Chicago

Minneapolisite

Chicago: Wicker Park

Postby Minneapolisite » February 16th, 2013, 5:17 pm

The Damen station in the heart of Wicker Park: be sure to know which streets go north, south, southeast, northwest, east and west. Didn't get lost at all myself. Think Uptown, but more Lyndale than Lake & Hennepin, although wine bars,an American Apparel, etc have taken root here and there, but it doesn't seem nearly as chain laden or densely concentrated as Uptown.

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Oh wait, yes, that was a Back to the Future DeLorean just sitting there in the shop.

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Time to head west for food and beer.

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Life-size marshmallow peep.

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Chicago style tofu on focaccia: quite good.

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Back to the hostel.

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lordmoke
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Re: Chicago: Wicker Park

Postby lordmoke » February 16th, 2013, 11:40 pm

Thanks for the pictures! Love this neighborhood. Glad to see you made it in to the Wormhole coffee shop, haha!

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Re: Chicago: Wicker Park

Postby editcostarica » February 20th, 2013, 11:48 pm

Some nice shots there!

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Andrew_F
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Re: Chicago: Wicker Park

Postby Andrew_F » February 26th, 2013, 2:26 am

Glad to see a shot of Myopic in the mix. One of the few things that will get my all the way out there.

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Nick
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Chicago

Postby Nick » September 16th, 2013, 9:58 am

In Chicago right now. Are there just not maps in CTA stations??? I like to think of myself as able to use transit systems easily (even busses in non-Twin Cities cities!) but Jesus this loop business is confusing. I'm pretty sure I didn't need two transfers to get from O'Hare to this hotel...

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Chicago

Postby FISHMANPET » September 16th, 2013, 10:26 am

I guess just be better at reading transit maps? And you shouldn't need 2 transfers to get anywhere, since everything goes through the loop.

But props to a city for having a "Brown Line."

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Re: Chicago

Postby David Greene » September 16th, 2013, 10:34 am

Nick wrote:In Chicago right now. Are there just not maps in CTA stations??? I like to think of myself as able to use transit systems easily (even busses in non-Twin Cities cities!) but Jesus this loop business is confusing. I'm pretty sure I didn't need two transfers to get from O'Hare to this hotel...
Yeah, no maps at stations. We ran into the same thing a couple months back.

Note that the loop is under construction and is no longer a loop at the moment. So two transfers may in fact be necessary. Certain lines that used to continue through the loop no longer do (Green was one as I recall). We ran into trouble when we couldn't transfer on the loop, necessitating a walk down the rickety stairway (with a baby in a stroller!) followed by a several block walk to the nearest station of the line we wanted to get on, followed by, "oh hell, we're close enough now, let's just keep walking!"

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Re: Chicago

Postby Andrew_F » September 25th, 2013, 4:05 pm

There are system maps in the vast majority of stations, usually just inside the fare zone and on the platforms. Route maps and timetables are typically by the ticket machines outside the fare zone, and also on platforms at transfer stations, as well as some non-transfer stations...

You can transfer from Blue to anything but Yellow and non-rush Purple, so unless your hotel was in Evanston or Skokie, you made an unnecessary transfer.

Loop track renewal has been over for awhile now, but yes, it was pretty crappy on weekends during the thick of it.

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Re: Chicago

Postby TommyT » April 4th, 2014, 12:07 pm

See... Now why can't we have a vision like this to do more than one line every so often?? http://vision.transitfuture.org/?fb

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Re: Chicago

Postby FISHMANPET » April 4th, 2014, 12:15 pm

Sounds like they're limited by the number of colors they can use for transit lines :lol:

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Re: Chicago

Postby FISHMANPET » April 4th, 2014, 12:20 pm

Also kind of interesting that most of the business and labor supporters are people that directly benefit from transit expansion, real estate, construction, rail car manufacturing, rail and transit operators unions, etc etc.

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Re: Chicago

Postby David Greene » April 7th, 2014, 10:40 am

TommyT wrote:See... Now why can't we have a vision like this to do more than one line every so often?? http://vision.transitfuture.org/?fb
That's one of the worst-designed web sites I've ever encountered, because it's potentially hugely useful but super annoying to use.

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Re: Chicago

Postby Andrew_F » April 28th, 2014, 12:47 am

I personally really don't like that plan. Its foundation is good-- yes, CTA and RTA need to merge, and yes, Chicago needs a transit tax, but the lines it proposes are asinine. The Red, Yellow, and Orange extensions are good (because they're actual planned projects), but the Blue extensions are silly. Extend the already too-long line another 10 miles to Schaumburg and 6 miles to Brookfeild? Yeah, NO. Converting Metra Electric to heavy rail is also stupid as it would be super expensive and complicate operations on that ROW tremendously for very little benefit. If CTA and RTA merge, having a single fare structure and increasing service accomplishes 80% of what converting the line to regular metro rail would. The Brown connection is on-point, and the Cicero line is meh. A rail service connecting Midway and Ohare (especially one that requires taking new ROW) that doesn't stop at any other trip generators is a non-starter. I know the additional south Metra line is proposed just to get support from mouth south-metro legislators, but there's not enough demand for it, and the south suburban airport isn't going to happen. If we do somehow get a metro transit tax, a revised circle line (or at the very least, a Canal St. subway) needs to happen.

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Re: Chicago

Postby mattaudio » April 28th, 2014, 8:06 am

I'm hoping someday Chicago will learn from Toronto or Philadelphia and build the (expensive) downtown tunnels to interline Metra trains and move them towards more of a S-Bahn style of operation. It wouldn't be too bad to connect the trains from the south and north ends of Union Station. More expensive would be to connect the CNW/UP lines to trains heading south from LaSalle St and Millenium Stations.... an east-west tunnel through the Loop would be necessary, in addition to a major grade change since the current CNW/UP tracks are elevated out of Ogilvie.

Chicago has so much potential to make better use of its Metra system, especially on lines that see light to no freight traffic (UP North comes to mind as a way to alleviate overcrowding on the Red Line). Electrification should also be a priority on these lines, and DMUs to allow for cheaper operation of higher frequencies on the diesel lines.

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Re: Chicago

Postby Andrew_F » April 28th, 2014, 11:36 pm

There has been discussion in the past on further electrification, but I believe the railroads are very reluctant to allow it on trackage that isn't owned by Metra outright.

I would have assumed that the commuting patterns are too asymmetric for interling to be of much use. I think it's very unlikely that we will ever see new tunnels connecting Metra Electric and Rock Island with the West Loop terminals. If there were ever a strong desire to do so, I think they would be more likely to use the St. Charles Air Line than to dig new tunnels. However, I think Metra is currently very attached to their terminal system-- the landowners of the old yard south of Roosevelt have been trying to get Metra to vacate the Rock Island ROW through their property in exchange for upgrades to Union and to the track along Canal, but Metra isn't interested.

They are definitely moving towards getting people off of Red and on to UP-North with the new Ravenswood station. Converting some of the old transfer stations back to transfer status as part of Red/Purple Modernization (Wilson, Loyola, I think there might be others), will also help ease crowding on Red.

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Re: Chicago

Postby mattaudio » April 29th, 2014, 8:10 am

My gripe regarding the UP North line is that they're reducing the ROW from three tracks to two in order to build up the berm and get increased bridge clearances for streets under the line. I realize it's not three tracks now, but if they went back to three tracks in addition to electrification, they could do infill stops and increased frequency for local service to take the crush off the Red Line, and they could leave the middle track open for express service in the peak direction between the Loop and Evanston.

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Re: Chicago

Postby lordmoke » April 29th, 2014, 9:15 am

In Chicago news that's actually happening, the CTA wants to build a flyover on the north side so that Brown Line trains can more effectively cross over the Red and Purple Line tracks at the split. It will require the demolition of quite a few buildings. Should be interesting to watch play out:
http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2014 ... bypass.php

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Re: Chicago

Postby twincitizen » April 29th, 2014, 9:36 am

Asking for a friend, why is the Brown Line not interlined with either the Pink or Orange Lines? All 3 lines terminate in The Loop...it seems like two of them could be interlined for operational efficiency, route simplification, and less train congestion downtown.

EDIT: Orange & Brown would make a better marriage. Pink line has much lower ridership/frequency than either. I suppose you could possibly combine Orange & Pink instead, and leave the Brown Line alone.

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Re: Chicago

Postby mattaudio » April 29th, 2014, 3:38 pm

As long as Sheffields is safe....

But it's sort of a shame they are bound by agency silos even worse than we are here in MN. Granted, technology and scale are slightly different, but those gaps are closing. Look at the MTR+KCR in Hong Kong... or how the LIRR has EMUs running all day service. Or how CalTrain will someday operate like that.

The UP North line would be an excellent candidate to be a secondary north-south trunk line. The UP North line could serve as a trunk to Evanston and a branch on the existing Ravenswood brown line. Then the Purple Line could serve the existing Brown Line stations south of Fullerton into the loop with all day service, as well as some strategic Red Line stations when they get rebuilt, adding platforms for the express tracks. There's lots of ways they could do this.

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Re: Chicago

Postby Andrew_F » May 1st, 2014, 1:47 am

twincitizen wrote:Asking for a friend, why is the Brown Line not interlined with either the Pink or Orange Lines? All 3 lines terminate in The Loop...it seems like two of them could be interlined for operational efficiency, route simplification, and less train congestion downtown.

EDIT: Orange & Brown would make a better marriage. Pink line has much lower ridership/frequency than either. I suppose you could possibly combine Orange & Pink instead, and leave the Brown Line alone.
There are actually a few northbound runs every morning that start at midway as Orange Line trains that reidentify as Brown when they leave Roosevelt and then continue on to Kimball. Not sure if they do it southbound as well with any regularity, but they do it northbound every weekday. It's also the go-to reroute when there's any sort of track or station work in the Loop.

As to why they don't do it all the time, I'm really not completely sure, and have definitely wondered myself. They've been using the same series of cars and have had the same platform lengths since 2008. I can come up with a few potential issues that may be contributing factors:
-Desire to service the entire Loop. Connecting from Quincy or Washington/Wells to Union or Ogilvie is a lot easier than doing it from Wabash or Clark/Lake. Same goes for West Loop offices.
-Overcrowding of Lake and Wabash stations. The stations along Wabash, and even moreso State/Lake, are some of the most narrow platforms in the system. Waiting at State and Lake, especially the outer Loop platform, during the evening rush is an interesting experience of aging infrastructure and overcrowding :P
-Accessibility. An interlined Orange/Brown would only have one accessible station in the Loop (Clark/Lake).
-Switching movements at Wells/Lake? I don't know much about it, but perhaps there are certain train movements that tie up the intersection for less time than others? It seems unlikely, but perhaps it's somehow possible that turning from southbound Wells to Lake is particularly problematic?
-Ridership/needed headways. Well 65,000 and 105,000 aren't all that different from eachother (and would be closer-matched than the branches on either Red or Blue) the ridership on Orange is much less centered on commuting than Brown, and is more even throughout the day. The disparity between their ridership at peak commuting periods is greater than the overall ridership numbers suggest.

Interlining for overnight service would be something I'd love to see. Every 25 minutes would be enough.


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