Feb 28, 2016
|Click for more photos:|
Birds at Geckos Restaurant at Cattleman and Fruitville in Sarasota Florida
|52 new photos|
Feb 22, 2016
I worked for many years on this road. It became a second interstate quality road around the Chicago metropolitan area. It was originally planned to continue east to bypass Gary and Northwest Indiana. Unfortunately it did not go forward, and now another beltway will likely be much further south.
Interesting story about the Interchange above. It connects I-355 and I-55 and provides for very dynamic land development.
Before I-355 was constructed access to the area was poor and there was little development. The acquisition of the land and anticipated tollway construction substantially enhanced development potential. The new road provided great access to rapidly growing Dupage County.
I was the expert witness for the Tollway Authority. They were acquiring about 30 acres from the Santa Fe Railroad who owned the tract. The attorneys wanted substantial damages for the acquisition with a total demand for over 7 million dollars. The Tollway offered 2 million dollars. So the difference between the offer and the demand was 5 million. The owners attorney stood to get 40% of the amount over 2 million so they were very motivated.
The attorney was reputed to be the best land acquisition attorney in Chicago. I stood between him and a 2 million dollar payday. He was very good and after a few hours I wanted to deck him, but of course that is bad for,
Feb 21, 2016
The interurban was an electric railway that was important in the eastern half of the United States from about 1890 to 1925. Interurbans provided passenger service between cities and towns.
Interurbans were a cross between a streetcar and a train. There were 15,500 miles of interurban rail in the US in 1915.
Interurbans in the Chicago region included the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad (North Shore Line), the Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad, and the South Shore Line.
The South Shore Line that services Chicago to South Bend is one of the last operations still running in the US that began life as an interurban. It still operates in Michigan City, Indiana down the middle of a street like a street car. The equipment is now modern electric rail equipment.
The South Shore Line has flag stops. Back in the good old days you would flag a train and it would stop and pick you up.
I did this at Calumet Harbor, a desolate spot with no sign of any kind of train station. I simply waived my hand and the seven car train stopped from 70+ miles per hour. I ran to the train and hopped off and off we went. People were surprised to see the train stop to pick me up.
At night people would light a newspaper so the train would know that a passenger wanted them to stop. Now flag stops have a
"push button located in or near the shelter to activate strobe light to signal train to stop. Please push button at least 5 minutes before scheduled departure time of train. Strobe light will turn off automatically after 10 minutes. Passengers should remain visible to engineer when standing at platform. There is no strobe at McCormick Place or 63rd St."
Comparing electric interurban railways and "steam railroads". The three major interurbans entering Chicago were not typical interurban lines, enabling them to survive well beyond the 1930's, when most interurban lines were abandoned.
Insull acquired control of the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad Co. in 1916, the Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad Co. in 1926, and the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad in 1925. Insull resigned from control of all companies in 1932.
MORE TYPICAL INTERURBAN LINESThe more traditional interurban lines were more local in nature, and were basically extensions of city streetcar lines into the country, and on to other cities. Such lines typically ran alongside country roads, which generally were not paved at the time. But the paving of such roads in the 1920's and 1930's made the local interurban lines obsolete, with buses able to do the job more economically.
Attended the APA Conference in Chicago, which celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Burnham Plan.
The City looks great. It keeps getting better looking. And tourism has become very large. There must have been 50 tourist boats in the Chicago River and along Navy Pier - a huge increase from a few years ago.
I would estimate about 30% of the Burnham Plan was actually constructed. Many proposals were too difficult or costly for the City to undertake. But what was built substantially improved the City.
I think the city should still build a few more of his proposals. The second Pier should be built - would add public access and land into Lake Michigan. And this time it could be "Green" and sustainable, improving the natural environment while providing more public open space next to downtown and the lakefront.
And the central train terminal should be built, with better interface among all public transit systems and automobiles.
Chicago is a great city. And looking better every year.
The Illiana (Illinois and Indiana) Expressay is proposed to become a beltway around the southern portion of Northeast Illinois and Northwest Indiana. We were working on this when I entered the planning profession in 1973 and we have been working on it ever since. It takes a long time to go from proposal to reality.
Initial plans proposed the road must closer to the urban portion of the Chicago metropolitan region.