Gapers Block issues its own "immodest proposal" for the CTA

Gapers Block last week published what it calls “An Immodest Proposal for the CTA.” It joins the Reader in putting out its ideas on improving mass transit. It mostly involves adding new rail lines and tweaking others.

The plan calls for creating three new L lines:

The Black Line or K train along Kedzie from Evergreen Park to Lincolnwood Town Center. It would connect with the:

  • The Metra, at 79th and Kedzie.
  • The existing Orange Line, at 49th Kedzie.
  • The Blue Line, at the Eisenhower and again at Logan Square.
  • The Brown Line, at Kedzie and Eastwood.
  • The Green Line, at Kedzie and Lake.
  • The Pink Line, at Kedzie and Cermak.

The Outer Loop or White Line. It would start at North/Clybourn on the Red Line track and run south the 47 Street, west to the Orange Line, and then head north along the Kedzie with the new Black Line. Then it would go back east at Western and the Blue Line and connect back from whence it came.

The Gold Line or South Shore Line would start at the Metra Millennium Station and make links with Hyde Park and the South Shore.

There also are tweaks to existing rail lines, such as the oft-mentioned combination of the Brown and Orange lines. And it has some ideas on buses as well.

Gapers Block says the plan would cost $6.3 billion.

Check it out. It’s worth the read.


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  • And, of course, Gapers' Block has every cent of it.

    The names "Black Line" (especially through Lawndale) and "White Line" would go down real well, too. And why the nonwhites would need an L essentially along 47th St. is certainly beyond me.

  • I don't buy the idea for a second. Never mind the debate if the Metra Electric would be worth the cost (and conversion) to acquire.

    If anything, a light rail line (provided we acquire the ROW) would alleviate some of the traffic parallel to the N-S streets, but not much else...and that's if BRT isn't a viable alternative.

  • Has some interesting ideas that I'm surprised I haven't seen before such as linking Clinton to Union Station. It's good that people are coming up with stuff like this because it keeps public transit in the conversation.

  • In reply to chris:

    There is nothing new about that. You can find all sorts of plans for a Clinton transit center, with a subway (presumably connecting the Red Line at North and Clybourn and Chinatown) in a multilevel setup.

    So, don't give these guys credit for originality in that regard. In fact, some of their costs estimates are based on Wikipedia, but Wikipedia is not a source.

  • I hate reading such proposals. Pipe dreams is all they are. I'd want nothing more than for them to happen, but I guarantee it ain't happening in my lifetime.

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