Today’s Headlines for Friday, September 4

  • Planned Redesign for Logan Traffic Circle Include Pedestrianizing a Stretch of Kedzie (DNA)
  • Active Trans Is Taking Over Oak Park’s Green Line Wheels Bike Tour & Education Center
  • IDOT: HOV Lanes Are Passé, Letting SOV Drivers Pay to Avoid Congestion Is the Future (Tribune)
  • Details on the Transit Future Proposal to Link the Brown & Blue Lines
  • Emanuel Proposes Amnesty for Pre-2012 Parking Tickets (DNA)
  • State Police Sending “Saturation Teams” to Expressways This Weekend to Prevent DUI Crashes (DNA)
  • Skyway Workers Ratify New Contract, Labor Day Strike Averted (ABC)
  • Cabbies Are Underwhelmed by Proposal for $1 Ride-Share Surcharge (Sun-Times)
  • Heavy Traffic Expected This Weekend, CTA Adding Extra Service (Sun-Times)
  • Advocates Frustrated by Long Delay for DuSable Park, Next to Navy Pier Flyover (DNA)
  • Letter: Cyclist on The 606 Demonstrated Donald Trump-Like Rudeness (Tribune)
  • Bike Ride to Closing Celebration for “The Bicycle & Mankind” Photo Exhibit This Saturday

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  • david vartanoff

    Transit future’s plan to extend the Brown Line to link up to the Blue is a fine idea. Getting residents along Lawrence to agree to either an L or digging a subway,however, will be a major hurdle.

  • FG

    Over on Curbed there was a lot of confusion on whether this would be a “connector” or an extension of the brown line. It should have been done when they were building the blue line, but I suspect they never thought that there would be that much reverse commuting, travel to O’Hare or that the north side would gentrify as it has.

  • planetshwoop

    Absolutely. I would love this in theory, but in practice it seems DOA. Not only would you have to get the residents to agree, you couldn’t reasonably cross a major highway and a via-duct, to join a train station in the middle of a major highway. More sensical, run a streetcar down Lawrence or Irving Park. Not only would it help people get to the airport, it could break the gridlock of those who drive to Wrigley.

  • Roland Solinski

    This isn’t really that extraordinary. It would almost certainly have to be a subway, but I don’t think there are any serious engineering challenges. The only obstacle I can think of is the Deep Tunnel being built through Mayfair right now, but it may be possible to thread a subway around it.

  • Roland Solinski

    In fairness to Mr. Blankenhorn, I don’t think he meant to dismiss HOV lanes in the Trib article. He was suggesting, rightfully, that drivers will have to pay for additional capacity on our expressways because no level of government can afford or is willing to pay.

    Charging tolls on a free Interstate highway requires an Act of Congress, but if you build additional lanes as a segregated facility like HOT or ETL lanes, those can be tolled right away. That takes care of the financing problem for projects like Eisenhower widening, Stevenson, etc. Between the two types of lanes, HOT lanes are far more common, and multi-occupant vehicles get to use them for free just like a traditional HOV lane.

  • Absolutely nobody but transit activists is interested in authorizing subway-levels of money for this kind of project. Deep Tunnel is something they’ve been leading up to for three decades, and uses a lot of Federal money.

  • Alex_H

    What is the Deep Tunnel?

  • Roland Solinski

    The whole idea of extending the Brown Line at all requires vastly more money than what is currently available. Within the context of discussing the extension, I think it is reasonable to discuss a subway.

    Transit Future is, essentially, a huge sales tax hike that would provide billions for new transit lines. As we have seen in Los Angeles with a similar measure, subway tunnels are indeed part of the overall picture when there is no alternative available (Gold Line Eastside Extension). Key to keeping costs down is to reduce the number of stations. Within the study zone I’m guessing it would be only one station at Pulaski. Cicero would be nice for a potential transfer to Metra MD-N, but challenging to construct and there’s no density there.

  • If I got to draw my dream line and funding were no obstacle, instead of just extending the brown along Lawrence I’d put in a full-blown subway or elevated (it’s wide enough to take it) along Irving Park from the lakefront out to Harlem, or even connecting out to the Blue Line out at O’Hare proper. Game-changer for crosstown traffic, and at least moderate density most of the way. Adding a real rail link to a WHOLE BUNCH of neighborhoods that have only had “ride a bus to a bus” options in my lifetime, plus an east-to-west-without-downtown option, and connecting up to all the major north-south arterial bus lines and the existing rail.

    And a pony.

    With wings.

    Irving Park LSD-to-Harlem and Cicero from, say, Ford City to Touhy would be my biggest-ticket game-changer massive project wishlist.