Citizens in Rogers Park’s 49th Ward voted last week to spend money designated for ward improvements on Red Line CTA platform upgrades.
I wrote last week about the “participatory budgeting” process that 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore sponsored to let citizens decide how to spend $1.3 million that each ward is allocated for infrastructure projects.
Providing additional benches and heat shelters on L platforms at Loyola, Morse and Jarvis got 487 out of 1,652 votes cast by ward citizens last Saturday.
Of course, the CTA is very happy to work with aldermen to let the city pay for these improvements. But as Aldeman Moore told me:
“I can cover only modest amenities, such as benches and shelters, with my “menu” money. The $1.3 million I receive every year to spend at my discretion is no substitute for the tens of millions, indeed, hundreds of millions of dollars of unmet capital needs on the CTA that only the state or federal government can provide.”