Wednesday, July 16, 2008

CTA Approves Wilson Park & Ride

The Chicago Transit Board today approved an intergovernmental agreement with City Colleges of Chicago for the sale of a surplus parcel of land adjacent to the Wilson Red Line station. City Colleges’ Truman campus will build a facility which will include a parking garage with approximately 1,100 parking spaces – 200 of which will be licensed to the CTA for use as Park & Ride spaces.

On an average weekday, over 5,000 customers board at the Wilson station. "This is not only great news for Truman College, which is in need of additional space for its students, but also for CTA customers who use the Red Line who now will benefit from the convenience of additional Park & Ride spaces,” said CTA President Ron Huberman.

Park & Ride services are currently available for approximately 6,200 cars at facilities adjacent to 18 CTA rail stations throughout the system. The Howard station is currently the only other Red Line location with Park & Ride facilities.

“Truman College is pleased to partner with CTA to provide additional parking for the uptown community residents and citizens of Chicago,” said Truman College Interim President Lynn Walker. “For our students, staff and faculty this building will allow them access to a state-of-the-art facility and will consolidate student services into one central location on the first floor of the parking garage. This is service excellence at its best.”

The property, located between West Montrose Avenue and West Wilson Avenue, will be sold to City Colleges for $1.1 million. As part of the purchase price, City Colleges will grant CTA a 15-year license for up to 200 Park & Ride spaces. City Colleges will build and operate the facility

The CTA is encouraging more people to drive to one of the densest zip codes in the city. Cubs fans will surely enjoy the cheap parking as most park and ride lots cost no more than $2 to park.


  1. And it'll be convenient for the gang bangers to get good parking finally.
    Often they will circle for hours in that area, looking for a spot to park - so they can get to work setting fire to the Redline platform or mugging some poor SOB.
    This will be win/win for all of us.

  2. Chances of a new L station at Wilson, Montrose, or Sunnyside move from 50 to 1 to 4 to 1.

  3. And the chance of me getting a seat in the morning at Sheridan shrink down to almost nothing... Oh well. Anything to get people out of their cars.

    Personally, I'd be nervous leaving my car at Truman in a Park-n-Ride situation. These are cars that are almost guaranteed to be unattended for several hours at a time. Seems like a prime break-in target.

  4. Gee, I didn't recall any study to assess the feasibility that this idea might be good. Oh well. It's the thought that counts, right?

  5. Camera 1. Camera 2. Camera 3. Camera more.

    Rule number one in the process of getting suburbanites into the sales tax pit is ensure the city gives them few reasons to never come back.

    We'll make sure the cameras go through the same background checks as the people that park there.

  6. It will be good for people to have a public toilet in the area! What is the generally accepted proportion of parked cars:urinating drunks in the normal parking garage?

  7. Aside from its funding aspects(i.e. the TIF money), I think this is actually a very good thing. Anything that drives traffic(no pun intended) to that area of Uptown is welcome in my opinion. Yes yes, we can make jokes that people will get urinated on and such, but the more upstanding people that frequent an area, the better our chances of seeing a little revitilization there. 400 cubs fans after a game will definitely warrant something other than a rat infested Popeyes.

    And, like TSOMH points out, that increased traffic greatly increases our chances of getting a new El Station.

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  9. I don't know if this is truly designed to get increased usage of the EL Station. With the exception of Wrigley game days..

    Where are all these park and riders going to come from?

    If they are coming from the west they are going to bypass the Brown Line to use the Red Line? ? ?

    I know there are people lazy enough to drive two blocks to park their car at a CTA station, but somehow I don't see where the "customers" for the CTA portion are coming from.

    Methinks there may be more to this than meets the eye.

    Here's a theory. The city badly wants the Uptown Theater to be renovated and operating. The Theater would lack parking. The city has been "encouraging" developer Jimmy Gouskos to build the garage at his Lawrence Avenue development first.

    Anyone see where I'm going. If the Uptown is operating most of the events would NOT conflict with the needs of the CTA or Truman College for parking. Therefore over 1000 spaces are suddenly available for the Uptown and a shuttle bus could be put in place to cart the customers the 3 blocks to the theater.

    Thank you and just call me the Wizard of Oz because I gave you a peek behind the curtain.

  10. As I recall, $10,000,000 of TIF funds is going to fund this. Parking isn't what qualified this area for a TIF.

    Why aren't the TIF funds used for the very things that qualified the area to be in need of a TIF?

  11. The CTA press release is vague on who pays.

    "The property, located between West Montrose Avenue and West Wilson Avenue, will be sold to City Colleges for $1.1 million. As part of the purchase price, City Colleges will grant CTA a 15-year license for up to 200 Park & Ride spaces. City Colleges will build and operate the facility."

    Who owns the land? The CTA? City of Chicago?

    City Colleges will build it. Will they pay for it?

  12. We should contact the investigative hotline numbers of the local news networks to get some media attention about the police refusing to make arrests with eyewitness identification of gangbangers engaging in a shoot out at 3:30 in the afternoon on Wilson. That is absolutely offensive and frightening.

    I just noted the Fox News Chicago Investigative Tip Line number - 312.565.8076. If they get enough calls, I would imagine they would be keen to investigate. I am going to call right now.

  13. You know, I will admit I am a victim of attrition, but if the garage is the final catalyst needed to get the Uptown renovated, I am for it..

  14. Okay, there are some issues here that confuse me.

    First, isn't there going to be 600 underground spaces scheduled to be built just on the other side of the tracks at Wilson Yard? By the way, didn't they say at the parking garage meetings (all two of them) that they could not put any of the parking underground due to the high water table there even though there is already underground loading dock just north of and soon to be parking garage just east of the proposed site?

    Second, how is this going to affect traffic when you have cars coming in to the area looking to park and ride, go to class at Truman, go to Aldi's, go the yet to be named department store, and go to the Cubs game? Keep in mind that the access to 1,136 of those 1,736 new parking spaces in our neighborhood will be from residential streets.

    Is it just me, or is there a complete disconnect with reality here?

    What makes this worse is that $10 million in Wilson Yard TIF money will be used for funding the project. Incredible...

  15. Alderman Shiller is again disconnected from reality here by making plans for Car America instead of the reality that gas will never drop down in price.

    Countless letters to that aldercritters office has yielded pointless straw-man tactics of claiming the Blue Bin program has been a "win" for the environment in Uptown.

    Now, you'll not only get more cars in Uptown, but more pollution, congestion, and see a decline of the conditions of your roads.

    All so a few "returning adults" can take classes that they could take at their local community college instead.