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Go Do Your Civic Duty Because the CTA Can't

By Jocelyn Geboy in Miscellaneous on Mar 26, 2007 9:35PM

Tonight is the last public meeting to discuss how much going three-track in the Clark Corridor to continue work on updating all of the stations (in this case, primarily affecting the Fullerton and Belmont stations) to meet the requirements for the Americans with Disabilities Act will jack all of us around. The meeting will be held downtown at the CTA headquarters at 567 W. Lake, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To that end, there will be another public meeting at CTA headquarters this Friday at 2 p.m. It will be a special board meeting to decide if the CTA is actually going to move forward or delay the possibly doomed plan to eliminate one of the four tracks in the corridor between Addison and Armitage, causing massive delays through 2009. Of course all the 'bitch away' meetings are open to the public at times when they can actually get to them (after work), but the one when they're going to make an actual decision is open to the public, but most people likely won't be able to go to.

Most of their decision is going to ride on testing of new switches and signals they have installed along that stretch of track. According to CTA spokesperson Noelle Gaffney, the track switches were used "tens of thousands of times and the equipment performed reliably."

2007_03question.jpgJon Hilkevitch of the Tribune says that the next step which will occur after the evening rush periods this week, "involves increasing the number of trains put through the switches each hour to approximate rush-hour loads more closely," according to Gaffney. It should "fully test the ability of the track interlocks to manage traffic volumes consistent with the planned three-track operation, she said."

Further on in the article, it says that Carole Brown's got our back and she will not permit the three-track operations to start on Apr. 2 if she doesn't think it's going to go well and will put the pin on Frank Kruesi if there's gridlock. We don't know about you, but that's cold comfort if we're stuck on the Brown Line for two hours and we forgot our book.

We're totally nonplussed by this quote from the article: "Our rail system carries a half-million customers a day," Gaffney said, "and in a system that big there are going to be some situations that arise. What we are trying to do is anticipate them, train for them and try to respond quickly." Oh. Cause you've done such a great job of that thus far. Derailment, fire, derailment, derailment, fire, fire, bad accident, unfortunate suicide, fire, derailment .... this is what this past year has looked like and we can't see that they've anticipated any of it, trained very well or responded quickly. We can't wait until the shit really starts hitting the fan. Or the track.

More about what the NYT has to say about us after the jump ...

Even the New York Times has taken notice of our sad state of transit affairs --- we love this segment of the article:

"Ridership on that line is up 83 percent since 1979, according to recent figures, and officials at the Chicago Transit Authority predict the overhaul will increase capacity by 33 percent. In the meantime, though, riders are bracing for more than two and a half years of track closings that could reduce the capacity of already packed trains by as much as 40 percent at peak travel times. But transit officials say the work is a necessary evil. Without it, the system would almost certainly fall into a chronic state of disrepair. "

What? After three years of nightmare, we might have trains that can up the capacity by 33 percent, but we're not sure we'll have riders that stick around to fill them. Also, the system would almost certainly fall into a chronic state of disrepair? Hang on, we need to change our underwear. We just pissed ourselves laughing. It already is in a chronic state of disrepair. And stupid, vague, lame statements like that are the reasons the CTA is in a lot of trouble and why people get stuck underground with no clue as to what's going on.

In other news, the Dan Ryan Expressway branch of the Red Line will be renovated this week Monday through Friday from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. In case you're wondering what "branch" of the Red Line that is, renovations are being performed on the southbound tracks between the 35th Street and 47th Street stations, so that must be the "Dan Ryan Expressway Branch." We had no idea the Red Line had branches. We suppose from Fullerton to Wilson will soon be the "Clusterfuck Branch." As for this week, the CTA said service delays could occur . We also assume bears are currently shitting in the woods.

Heads up: Some bus routes were altered starting yesterday. CBS2 tells about it, and so does the CTA.

"good fking question" by smussyolay