Today’s Headlines for Thursday, January 18

  • Chicago Makes It to the Next Round of Amazon’s “Hunger Games”-Style HQ Competition (Sun-Times)
  • Activists Who Want an Obama Center CBA Shout Down Black Aldermen’s Press Conference (Tribune)
  • After Oak Park Divvy Program Ended, Evanston Says It Plans to Extend Its Contract (Evanston Now)
  • Mother of Child Killed in 2017 CTA Bus/Car Crash Is Suing the Transit Agency (Sun-Times)
  • Man Charged With DUI After Driving Onto Lisle Metra Platform, Causing Car to Be Struck (Sun-Times)
  • 2nd Phase of Metra’s Ravenswood Station Construction Plans Revealed (Sun-Times)
  • How to Have Your Say on Proposed Metra Fare Changes (Daily Herald)
  • LSNA Encouraging More Residents of Color to Attend Next Milwaukee Redesign Hearing (Active Trans)
  • Restoration of Cook County Hospital Could Begin This Summer (Curbed)
  • After Density Is Reduced Due to Community Feedback, Old Town Project Is No Longer a TOD (Curbed)
  • Bloomingdale Trail Advisory Council Meeting 1/30, 6:30 PM at Moos Elementary, 1711 N. California
  • Chicagoland Equity Summit Delegation Forming to Attend PolicyLink Event in Chicago on April 11-13

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  • Kevin M

    Re: The re-starting of the Ravenswood Bridges Metra project:

    “An unused rail “bay,” out of commission since the 1970s, will also be
    removed. New track, matching the one laid on the outbound side, will be
    installed, completing the conversion of this former three-track stretch
    to two tracks.”

    Does anyone know if the current designs are still planning to leave in-tace the 3rd RR ROW for potential future use? I recall when this project was first announced, the design was to re-align the two-track ROW so that the 3rd RR ROW was lost, but (thankfully, if I recall correctly) the Metra board adopted a resolution that required a new set of designs that maintained the 3rd RR ROW (which delayed the project start time a bit and increased its price).

    This additional quote makes me wonder if they’re now going to lose the 3rd RR ROW by not creating a new east-side (Inbound) retaining wall:
    “Still, the overall impact of Phase II won’t have nearly the same scope
    as Phase I, which included major embankment work and the construction of
    a retention wall on the track’s west side, said Pawar’s chief of staff
    Jim Poole.”

  • Chicagoan

    I’d love to see the Rogers Park station get the Ravenswood treatment. Ridership hasn’t been quite so explosive as Ravenswood, but it’s grown a solid amount since the early 2000’s (Almost 1,500 boardings per week day.).

  • Cameron Puetz

    The embankment is currently supporting 3 tracks, so additional retaining walls shouldn’t be required to maintain a 3 track ROW. The question is whether the inbound track will be placed In the center or east bay and how the station is configured. If the inbound track is placed in the east bay, then the center bay will remain for future use. If the in bound track is placed in the center bay, then the new station could block the east bay.

    Edit: If I remember correctly, the debate was whether to rebuild the west retaining wall to retain the west bay, or take the cheaper route of replacing the west wall with a sloped embankment when the inbound track was rebuilt. The east side was always a sloped embankment, so the west bay was the one in danger of cost cutting.

  • rwy

    I’ve heard that some people want to use part of the ROW as a bike trail.

  • planetshwoop

    One would love to see the city rally for a billion dollar package, ample development opportunities etc. etc. to stem the depopulation of the South Side.

    I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s just frustrating to see the endless, breathless coverage of “Amazon/Apple/Google” and not see the city+state devote similar energies towards helping/wooing people who are already here.

  • Dennis McClendon

    What, specifically, would you like to see the city do to “stem the depopulation?”

  • planetshwoop

    The city devotes substantial time and energy towards courting these corporations. It invests in cooperation with state agencies, planning bodies, developers, etc. It requires effort.

    I do not how to fix this, but it is clear that people are leaving. Why are they leaving? Have we asked? Have we sought to find out what the circumstances are? I will not pretend to answer that I know, or that we should “fill in the blank” without asking.

    So if people are leaving, instead of focusing so much on courting companies, maybe we can devote some of the energy to keeping some who are here? That’s what I’d like to see the city do — I believe they can do both simultaneously.

  • what_eva

    I think they’re going to put the new inbound track in the center so they can build it with the current inbound east track in place. If they’re going to also build the station, possibly they would have the station east of the east track, but then extend a platform over the east track once the center track is completed.

  • Toddster

    I’d argue that is a remedial understanding of how government functions, what it is capable of and what the underlying causes of the stagnation and depopulation on the South Side.

    We can focus on both: internal and external growth. The premise that we can’t or shouldn’t do A because B is a bigger issue undersells our collective ability. We’re not not doing heart research because more people die of cancer, or we’re not not investing in higher ed because we need to obtain universal pre-K first.

    Second, is that there is no one solution to the problems plaguing the South Side: it’s a combination of things, including a lack of economic opportunity, something that a huge employer like Amazon could help alleviate (along with job training and transportation programs to make those jobs accessible in every way – which other city agencies and and should be working on too).