Friday, December 20, 2013

My Comments to Ashland BRT Environmental Assessments

Heres my comment to the Ashland BRT assessment team. The numbers in parentheses refer to the location on the Appendex G location numbers. Some of it is pure wish list, but what the hey?

Ashland BRT Assessment Team,

Please consider the following comments:

1) The station placement for stations at or near el stops should allow for as direct a connection as possible.

  • (911+00 Location number on AppendexG) For example for the Roscoe Street stop should be north of Roscoe. That would save crossing of Roscoe Street for BRT users transferring to the Paulina/Lincoln Brown Line Station. In the future a stop-lighted crosswalk under the el tracks and a direct paved and roofed path to the station could be built with a new set of stairs at the eastern end of the platform installed to further reduce the walking connection to the brown line.
  • (765+00) At the Blue Line at Milwaukee-Division a station with direct stairs down to the subway station would be the Gold Standard.
  • (697+00)  At the Green/Pink Line connection at Randolf? it would behoove us to have a direct stairway connection from the BRT station directly into the station with no street crossing required.
  • (662+00)  At the Blue line Eisenhower place the BRT station on the bridge over the highway with long covered walks to one or both of  the stations in either direction?
  • (529+00) At the Orange line you seem to have that one covered.
  • (310+00) At the 63rd Green line the BRT aligns exactly with the station. Again direct stairs would be the Gold Standard.
  • ·    The experience should be as close to an el to el connection as is possible. But perhaps we are trying to save money in the beginning stages and are saving these kinds of treatments for later. Fine as long as we do not step on ourselves later.
2). To accommodate left turners, should that become absolutely necessary, I would recommend a solution where both left and right turns are done from the same current right turn lane. Lefts allowed only on a left arrow. I realize that it is several compromises of normal practice.

3) I have seen concerns about costs of a “failed” project where we might have to tear out stations. Perhaps prefabricated stations that are built in functional units to be combined in various combinations that are towed to the site for quick installation on simple concrete pads could be considered. Then when the BRT is a great success the pre-fab stations could be replaced with concrete and then towed to the next BRT “trial” at Western Avenue.

4) It would be best if the BRT were to extend to a point where it could connect directly to the north Red Line, either at Howard or Loyola and Devon.

5) For sure the Western BRT should extend to Howard Red line either via Howard or special pavement along the Yellow line.

(EDIT 12/22/2013: And here as an FYI is their reply email (standard, canned, but expected and works for me.)

Thank you for your interest in the Ashland Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.  November 19, 2013 to December 20, 2013 is the official 30-day comment period to collect formal comments on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project.  This comment period is part of a process established by the federal government.  As such, any comments in your email will become part of the formal record for the EA and the project.
At the end of the comment period, responses to comments will be issued as an appendix to the final EA.  These responses will be available through CTA’s website.  You will receive an email when they are posted, as well as any other email updates that are sent regarding the Ashland BRT project.
Comments will inform the next phase of design.  Comments received before or after the formal comment period will also be taken into account and help inform the next phase of design, but may not be included in the official record for the Environmental Assessment.

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