lakeview residents are organizing against the bypass plan. I hope this will force CTA to come up with a better plan that’s less damaging to the neighborhood.

  • trufe

    tried to make a similar comment yesterday, but it seems it did not post. gave this some more thought and i really think a simpler, cheaper, better solution than the belmont flyover would be:

    1. reconfigure/rebuild the wellington, diversey and armitage stations to be “island” type platforms, similar to how fullerton and belmont are – but with only one island and only on the west side, as they only serve the brown line

    2. then just run the brown line on the 2 western tracks and run the red/purple on the 2 eastern tracks for the entire length of the “shared” ROW

    you can still transfer at belmont and fullerton, though slightly less conveniently – and no conflicts because no truly shared track

    i have been trying to think of reasons it would not work so please poke holes

    edit: well of course the one giant problem is either the purple no longer stops at those 3 stations, or you have to switch it over to those west tracks south of belmont somewhere

  • 2Fast2Furious

    I admit the plan seems costly, but how is it damaging to the neighborhood? Seems like fear mongering at its finest.

  • Fred

    The middle 2 tracks go underground and the outer tracks continue above ground just south of Armitage, so there would have to be some reconfiguration there as well.

  • what_eva

    The purples having to cross over would create some of the same problems seen with the NB brown today, but on a lesser scale because there are fewer purple line runs.

  • what_eva

    I don’t think Lakeview residents are, I think Wilton residents are. this Lakeview resident is highly in favor of it.

  • another big problem: CTA already spent a lot of money on those stations. this really should have been coordinated with the Brown Line work.

  • Dumb question. Does anyone know how I’d investigate what’s happening with a particular under-construction lot (at Irving Park and Springfield, southwest corner)? It was an open business as far as I could tell a few months ago, and now it’s got construction fencing and is bulldozed flat, gravel and bricks. I wonder what they’re building there? If anything? It doesn’t seem to be actively becoming something new.

  • duppie

    Not impressed by their arguments. It looks like a few hundred residents want to impact the lives of a few hundred thousands (potential) passengers.
    And, in typical NIMBY fashion, they do not have an alternative.

    As a far north side resident, I am all in favor of the flyover, as well as the new Sheridan station (probably will require as many if not more buildings to be aqcuired and torn down)

  • trufe

    yeah right – i was thinking the purple could potentially just continue on the red tracks into the loop, but the ni dont know where it would turn around and that has a whole host of other service impacts.

    as fred pointed out, the tracks would have to be reconfigured at the underground ramp section – maybe purple connects/splits from brown just south of that ramp area

    that way it skips those 3 stops, but it may be easier to manage/minimize delays when only dealing with 2 lines instead of 3? and obviously only during rush hour – although that is the main concern to start with

  • Cameron Puetz

    The concern I’ve heard is that it would create a large dead zone under the tracks with nothing at street level. These have a way of dividing neighborhoods, think of the South Side rail viaducts that become barriers.

  • Lizzyisi

    This Lakeview resident is undecided. I don’t really know enough detail to be for or against the particular plan, but I am strongly in favor of expanding and improving the L through the neighborhood now–before it gets worse. That will almost certainly mean tearing down some buildings.

    The roads through this part of town are seriously over congested; the cycling and walking infrastructure through this part of town is, at best, an afterthought. Perhaps with improved L service, we can reduce auto traffic and start focusing on pedestrians and cyclists.

  • trufe

    right, i had not considered that.

    although i believe there are actually some old, worn out unused tracks in that elevated section. would need big time rehab but the existing structure should be wide enough to handle adding another track west of the underground portion i think

  • trufe

    they should have a permit posted, that might get you started

  • 2Fast2Furious

    Houndstooth Saloon is currently located DIRECTLY under the tracks at Clark and Roscoe, and that place is often popping. ROLL TIDE!!!

  • In the end I think “coming up with a better plan” was what Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin was advocating. Kamin, though, was also ripping Emanuel’s statements about 3-4 minute delays when the average is 84 seconds and many trains are delayed much less than 84 seconds.

    Kamin has been discussing the plan, and his article, on Twitter quite well, I may add.

  • Check my other website, http://licensedchicagocontractors.com – confirm you saw this comment and hit me up another way so I can delete this thread.

  • You have thought about this a lot more than me, obviously. My idea was to move the flyover to the middle and further south.

    https://twitter.com/streetsblogchi/status/468452916852830209

  • This is our history but it doesn’t have to be our future. Other cities with elevated rail lines better use the under-track area than Chicago.

  • what_eva

    It was coordinated. CTA has had this flyover plan for decades. If it’s built as designed, there is no change to the stations.

  • trufe

    aw, man… and here i thought i was being original!

  • what_eva

    His article is incomplete and short-sighted. He talks as though the buildings on the 3400 block of Clark (which is where CTA is straightening the tracks at Roscoe, same project, but not part of the flyover itself) will be torn down and not replaced. Same with Wilton. I commented on the yesterday headlines post this morning, a comparison to Moses is hyperbolic.

  • what_eva

    It’s completely fair to be undecided. Also, don’t get me wrong, almost any plan can be improved in some way. But those improvements should not to save specific buildings, even if they have just undergone renovations. I understand the complaints of the residents of Wilton (though I do not sympathize, as they chose to live that close to the tracks and almost certainly paid a lower price for it), but those complaints should not take precedence over the good of the many.

  • what_eva

    Purple used to skip those stops, it stopped at Belmont/Fullerton (on the red tracks? I forget), then didn’t stop again until Chicago. According to chicago-l.org’s maps, this changed in 1997, when the purple started making stops at Wellington/Diversey/Armitage/Sedgwick.

  • Fred

    I think foregoing the straightening and not razing those buildings will end up being the low-hanging-fruit compromise.

  • Kevin M

    Tom Waits would also like to know. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAP_JBRBECk

  • what_eva

    The NIMBYs seem much more concerned about the flyover, I don’t know if that would placate them

  • Fred

    Flyover idea: What if the outer east track went straight into the flyover rather than out and around and over? The purple line would use the red line stop at Belmont then jog back over to the outer track. You would have to single track the brown line at the merge during construction, but you could then create the entire flyover within the existing footprint. Or you could add an outer bypass of the flyover for the purple which might reduce the number of building needing to be razed. How many of the buildings being razed are necessary to keep 2 tracks at the merge during construction?

  • Kevin M

    Agreed–and those building owners will be compensated at fair-market value. The business owners have lease agreements that give them some protection as well. Transitions are not easy.

  • Kevin M

    That promise of “transportation upgrades” by the committee for a George Lucas Museum sounds a *lot* like the sales pitch offered by the Chicago Olympics committee. I don’t buy it. I say: Keep the lakefront free of any further private development. Parking lots are easily converted to public park space, private museums are not.

  • what_eva

    The east side of Wilton won’t get any compensation and seem to be the vocal ones.

  • 2Fast2Furious

    frankly it’s un-American they are trying to continue to reduce tailgating. It used to be a blue collar American pastime, now you have to be a 1% to even sniff a slab of ribs in the parking lot and enjoy an ice cold Miller High Life.

  • Ok, weird: http://www.licensedchicagocontractors.com/?pid=100533579 says it was permitted for a complete demolition, which was said to cost $1 (!! Yeah, I don’t believe that). It appears to be owned by the church further down the street. I wonder if they’re putting in a parking lot? Which is weird, because their church building has a bunch of (covered) parking on the first floor already.

  • All demolitions are listed as $1.

  • “Parking lots are easily converted to public park space” – true at all times and not when used as a tool to attract things.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Trouble is the CTA has a lousy reputation for maintaining and actively seeking out tenants for their el stop properties.

  • They have Jones Lang LaSalle doing this now. http://www.ctarealestate.com/download.html#Retail

  • cjlane

    Two issues (aside from the loss of Purple stops):

    1. Makes transfers from Red to Brown much more difficult–have to go down to ground and back up to switch platforms.

    2. No space north of tunnel exit to get Brown to Armitage; would need to move stop north to Webster, or south to Willow or Dayton.