Next week, the CTA will conduct two public hearings about it's five month shut down of the south branch of the red line.
Unlike some of my fellow south siders, I will not waste my time attending a meeting with an agency who has clearly demonstrated that they believe me to be a second class citizen.
To say I'm unhappy about this foolishness is an understatement, yet the questions below may shed some light on why people down here are so mad.
1. Did anyone at the CTA ever give any thought to how many potential gang territories are going to be crossed with the current service plan? You're gonna ship people across neighborhood and gang lines to all converge at the green line? Brilliant.
2. What have you been doing with all of the previous slow zone track work? Kindly explain why what was done before hasn't worked and how the repairs that will necessitate the five month shut down will finally solve all of the existing problems?
3. These repairs couldn't have been done when you rehabbed the 63rd, 79th & 87th Street stations a few years ago? By the way, why weren't elevators installed at the time of the rehabs instead of coming back and addressing them years later?
4. The CTA can close one station at a time for rehab on the brown line but all nine of the south branch stations have to get closed at once? Can anyone remember when this had been done before?
Ladies and gentlemen, everyone knows that the repairs need to be made; that's not up for debate.
What really gets my blood boiling is that the CTA didn't have the decency to seek community input before this decision was made.
And that half assed "service plan" isn't a winner either.
In my opinion, the CTA thinks so little of it south side ridership that not only do they make unilateral decisions on our behalf but attempt to reassure us with the whole "we've got 10 months to plan this out so don't worry."
If the CTA's track record is littered with waste, mismanagement and mishandled projects; why should anybody trust them?
Moreover, if you're going to significantly disrupt my life, I'd appreciate a tad more hard work and thought put into the process than a "Don't worry, we'll get it all worked out" excuse.
That's like me coming to your home, ripping off your roof---even though the work needed to be done---and being amazed that you're upset with me because I didn't consult with you.
It's the same thing and I find it incredibly disrespectful.
I've always heard stories from older south siders about what happened down here back in the day. How streets wouldn't get fixed. How playgrounds were little more than a place to put cast off equipment. The attitude that the south side was an after thought.
I thought that the blatant injustices and discrimination of the past were slowly and quietly being addressed. That the "bad old days" were a thing of the past.
Clearly I was wrong.
Way to go CTA.
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