Today’s Headlines for Friday, January 8

  • South Side Groups Call for Rapid Transit Service on Metra Electric Line (Maroon)
  • Man Killed by Driver Who Fled in Auburn Gresham Was 33rd Ped Fatality of 2015 (DNA)
  • DUI Crackdown in Grand Crossing This Weekend (DNA)
  • Naperville Holiday DUI Stings Led to 3 Arrests, 21 Tickets (Tribune)
  • Active Trans: DuPage Obesity Rates Show Need for Safe Routes to School Funding
  • City Is Launching a Universal Taxi-Hailing App Next Month (Chicagoist)
  • The Red Line’s Black/White Divide Is a Microcosm of Chicago’s Segregation (DNA)
  • 2.4-Mile Multi-Use Path Planned for Rand Road in Des Plaines (Herald)
  • Detours for All Road Users Next Week for Wilson Station Construction (DNA)
  • Wacker Drive Igloo Builder Continues Crusade Against Snowy Sidewalks (DNA)
  • “Walking Chicago” Group Strolls the Length of a Street Once a Month (DNA)
  • Women Bike Chicago Is Hosting a Launch Party Next Thursday at BFF Bikes

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  • Awesome, the city is bringing back the functionality I loved about HailO!

    Specifically, getting a licensed-and-bonded cabbie with known rates with all the wonderful 21st century tracking features/payment/etc that Uber has.

  • Chicagoan

    How would bringing the Metra Electric Line to O’Hare work?

  • what_eva

    http://www.midwesthsr.org/crossrail-chicago has some details. Check the PDF linked, it describes how the St Charles Air Line along 16th St would be used to link ME to Union Station, then uses the existing route from Union to ORD along the UP-West/NCS. Besides linking the South Side, it also better links McCormick Place to ORD.

  • Wow, their “And then, a miracle occurs” segment between McCormick and Union also strongly impacts and is impacted by any of the plans to punch Wentworth back through that abandoned lot and connect to Polk, because they want to use that set of tracks. Which a lot of other development urbanists are thinking about taking out, to stop obstructing Ping Tom Park …

    Sigh.

  • So, sorting all of that out would be a bad thing?

  • Jeremy

    Hopefully, this app will also help areas that are under-served by transportation to receive better service. The issue of people with lower incomes not having access to credit cards in large numbers (same problem that affects Divvy) will need to be addressed.

  • No, it actually getting sorted out by projects that talk to each other would be great. Two different large projects proceeding at cross-purposes with very different assumptions means it’s ag ame of chicken to see who breaks ground first.

  • what_eva

    Wouldn’t Wentworth just go underneath the Air Line?

  • cjlane

    “And then, a miracle occurs”

    A project run by the Underpants Gnomes!

  • If it’s high enough and takes into account (in its overpassage) that there’s GOING to be a street going under it. Instead of building it for situation X and then situation Y arising and disrupting things intensely while the entire viaduct has to be rearranged.

    Or, if Wentworth happens first, demolishing things or changing facts on the ground in a way that makes putting the rail line into heavy-duty service use complicated.

  • what_eva

    IINM, Amtrak trains use the Air Line to go from McCormick Place to Union Station today. The change in the CrossRail project is to add an additional ramp to make that easier (currently Amtrak trains have to overshoot the track into Union and back in as that’s the only connection). They’re also proposing a flyover to take the Air Line over the Rock Island tracks, where they currently intersect.

    Any group planning to extend Wentworth should already know this and know they need to build an underpass.

  • Roland Solinski

    There’s actually already an abandoned viaduct structure in that area, but it’s in an awkward place for Wells-Wentworth and it would require some sharp curves in the road and eat into Ping Tom Park. The jury is still out on whether CDOT will reuse the old overpass to save money, or build a new one a few hundred feet to the east to get a more graceful alignment.

    As what-eva noted, the overpass here is pretty trivial in the context of a larger project to build a flyover into Union Station. The city’s official planning position right now, unfortunately, is still that the St Charles Air Line should be abandoned or 606-ified to stimulate South Loop development instead of being preserved as a crucial regional rail link. Of course, since this is the long term goal, the city is really trying to avoid the cost of a new viaduct at Wells-Wentworth.

  • planetshwoop

    Apparently the Rand Road piece is one of the segments for Evanston – Elgin corridor. Lots of fascinating plans for suburban biking are apparently in the works: http://www.nwmc-cog.org/transportation/bike-planning/bicycle-plan-implementation.aspx.

  • planetshwoop

    I still think Amtrak should have a station at O’Hare. Almost more important than one at Union.

  • what_eva

    why on earth would a station at any airport be even close to as important than one in the city center?!? Especially with said airport already having transit connectivity.

  • Marcus Moore

    I’m sure “Walking Chicago” was inspired by JG’s published similar walks from 10 years ago…

  • planetshwoop

    Because then the rail network could somewhat compete with airlines for some segments as well as act as a complement to the airlines’ networks. If Chicago is your destination, then sure, having a station downtown is great. But for many passengers in Union, it’s a connection point and having that at the airport makes it easier to connect to a wider range of destinations.