Share your vision for the Red and Purple Lines with the CTA

The CTA next month will sponsor four open houses for riders to share their ideas for future improvements for the Red Line north from Addison to Linden on the Purple Line.

The CTA is looking for the public to provide feedback and input on existing conditions and issues facing the two lines. Wow! I’m thinking that will take way more than just four sessions. But hey, it’s a start!

The press release notes:

“There will be no
formal presentation. Guiding tours of the open house exhibits will be provided and staff will be available to answer questions. . . . The open houses also will provide information on the Vision Study process and long-term timeline.”

Look for details after the continuation. And feel free to give your ideas here. I promise to formally present all comments and ideas made here.

Andy created a Google doc to compile all the idea in one place. Put ’em here. Thanks Andy.
The four open houses will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the following dates:

Monday, November 30, 2009
Loyola Park Field House*

1230 W. Greenleaf Avenue
Chicago, IL

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Emanuel Congregation*

5959 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL

Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Truman College*

1145 W. Wilson Avenue
Chicago, IL

Thursday, December 3, 2009
Fleetwood-Jourdain Center*

1655 Foster Street
Evanston, IL

*All facilities are accessible to people with disabilities.

For individuals who are unable to attend the open houses, comments on the study can be provided via e-mail at; by calling 312-681-3091; or by sending written comments to:

Jeff Wilson
Chicago Transit Authority
Government and Community Relations
PO Box 7567
Chicago IL 60680-7567


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  • I want the entrance on the east side of Sheridan Rd. reopened at Loyola.
    I want the northbound bus stop for the 147/151/155 at Arthur Ave. moved north of the viaduct to the SE corner of Loyola & Sheridan which is right across the street from the L station's main entrance.
    Completely demolish Wilson & start over by realigning the tracks with a two platform station at Leland so that we can board express trains there & close Lawrence at the same time. Again, there are too many stations on the Far North Side.
    Close Jarvis & Thorndale. A south entrance/exit for Granville could be built to Glenlake. It's right downstairs of the south end of the platform.
    Straighten out the Sheridan turn, remove all the kinks in the tracks just south of there & build a new station identical to Addison.

  • 1) Rebuild all viaducts and retaining walls on the Howard Line north of Wilson.

    2) Combine Wilson and Lawrence with a new station at Broadway/Leland

    3) Construct flyover(s) at Clark Junction to eliminate switching congestion with Brown Line.

    4) Stop Purple Line Express trains at Sheridan during rush.

    5) Rebuild State/Lake for better integration with the Sate St. Subway and improved safety.

    6) Combine Randolph/Wabash and Madison/Wabash into a new Washington/Wabash station to speed loop operations.

    7) Forbid operators from dwelling at transfer stations during rush.

    8) Mothball Thorndale and Jarvis stations.

    9) Bring running and traction power rail conditions to best state and maintain them there.

    10) Rehab all stations north of Addison to Howard as dictated by condition and ridership.

  • Close Lawrence? There's a major bus line on that street. It would make more sense to close Argyle and move the Lawrence station north so that it has an exit on the north (westbound) side of the street for homebound commuters, presumably with automated gates like those at Wilson so commuters approaching from the north don't need to cross the heavily trafficked street to enter the station.

    The reason for the proximity of stations along the Far North Side is the density of the population. Eliminating either Granville or Thorndale and pushing riders to the remaining station would make that station substantially busier than either Wilson or Loyola, making entrance, boarding, deboarding, and exit times substantially longer. I don't see the value. This is likely to save 45 to 90 seconds during the commute.

    The idea of the flyover is truly a minor benefit utterly outweighed by the years of construction and inconvenience to riders, especially with the end of the preceding reconstruction of Belmont finally in sight.

  • My idea is to stop people from pissing and shitting on the Red Line. This means something more than a sign or automated announcement that says "Please do not piss or shit on CTA property."

  • It wouldn't be hard to include a HBG entrance at Lawrence that would put people onto the north side of a new platform to service bus transfers.

    Ideally the flyover would have been constructed during the Brown Line rehab. However, it is still a worthy addition to relive switching traffic and delays getting into and out of Belmont particularly during rush. Given that the general idea of the Brown Line project was to increase overall capacity we're going to be seeing more frequent service when the CTA acquires more rail cars which will worsen the problem. If the plan to connect the Brown with the Blue at Jefferson Park ever comes to fruition it would be even more valuable.

  • Hey everyone, I think a lot of people have some really great ideas about a vision for the red and purple line. Here is a Google Document created to collect all of these ideas in a coherent manner:

    Anyone is free to edit it and all changes are made in case it gets defaced.

  • Leave a comment...

  • I agree with the the comments above about a need to reconfigure the tracks at Wilson Ave in the manner of Belmont and Fullerton. The southbound Purple line track is at Wilson is hideous. Definitely close Lawrence--too close to Wilson. Sink the rehab money into the Wilson station (escalators, better lighting etc). In the long-term (and I know this may be pie in the sky), is there any way to get some more bang for the buck out of the Purple Line--such as extending it to the western suburbs from the Loop? With the exception of Linden and Davis, all the purple line stations need rehab big-time.

  • I'd be willing to be that the people advocating the closure of stops don't live in the areas that are serviced by these stops. Wilson will be necessary due to the large new construction at Wilson Yard with a Target and new housing. Lawrence is needed for the many concerts taking place at Aragon and Riviera. Argyle is needed for the business district on Argyle Street. Now I could understand perhaps closing Berwyn, but again there is a very high-density residential in that area. Closing any of those stops will create the need to expand another stop which will cost money.

    As for what they should do, they should fix the viaducts and slow zones. That would be a big start. At Wilson, they should bring the turnstiles to the bottom floor to prevent loitering. I'd also like to see this station cleaned up, since it is gorgeous if they put a little care into it. At Lawrence, they should build a real station house or at least get rid of the ugly chain-link fencing and put something a little nicer looking. Also, putting back the bells that used to ring at some stations when an inbound/outbound train was arriving would be nice. However, the screens they are supposedly installing for arrival time would eliminate this need. Create one more intermediate stop on the purple after Sheridan, but before Linden. This could help a lot of people get home quicker with a transfer.

  • The only way for the Purple Line to reach the western burbs is to send it over the Lake elevated out to Oak Park. I'm not sure what that would accomplish that running the Green Line a little more frequently wouldn't more easily do.

    I'd be far more interested in running the Purple Line through the subway after switching to the Red Line tracks after Addison then, it acting as local service until after Roosevelt, then it would get sent up the non-revenue 13th st incline where a switch would be installed to move it over to the Northbound track to complete the return journey.

    Removing the Purple Line from the already overloaded elevated loop would ease traffic during rush and speed up the overall travel time due to fewer stops and the generally faster nature of the subway versus sending it over the Northside main.

  • I think that the Wilson stop should be retained for several reasons. There seems to be some construction going on in that area, so I am sure that more people will be using the stop. Also, there are historical and architectural preservation reasons. It does need to be restored and reconfigured, though. Several of the northside stops need to be eliminated. Stopping every other block is not rapid transit -- that's what a bus is for. Jarvis should be the first to go. It's just crazy to leave Howard and stop right away. A few years ago, I was on a Red Line train and we were inexplicably stopped at Jarvis (as is typical, no information was forthcoming). After waiting fifteen minutes, I set out on foot to get to Howard. It's not a long walk and I beat the train in. Also, what is with the inane switching? Have the Red Line use the inner tracks at Howard and the Purple Line use the outer tracks ALL THE TIME.

  • 1) Extend platforms to accomodate 10-car trains.
    2) Rebuild and expand viaducts at all stations.
    3) Study all noise abatement solutions.

  • What are you talking about eBob & Chris?
    Wilson won't totally go away if we got our way. It would be replaced by a new Leland station that would have entrances at Wilson & Lawrence.
    Everything about the current Wilson is a disaster. The station is 100 years old, track 1 is part of a connection to a freight line that disappeared 30 years ago when the Lill Coal Co. sold it's property at Berwyn to Jewel. Wilson was the end of the line from 1906-1910.
    The entire track structure needs to be torn down & replaced with a two platform station like at Belmont. There are numerous pillars holding up the tracks making a mess out of the traffic on Broadway.
    Lawrence is so close it's a joke, it's the closest two stations on the CTA outside of the Loop. It would be less than a block to the new station most of us want. And very few people are going to be using the L to go to Target which won't be at Wilson, but at Montrose. Or do you want a stop there too?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Well, if you are proposing keeping the exit/entrances where they are now and just creating 1 stop for L at Leland, then I'd be all for that. That is not what others are proposing, but I like the idea.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    As for the repairs they are supposedly making...

    I heard from my block club that they plan on putting up some sort of signage and covering to merely cover up the crappy L viaduct at Argyle. They're not going to fix it, just spruce it up. Why bother?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Looking at the figures for average weekday station usage on the CTA's site, I can't see where it makes any sense to inconvenience thousands of riders so a handful of commenters here can get home two or three minutes earlier.

    This would be true even if service were going to remain at a constant level, but with the sharp cutbacks in service levels less than three months away, most of those narrow platforms are going to be overcrowded as it is. Adding thousands of people to the adjacent station after a closing would be foolish.

    There are more, and more important, considerations than mere travel time, especially given the small number of people inconvenienced by the continued availability of these stations.

    Were the CTA going to reconfigure Wilson station, it would make far more sense to leave Lawrence alone and create a Sunnyside station with entrances and exits at Montrose to allow for the imminent retail area on that street. The main entrance at Wilson gets little traffic; thanks to bus service and Truman College, the south entrance gets very substantially higher traffic.

    Rather than curtail service to thousands so that a handful gets home faster, let's just fix the crumbling tracks and structures. There are chunks of concrete on sidewalks and streets.

    Off-topic, but when I'm typing in this text field using IE 6.0, my left- and right-arrow keys don't work. I can tell the system's receiving them because if I hold one of those keys down long enough to autorepeat, the cursor stops blinking, but it doesn't move.

  • In reply to BobS:

    "Off-topic, but when I'm typing in this text field using IE 6.0, my left- and right-arrow keys don't work. I can tell the system's receiving them because if I hold one of those keys down long enough to autorepeat, the cursor stops blinking, but it doesn't move."

    The cursors don't move in Firefox 3.5.5, either.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Thanks District. ChicagoNow techies are looking into this.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I'm surprised that, despite the cost of the renovations, no one has mentioned the importance of making the stations accessible to people with disabilities. North of Belmont, only 4 Red Line stations are accessible. On the Purple Line, only Howard, Linden, and Davis are accessible. Yes, a number of buses, which are accessible, service those neighborhoods on nearby streets, but there's a reason they call the L "rapid transit." We may not think of it as particularly rapid, but if we were dependent on buses only... Sigh.

    Related: It's interesting to me that the discussions about the work at the North Side Red/Purple stations are noted as being held at "facilities [that] are accessible to people with disabilities," while most of the nearby L station houses are not accessible.

    I work with college students with disabilities, and I'm sick of seeing my students getting frustrated with how difficult it can be for them to get to some places north of Belmont.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Bob: IE 6.0 doesn't really work too well o this site. Upgrade!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Alas, at work I get to use what the IT team tells me I can use. But the left and right arrow keys *used* to work -- I edit my comments a lot as I write -- and maybe ChicagoNow's coders can restore the capability.

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