The CTA last week committed to make all rail stations fully accessible within 20 years.
That should show you how hard it is to get capital funding these days for big-ticket items such as station rebuilds.
The first step to achieving that goal is to develop a “first-ever, comprehensive plan that will outline both short-term and long-term initiatives to make the CTA’s rail system fully ADA accessible over the next 20 years and plans to either repair and/or replace existing rail system elevators.”
Currently, about 32 percent, or 46 out 145 rail stations, are not accessible. So they develop a plan, and here’s how the CTA will do it.
Over the next year, a working group consisting of City of Chicago, CTA, ADA and disability community members, architects and others will be responsible for outlining a high-level cost estimate and schematic schedule for achieving the goal of 100% accessibility – all of which will be dependent on funding. As part of this program, CTA will conduct public outreach to solicit feedback from the general public and disability community, which will be taken into consideration before the report is finalized sometime in early 2017.
The Red Line’s Clark/Division station was the most recent to be rehabbed and made accessible, including a new exit at LaSalle. Projects currently under construction that will increase accessibility include the new Washington/Wabash Station, the Wilson Station Reconstruction, and retrofitting the historic Quincy Loop ‘L’ station with new elevators and other ADA compliant features.
The Chinese philosopher Laozi once wrote that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
So let’s get going and make those 46 stations accessible.
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