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Old 12-01-2011, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,481 posts, read 10,059,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
Oak Park/Forest Park and Evanston are the only suburban walkable areas with easy access to Chicago via frequent rapid transit (the el).
Quote:
True, although, only OP and Evanston has the el running through its CBD. Once the Oakton yellow line stop is completed, Skokie will also have an el station in its CBD.
Yes, but that's not what you said in your first post.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,974,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubssoxfan View Post
Yes, but that's not what you said in your first post.
I agree, I was unclear. The point I was trying to make is that the best walkable areas in the suburbs surround the downtown Metra stations. OP and Evanston are unique in that their downtowns have both Metra and el connections to Chicago. To me, at least, having the el within the core walkable part of town is an important distinction. Park Ridge has a lovely downtown area (with Metra access), but if you miss the Metra and don't want to wait 1 or 2 hours, you have to get to the blue line, over a mile away.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
4,028 posts, read 6,224,730 times
Reputation: 1305
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
I agree, I was unclear. The point I was trying to make is that the best walkable areas in the suburbs surround the downtown Metra stations. OP and Evanston are unique in that their downtowns have both Metra and el connections to Chicago. To me, at least, having the el within the core walkable part of town is an important distinction. Park Ridge has a lovely downtown area (with Metra access), but if you miss the Metra and don't want to wait 1 or 2 hours, you have to get to the blue line, over a mile away.
There is regular bus service right by the Park Ridge Metra station. I know it's not the same as the L, but it's fairly convenient.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,481 posts, read 10,059,157 times
Reputation: 2784
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
I agree, I was unclear. The point I was trying to make is that the best walkable areas in the suburbs surround the downtown Metra stations. OP and Evanston are unique in that their downtowns have both Metra and el connections to Chicago. To me, at least, having the el within the core walkable part of town is an important distinction. Park Ridge has a lovely downtown area (with Metra access), but if you miss the Metra and don't want to wait 1 or 2 hours, you have to get to the blue line, over a mile away.
Very well stated and differentiated!
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:01 AM
 
28,384 posts, read 67,954,698 times
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While I don't disagree that the more frequent service on the El does give a different feel to the areas like Evanston or Oak Park that have such service I do question if there are tangible POSITIVE results attributable to having folks show up for rides elsewhere that are not on a standard work schedule. When I think of things that seem like a legitimate reason to be on the El at other than "rush hour" I think of things like doctor's / dentist's appointments I have not noticed any particularly high density of either near the Evanston or Oak Park El stops. I have sometimes encountered folks on the Blue Line heading to Cook Co Hospital, and while I suppose it is better than walking the thought of whatever communicable pathogens they might be spewing has generally made me think twice about where I sit / what I touch.

The continually declining price of used cars makes me think that basically anyone with a little bit of resourcefulness could probably justify having a vehicle for trips in the metro area and I wonder if eventually the low volumes of off peak riders will force the CTA to adopt a more sane Metra style schedule...
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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So Chet, if I understand you correctly, you don't think off-rush hour public transit is a worthwhile investment? Does that include all CTA service including buses?
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:30 AM
 
28,384 posts, read 67,954,698 times
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Default Pretty much...

I mean the nostalgia factor aside, does it really make sense to run a big empty train or bus around in circles? If the things ran on magic fairy dust it might be less of waste, but the majority of buses are spewing diesel exhaust and not as efficient as a little Jetta and certainly not a Prius or CNG Civic...

The electricity for the El trains is coming from the filthy belching coal fired plants that ought to be shut down...

It is only a matter of time before the environmental load and operational overhead are just too burdensome...

Rush hour is a different proposition altogether -- when those buses or trains are FULL the "CO2 per mile" that anything sort of a fleet of Leaf plug-ins are excellent.


Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
So Chet, if I understand you correctly, you don't think off-rush hour public transit is a worthwhile investment? Does that include all CTA service including buses?
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,974,524 times
Reputation: 3820
Well, I don't really have the time nor the expertise to rebut Chet's points, and its kinda of an aside (albeit an interesting one for me) from the original point of the thread.

That being said, as Chet acknowledges, having an el in your suburban CBD definitely adds a different character to your suburb. It is appealing for folks with non-traditional schedules (DFHs, Bohemian-types, students, flex-time workers, part-time workers, retirees) as it allows easy access to the biggest walkable neighborhood (Chicago Loop + surrounding neighborhoods) in the region. Contrary to what Chet believes, there are actually reasons to travel around Chicagoland during off-peak times besides doctor and dentist appointments.

Last edited by oakparkdude; 12-02-2011 at 08:52 AM..
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:53 AM
 
28,384 posts, read 67,954,698 times
Reputation: 18189
Default Agreed. But I suspect days are numbered...

Barring a revolution in how the folks that drive those CTA trains and buses are compensated I think we'll be experiencing a sunsetting of the 24x7 service quite soon. I really don't consider that much of a loss though. If we turned back the calendar to a time when plants had a 24x7 workforce I suspect that the societal necessity of such service is quite out of step with the more humane sorts of hours that businesses keep today. The dropping costs of personal mobility solutions ought to be lauded as an advancement for the standards of living. I doubt that folks slaving away in SE Asia to deliver container ships of electronic toys to Americans are pinning for a better subway as much as they hope to have 9-5 jobs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
Well, I don't really have the time nor the expertise to rebut Chet's points, and its kinda of an aside (albeit an interesting one for me) from the original point of the thread.

That being said, as Chet acknowledges, having an el in your suburban CBD definitely adds a different character to your suburb. It is appealing for folks with non-traditional schedules (DFHs, Bohemian-types, students, flex-time workers, part-time workers, retirees) as it allows easy access to the biggest walkable neighborhood (Chicago Loop + surrounding neighborhoods) in the region.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:00 AM
 
10,287 posts, read 12,407,584 times
Reputation: 5967
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
So Chet, if I understand you correctly, you don't think off-rush hour public transit is a worthwhile investment? Does that include all CTA service including buses?
I think you understood him. And he's nuts.
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