News pickup: CTA Red Line extension preferred routes; transit deserts

Red Line Extension rail routes. The green and blue routes show the Union Pacific railroad route options.

Red Line Extension rail routes. The green and blue routes show the Union Pacific railroad route options.

Just a week after the Tribune published a story stating that about 10 percent of Cook County residents live in a “transit desert,” the CTA announced forward movement to eliminate a piece of that desert via the proposed Red Line Extension.

The CTA on Sunday said that it has narrowed down to two preliminary options for the proposed Red Line Extension project. The transit agency also announced $5 million of bond funds to move forward on the required federal planning process for the rail line extension.

The two options for extension involve using the east or west side of the Union Pacific railroad tracks. Under the east option, CTA tracks would be placed immediately east of the Union Pacific railroad right-of-way from 99th Street to 118th Street. Under the west option, CTA tracks would be placed immediately west of Union Pacific’s right-of-way from 99th Street to north of 118th Street.

The 5.3-mile extension would include four new stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and 130th Street, each of which would include bus and parking facilities. The current estimated cost of the project is $2.3 billion. Construction money has not been identified yet.

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  • I'm against building a south extension, until the North Side is repaired to the same standards as the Dan Ryan Line.

  • The CTA was supposed to be 100% compliant with the ADA and be accessible by 2010. They had over 20 years to be compliant. The CTA is only 65% accessible. I am now disabled and cannot get to the platform at my stop the Morse red line because when they renovated it they did not put in an elevator. The CTA is Chicago corrupt and Rahm does not care about the disabled...The CTA needs to go back and MAKE ALL STOPS ACCESSIBLE before they continue with anything new.

  • In reply to nnstil:

    Tell us where the money to do that is supposed to come from!

    The fact is, for what the CTA has spent to make stations that were built before 1980, ADA compliant, they could have built a system of door to door vans for the disabled for that cost or even purchased a wheelchair accessible van for every single disable person in Chicago & still had money left over.
    It's cost hundreds of millions to make Jackson/State, Grand/State, Chicago/State & Clark/Division ADA compliant. It will be billions when the entire system has been done!

    There's no money for it locally & there's no possibility of federal money as long as the Republicans control Congress, by controlling the House!
    So get real & take buses for the entire trip, which are 100% ADA compliant.
    If it takes longer, tough!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    You're a real mensch. Regardless of how you feel about it, the Americans with Disabilities Act is the law, so all stops should be accessible. If you don't like it, oh well, tough!

  • In reply to MerBearStare:

    Then post a link to the statute and regulation stating that every rapid transit station had to be accessible by 2010. You can't do it.

    ADA only requires paratransit within 3/4 mile of a fixed route. What Scooter suggests is perfectly legal, and, at about $45/ride, for which Pace collects $3, expensive enough.

  • In reply to jack:

    Or maybe you need the DOT ones at 49 CFR Part 37.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thank you for backing me up. I notice that the original poster has yet to reply & the one that insulted me hasn't either.

    I wish I knew why some people think that there's a bottomless source of cash for public transit.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    In this case, I don't think it is that as much as that some in the disabilities community think the ADA means "I can have anything I demand" instead of what it actually provides: "reasonable accommodation."

    I had it similarly out with Steve Dale, who contended that a partially deaf person had a right to a dog in her condo to bark loudly when the doorbell rang. After he argued with my reasonable accommodation point and didn't understand a case I cited on some Michigan condo owner not being entitled to everything he wanted, I just said "why don't you do the intelligent thing and tell her to contact a lawyer."

    Similarly, there are enough ADA advocacy agencies that if CTA and Metra were violating the ADA, the two posters could find an advocate to bring suit on their behalf.

    Of course, now I have laid my self open to personal attack by district299reader.

    To get back to your original point, all CTA has received or receive in the conceivable future for either end of the Red Line is planning grants. Somehow, they think that they are solely entitled to Core Capacity grants for the north portion, but reportedly have only asked for $35 million in planning money. Hence, the fraud by the federal government continues.

  • In reply to jack:

    I would have told Steve Dale to send that deaf dog owner to Radio Shack, which has sold a flashing light attachment for phones for a few decades, as have several other retailers.
    In fact, I remember one on "The Naked City" TV show from the 1950s, where one of the NYC cops had a deaf wife with that installed in the house.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I had thought of a buzzer in her panties, but that wouldn't have made the point I was trying to make.

  • In reply to MerBearStare:

    I'll even give you a head start. The FTA ADA regulations are at 49 CFR Part 609.

  • In reply to MerBearStare:

    And that law does not state that all stops need to be accessible...

  • In reply to MerBearStare:

    Yes I am.
    I help blind people cross the street, get up from the reserved handicapped seats, even though I'm both disabled & a senior myself! My disability, while physical, is also invisible to all but those who know about it.
    nnstil is a jerk for claiming things that aren't true & then so are you because I told him/her off for demanding the impossible & to take the 100% ADA compliant buses, if the L wasn't accessible.

    So I ask you specifically, where's the money to do it?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Same place as the money to put sprinklers in every high rise, apparently.

    Most condo owners are not rich and many these days can just barely pay their mortgages. Fortunately they managed to get someone to pay attention to that very inconvenient question.

    Whatever we might want, whatever might be a good idea, whatever people might doesn't grow on trees and can't be conjured out of thin air. The only answer is to get real and to prioritize...and if you think something is that awfully important, pay for it with your own money, not other people's..

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Apparently, the two people who don't normally comment here, but made the original comments that the CTA must spend billions to make every station fully accessible RIGHT NOW, have crawled back into their hidey holes, embarrassed that no one agrees with them & that the ADA law is NOT on their side.

  • In reply to nnstil:

    There is no such law that says that and they only have to make it ADA accessible if the renovation is more significant.

  • On the main point, you mentioned the "no source of funds," but not Hilkevitch's points that CTA does not have an agreement with UPRR, now says it has to acquire private property adjoining the right of way, as well as does not have a source of funding.

    Rahm ran about 4 years ago on that this was his top priority; I wonder how many will be satisfied with "we now have a consultant's report."

    Especially since they are borrowing about $180 million for the redundant 95th St. bus terminal project.

  • Instead of a $2.3 billion dollar extension, why not put in a BRT with four stops? It would be just about as fast and a ton cheaper. If they have more money burning a hole in their pockets, get the circle line going.

  • Because a cheap BRT (like any other cheaper alternatives) would NOT put $2.3 billion dollars into "Connected Campaign Contributors" back pockets!

  • They can plan for the east side of the UP tracks. They can plan for the west side of the UP tracks. They can plan for a straight shot from 95th to Anchorage, Alaska, looping around the moose statue and then back to 111th Street by way of the Grand Canyon. It's a moot point. I've been riding transit in Chicago for over 40 years now, daily for much of that time though now only occasionally, and if I'm confident of one thing it's this: Neither I, nor my children, nor my grandchildren nor great-grandchildren yet unborn will ever see the CTA expanded by one block of additional track.

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