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Un-Arrested Development

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Union Station, already the nation's third-busiest rail terminal, is anticipating rapid passenger growth in the next few years thanks to Metra and Amtrak expansion. So the city is rekindling a master plan study that will focus on short term capacity boosting-measures plus the usual dose of dreaming. The short term fixes, reports the Tribune, include expanded platforms, a Canal Street reconfigured for safety, a new city bus terminal built on a neighboring surface lot, and BRT linking the station with Michigan Ave. Bigger stuff would be adding street level entrances and tracks that pass through the station for the first time. Even bigger stuff consists of the familiar talk of a brand new terminal in either the 200 or 300 block of Canal. The new station would accommodate a hotel and restaurants with subways running below. Designs for some sort of Union Station tower began with Daniel Burnham and may yet involve many architects to come. [Trib]