So everyone's buzzing about the new $50 million Green Line Cermak stop. I want to know why. There's already a Red Line stop less than two city blocks west. So why did we waste millions on a new CTA train station so close to the old one? Especially a new one that looks like the midsection of an enormous rattle snake?
If it went right into McCormick Place, I could see it. It would be nice for MP visitors, conventioneers and employees. But the new stop only gets less than two blocks closer to MP than the already existing (and newly fashioned) Red Line Cermak stop. That's less than a five minute walk. Less than a minute by bus.
Well, the Green and the Red do double duty at 35th Street, one might argue. Why not at Cermak, too? The answer: Sox fans. At least there, thousands of people get on and off thousands of times from April through September and maybe a double train makes a modicum of sense.
But there is absolutely no reason for an extra stop at Cermak. It's a complete waste of money.
Yes, someday there will be a Motor Row entertainment district on Michigan Avenue, moving south from Cermak. But again, the Red Line Cermak stop alone would have served that area well when it happens. And yes, there are more and more residents moving into the south end of the South Loop. Again, the Red Line (and a number of buses on both State Street and Michigan Avenue) serve them well already. And the new DePaul Stadium coming to the area? Ditto. The Red Line and the buses are just fine to get people there, too.
There is absolutely no reason for the cash strapped City to have built another station.
Except, perhaps, for one: a nice little $50 million ribbon cutting campaign stop photo op for Tiny Dancer to cynically take credit for something new. Whether it's necessary or not.
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