Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City)

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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:09 pm

The display boards/slides shown at the August 16th meeting have been posted to the project website.
http://emichigancity.com/cityhall/depar ... /index.htm

See: Presentation at August 9, 2012 City Council Meeting (PDF) (16.4MB)
(There were minor title changes for the August 16th presentation, but the maps and data are there.)
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby Tadman » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:34 am

It stinks that people are so hostile to this project. They don't see the big picture. We're taking trains off the city street, making it easier for people to get to work, and possibly creating some new developments that would stimulate commerce in a city that really needs stimulation. If you know the place as well as I do, you know there's just not the business that was once there, and the current commerce revolves around an outlet mall and a casino. Neither is the paragon of economic prosperity - in fact, both types of business are known to be the hallmark of a failing city that has lost their industry (Elgin, Aurora, Joliet, Detroit, Gary...)
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby justalurker66 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:58 pm

I don't see 11th St as a major "get to work" street ... getting the South Shore off of that street probably will not help the neighborhood at all.

I like 11th St for getting across town from the west to east, turning off of US 12 at the county line and going past the prison, up Chicago Rd and along 11th St to get to Michigan Ave. It isn't a bad path ... and I can see why Michigan City would not want to simply close 11th St to all traffic except trains. But it seems there are better arteries for the "get to work" crowd.

I wish people understood the planning process better. The whole purpose of this $100 million study was to (re-)examine all the alternatives and help NICTD and the city decide which route was best. I believe they have accomplished that goal ... yet for political reasons there was some grandstanding where the city council wants to review the entire process and has threatened to reject the decision made by the study group. I expect that if they came out in favor of the study results now they fear their re-election hopes.

In rewinding the meeting the past couple days I realize how much of the annoyance at the plan is focused at the "outsiders" who are forcing this move on the city. Yet those outsiders are following the direction of the city and the officials elected by the people of the city. Prior resolutions adopted by the city council played heavily into the selection of Option 6. The annoyed residents should be looking to their own city leaders for setting up those parameters.

At this point, when NICTD votes to accept the study's outcome and the City of Michigan City does the same I expect there to be a lawsuit filed. When NICTD and the city move ahead to ask for funding for the required environmental surveys I expect some will attempt to block the realignment by not funding the studies - or spending more on the studies by requiring them to also survey the alternative, rejected routes. The environmental impact study for Option 6 should be fairly straight forward ... most of it is existing railroad property (CSS's line past NIPSCO and the former Nickle Plate). One of the Trail Creek crossings is an existing railroad bridge. The northern path avoids most environmentally sensitive areas ... with the second crossing of Trail Creek being the biggest sticking point.

Option 6 isn't my first or second choice, but it is workable.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby Tadman » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:40 pm

I'd be curious to see how much the city has spent studying this over the last twenty years. What an obscene waste of money.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby justalurker66 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:30 am

40 years ... but who is counting?

It is well past time to get 'r done.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby jlaroccoii » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:01 pm

I've been gone a while so I'm not exactly "Mr Current Affairs". So the plan is to move it on the northern route via the old NKP ROW? I'm sure it has been answered in previous posts I have just not had the time to read them yet. In any event, I agree with justaleaker66, it needs to get done. Enough study and wasted money over the years. Shame on those who would hold up the process any longer whichever plan is implimented.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby neroden » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:42 pm

Option 6 is one of the good ones. Direct link to the map: http://emichigancity.com/cityhall/depar ... tion-6.pdf

It leaves the Amtrak station two blocks away from the South Shore station, and on the other side of US 12. Which is suboptimal; but you could do a lot worse. The Amtrak station could always be relocated as a later, separate project.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:40 pm

neroden wrote:Option 6 is one of the good ones. Direct link to the map: http://emichigancity.com/cityhall/depar ... tion-6.pdf

It leaves the Amtrak station two blocks away from the South Shore station, and on the other side of US 12. Which is suboptimal; but you could do a lot worse. The Amtrak station could always be relocated as a later, separate project.

That is a different Option 6. The more current Option 6 runs the tracks along the north side of US 12 downtown, with the station on the north side of the tracks (a short walk to the Amtrak station).

I don't see the Amtrak connection argument ... Amtrak only bothers to stop two of their trains (one each way) per day in Michigan City. It isn't exactly a transfer opportunity between NICTD and Amtrak.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby neroden » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:36 pm

justalurker66 wrote:
neroden wrote:Option 6 is one of the good ones. Direct link to the map: http://emichigancity.com/cityhall/depar ... tion-6.pdf

It leaves the Amtrak station two blocks away from the South Shore station, and on the other side of US 12. Which is suboptimal; but you could do a lot worse. The Amtrak station could always be relocated as a later, separate project.

That is a different Option 6. The more current Option 6 runs the tracks along the north side of US 12 downtown, with the station on the north side of the tracks (a short walk to the Amtrak station).

May I say that I'm getting seriously confused at this point? Do you have a link to a map of the approved version of option 6?


EDIT: OK, it looks like this is it: http://emichigancity.com/cityhall/depar ... Boards.pdf -- there's a 6A and 6B variant. Both choices put the station about three blocks from Amtrak. Still, they're both decent options.

I don't see the Amtrak connection argument ... Amtrak only bothers to stop two of their trains (one each way) per day in Michigan City.
It isn't exactly a transfer opportunity between NICTD and Amtrak.

The lack of stopping trains is partly because the Amtrak trains are funded by Michigan with no support from Indiana...
...and partly because with a long walk between stations, it isn't exactly a transfer opportunity. If the stations end up being right next to each other, it will become a transfer opportunity and Amtrak may well decide to stop more trains per day to attract passengers. People from northwestern Indiana *do* visit Michigan, after all. Michigan City isn't large enough on its own to justify much service to Michigan, but the catchment of the South Shore line is large enough, and avoiding the 'backtracking' to Chicago Union Station would make the train a more attractive choice for people between Michigan City and Hegewisch trying to get to the state of Michigan.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby justalurker66 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:55 pm

neroden wrote:The lack of stopping trains is partly because the Amtrak trains are funded by Michigan with no support from Indiana...
...and partly because with a long walk between stations, it isn't exactly a transfer opportunity.

In my opinion, the Amtrak decision to stop trains in Michigan City should not rely on NICTD's service. It should rely on passenger load balancing the desire for passengers to use the Michigan City stop against the issue of not slowing travel times down the few minutes a station stop requires.

It is the biggest paradox facing high speed rail (or in this case, higher speed rail). People want stations so they can use HSR, but additional stations slow HSR. Perhaps when Kalamazoo to Detroit is upgraded a couple of the many additional minutes saved with that improvement can be spent stopping the other trains in Michigan City.

If the stations end up being right next to each other, it will become a transfer opportunity and Amtrak may well decide to stop more trains per day to attract passengers. People from northwestern Indiana *do* visit Michigan, after all. Michigan City isn't large enough on its own to justify much service to Michigan, but the catchment of the South Shore line is large enough, and avoiding the 'backtracking' to Chicago Union Station would make the train a more attractive choice for people between Michigan City and Hegewisch trying to get to the state of Michigan.

I don't see people from South Bend going to Michigan City to go to Kalamazoo or Detroit. They have a nearly complete 70 MPH highway connection to Kalamazoo and an airport that will get one to Detroit in 70 minutes (+TSA time). South Bend passengers already have the Niles station ... which is better than going 45 minutes west, walk (even a couple of blocks) and then zip back east.

People may use the connection from west of Michigan City (especially in communities accustomed to public transit). I just don't see it as a major impact.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:10 pm

People in South Bend can also drive to Niles. Short trip, and less roundabout.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby Tadman » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:12 pm

I grew up in South Bend, and if you're taking the train to Detroit, you drive to Niles. Niles shares a common border with South Bend so it's not like you're going a long way. Were it not for the signs (only on a few roads) you really wouldn't know you're in Niles.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby neroden » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:39 pm

I was thinking people between Hegewisch and Portage, not South Bend.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby justalurker66 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:47 pm

neroden wrote:I was thinking people between Hegewisch and Portage, not South Bend.

I agreed that there would be a potential for connections from west of Michigan City. But it would require changing the mindset of people along the route - and decent connections in timing. I have not worked out the pass times for Amtraks through Michigan City and what NICTD trains could connect when the stations are closer.

There have been issues at the 10th St interlocker with Amtrak trains conflicting with NICTD movements ... some of them due to the long setup time of Amtrak routes before an Amtrak is scheduled to pass. A connection could easily be blown if an eastbound NICTD train was held at the new interlocker (planned to be at US12 - with the US 12 crossing shifted south to place the NICTD crossing south of the curve on the Amtrak line that starts near the north edge of the current crossing). The eastbound Amtrak could come and go while potential passengers were waiting on a NICTD train.

Amtrak is not going to hold their trains for NICTD passengers ... nor is NICTD going to hold their trains for Amtrak passengers. There are no guaranteed connections.

For a connecting station it would be better off putting NICTD on the north side of Amtrak until east of the stations ... but there is not room for NICTD a station north of Amtrak and an Amtrak realignment would completely change the project.
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Re: Mayor, NICTD to seek funds for South Shore study (M City

Postby JLJ061 » Mon May 27, 2013 6:34 pm

On a similar note, it appears the Michigan City depot is scheduled to be renovated...

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lapo ... fb642.html
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