B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘CTA’ tag

The big sell: Making people care about infrastructure repair

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Waiting for a Rainy Day
Waiting for a Rainy Day

Continuing on the theme of the day, Mary Wisniewski writes:

In comic book movies, transportation infrastructure problems are easy to spot.

Bridges fall. Asphalt shatters. And unless Ironman funds the repairs out of his personal fortune, big public debt issues are ahead.

In real life, damage to roads and rails tends to be gradual, though ultimately just as ruinous to regional well-being.

With a new Illinois capital program delayed as the state goes 11 months without a budget, transit leaders have been sounding the alarm in both Washington, D.C., and Springfield about the dangers of waiting too long to invest in infrastructure. Business, labor and transit leaders will ramp up discussion nationwide Monday for the start of the thrillingly named Infrastructure Week.

It’s a tough sell — roads, buses and trains seem to work just fine until they don’t, and politicians don’t like to raise gas taxes or other user fees. Regional Transportation Authority Executive Director Leanne Redden admits that funding for bridges, signals and tunnels is not a sexy topic, but it’s crucial to keep the system going the way it should.

(click here to continue reading The big sell: Making people care about infrastructure repair – Chicago Tribune.)

Nothing Can Go Wrong With the Blues
Nothing Can Go Wrong With the Blues

Infrastructure is ignored until there is a crisis, alternatively, we could invest in the country and its workers before disaster strikes. Or money gets left unspent because Governor Rauner has a different agenda…

For the Chicago Transit Authority, for example, the lack of state capital funding has meant $1 billion in federal money may get left on the table. The passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act last year made federal dollars available, but state matches are needed to access them.

“A capital program would be very helpful, or else those funds could be put at risk,” CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. said. He said the money is needed for projects like the Red and Purple Line modernization, and rail and right of way improvements to prevent slow zones.

CTA needs a total of $13 billion in capital spending over the next decade to get the system in a state of good repair, Carter said.

Metra needs $11.7 billion in capital funding over the next 10 years. Because that’s a tall order, the board has made two programs top priorities — positive train control, a federally mandated computerized system to prevent train collisions, and new or rehabbed rolling stock. That would include 367 new railcars. (The agency currently has funding for 10.)

Some of Metra’s railcars are 63 years old. “They’re eligible for Medicare in a couple of years,” joked Metra CEO Don Orseno ruefully.

Besides new cars and locomotives, Orseno said Metra needs a better maintenance schedule for its old ones. Walking around a big, barnlike rail repair facility on 49th Street last week, Orseno and Metra capital projects manager Lexie Walker showed how cars are stripped down and rebuilt — with new floors, seats, toilets, air conditioning, outlets for plugging in laptops and wheelchairs, plus new wheels and brakes.

The Poem Remained Too Short
The Poem Remained Too Short

What about roads, you ask? They are as neglected, with no positive news forthcoming:

[Illinois] cannot afford to keep up the roads it has now. One of the pressing needs for the Illinois Department of Transportation is a rebuild of the aging and congested Eisenhower Expressway, similar to the reconstruction of the Dan Ryan in 2007, said Peter Skosey, executive vice president of the Metropolitan Planning Council, a nonprofit focused on regional growth.

“Money for that project isn’t even on the radar,” Skosey said.

He noted that no system is going to be in perfect shape all the time — it’s like your house, you want to keep it in a state of at least 90 percent repair, with a few projects on a to-do list. But Illinois’ state of repair is currently below 80 percent and could drop below 60 percent in the next five years, Skosey said.

Skosey noted that closed roads and bridges lead to gridlock, which already costs the region $7 billion a year. On an individual level, bad roads cost the average Illinois driver $400 to $800 a year in car repairs.

Written by Seth Anderson

May 17th, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Morgan Station at night was uploaded to Flickr

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West Loop

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/GnjoVu

I took Morgan Station at night on June 03, 2012 at 04:15PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on April 23, 2016 at 12:13AM

Written by eggplant

April 22nd, 2016 at 11:32 pm

Americana Submarine with Cigars was uploaded to Flickr

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Clark and Van Buren, under the El tracks

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/BKfozg

I took Americana Submarine with Cigars on November 29, 2015 at 06:27AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on December 31, 2015 at 12:15PM

Written by eggplant

December 31st, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Approaching was uploaded to Flickr

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Blue Line CTA train, near Division St. stop

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/AQNXR9

I took Approaching on November 08, 2015 at 04:22PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on November 08, 2015 at 10:22PM

Written by eggplant

November 8th, 2015 at 9:27 pm

While Your Train Gently Squeaks was uploaded to Flickr

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well, maybe not so gently…

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http://flic.kr/p/qpPhZG

I took While Your Train Gently Squeaks on February 19, 2015 at 05:05PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on February 25, 2015 at 02:35PM

Written by eggplant

February 25th, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Imagine My Surprise was uploaded to Flickr

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Wells St, Chicago

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http://flic.kr/p/quPs46

I took Imagine My Surprise on January 02, 2015 at 12:17PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on January 12, 2015 at 04:14PM

Written by eggplant

January 12th, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Some Will Come and Some Will Surely Go was uploaded to Flickr

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South Loop, Chicago

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http://flic.kr/p/pcLhEE

I took Some Will Come and Some Will Surely Go on November 30, 2013 at 04:18PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on November 22, 2014 at 03:03PM

Written by eggplant

November 22nd, 2014 at 10:15 am

Early Morning, Cold El animated GIF

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An animated GIF created in Photoshop CS6, with photographs from Hipstamatic’s new “burst” option.1

Early Morning El
Early-Morning-El.gif

Footnotes:
  1. apologies to The Who’s Early Morning, Cold Taxi []

Written by Seth Anderson

October 8th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Arts,Film

Tagged with , , , ,

And Have You Traveled Very Far Today? was uploaded to Flickr

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crossing I-90/94, West Loop

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http://flic.kr/p/ono88m

I took And Have You Traveled Very Far Today? on September 10, 2012 at 07:53PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on August 09, 2014 at 05:23PM

Written by eggplant

August 9th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

You just want to be on the side that’s winning was uploaded to Flickr

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Under the El tracks

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http://flic.kr/p/neEtkn

I took You just want to be on the side that’s winning on April 19, 2014 at 01:33PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on April 19, 2014 at 06:35PM

Written by eggplant

April 21st, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Brooding On The Rhythmic Swing Of Your Imagination was uploaded to Flickr

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Blue Line train leaving the Addison station

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/myZJhU

I took Brooding On The Rhythmic Swing Of Your Imagination on March 29, 2014 at 06:42PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on March 30, 2014 at 02:42AM

Written by eggplant

March 31st, 2014 at 9:22 am

Cloud Nine was uploaded to Flickr

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Under The El

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/kQf2jj

I took Cloud Nine on March 08, 2014 at 01:47PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on March 08, 2014 at 07:52PM

Written by eggplant

March 11th, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Speak Not Of Senseless Things was uploaded to Flickr

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Jefferson and Lake, West Loop

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/c4hPV5

I took Speak Not Of Senseless Things on December 12, 2010 at 12:25PM

and uploaded it on May 23, 2012 at 07:38PM

Written by eggplant

January 26th, 2014 at 11:47 am

While Your Traces Disappear – Explored

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While Your Traces Disappear
While Your Traces Disappear

Cool! Another photo has made it into Flickr Explore, and with even more favorites than the last photo got.  I take and process photos every day, or attempt to, and I always do the best I can to transform the images into art. But prior to these two photos making Explore, I hadn’t been selected since April 2012. I realize the Explore algorithm is mostly computerized, and that there is an element of chance in making the cut – but still. Odd. And nice. 

Funny, as I only sort of randomly selected this photo of the CTA tracks near Graceland Cemetery as a means to test new perspective tools in the Lightroom 5 Beta, and then tweaked the image a bit using the Google Silver Efex Pro plugin. The subject is a bit of cliché to tell the truth – high contrast black and white image of shadow perspectives, yadda yadda. I’ve taken many similar photos that didn’t get so much appreciation from Flickreenos. Still, I am happy with how this one turned out…

Click here for an embiggened version. 

Or here to purchase a print for your own wall.

Written by Seth Anderson

April 17th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Exquisite Errors was uploaded to Flickr

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Exquisite Errors

Halsted, near North Avenue

embiggen by clicking http://flic.kr/p/ayXgN4

Exquisite Errors was taken on October 23, 2011 at 06:06PM

Written by eggplant

October 18th, 2012 at 8:06 am