Chicago tries to ease traffic mess ar...

Chicago tries to ease traffic mess around train stations -- Sci...

There are 29 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jun 1, 2008, titled Chicago tries to ease traffic mess around train stations -- Sci.... In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Changes include allowing 2-way traffic, limiting curb access at Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center Jon Hilkevitch Getting Around 5:36 PM CDT, June 1, 2008 Reconfiguring some one-way streets ...

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sue

Dubois, IN

#1 Jun 1, 2008
where is the main posting board?

this is the only way I know to get there.
find a story with comments......
no comments yet on this one but I'll post to find my way.

Since: Oct 07

Chicago

#2 Jun 1, 2008
I remember when Union Station's taxi courts were open prior to 911 and that access was very nice. However, we all totally understand the concern about security.

Perhaps another alternative would be to reinstate a taxi court, but do it in the parking garage directly to the south of Union Station. The taxi court could be configured to use the west side of the first floor and pedestrians can utilize the existing tunnel between the parking garage and the station itself. This would afford the access the taxi's need in a much more controlled environment, but also afford the station the security it needs without major modification on the streets.

Sadly, we see how nice it would have been to maintain the original concourse of Union Station which had a taxi concourse along the river. Also, the high ceilings were nice for the throngs using the station. Big crowds and low ceilings are incongruent.

Clearly, something needs to be done because the day of the intercity train is quickly returning because of the high fuel cost issue. I look forward to the day when we can board hourly trains and be in Indianapolis in two hours and not have to worry about the weather or flight delays. Besides, the new fast trains would use electricity and we should be able to make it at a more stable cost than oil.
Gordon

Chicago, IL

#3 Jun 1, 2008
Consideration should be given to making State Street one way south from Division to Wacker Drive and making Wabash one way north from Wacker to Walton. State Street is so congested with all the new hotels, businesses and condominiums that it is dangerous to pedestrians trying to cross between vehicles jamming intersections. State Street southbound would complement the northbound Dearborn.
Kevin

La Grange, IL

#4 Jun 1, 2008
Making the streets around Union Station 2-way would be a disaster. Save the money on a traffic study and just look at the volume of traffic and the width of the streets. Enforcement is the key, along with traffic aids at the station entrances. Moving Megabus would greatly reduce pedestrian congestion.
ChiTowner

Chicago, IL

#5 Jun 1, 2008
Other morning rush, I find downtown Chicago to be pretty low-key. It can get crowded at times, like special events, but I find the Loop area during the day to be slow.
Pragmatic

Indianapolis, IN

#6 Jun 1, 2008
Union Station has many problems in handling the crush of commuters not to mention the Amtrak traffic. On any given weekday; take a look at the crowded concourses that were sized for trains in use decades ago; take a look at the packed (and often broken) escalators and choked human traffic trying to exit through the narrow hallways of the station and then consider the article written today about the inadequate sidewalks and streets surrounding the station. Now ask yourself, given the price of fuel continuing to rise and the likely scenario that passenger and commuter rail traffic is only going to rise why isn't Chicago examing a major rebuild of this train station to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone involved!
GFlick

United States

#7 Jun 1, 2008
It's easy to blame incompetent and aggressive drivers, but throughtless pedestrians shoulder blame, too. When vehicular traffic is unable to turn a conern within a reasonable span of time, the drivers are bound to push safety limits. What about implementing the "Barnes Dance" system http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Barnes during rush hours, with traffic control personnel to ensure that both pedestrians and drivers obey the rules?
Commuter

United States

#8 Jun 1, 2008
THANK GOD they are FINALLY doing something about this. Perhaps they should put up cameras at these intersections to aggressively ticket those effing cab drivers who love to use pedestrians as target practice. I am so sick and tired of fearing for my safety every day I walk from the train to my office. I bang on their hoods, pound my big umbrella into their cars, curse at them, and nothing helps. But really, if I could I would tazer them. Those cabbies are evil buttholes who should be shot.
Jean SmilingCoyote

Chicago, IL

#9 Jun 1, 2008
What good is any of this without enforcement? I looked up the "Barnes Dance" and see that it's an expansion of the "hesitation light," in which all vehicle traffic gets the red light to allow laggards and scofflaws and turners to clear the intersection, before the other street gets the green. If you're going to let all pedestrians cross at once, the vehicles must be cleared out first. This includes the bleeping bike messengers. It still gets down to enforcement. And not the enforcement I've seen at State & Congress, in which traffic aides allow left-turners to go through their red light while pedestrians are starting to cross.
Thomas McMillen

Chicago, IL

#10 Jun 1, 2008
Simple fix would be a bridge helping pedestrians cross busy intersections, a curved bridge that connects street corner to street corner, similar to the way an el platform works. They could address 10-15 busy intersections and build these bridges.

The could even be made to be ascetically pleasing.

It would cost money, but that wouldn't be a problem if the city had any fiscal discipline.
Realist

United States

#11 Jun 1, 2008
"Rush-hour commuters who walk near the rail stations have either witnessed or experienced close calls and crashes. It seems there are no guaranteed safety zones—not even on sidewalks or in marked crosswalks—as vehicles weave, jut and sneak through an obstacle course of hazards."

Are you kidding me?? Drive through that area and see the pedestrians ignoring crossing lights and crossing the street anywhere BUT at a signaled crossing. When the light is green, as a driver, I shouldn't have to duck pedestrians crossing illegally. Crack down on pedestrians, not drivers, in the congested downtown area!
Realist

United States

#12 Jun 1, 2008
Commuter wrote:
THANK GOD they are FINALLY doing something about this. Perhaps they should put up cameras at these intersections to aggressively ticket those effing cab drivers who love to use pedestrians as target practice. I am so sick and tired of fearing for my safety every day I walk from the train to my office. I bang on their hoods, pound my big umbrella into their cars, curse at them, and nothing helps. But really, if I could I would tazer them. Those cabbies are evil buttholes who should be shot.
you're a jaywalker too, aren't you? stick to crossing at ped crossing with the light and you won't need to bang on cars. banging on my car with your umbrella would be a big mistake for you.
Cathy

United States

#13 Jun 1, 2008
I know the businesses offering shuttle buses to their employees are trying to do the right thing, but seriously, those behemoth vehicles mess up traffic around the train station in a big way. Why do they get special privileges to occupy so much space?
Why Cry Now

AOL

#14 Jun 1, 2008
Realist I'll go you one better. Go
inside Union Station and stand on the
south concourse during the morning
rush and watch the commuters as they
depart their inbound Metra trains on
tracks 2, 4, 6, and 8. If the people
bunch-up at the doors leading from
the platforms into the station, the
people behind will actually cross the
tracks to the adjacent platforms which is a no no and dangerous since the trains are constantally arriving
and the engineer has to creep his
train in and constantally sounf his
horn. As a retired Amtrak employee
I've seen it happen many times.
not really

Chicago, IL

#16 Jun 1, 2008
Realist wrote:
<quoted text>
you're a jaywalker too, aren't you? stick to crossing at ped crossing with the light and you won't need to bang on cars. banging on my car with your umbrella would be a big mistake for you.
You must be shrooming. If you drive downtown you must get out of your car at some point, unless you have a garage in your building. Taxi cabs and some drivers don't give a rat's tail about the walking signals. It is true that jaywalkers cause a lot of problems, one of which is taking their lives into their own hands, but even pedestrians who follow the signals have to contend with drivers who ignore the crossing signals and insist on trying to either (1) block the crosswalk or (2) race over the crosswalk before the driver thinks the pedestrian can get there. Or, at least when they think their front bumper can get there.

Too many drivers, especially drivers of panel trucks, think that their front bumper is the "last word," seeming to forget that they have another 18 to 40 feet of vehicle behind their driver's seat that they need to clear.

And by the way, making threats on the internet? How sad. Stay classy, "Realist"
Matthew

Berwyn, IL

#18 Jun 2, 2008
My idea would be to shutoff Jackson and Adams to traffic between Canal and Wacker during the hours of 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm, Monday through Thursday.

Yeah, it would suck for some people trying to catch taxis, but unless the City starts tearing up streets and sidewalks to construct dedicated taxi hubs, I don't see a solution.
PCC

Chicago, IL

#19 Jun 2, 2008
I imagine that the two-way traffic would work the way that the contraflow bus lanes on Canal work. Part of the trouble is that there's not enough curb space, so perhaps taking away moving lanes to add curb lanes and islands might be an option.

Bridges would be prohibitively expensive, perhaps $5 million apiece.

I bet the guy complaining about jaywalkers has no concept of what "stop line" means.
Walker

Oak Park, IL

#20 Jun 2, 2008
Although I agree that traffic around the commuter stations needs re-working, I also believe we pedestrians need to start adhering to the traffic rules that apply to us. They include crossing at the cross walk and waiting on the curb for our signal to move.
Jerry

Chicago, IL

#21 Jun 2, 2008
The underground taxi stand at Union Station really need to be reopened. I believe that this is the main problem. Yes. Taxi driver do drop off passengers all around the station. But at least before 2001 the dozens of waiting taxi were off the street in the underground area.
Addie

United States

#22 Jun 2, 2008
It is not only the buses, but people parking their cars while they are waiting to either pick up or deliver passengers to Union Station. They stay parked chatting in their cars at a plainly marked bus stop. while passengers are trying to get on CTA Buseswhich cannot access the curb and CTA passengers have to get on the bus in the middle of the street. If the City is looking for money, that would be the place to station a traffic cop, probably hand out over 50 a day. .

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