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Old July 4th, 2007, 09:54 AM   #141
cbotnyse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuyabri View Post
Are there any more websites like this one http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us/ that is still being updated?
That is the exact idea I had in mind when I started my website. (still a work in progress) Great find!
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Old July 6th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #142
The Urban Politician
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I thought this was pretty cool

http://www.suntimes.com/business/457...omed06.article
ComEd's power play
UTILITIES | West Loop project designed to meet future need

July 6, 2007
BY FRANCINE KNOWLES [email protected]
Most Chicagoans aren't aware there's a super highway under construction in the city. It's running from the Southwest Side to Goose Island, much of it underground, and when finished next year, it won't be your typical roadway.

The route will be used to transport into the heart of Chicago's central business district 400 megawatts of electricity at 345,000 thousand volts --enough power to serve about 120,000 average size homes or about equal to the output from one medium-size power plant.

ComEd's $345 million energy super highway, called the West Loop Project, connects the seven-month-old Goose Island substation to southwest and South Loop substations and is designed to help meet future demand for power and improve reliability in the growing downtown business district.

"All you have to do is take a look downtown and see all the cranes," said Fidel Marquez, ComEd vice president of external affairs. "Development is happening, and the amount of energy being demanded is increasing. In order to keep supplying that demand and doing it in a reliable manner, we really have to increase the size of the pipe and the number of pipes going into the city."
The effort is the largest and most complex transmission project to date by the Chicago utility. It will deliver power underground, overhead and through a 55-foot-deep tunnel being dug under the Chicago River near Goose Island. The project entails going under seven separate train and car viaducts.

Two transmission lines, one 10 miles long and the other three miles long and both capable of transporting 345,000 volts of electricity, are being installed. Nearly eight miles of the lines are being placed underground in trenches in city streets. Part of the route runs under the Ohio feeder ramp and underneath railroad tracks at Union Station. A little more than three miles runs overhead and is requiring the construction of 27 new overhead transmission poles --18 of which are already up.

The project, which reached the halfway point last month, is on track for completion in June 2008.

ComEd's investment in the project is its biggest to date for transmission infrastructure and is equal to the entire cost of its transmission plan additions between 2001 and 2004.

Since 2003, the company has invested $800 million in its transmission system, which includes 200 substations and 5,800 miles of high-voltage power lines that deliver power across northern Illinois to individual customers.

ComEd watched its systemwide peak summer load hit a record 23,613 megawatts last August, up more than 9 percent since August 2001, and has forecast a 2 percent per year growth rate in peak load between 2007 and 2017.

The West Loop project is altering ComEd's transmission system from its present hub and spoke design to a network model that will provide distribution substations with multiple sources of power and additional capacity. It includes the underground installation of nine 138,000-volt transmission lines from the West Loop to five existing electrical substations that will transport power north and southeast.

A Southwest Side substation is being expanded. Four new circuit breakers are being added to four presently on the site. That will "add additional switching flexibility to allow the operators to switch between different circuits if equipment fails, or there's a storm, or for maintenance," said Bruce Whiteway, West Loop project manager.

Operators could take the damaged equipment out of service and then use the switches to switch in another circuit to restore power, he explained.

"That boosts reliability," Whiteway said.

ComEd spokesman Luis Diaz-Perez noted that since 1998, outage frequency at the utility has dropped 33 percent and the duration of those outages has fallen nearly 50 percent.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 07:08 PM   #143
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I thought this was pretty cool

http://www.suntimes.com/business/457...omed06.article
ComEd's power play
UTILITIES | West Loop project designed to meet future need

July 6, 2007
BY FRANCINE KNOWLES [email protected]
Most Chicagoans aren't aware there's a super highway under construction in the city. It's running from the Southwest Side to Goose Island, much of it underground, and when finished next year, it won't be your typical roadway.

The route will be used to transport into the heart of Chicago's central business district 400 megawatts of electricity at 345,000 thousand volts --enough power to serve about 120,000 average size homes or about equal to the output from one medium-size power plant.


ComEd's $345 million energy super highway, called the West Loop Project, connects the seven-month-old Goose Island substation to southwest and South Loop substations and is designed to help meet future demand for power and improve reliability in the growing downtown business district.

"All you have to do is take a look downtown and see all the cranes," said Fidel Marquez, ComEd vice president of external affairs. "Development is happening, and the amount of energy being demanded is increasing. In order to keep supplying that demand and doing it in a reliable manner, we really have to increase the size of the pipe and the number of pipes going into the city."
The effort is the largest and most complex transmission project to date by the Chicago utility. It will deliver power underground, overhead and through a 55-foot-deep tunnel being dug under the Chicago River near Goose Island. The project entails going under seven separate train and car viaducts.

Two transmission lines, one 10 miles long and the other three miles long and both capable of transporting 345,000 volts of electricity, are being installed. Nearly eight miles of the lines are being placed underground in trenches in city streets. Part of the route runs under the Ohio feeder ramp and underneath railroad tracks at Union Station. A little more than three miles runs overhead and is requiring the construction of 27 new overhead transmission poles --18 of which are already up.

The project, which reached the halfway point last month, is on track for completion in June 2008.

ComEd's investment in the project is its biggest to date for transmission infrastructure and is equal to the entire cost of its transmission plan additions between 2001 and 2004.

Since 2003, the company has invested $800 million in its transmission system, which includes 200 substations and 5,800 miles of high-voltage power lines that deliver power across northern Illinois to individual customers.

ComEd watched its systemwide peak summer load hit a record 23,613 megawatts last August, up more than 9 percent since August 2001, and has forecast a 2 percent per year growth rate in peak load between 2007 and 2017.

The West Loop project is altering ComEd's transmission system from its present hub and spoke design to a network model that will provide distribution substations with multiple sources of power and additional capacity. It includes the underground installation of nine 138,000-volt transmission lines from the West Loop to five existing electrical substations that will transport power north and southeast.

A Southwest Side substation is being expanded. Four new circuit breakers are being added to four presently on the site. That will "add additional switching flexibility to allow the operators to switch between different circuits if equipment fails, or there's a storm, or for maintenance," said Bruce Whiteway, West Loop project manager.

Operators could take the damaged equipment out of service and then use the switches to switch in another circuit to restore power, he explained.

"That boosts reliability," Whiteway said.

ComEd spokesman Luis Diaz-Perez noted that since 1998, outage frequency at the utility has dropped 33 percent and the duration of those outages has fallen nearly 50 percent.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 08:48 AM   #144
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Love this news

Chicago's Riverwalk gains food, services
Mayor Daley touts plans to extend pedestrian way around bridges


By Gary Washburn
Tribune staff reporter
Published July 6, 2007, 8:06 PM CDT

Seeking to steer the Chicago River toward a new era, Mayor Richard Daley on Friday welcomed seven summertime businesses to the river's banks and outlined plans for $50 million in downtown enhancements.

The businesses, including five cafes, will operate outdoors, but Daley ultimately hopes to line the river with permanent shops and restaurants and make the Riverwalk pedestrian-friendly for its full milelong stretch between Lake Shore Drive and Franklin Street.



"As far as I'm concerned, this is just the beginning," he said. "Over the next few years we intend to attract additional vendors and work with the private sector to build year-round concession facilities along the Riverwalk."

The city three years ago sought a master concessionaire to lease and manage riverfront retail spaces, but the effort proved unsuccessful.

Asked about the establishment of permanent shops and restaurants, Daley said, "You don't want to jeopardize the vendor bringing them down here if there is no business, so you really have to market this, and that is what we are trying to do."

Several restaurateurs operated on the river's south bank downtown during the warm months of 1998 and 1999, but the reconstruction of Wacker Drive, which runs along the river, put a temporary end to retail operations.

The new eateries will offer fare ranging from French cuisine to hot dogs. They will be joined by Bike Chicago, a bicycle rental; Women-Eye, which sell arts, crafts and souvenirs made by low-income businesswomen; and a water taxi service operated by Shoreline Sightseeing.

The Riverwalk now is broken up by bridge structures between Michigan Avenue and Franklin, but the city is planning to build eight permanent under-bridge pathways extending into the river by 15 or 20 feet to allow pedestrians to walk the full length. The Michigan Avenue pathway is in the design phase, but each structure will cost an estimated $5 million, and officials said the construction timetable will be dictated by their ability to obtain federal funds.

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Old July 10th, 2007, 07:04 AM   #145
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I finally got up the guts to try Ronny's Steak today. I decided not to spring for the full dinner, so I got the steak sandwich instead. The guy asked if I wanted cheese, I asked for mozzarella, and I got no cheese. He didn't charge me for it, so I didn't complain.

The sandwich, however, was actually pretty good; on garlic bread, with nice peppers and onions. The steak was about 80% "real tasty" and 20% "why can't I chew through this?". I also had a tall glass of a punch/lemonade they had from a large bucket, with pieces of orange and watermelon in it. That was very good.

All in all, 4/5 stars. Excellent value for the prices.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 03:22 AM   #146
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I have a random question.

What are the boundaries of Downtown Chicago and what is its current population? I would imagine it to be well over 100,000?
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Old July 12th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #147
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https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=482675

Using 2000 census data, adding the populations of the 2nd and 42nd Wards, which enclose most of downtown, we get 113,346. Since the 2nd Ward contains some odd gerrymandered pieces of the West Side that clearly are not downtown, I'll subtract about 20,000 off of that, leaving 93,000. Since downtown has undoubtedly gained at least 7000 people since 2000, yes, I would put downtown population above 100,000.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 03:37 PM   #148
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Determining Downtown Population

There is a much more accurate way to determine Downtown Population. Ward boundaries are way to expansive. You need to look at Census Tracts and then go back to the data files. Not that hard and I may do it if we could ever come up with a North South and Western boundary of "Downtown".

Here are 2 Census Tract Maps of North and South Downtown. The bold red numbers represent the tract number and then there normally broken down into quads, here with an orange 1 -4.



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Old July 12th, 2007, 10:45 PM   #149
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A quick and dirty way to look at this is to use ZIP codes. These cover North Ave to 16th, with a western boundary of Halsted-Kinzie-Ashland-Roosevelt, so it picks up the West Loop (but misses the Prairie District south of 16th).


Last edited by Mr Downtown; July 12th, 2007 at 10:53 PM.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:52 AM   #150
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Can somebody explain to me why the Marquette Building, even though it's been restored, still keeps losing terra-cotta pieces from the facade?
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Old July 17th, 2007, 07:28 AM   #151
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Chicago is projected to have a 2010 Downtown population of about 150,000. I don't know how accurate this source is because the figure for Los Angeles is way off, but I thought that I would share it with you guys.

http://www.brook.edu/es/urban/TOP21FIN.PDF
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Old July 17th, 2007, 07:47 AM   #152
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According to this source, Downtown Chicago had a 2000 population of 73,000 and is expected to more than double that amount to 165,000 by 2010.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=a6YZZU.RnkQs
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Old July 17th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #153
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Did anyone else read this article in the past Sunday's Chicago Tribune Magazine? I liked it, at least for it's comedic touch if nothing else:

There goes the neighborhood
A NEW YORK STATE OF MIND THREATENS TO TAKE OVER OUR STREETS. WOULD YOU WANT TO LIVE IN NoPoSoCo?

BY MICHAEL AUSTIN. (Michael Austin is a frequent contributor to the Magazine)
Published July 15, 2007


I ONCE SUGGESTED THAT MY NEIGHBORHOOD should be renamed NoNoWeWeLeLi (north of North, west of Wells and left of Lincoln), a mocking reference to New Yorkers' penchant for using abbreviated street names and other geographic markers to designate neighborhoods. Now, to my horror, this insidious practice is migrating to Chicago and has begun to take root.

I spotted my first red flag a few years ago when someone referred to the cluster of art galleries around Superior and Huron as SuHu, obviously riffing on the New York neighborhood SoHo (south of Houston Street). I honestly got tingles on the back of my neck knowing that the SuHu idea was out there and that people might pick it up; thankfully, few have so far.

When did River North lose its ring? And let's just pretend for a second that we are, indeed, going to start inventing these abbreviated place names. Is that the best we can come up with? SuHu? Why not rename the section of the city bounded by Ohio, Wells, North and Dearborn OhWellNoDear? Printer's Row could just as well be called NoPoSoCo (north of Polk, south of Congress). If we added east of Clark, west of State to that one, Printer's Row could henceforth be known as the upscale NoPoSoCoEaClaWeSta.

It is even leaching into the private sector. It was novel when the Park Hyatt announced that its new restaurant would be called NoMI (for "North Michigan" Avenue), but since then there have been too many copycats. Not long ago I saw an ad for a real estate development called SoNo.

Oh, no.

The thing is, Chicago already has great neighborhood names, ones with history: The Loop, Lincoln Square, Archer Heights, South Shore, Pullman, Hegewisch, Bridgeport and the most exquisitely named neighborhood of them all--Austin (see byline).

Some neighborhoods even have neighborhoods. The legendary Bronzeville is part of the Douglas neighborhood, and Wrigleyville is in Lakeview. Isn't Back of the Yards, which, along with Canaryville, is in New City, better than BacOYa? You laugh, but in New York this could become part of the lexicon just as easily as TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal) did.

In some cases--TriBeCa being a classic example--an abbreviation is a timesaver: seven dreadfully long syllables whittled down to just three. Think of the time Manhattanites save in a day if they are among those who must speak of the triangle below Canal repeatedly. How long does it take to say "South Loop," though? SoLo, which has been floated out there as an alternative to South Loop, believe it or not, doesn't really save anyone any time.

This New York abbreviation game has now spread into Brooklyn, where there is a neighborhood called DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), which at least saves people more time than TriBeCa does.

I understand that every once in a while people start living in neighborhoods that once were not people-friendly and maybe did not even have a proper name. Or else the neighborhood had shabby housing and now has spiffy housing that demands a spiffier handle than say, Kilgubbin, which was once an Irish shantytown and now is part of the gentrifying area around what remains of Cabrini-Green--itself perhaps now part of Lincoln Park. But the abbreviation thing is just not for Chicago.

I could see it crippling our city if we did. Imagine the endless Abbott & Costello routine that would ensue if we started referring to any little section West of Homan as WHo.

"So, where do you live?"

"WHo."

"No, where?"

"WHo."

"What?"

"WHo."

"Who?

"Exactly."

So let's dispense with the abbreviation nonsense and leave DUMBO where it belongs, in New York.

Either that or let's one-up New York and change the name of the entire city to SoHo (south of Howard.).
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Old July 17th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #154
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http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune....ef-cooks-.html

'Top Chef' cooks up a move to Chicago
Bravo has ordered up another season of "Top Chef," and the upcoming fourth edition of the show will be filmed in Chicago.

"We love moving the show from place to place; it gives it a completely different feel," Bravo executive Frances Berwick said in an interview after announcing the news at the annual Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. "Chicago is a hotbed of great talent and it felt like the next logical step."

Season 4 of "Top Chef" will be filmed this year, but before the brutally cold weather hits, according to Berwick. “We have figured out how to not film it in the winter – that was a prerequisite,” Berwick said.

Casting will get underway this month, and Bravo will be looking for cooking mavens in Windy City and around the country. The current season, which includes Chicago contestant Dale Levitski, is set in Miami.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #155
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..

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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:23 AM   #156
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Maybe Mr. Downtown or some other knowledgeable person can fill me in here:

What is the status of the three downtown streetcar tunnels? The north portal of the LaSalle tunnel still exists, but it does not connect to anything.

Are they simply sealed, or have they been removed? Were they flooded in 1992? Can they in any way be restored, perhaps, for BRT or light rail?
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:42 PM   #157
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So far as I know, all three tunnels are reasonably dry, but sealed at both ends. They are not connected to the Chicago Tunnel Company system, so they did not flood in 1992. The portal you see on LaSalle just south of Kinzie is merely a passage to Carroll Avenue. The river tunnel portal was north of Kinzie. One portal of the Washington Street tunnel was still visible under the North Western Station trainshed until sometime in the late 80s.

As recently as the mid 90s, there was talk about reopening the Van Buren Street tunnel (actually midblock between Jackson and Van Buren) as an all-weather walkway between Union Station and Sears Tower. I haven't heard anything in years.

Click here to read more about Chicago's tunnels.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 08:59 PM   #158
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What do you guys think of the new Tribune website look?
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Old July 21st, 2007, 02:47 AM   #159
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I think the new online Trib look is a downgrade. The online Sun-Times used to be pathetic but its new look is much improved and the Trib had made theirs worse IMO. I actually prefer the online Sun-Times better now.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 04:53 AM   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
As recently as the mid 90s, there was talk about reopening the Van Buren Street tunnel (actually midblock between Jackson and Van Buren) as an all-weather walkway between Union Station and Sears Tower. I haven't heard anything in years.
I think the LaSalle Street tunnel could be quite useful if they ever build the Carroll Avenue BRT, as a way for buses to access the Loop quickly. I don't know about the relative sizes of modern buses vs. historical streetcars, but it seems to me that the tunnel should be wide enough to clear two buses side-by-side. Hopefully, once Trump and 300 North LaSalle are completed, serious discussion of the BRT can commence.

I can't think of a good use for the Van Buren tunnel, other than what you mentioned.

The Washington Tunnel could be used as part of the planned Washington Street busway.
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