From Parking to Petunias? Market Makeover Proposed for Logan Square Blue Line Lot
Jan09

From Parking to Petunias? Market Makeover Proposed for Logan Square Blue Line Lot

The process of elevating Chicago’s surface parking lots to higher purposes continues not only in the downtown area, but also in the neighborhood commercial corridors. One of the more visible urban keystones being reconsidered is the parking lot adjacent to the Blue Line subway station in Logan Square. There’s been a lot of talk lately about building some kind of residential structure there dedicated entirely to affordable...

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Clark Junction Flyover a Go as CTA Gets Another $Billion for Red Line
Jan09

Clark Junction Flyover a Go as CTA Gets Another $Billion for Red Line

One of the Chicago Transit Authority’s most notorious bottlenecks is going to finally become uncorked.  According to Crain’s Chicago Business, President Obama has approved more than a billion dollars in upgrades for the CTA’s Red Line. Part of the money will go to reducing congestion at the L section where the Brown Line splits off from the Red and Puple Line tracks.  Red and Purple Line trains have to stop in their...

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Amtrak Honored For Union Station Renovations
Nov18

Amtrak Honored For Union Station Renovations

If you prowl the halls of Congress, you don’t hear a lot of good things said about Amtrak.  It’s a popular punching bag among beltway insiders who like to grips about money not spent in their districts.    But if you’re a regular Amtrak rider (3k miles this year for me), you’ve probably noticed that things are — slowly, but surely — getting better at America’s largest passenger railroad. One of those...

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CTA’s New Belmont Station Plan Includes More Dinosaur Ribs
Oct20

CTA’s New Belmont Station Plan Includes More Dinosaur Ribs

The Chicago Transit Authority continues to get improving marks when it comes to public sector architecture. For decades, the bus and train quango’s attention to design was… shall we say… less than inspired.  But that’s changed in recent years, starting with the 35th Street Red Line Station, the Morgan Orange/Pink Line station, then the Cermak Green Line Station, and finally the very ambitious Washington/Wabash...

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Yet Another Huge West Loop Tower Proposed – Will This One Actually Be Built?
Sep09

Yet Another Huge West Loop Tower Proposed – Will This One Actually Be Built?

Real estate developers in Chicago are an unusually tight-lipped bunch.  So it was refreshing to read that Sterling Bay Managing Director Andy Gloor was overcome by the gift of gab during an event at the Standard Club sponsored by Crain’s Chicago Business. Mr. Gloor told the audience about his company’s plan for a 958-foot-tall office tower for the Union Station area.  If completed, it would become...

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CTA Quincy Station Is Next In Line For Rehab
Jun09

CTA Quincy Station Is Next In Line For Rehab

The Chicago Transit Authority has announced it will spend $18 million renovating the historic Quincy L Station in the Loop.  The project is just the latest in a series of CTA station additions and upgrades in recent years, including the ongoing $75 million consolidation of the Madison/Wabash and Randolph/Wabash Stations  into the new Madison/Wabash Station on the opposite side of The Loop. The Quincy Station is best known as the only...

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Wilson Red Line Station Renovation On Track
Mar28

Wilson Red Line Station Renovation On Track

Work on the CTA Wilson Avenue Red Line station continues, where red and purple line trains are now using the new section of rail on the south-bound side of the platform. Renovation began in 2014 for the Wilson stop, long maligned as one of the least pleasant stations along the CTA elevated train routes. When completed in Fall of 2017, the Wilson station will be completely rebuilt, with wider stairways, new escalators, and improved...

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O’Hare to get Eighth Runway, More Passenger Fees
Feb01

O’Hare to get Eighth Runway, More Passenger Fees

The Midwest’s biggest airport is getting even bigger.  The city of Chicago has landed funding for an eighth runway at O’Hare International Airport. At one time it was the world’s busiest airport.  Today it’s number eight and better known for frustration, delays, and price gouging.  In January of this year, just 74% of flights left on time, and 76% arrived on time, according to the USDOT.  JD Power’s 2015...

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Union Station Transit Center Coming Together
Jan25

Union Station Transit Center Coming Together

Work continues in the West Loop on the Union Station Transit Center that will connect Amtrak and Metra passengers to CTA buses, while alleviating the traffic tie-ups long a part of everyday life on South Canal Street and West Jack Boulevard. It took awhile for progress to be visible here, beyond the digging up of the former surface parking lot, and foundation work. But now, the future bus shelters look a lot like, well, future bus...

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Chicago’s BRT-Lite “Loop Link” Finally Links Loop
Dec20

Chicago’s BRT-Lite “Loop Link” Finally Links Loop

The Chicago flavor of Bus Rapid Transit made its debut earlier today, as the first Loop Link buses trundled between Union Station and Michigan Avenue.  The idea is to speed bus pacing through the most congested part of the city by giving buses dedicated lanes and priority at traffic lights, reducing the number of stations, making boarding easier, and eventually implementing a pre-paid fare system to move the Ventra waits from inside...

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