Alderman Moore’s request to delay Morse closure fails; Glenwood Sunday Market affected

Fans of the Glenwood Sunday Market in Rogers Park will be disappointed to hear that 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore was unsuccessful in getting the Chicago Transit Authority to switch the dates of closure for the Morse and Jarvis Red Line stations, to accomodate the popular farmers’ market, according to the CTA Tattler.

Morse will be shuttered starting Friday, June 29 for six weeks, as originally scheduled, during a busy season for the Glenwood Sunday Market, located along the tracks. Jarvis is set to close on Friday, November 9.

Alderman Joe Moore fails to delay Morse Red Line station closure for the Glenwood Sunday Market. Photo by Gerald Farinas.

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Granville station will close first for rehab; Morse, Jarvis to follow

Granville CTA station in Edgewater will close for six weeks beginning Friday, May 11 for major maintenance to lengthen its lifespan. A more permanent reconstruction is planned in the future under the RPM Project.

Granville and six other north side CTA Red Line stations will receive interim improvements until a more permanent Red and Purple Modernization project begins. Photo by Gerald Farinas.

Residents must walk to Thorndale or Loyola CTA stations, or use buses, during the closure.

Two Rogers Park stations will close for six weeks each. Morse will be shut down Friday, June 29. Jarvis will be shuttered Friday, November 9

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Interim face lifts approved for North Side Red Line stations

While the Chicago Transit Authority still works on finalizing plans for the Red and Purple Modernization project, work will go ahead for interim improvements to Lawrence, Argyle, Bryn Mawr, Thorndale, Granville, Morse and Jarvis stations.

The CTA approved a contract today for a temporary improvement project that will cost $57.4 million. Work has been contracted to Kiewit Infrastructure Co., which recently landed contracts to help build a new elevated train system in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Chicago Tribune reported, “The federally funded face lift that CTA Chief Infrastructure Officer Chris Bushell outlined on Wednesday will include water-proofing; tuckpointing; installing new windows, doors, ceilings and floors on the seven station houses; improving lighting; repairing or replacing platforms; and shoring up crumbling viaducts and embankments.” Adding elevators are not part of the project.

With the approval of a more permanent Red and Purple Modernization project, eventually these stations will be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up, except for Red Line stations that may be permanently closed: Jarvis, Thorndale, Lawrence.

A public meeting regarding this interim project is planned for March of this year. Read the original story.

Earlier this week, the CTA hosted public meetings regarding the Red and Purple Modernization project in which two main proposals emerged.

Granville and six other north side CTA Red Line stations will receive interim improvements until a more permanent Red and Purple Modernization project begins. Photo by Gerald Farinas.

Two main proposals for ‘L’ modernization; closing North Side stations still considered

Six proposed alternatives for the Red and Purple Modernization project ultimately became four proposals after the latest round of public meetings. Chicago Transit Authority met with hundreds of residents in two public open houses on Monday, February 6 in Evanston, and Tuesday, February 7 at the Broadway Armory in Edgewater.

REFRESHED PROPOSALS

Two of the four proposals now on the table have no or minimal changes to the Red and Purple Lines. The first proposes no action whatsoever to Chicago’s rapid transit system. The second proposal is for only basic rehabilitation of current stations and turning Loyola station into a Red and Purple transfer station. Participants of the meetings, for the most part, viewed the two as not enough, considering stations are showing their advanced age.

Participants showed most interest in two main proposals, refreshed and on the table for serious consideration. One plan is called Modernization and the other is called Modernization without Consolidation.

The CTA defined modernization for participants as being, “comprehensive reconstruction of track, stations, and structures along the line, which would include considerable speed improvement.”

MODERNIZATION

Presenters described the renamed Modernization plan as, “Providing modern amenities at stations, modest increase in speed of service, includes new transfer station at Loyola, and major reconstruction and renovation to extend the useful life to 60-80 years.”

This plan includes the elimination of several CTA stations: Lawrence in Uptown, Thorndale in Edgewater, Jarvis in Rogers Park, South near St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, and Foster near the Northwestern University campus.

After refreshing the alternative proposals for the Red and Purple Modernization project, stations like Jarvis in Rogers Park may be closed permanently in one of two major choices. Photo by Wikipedia user JeremyA.

The CTA have taken into account the passionate views regarding station elimination and therefore are instead using the term “consolidation.” One of the presenters defined consolidation as “the reduction of the number of train stops coupled with the creation of new, secondary entrances at adjacent stations.”

Proponents of consolidation argue its ability to greatly improve efficiency and travel times.

Consolidation creates new entrances at nearby stations and the CTA explained that they may reposition or lengthen train platforms to create new access points at different street intersections. One of the CTA presenters said, “Adding secondary entrances to stations would shorten the walk time for many patrons, however, some patrons may have to adjust their commute.”

Secondary entrances are planned for the following Red Line stations under the consolidation plan: Howard (entry at Paulina and Rogers), Loyola (entry at Albion), Granville (entry at Glenlake), Bryn Mawr (entry at Hollywood), Berwyn (entry at Foster), Argyle (entry at Ainslie), Wilson (entry at Sunnyside), Addison (entry at Waveland). A new Irving Park station would adjoin or replace the present-day Sheridan stop.

Secondary entrances will be added to the following Purple Line stations: Noyes (entry at Gaffield), Davis (entry at Church), Dempster (entry at Greenwood), and Main (entry at Madison).

Edgewater’s Thorndale station may be closed permanently in one of two major Red and Purple Modernization project choices. Photo by Gerald Farinas.

Presenters stressed that no official decision has been made regarding consolidation and that in the planning process, they are still keeping an open mind to the other alternative, without consolidation.

MODERNIZATION WITHOUT CONSOLIDATION

The new Modernization without Consolidation proposal was not one of the original six alternative plans from last year. It was created as a response to public reaction from last year’s unveiling of proposals, which CBS 2 credited our own Rogers Park Facebook page for breaking news regarding station elimination being part of several plans.

Modernization without Consolidation goes ahead with major upgrades to all the stations without eliminating Lawrence, Thorndale, Jarvis, South and Foster. It too will last 60-80 years.

MUTUAL IMPROVEMENTS

Both the Modernization and Modernization without Consolidation plans include the expansion of current 6-car Purple Line trains to 8 cars, and have additional Express train access points at Wilson and Loyola. Present-day 8-car Red Line trains would expand to 10 cars.

Both plans would significantly straighten out 16 of 20 known curves, improving travel times.

Both plans include the possibility of constructing a flyover near the Belmont station that would allow Brown Line trains to enter and exit the station without having to cross over, and stop, Red and Purple Line traffic. It would reduce travel time for all three affected lines.

WHY IS THE RED AND PURPLE MODERNIZATION PROJECT NEEDED?

Presenters started the meetings with a basic outline of why the Red and Purple Modernization project is needed. They argued that the infrastructure is significantly past its useful life and that degradation has caused increased maintenance costs and has compromised service. Everyone agreed that the community relies on the ‘L’ and that stations need to have ADA accessibility. The CTA continued, “Old transit line infrastructure causes delays and unreliable travel times. We cannot accommodate all passengers on existing roads and buses.” They added, “The population of the area we’re talking about is growing and are highly reliant on public transportation.”

WHAT’S NEXT IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?

Now that the Red and Purple Modernization project has whittled down its choices, another round of public meetings to refine proposals will be announced for summer of this year. The meetings will feature cost and proposal updates, illustrated renderings of the proposed plans, and a summation of potential negative and positive effects of each plan. A Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement, also called an EIS, will be issued in 2013 and will be subject to public hearing. Later that year, a final EIS will be presented.

RESOURCES

Residents and business owners are invited to read the Red and Purple Modernization Project Handouts (PDF given out at the public meetings) and the Red and Purple Modernization Exhibit Boards (PDF of the presentation shown to participants).

INTERIM PROJECTS UNDERWAY

While the CTA still works on finalizing plans for the Red and Purple Modernization project, work will go ahead for interim improvements to Lawrence, Argyle, Bryn Mawr, Thorndale, Granville, Morse and Jarvis stations. A public meeting regarding the interim project is planned for March of this year. Read the original story.

Granville and six other north side CTA Red Line stations will receive interim improvements until a more permanent Red and Purple Modernization project begins. Photo by Gerald Farinas.

Wilson redevelopment is also forging ahead. It will become a transfer station for both Red and Purple Lines. A public meeting regarding Wilson is planned for early this summer.

Loyola station is being redeveloped in a separate project spearheaded by Loyola University Chicago. It will be donating property towards the creation of a plaza along N. Sheridan Road. Read the original story.

This is an illustration of an updated Loyola station, as part of a larger Loyola University Chicago master plan development, not taking into account the CTA’s proposals to turn Loyola into a Red and Purple Line transfer station.

Permanent CTA station closures still on table for North Side and Evanston

Last year, our very own Rogers Park Facebook page was credited by CBS 2 for breaking news before the Chicago Transit Authority officially unveiled six alternate proposals for the Red and Purple Modernization project, of which three include the permanent closure of several stations: Jarvis, Thorndale, Lawrence on the Red Line and Foster, South on the Purple Line.

There was a major public outcry. 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore remembered reactions in his neighborhood, “Over 250 Rogers Park residents turned out in force to oppose the closing of the Jarvis station and hundreds of others flooded the CTA with letters and e-mails opposing the station closing.”

Despite efforts to calm customers that these were “just ideas,” the schemes are still officially on the table.

Jarvis CTA Red Line Station may be closed permanently in several alternate proposals for the Red and Purple Modernization project. Photo by Wikipedia user JeremyA.

The CTA told WBBM last year that it hopes to settle on a plan and seek construction money of up to $4.2 billion in the next federal surface transportation bill, which is expected later this year.

ALDERMAN MOORE WANTS PUBLIC TO COME OUT

The CTA is hosting two public meetings on Monday, February 6 at Evanston Public Library and Tuesday, February 7 at the Broadway Armory in Edgewater, both from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

At the meetings, (read the flyer invitation) the CTA will present updates to the Environmental Impact Statement process, provide additional information about RPM, and ask for more feedback from residents, workers and neighborhood businesses affected by the project.

Alderman Moore is calling all CTA users to come out to the meetings to reinforce opposition raised last year of station closures. The Rogers Park city council member told constituents, “The CTA was quick to emphasize the proposals were merely ideas and no official plans to close the station were in the works. Though this is still true, it’s important to note the CTA has not officially rejected the ideas that contemplate closing [stations]. I urge you to attend one of the update meetings to reaffirm our community’s strong opposition to any idea, plan or proposal that calls for the closing of [stations].”

Lawrence CTA Red Line Station may be closed permanently in several alternate proposals for the Red and Purple Modernization project. To make up for the loss of the station, proposals include the creation of new entrances at adjacent stations. Photo by Wikipedia user moonrat42.