Archive for the ‘METRA’ Category

BHS Alumni Night

A crowd filled the commuter parking lot in Barrington July 3, 2023 for Barrington High School Alumni Night of the Metra Lot Concert series. Officials say safety measures have been increased in the wake of the Highland Park massacre July 4 last year and other mass shootings nationwide. (Karie Angell Luc/Pioneer Press)

A year after the mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade, a number of fireworks shows and other large-participation events planned now included heightened police presences, authorities’ use of drones and other increased security measures.

Some northwest suburban communities are among ones enhancing security protocols around summer events to help ensure the safety of residents.

As in other locales nationwide, leaders in the villages of Buffalo Grove, Barrington, Lake Zurich and Arlington Heights told Pioneer Press that extra safety efforts are in place as they keep residents’ safety top of mind at summer events.

The Barrington police chief said security remains a priority in that northwest suburb as a number of popular local events take place this summer — including the concerts held at the town’s Metra commuter train station as part of the Fourth of July events.

“As a police department, we will continue to be vigilant at all of Barrington’s community events to ensure the safety of all our residents,” police Chief David Dorn stated in an email to Pioneer Press.

Ahead of the parade that rolled through town July 4, Village spokeswoman Kate Himes said security would be similar to that of past years, but with additional personnel.

“We cannot go into all of the details, but there will be an emphasis on rooftops and threats that generate a quick response,” she told Pioneer Press days before the parade. “We will be utilizing a drone and other security measures to minimize the risk to the public and we will also have personnel readily available to assist other communities following our events, if needed.”

Read more here.

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Main Metra

Per the Village of Barrington:

“Main Street Metra Crossing Construction to End Monday, June 26

The Union Pacific Railroad has informed the Village of Barrington that the repairs to the Main Street Metra Crossing will be completed on Monday, June 26.

NOTE: The closure is ONLY at the tracks. Main Street is still open to local traffic – please continue to support your local businesses!”

Related: Main Street Metra Crossing in Barrington remains closed

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Even though the Village of Barrington reported the repairs to the Metra tracks on Main Street were scheduled to reopen, “on Friday, 6/23/23 at 5:00 PM,” as can be sign by this photo taken less that an hour ago the crossing is still closed.  Further, there was no evidence work would take place today.

As soon as a status update becomes available, we’ll notify readers.

Related:Metra/UP crossing closure of Main Street in Barrington starts tomorrow morning

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Barrington Metra

Metra is asking the public to comment on a proposed major change to fares that would streamline the system from 10 zones to four.

The goal is to “create a system that is easily understandable to customers” and encourages ridership, Operations Planning and Analysis Senior Manager Dan Miodonski said at a Wednesday meeting.

Under the plan, the downtown stations would be in Zone 1. Zone 2 would include many Chicago stops as well as suburbs closer to the city such as Brookfield, Evanston, Franklin Park, Harvey and Oak Park.

Zone 3 encompasses the next ring of towns such as Arlington Heights, Downers Grove (Fairview Station), Glenview, Lombard, Chicago Ridge, Wheeling and Winnetka.

Zone 4 contains farther municipalities including Barrington, Elgin, Geneva, Joliet, Libertyville, Mundelein and Naperville.

A detailed description of the plan is available at metra.com/2024FarePlan, and riders may email comments to 2024FarePlan@metrarr.com.

Read more here.

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Metra Mainstreet

“The Union Pacific Railroad has repairs scheduled for the Metra rail crossing located on Main Street which requires full closure of the Main Street crossing. Acknowledging the impact on the community, Village Staff coordinated with Union Pacific to delay their work until school was out in an effort to limit impacts to traffic.

The repairs are being managed directly by Union Pacific and are scheduled to begin on Monday, 6/12/23 at 9:00 AM and end on Friday, 6/23/23 at 5:00 PM.

Detour routes will be signed and in place during this time, please swipe to see the map for additional information. Additional notices and traffic alerts will be issued prior to the start of this work.”

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Darch Triangle

Barrington village trustees unanimously approved plans Monday to redevelop the 6.2-acre Golden Triangle site downtown with a four-story building that will includes homes, retail space and a restaurant. (Courtesy of the Village of Barrington)

A proposal for a mixed-use development in downtown Barrington’s 6.2-acre Golden Triangle area passed its final test this week.

Barrington village board members unanimously approved the development at 200-300 N. Hough St. Monday, clearing the way for a four-story building on the former Market Center and Volvo dealership property.

The building will contain 125 residential units and 12,000 square feet of commercial restaurant/retail space. The proposal also calls for 37 “car condominiums.”

Developer and Barrington resident Joe Taylor said he plans to operate a full-service restaurant on the property that will not replicate what already exists downtown Barrington.

Read more here.

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CN overhead

A Canadian National train passes through the crossing on Route 59 between Northwest Highway and Hough Street in Barrington. The recent derailment of a train with hazardous chemicals in Ohio has led to questions about how a similar event would be addressed in Barrington. (Daily Herald file photo)

Since the Canadian National Railway acquired the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway in 2009, Barrington has raised concerns about the volume of freight train traffic it’s caused and delays at rail crossings.

Now, in the wake of the fiery derailment of a 50-car train in East Palestine, Ohio, Barrington residents are asking what would happen if a similar disaster happened here.

“We have a lot of freight traffic, especially on the Canadian National,” Village President Karen Darch said during Monday’s village board meeting. “And I just want to say to the folks who are listening that that’s something that’s been top of mind, especially since CN purchased the former EJ&E years ago.”

She said the village’s firefighters and first responders have received training on hazardous material emergencies, and the town’s emergency operations plan addresses scenarios involving releases of hazardous materials.

The Barrington Area Council of Governments also has conducted a hazardous materials tabletop exercise, Darch said.

Communities along freight rail paths, the railroads and federal regulators should learn from the information gathered by the National Transportation Safety Board on the Ohio derailment, which will lead to better standards, she added.

Darch also urged residents to provide the village with contact information, so officials can get in touch if an evacuation is needed.

Read more here.

We’ll reserve comment except to note that the Village of Barrington is poised to vote on approving: “Luxury apartments, restaurants. What Barrington might do with its ‘Golden Triangle’.”

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Barrington’s plan commission recommended a proposal for a four-story, mixed-use building in a part of the village’s downtown known as the “Golden Triangle.” The plan calls for 125 apartments, space for retail or restaurant uses and storage for high-end and classic cars. (Courtesy of Barrington)

We’re noticing a bunch of dramatic new multifamily housing proposals in some well-known spots in the suburbs this year. We’re impressed with much of it and especially pleased to see that at least a little of the planned housing is affordable housing.

This month the Barrington Plan Commission heard and supported a proposal for a new mixed-use development that includes luxury apartments and storage for high-end and classic cars in the village’s “Golden Triangle,” replacing the former Market Center building and a former Volvo dealership. The CEO of the development company said the project will include “an integrated lobby, just like a boutique hotel.” Barrington has been looking to redevelop the site since the 1990s.

Head south down Barrington Road to Hoffman Estates, where the village has seen a wave of proposals that could bring as many as 2,700 multifamily housing units. That includes the 296-unit Seasons at Hoffman Estates apartment complex at the southeast corner of Higgins Road and Moon Lake Boulevard, now being built; 164 high-end townhouses approved as part of larger housing plans at Bell Works, on the former AT&T campus, with 300 apartments given preliminary approval; and 600 luxury apartments proposed for the long-vacant former Menards site in Barrington Square.

While affordable housing isn’t a feature in the Barrington or Hoffman Estates developments – though the $1,700 to $2,500 a month rents included in the Barrington Square plan at least are closer to average — it is a feature elsewhere.

Read more here.

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Metra Train #712 at about 12:00 p.m. stopped on the UP Northwest Line just west of Ela Road after striking and killing a pedestrian (PHOTO CREDIT: Jimmy Bolf).

Police, firefighters and paramedics from Barrington responded about 11:27 a.m. Sunday, January 22, 2023 to a report that a Metra train on the Union Pacific Northwest Line hit a pedestrian near the block of 1100 South Northwest Highway in Barrington.

Metra train #712 is stopped just west of Ela Road after striking a pedestrian. All inbound and outbound trains were stopped just after 11:27 a.m. Metra train #712 on Sundays and holidays is an inbound train from Harvard to Chicago, and was scheduled to arrive at the following locations immediately after the Barrington Metra station

More here.

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Barrington Metra

Metra directors approved a $980 million operating budget for 2023 that continues a popular “Super Saver” monthly pass.

Metra directors opted to keep bargain fares offering flexibility to riders as they adopted the 2023 budget Friday, but the move will mean about $2 million less than originally estimated in revenues.

The agency will continue offering its popular $100 “Super Saver” monthly pass with unlimited rides, $6 daily pass in up to three zones and $10 systemwide daily pass.

The three products were introduced amid the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to tempt passengers back after a record drop in ridership.

A preliminary budget presented in October recommended reverting to a discounted monthly pass with zones, but Metra directors opposed the change.

Federal aid will help the commuter railroad balance its budgets in 2023 and 2024, but a shortfall of $54 million is expected in 2025 when federal relief is used up.

The 2023 budget allocates $980 million for operations, including diesel fuel and salaries. It’s about $80 million higher than the 2022 amended version due mainly to inflation and adding employees, administrators said.

“We definitely have a lot of work to do in the next couple of years, not just for Metra but the entire public transportation system,” Executive Director Jim Derwinski said.

More here.

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