Friday, December 4, 2009

CTA "Basically Dragged Their Feet"

On August 11th we posted a link to a RedEye column by Tracy Swartz that reported an offer to the CTA for a complimentary cleanup and seal of the Wilson El Stop from Sungloss Marble Co. in the wake of winning the Crust Station contest.

Unfortunately, it looks like we won't be seeing the cleanup until Spring at the soonest because the CTA "basically dragged their feet too long." Find out what happened in a follow-up column from Tracy here.


  1. And I'm sure some will be surprised by this foot-dragging. Please don't. There is nothing to gain by cleaning or fixing these two "L" stops, either Wilson or Lawrence and millions of dollars in clean-up costs to lose. Should Uptown begin, and continue with, any gentrification Hizzona would be without a northside location to place his displaced minions; AKA-Helen supporters (drug-dealers, hookers, gang members, etc.). Downtown is the jewel of Chicago, Uptown is the dredge.

    Look at the bright side, you got your condo for a steal. Those bullet holes are easily repaired with spackle, a big 15 gallon tub you can get at our neighborhood ACE Hardware.

  2. What absolute fools would turn down an offer of FREE maintenance???
    The CTA!!!!!

  3. Does anyone know when the Lawrence Red Line station demolished??? Was it that far gone??? I've lived there for 12 years...and have never seen a station.

  4. Lawrence is on Lawrence between Broadway and Winthrop. I use it daily.

  5. larrynow - it was demolished in 1995, so shortly after the floors were polished!


  7. Interesting:

    • Translation: Word is CTA President Richard Rodriguez, who was appointed by Mayor Daley in February, may be leaving to return to the private sector.

    • Word is Daley's chief of staff Paul Volpe may become the next CTA chieftain. (Volpe, who was the mayor's point man on the parking meter lease deal, once called City Inspector General David Hoffman's claim of a $974 million taxpayer loss on the deal "ridiculous.")

  8. Key phrases from the Lawrence station website - (common phrases in Uptown in general)...station fallen into severe disrepair...then demolished, chain link fence temporarily installed (in 1995), planned renovation year after year...with no results...

  9. I do not think the Lawrence stop is nearly as bad as Wilson. At all. I just think both stops should be handicapped accessible.

  10. At least Wilson has a station house, but alas, both stops need help.

    If the vision was to support the "entertainment" district at Lawrence, the Lawrence stop certainly isn't a welcoming site for visitors/concert goers, etc... That and the lack of better street lights and planters, streetscaping, etc... but that's another topic.

  11. In my opinion, the worst part of the Lawrence stop is the minefield of pigeon poop just before the entrance. They were hosing it down every day, but now that it is cold they have stopped. I have to look up going to and fro just to make sure the Lawrence pigeons don't bomb me from above. Could we declare them a gang, plant a gun in their nest and have them arrested?

  12. "The CTA said management changes in the facilities maintenance department delayed the agency's response to Sungloss."

    This is a true statement.

  13. EW,

    pigeons are vermin with wings.

    If the CTA wants me to I'll take a pellet gun and reduce the "pigeon menace". Of course the bird lovers would protest.

    I'll just put on my Elmer Fudd hat and go to work.

    I do have to say though the peregrine falcons who nest on the Uptown Theater do seem to have reduced the pigeon population drastically.

    Thank you, Falcons.

    I salute you.

  14. True about the falcons!!!
    It's creepy to hear their caw as they fly overhead...but comforting to know they're out there... devouring pigeons!!!!!

  15. Can't you use TIF funds or SSA funds?

  16. Can't you use TIF funds or SSA funds?


  17. Killian,

    Although the stop falls within SSA #34, the SSA does not generate enough revenue to finance a project of this magnitude.

    Using TIF funds for an L stop, however, would meet the original intent of state TIF legislation better than using them for poorly conceived public housing and agroponics.

    TIFs are supposed to be used to redevelop "blighted" and "conservation" areas. Our beleaguered Wilson stop would seem to qualify.

    At the "task force" meeting on the expansion of the WY TIF, Ald Shiller did say some TIF money may be used to match funds for Wilson station renovations. Of course, we all know plans can change.

  18. Even if they do clean up the stations, they will still reek of urine & decay in no time ... Look at the newly-built Howard Station ... The new construction smell is already being overcome by urine.

    You can make it as pretty as you wish, but if you don't eliminate the source of the problem, you're not going to change anything.

    Since we can't seem to keep people from using the el stations as port-a-potties, we can't expect the stations to smell any different.

  19. All that money to renovate the Howard Station - and they couldn't figure out a way to install safe and clean public restrooms?

    What century is this anyway?

  20. What century is this anyway?

    Based on the Dickensian state of some of our public works, I'd say 19th century.

    Mid, 19th-century.