The CTA is ready to begin the dialog with the South Side community about its plan to shut most of the south Red Line Dan Ryan branch next spring for five months.
I suspect they will get a red earful, with many people coming to vent, not converse.
The object of the two meetings next week is to "explain the work, answer questions and receive feedback from customers who will be impacted by the project," according to a press release. "This input will help CTA complete the project as effectively as possible."
I sure hope so.
Anyone who has friends or relatives on the South Side, or who has followed letters to the editor and online comment boards knows that most riders are not at all happy about the closure. That's putting it mildly. A good friend on the South Side ranted so vehemently to me via Facebook messages the day after the announcement that my screen was smoking.
Here are details on the meeting dates:
- Monday, June 18, at South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive.
- Thursday, June 21, at Kennedy-King College Gymnasium, 6343 S. Halsted
Both meetings run from 6 to 8 p.m.; both facilities are accessible to people with disabilities.
The CTA also is promising several more meeting "in the coming weeks." After all, they are gluttons for punishment.
And don't get me wrong. I do think shutting down the nine-station stretch from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street for five months is the lesser of two evils. The CTA's biggest challenge is putting a comprehensive, multi-faceted "L" alternatives plan into effect.
Tribune columnist Jon Hilkevitch rightly noted the CTA's original alternatives plan was "hastily drawn" and "simply inadequate." So maybe we'll get some more details and other alternative routes at this meeting.
If you want to give feedback but can't make it to the meeting, you can submit written correspondence via email at redlinesouth@