Our neighborhood turned out in force last Wednesday evening at the CTA’s “public scoping meeting” to review several proposed improvements to the Red and Purple Lines. Just one day earlier, I had issued a call to arms after learning that closure of the Jarvis el station was contemplated in three of the proposed alternatives.
Over 250 49th Ward residents attended the Rogers Park meeting, more than the three other north side public scoping meetings combined, and demanded that the Jarvis el station be fully renovated, not closed.
The CTA emphasized the proposals were merely ideas and no official plans to close the station were in the works. As the Chicago Tribune’s transportation columnist, John Hilkevitch, noted in today’s paper, the billions of dollars needed to conduct a major overhaul of the Red and Purple Lines have not been secured and any modernization is likely many years away, with its final form still to be determined.
Nonetheless, I wanted to nip this bad idea in the bud before it caught any traction. As the Tribune’s Hilkevitch wrote:
“Even if you don’t trust the CTA regarding potential station closings, aldermen in the affected wards would never allow their neighborhood ‘L’ stops to be shut. They want more transit, not less.
“‘The station closings idea, I want nipped in the bud right away,’ Ald. Joe Moore, 49th, said at last week’s scoping meeting in Rogers Park. ‘Let’s just take that off the table. There is no discussion that needs to be had, as far as I am concerned. A bad idea, goodbye. It would have a devastating impact on my community.'”
Though Mr. Hilkevitch is correct that most aldermen would oppose the station closings, it is really the power of people taking action that ensures a bad idea, such as closing transit stops, never sees the light of day. Thank you for coming out in force last week to oppose the closing of the Jarvis el.
I also tip my hat to the hundreds of 49th Ward residents who took the time to send letters and e-mails to the CTA, opposing any plan to close the Jarvis el. Many of you shared your correspondence with me. Your eloquent words spoke to the harm that would befall our community if the Jarvis station were closed.
It’s not too late to share your comments with the CTA. Comments may be submitted by mail, e-mail or fax, with attention to:
Strategic Planning & Policy
Chicago Transit Authority
P.O. Box 7602
Chicago, IL 60680-7602
Fax: (312) 681-4195
Thanks again for your comments. I will keep you posted as the plans for the Red and Purple Lines continue to unfold.