Want a train station bench? Ask your alderman

Would you like more benches or heated shelters on CTA rail platforms? God knows the CTA doesn’t have much money for such improvements.

So try asking your alderman.

Aldermen can spend $1.3 million on infrastructure improvements in their wards each year. And this year, one alderman is letting ward citizens vote on which improvements to fund. One ballot choice is the addition of benches and shelters on train platforms at Jarvis, Morse and Loyola.

Joe Moore, 49th Ward alderman serving parts of Rogers Park, West Ridge and Edgewater, is letting residents 16 and older decide how to spend the $1.3 million in what he calls “Participatory Budgeting.” While more than 1,200 cities worldwide have tried this participatory budgeting process, it’s the first such effort in the United States.

I live in the 49th Ward, and I know I’ll be voting Saturday to add benches and heat shelters. I encourage all readers who live in the 49th Ward to do the same. If you don’t live there, contact your alderman.

Full disclosure: I serve as chairman of Alderman Moore’s 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee.


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  • This is such a great idea. Are you listening, Dick Mell?

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Perhaps Mell would be interested if his son-in-law's face were painted on the benches and said fallen relative had to spend eternity with an ass on his face.

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