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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's 2050 and you've just awoken from a 40 year + Rip Van Winkle induced sleep. What will Chicago's public transportion look like? What new rapid transit lines will CTA have built not only in the city, but the suburbs? Any significant increase in Metra trackage? Will one (or more) intermodal terminal be built? How significant will water transportation (lake and river) be? How will interurban lines function with current intraurban ones (will Milw and/or Rockford be drawn into our system)??

I'm not asking you what you would like to see. I'm asking you what you would expect to see.
 

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The City
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What I expect to see:

A loud, rusty, rumbling old L train that's running at 5 mph.

A State Government that doesn't give a damn. A Mayor with grandiose ideas and visions for 'Chicago 2064 Space-Olympics' and every possible improvement in the book except for transit.

Parking lots with foliage and trees in them (to make them 'environmentally friendly'). People driving aroud in H-powered cars and complaining about parking (but with bumper stickers that say 'Earth day 2048').

The Circle Line exists but it runs at 5mph because within a few decades after being built it went into disrepair and the late Daley the IIIrd was too busy focusing on harnessing a new technology to grow trees at 2000 ft (so that the Chicago Spire could have the tallest rooftop garden in the world) and traveling to orbiting space station colonies (to advertise Chicago as a great place to do business) to do anything about it.

Yeah, I think I'd just go back to sleep for another 40 years. We're more likely to colonize Mars, terraform it, and build cities there with their own world-class transit systems than for Chicago to ever have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What I expect to see:

A loud, rusty, rumbling old L train that's running at 5 mph.

A State Government that doesn't give a damn. A Mayor with grandiose ideas and visions for 'Chicago 2064 Space-Olympics' and every possible improvement in the book except for transit.

Parking lots with foliage and trees in them (to make them 'environmentally friendly'). People driving aroud in H-powered cars and complaining about parking (but with bumper stickers that say 'Earth day 2048').

The Circle Line exists but it runs at 5mph because within a few decades after being built it went into disrepair and the late Daley the IIIrd was too busy focusing on harnessing a new technology to grow trees at 2000 ft (so that the Chicago Spire could have the tallest rooftop garden in the world) and traveling to orbiting space station colonies (to advertise Chicago as a great place to do business) to do anything about it.

Yeah, I think I'd just go back to sleep for another 40 years. We're more likely to colonize Mars, terraform it, and build cities there with their own world-class transit systems than for Chicago to ever have one.
if you were a nice guy, you'd get them to reroute that 2nd Avenue subway to go throught the Loop!
 

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C.B.P.
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The first thing I would do is take a long-ass Austin Powers inspired piss.
 

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who cares what chicago will look like, its all about new york.
Thanks for your insight. Really did help the discussion along. I fail to see how it "is all about New York". This thread is located under CHICAGO. And is also a thread dedicated to Chicago Mass Transit. The only thing you just proved is the New York "is NOT all about" being educated.

I'm hoping the CTA will have its budget problems worked out by then. The subway/elevated rail lines which are designated "slow zones" will have been repaired. I also would like to see the suburban STAR line completed as well as the Circle Line. Also rail lines to Navy Pier, Central Station, & The West Loop.
 

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^Looks like the Matrix reloaded.

2050 is a long time away, hopefully the world will still be here. If it is, I envision chicago as one of the most important cities still remaining, with close access to fresh water, being 600ft above sea level, having a dense infrastructure, surrounded by farmland, and being the major transportation hub, this city is better off than most.


Id like to see chicago with a total revamp of the el, high speed trains on the existing tracks, and something like 15 seperate lines by then incl. the circle. Plus, Id like to see the south side balancing the north side in density, with the skyline to match. Meanwhile the west loop is filled with 40-80 story buildings, and the south loop has a wall of 60-80 story buildings surrounding the prairie district, keeping light from getting in.
 

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In terms of the skyline, one thing you have to think about is the sustainability of the buildings. By 2050, many of the older buildings we cherish today may simply fall apart due to be close to 150 years old. I know cathedrals, the pyramids, great wall of china, etc. have lasted but many have required major reconstruction, constant reparations, etc. Will it truly be worth it to save a 10-story decrepit 120+ year old office building with absolutely no views whatsoever?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
chris, i believe the picture in the upper left hand corner with "Chicago 2035" on it is actually a photograph taken last week from the Medical Center, looking east!:banana:
 

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^

I envision chicago as one of the most important cities still remaining, with close access to fresh water, being 600ft above sea level, having a dense infrastructure, surrounded by farmland, and being the major transportation hub, this city is better off than most.

Id like to see chicago with a total revamp of the el, high speed trains [my imput, at least express to the airports] on the existing tracks, and something like 15 seperate lines by then incl. the circle. Plus, Id like to see the south side balancing the north side in density, with the skyline to match. Meanwhile the west loop is filled with 40-80 story buildings, and the south loop has a wall of 60-80 story buildings surrounding the prairie district, keeping light from getting in.
Just as I would have said it, with a little of editing of course, but you saved me the time of typing it.

Thanks.

bnk
 

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Jack-Of-All-Trades
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I expect to see a comprehensive network of intercity Amtrak lines radiating from Chicago, running in a conventional-rail fashion. One to Rockford/Galena/Dubuque, one to the Quad Cities, and several downstate to places like LaSalle, Springfield, Carbondale, etc. These already exist or are in planning stages, and appear to be fairly successful.

I expect to see several high-speed lines radiating from Chicago as well. One to St. Louis and one to Milwaukee/Twin Cities seems realistic for 43 years worth of time. Potentially one to Detroit, but not unless the city makes a commitment to intercity rail (which I can't see happening).

Because of the vastly-increased intercity and suburban trains coming into Chicago, a re-arrangement of downtown terminals will take place. Amtrak trains from downstate will be rerouted into LaSalle Station, making Chicago the second US city to have 2 downtown Amtrak stations. To be honest, I can't see the West Loop Transportation Center being built in its current form. Capacity upgrades can be made just as easily by spreading out the trains over all of our terminals.

Chicago's suburban network will not be much different - no new radial lines will be created, save the SES currently in planning. A Fox Valley line of some sort will exist to connect the growing cities of Aurora, Elgin, and Joliet. The STAR line would do this, but in a rather crappy fashion, as it would bypass the downtowns of all Fox Valley cities/towns. The existing lines will be extended to the termini they had before Metra took over. The NW Line to Lake Geneva, the North Line to Milwaukee, the West Line to DeKalb. The other lines will be extended gradually to new hamlets-turned-cities as the inevitable march of sprawl continues. The lines sharing tracks with the high-speed trains will convert to electric.

Within the city, I foresee the two circumferential CTA lines (Circle/Mid-City) being built in some fashion. They won't both be completed by 2050, but they will be close. The existing lines will be extended out near the city limits. Lastly, a lakeshore line of some sort will be built. I doubt it will be part of the existing CTA rail network, though.

Finally, and most importantly, I think fare integration between Metra and CTA will put less burden on CTA to provide in-city services. Metra will run special in-city locals with a different color scheme on the trains, and run them on a frequent schedule (every 15-20 minutes). In this way, the CTA rail system can be effectively doubled with no new construction, except a handful of stations. This would act as sort of a counterpart to the Parisian RER system. The lakeshore line mentioned above could be part of this system with construction of a tunnel north from Randolph Street Terminal, through LSE, Streeterville, and Gold Coast. However, such a tunnel is very unlikely.

New construction in total:
2 regional high-speed lines
1 Fox Valley Metra line
3-6 Metra extensions
2 new L lines
3 new L extensions
1 Lakeshore line (BRT maybe?)

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Now, we can't neglect highways, can we?
The Mid-City truck highway will give trucks a faster passage through the city and better access to the industrial corridor along Cicero where many of them are going anyway.

355 will be extended again, this time to 57. From there it will become the new Illiana Tollway.

The Prairie Parkway will be optimistically built, but it will soon create a form of ultra-sprawl that becomes the national poster child for New Urbanism. Planners across the country will vow, never again.
 
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