Saturday, December 1, 2007

Only In Uptown, Only At The Wilson El Stop

Uptown resident James Cappleman raised an excellent point in regards to our decrepit Wilson El station. It's something that daily users of the station may have never even noticed. Why are the turnstiles and ticket machines on the SECOND FLOOR? There is a large open lobby on the first floor where the turnstiles and ticket machines could be better installed. How often have you seen folks sleeping or passed out in the lobby? Is that what you want visitors to Uptown seeing upon exiting the train? We encourage our readers to call the CTA and demand this.

James went on to say:
"All the L stops require people to go through a turnstile on the first floor, and that stops some of the problems commonly seen at the Wilson L. The design of the Wilson L actually promotes illegal behavior with the turnstile located in the middle of a stairwell for the main entrance, which is probably why it has an exceptionally high number of arrests at this stop. Last time I checked, there were more arrests at this one L stop than all L stops combined on the Northside for both the Red Line and Brown Lines....our Wilson L main entrance has become a warming center in the winter."

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  1. A couple of things...

    1) Wasn't the original entrance where Popeye's is now? And didn't that change way before Shiller got in office?

    2) Not all entrances are on the "1st floor". Some of the Loop train turnstiles are either on the 2nd floor, or on a subterranean level. The 79th street station has turnstiles on the "1st floor" , but also down below as well. The first floor might be considered a "warming center" for those waiting for the bus.

    3) Certainly the close of the Wilson Donut shop hasn't helped. But the Uptown Chicago Commission could approach the convenueince store about setting up cameras to track specific people and times of loitering. The UCC , as a 501-c-3, can either get tax deductible donations and/or grants to buy some to help in this effort

    4)Recruit a business to move into the old Wilson Donut Shop space. If you help set them up, and provide enough business, i'm sure the owners would be willing tohelp with the problem. Probably a business that could run 24 hours (or have someone in the shop, doing inventory, clean-up, whatever) that can take breaks to monitor & call in for the area.

    5) The redevelopment of the Wilson El Station has been part of the Wilson Yards plan fromt he beginning, has it not? If so, it makes little sense to reconfigure the station, only to have it change a couple of years later. It would be a huge waste of finanical resources. while quality of life might improve, it's doubtful that the number of riders coming on or off would change

    6) Wilson is far from the worst station in the system. The Roosevelt station (Red Line) reeks of urine, especially in the elevator. And this is suppsoed to be visitors' stop on their way to the museums & Soldier Field? The same smelly situation for the Jackson street El, which leads people to Grants Park & Michigan Avenue. Sure you want your local place to be good, but you HAVE to consider the rest of YOUR CITY as well. As much as i think there is too much emphasis on downtown, if i had to choose a station to work on first, it would be the highest traffic, which would mean downtown.

    7) Before you respnd...consider Th Magnolia Malden Neighbors Blog, and their approach to dealing with issues in Uptown. Do you agree with them, or are the Magnolia Malden Neighors wrong?

  2. jp paulus, how many words do you write every week about the neighborhood you currently live in (as opposed to the neighborhood you are not a resident of but still feel the need to condescend to)?

  3. jp -

    Isn't it all about quality of life?

    For every one?

    Not just the poor?

    For a person, like Shiller, whose dreams rely so much on tax dollars, you've both got a nifty way of pissing off the people who are paying your bills.

    If you piss off, and scare off, those awful, horrible white-yuppy "gentrifiers" .. how ya' gonna' light the streets?

    Wanna know how socialism plays out? Look to Venezuela. They're having a big ol' party down there.

    ... other than that, I'm not even going to waste my time picking apart that lame-assed drivel you probably think is nifty argument.

    It's not. It's just lame.

  4. I don't really care about any other station, I care about Wilson because it is in my neighborhood and it is neglected.

    And Shiller can do something about it.

    JP - Why do you care so much about Uptown? Do you own here?

    I do so shut the heck up!

  5. As usual, JP, you have no idea what you're writing about.

    The Wilson L station has NEVER been part of the Wilson Yard plan. Not one single dime of TIF money has been allocated to the Wilson L station.

    There is only a pie in the sky design plan, and god knows (just ask your pastor) the CTA ain't got any money for the actual construction or significant rehab of the station.

    So the answer to "Has it not?" is an emphatic "No".

  6. WHattheHelen,

    You're right on this one. i also looked at some on posts on here and saw that thenew El station is "unofficially" part of the plan, but is not something that is a part of the TIF.

    I apologize.

  7. Stop playing with the blog troll.

  8. The rehabbed Wilson L is so unofficially part of the Wilson Yard TIF that not even the Wilson Yard Task Force knows about it. Shiller also announced there's an unofficial budget for it. It is so unofficial that no one knows about it except for Shiller who won't say the amount of her unofficial budget or precisely what it's for.