Today’s Headlines

  • CTA Plans to Rehab Forest Park Branch; IDOT Wants to Expand the Ike (Oak Park)
  • Residents Weigh in on the Wilson Red Line Rehab; Construction Starts This Month (RedEye)
  • The Past, Present, and Future of the Wilson Stop (RedEye)
  • Emanuel Proposes Taxi Reforms, But Fare Hikes Won’t Come Until After Election (Sun-Times)
  • Rahm Will Likely Tout Long List of CTA Achievements in Upcoming Election (Tattler)
  • An In-Depth Look at Metra Pedestrian Fatalities (WBEZ)
  • Paid Sundays Return to Lakeview; Meter Stickers Explain Why (Expired Meter)
  • Months After Pedicab Ordinance Passed, City Has Only Issued 15 Vehicle Licenses (Sun-Times)
  • Puplic Art Project Planned for Purple Line’s Davis Stop (Northwestern)
  • Final 4 Bike Rack Designs in Rogers Park Contest Look Pretty, But Not Functional (DNA)
  • Cleanup Planned for Viaduct and Mural Under Metra Tracks in Edgebrook (DNA)
  • After 4-Month Hiatus, LGRAB Is Back, With Musings on Autumn Bike Commuting

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  • rohmen

    CTA does great at admitting there is a problem with the entire Forest Park line, but what is its justification for tying the whole project to the Ike rebuild through Oak Park?

    They did the O’Hare branch rebuild in sections, and while I get holding off on redoing Austin, Oak Park, Harlem and Forest Park stations and track until the Ike plans through the OP “canyon” are set in stone, the remaining section of the line from at least Cicero to the Loop could seemingly be updated now with no fear of conflicting with the Ike rebuild.

    As a daily rider, I can say the line is in horrible shape, and the CTA needs to start taking steps now to improve it, rather than tying it all to an IDOT interstate project not even projected to start until after 2017 at the earliest.

  • Anne A

    Glad to hear that the decrepit Forest Park line is getting closer to being fixed. I’m glad that CTA has committed to keeping the double entrances that currently exist, and is working to improve ped/bike access and ADA accessibility.

  • Anne A

    On the Metra fatality, one of the most common causes I see for close calls is people running late who insist on dashing across the tracks in front of the train. There are many high volume stations where most of the passengers come from the side of the tracks opposite the inbound platform. Perhaps underpasses would be appropriate in some of these locations.

    95th St. in Beverly has a big problem with last second dashes, but I’m not sure that an underpass would be wise there, as it might flood often unless it was designed with a very good drainage system.

  • Roland Solinski

    UIC-Halsted is getting a renovation as part of the Circle Interchange project. Medical District is about to be renovated as well … It’s not like nothing’s happening.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    While the Blue Line/Ike redo has hardly been fleshed out, one would think that for best results needed repairs (can’t be certain what expansion needs to be done unless IDOT puts bus only lanes on the Ike) should be coordinated. If you don’t coordinate the projects correcting what should have been can be really expensive.

  • Expanding roadway capacity on the Eisenhower while marginally improving transit is one way to never see a doubling of transit ridership by 2040.

  • rohmen

    I agree the Red is in bad shape and needs attention as well, but I’m not going to buy into the false dichotomy created by the CTA that only one line can be addressed at a time, with multiple years in between projects.

    I get that money doesn’t grow on trees, but at some point I question how the CTA can justify spending millions upon millions on a Damen station upgrade that won’t even include an elevator, and untold millions on a brown line flyover that is projected to save something like 3 minutes a trip, when an entire line’s tracks have degraded to the point where derailments are becoming common, and the train barely moves above 15 to 20 mph between the stations on the entire line.

  • rohmen

    It’s all well and good that the CTA is fixing those stations, though I’d argue neither one of those stations was in the worst shape to begin with, but neither one of those projects addresses the real problem, which is the fact that the track running between all of the stations from Clinton on is well beyond its service life.

    As a daily rider who also uses IMD quite a bit to get to places on the weekend, I would personally gladly trade the proposed IMD station remodel for track-level improvements to get the line back to the speed it should be running at, though at least the IMD station remodel is intended to bringing it within full ADA compliance, which I’m sure will help many who need to access Stroger and other hospitals.

  • Deni

    A few thoughts. While expansion is desperately needed at the CTA, yet seems to have no real visionary plan on the table, it is nice to see them working (with limited funds in this day and age) toward getting the current system to a state of good repair. Rebuilding the red and blue lines is desperately needed.

    What would really happen in a perfect world (with real dedication and $$ to transit) is relocating all the L lines that run in the freeway medians. A horrible decision to do that back in the day, they don’t serve the neighborhoods as well as they could as subways.

    If nothing else, can’t they at least build some sound walls around the stations? Waiting for a train on the Dan Ryan/Ike/Kennedy is one of the most unpleasant experiences in Chicago city life. And I would imagine unhealthy at many times. I wonder if anyone has ever done a decibel level test at freeway L stops? I’m willing to bet it hits levels that human ears should not be exposed to for even short periods. It can’t be that expensive to build a couple of walls on each side of the stations.

  • FG

    It’s the three lane section in Oak Park getting widened to four like to the east and west. As has been addressed below, why the sections to the east can’t be done first makes no sense.

  • alexfrancisburchard

    The flyover can increase capacity on the red line, which is drastically over capacity at rush hour. I don’t think its so much about reducing trip time as it is about increasing trains per hour, because they need more trains at rush hour. Yesterday I stood in lake street from like 5:10-5:50 and 7 or 8 trains went by and each one left people on the platform. I know how busy grand and chicago are, so if the train was over capacity at lake, Grand and Chicago got screwed, for an hour. More trains being run could help alleviate that. (we also straight up need 10-12 car trains on the red line, 8 just isn’t cutting it anymore).

  • Coolebra

    The entire highway is going to three lanes of GP traffic.

    The fourth lane will be a managed lane – likely HOT2+ or HOT3+.

    Gotta pay to play in the fourth lane.

  • Coolebra

    Circle Interchange, I-290 Managed Lane, and Hillside Strangler are all part of the same project.

  • Roland Solinski

    No need for snark. The comment I was replying to was about the Forest Park branch generally, and there is indeed some capital investment taking place. I agree that track work is needed ASAP.

    However, a big reason for the track deterioration is inadequate drainage, and the drain lines run beneath the expressway lanes. These are all interconnected to some extent and coordination would be beneficial.

  • Coolebra

    No snark intended – just an observation.