Friday, August 13, 2010

Second Year In The Running?

It's time to nominate the worst of the CTA via Tracy Swartz's Going Public at the RedEye. She is taking suggestions for worst bus route and station. Our own Wilson station was crowned "crustiest station" last year. We think it is in even worse shape this year with vacant storefronts and no timeline or plans for construction.

More info via Going Public:

Here are the rules: E-mail me at with the bus route number or station name in the subject line of the e-mail. Don't forget your full name, age and neighborhood and a reason or two about why you nominated the route or station. GP also is accepting photos of hideous CTA stations.

Hate e-mail? Log on to and submit your suggestions. You also can tweet @redeyechicago or post on our Facebook wall at

Just be sure you get your say in before 9 a.m. Monday.


  1. The Wilson El Stop is terrible. I think it is one of the grossest things in this area. At times I think it should be a hazzardous waste zone. Between people urinating ( have have seen it a few times this summer in broad daylight ), people smoking on the platform ( at least 3 times per week ), lazy CTA workers who sit and talk to thier freinds all day, to just the filth that piles up all over the station it is amazing that someone hasnt gotten seriously hurt there. It is so disqusting to even look at. I think they really need to gut out all the empty store fronts and either just wall them up or fix them up nice for some new stores.

    Is it me or is it gross that people spit off the platform and it rains down on the people below?

    One night about a month back there was a bunch of the colorful gang youth, about 10 of them waiting by the exit inside the station looking for someone. They were pointing people out asking...."is that him?" The CTA guy just sat there watching and talking with them. They seemed like they were looking for someone and not in a good way too.

    Getting this stop fixed up would be a great starting point to fixing up Uptown. Start there and slowly move up and down Wilson.

  2. I can remember when there used to be a little restaurant/coffee/doughnut shop in the Wilson train station. Awww! The good ole days! But even back then, I did everything in my power to avoid that train station.

    I moved to Uptown in 93, but even in the 80s, the Wilson stop was the pits. Urine. Spit. Drunks. Thieves. Gangsters. You name it. The Wilson train station had it.

    Frank, I disagree with opening new businesses in the empty spaces. Who would shop there? With all the questionable folks hanging around in that area, would you really feel safe pulling out your wallet? I know I wouldn't.

    The Wilson El stop will change, when the people who use it, change.

    So don't hold your breath!

  3. Is it really that time of year again? Time to cast our votes?

    It's as disgusting as it's always been in the 20 years I've been here.

    Per usual, I always am STUNNED when 'the worst of Uptown' can be found within a close radius of the 46th Ward Office. Really close. Painfully close.
    Not sure what it all means?
    I do know it has to get better, since it can't get much worse.

  4. Has anyone seen the $3 Million dollar "renovation" to the stairwell that Ald. Shiller secured from our tax dollars? That cheap terra cotta tile crap they slapped on won't last until this time next year before it has to be repaced again.

    Not to mention, you could easily get someone to do that job for a couple thousand.

    So, where did the remaining $2,998,000.00 go? Seriously.

  5. It doesn't help that there is at least one new merchant hawking knockoff handbags on the south side of Wilson. It's tolerable, I suppose, in comparison to what he could be selling (soap and shampoo, tube socks, hiphop clothes with dollar signs all over them), but it still sets a bad precedent.

    That said, the Wilson/Broadway corridor seems to be a bit less active, and I haven't seen the infamous merchant in front of the currency exchange for awhile. Then again, I've also been avoiding that area all I can lately.

  6. It seems this site has run it's course. Is this all we have to talk about? I thought the idea was to share idea, and create positive change in the neighborhood. Rather it has become a message board to complain about the everything imaginable in the neighborhood.

    Everyone knows the Wilson El station is a pit. I don't think starting a campaign to make sure it is voted the worst is going to help. It obviously didn't help last year.

    Could this site be having the opposite effect? Keeping perspective neighbors from moving in and helping change things.

    Fear is a dangerous tool to employ. I worried there is to much negative energy out there for Uptown to make a comeback.

  7. "It seems this site has run it's course. Is this all we have to talk about?"
    Well, Wicked, speaking for myself, I've learned a TON from this site. What you see as 'fear as a dangerous tool', I see the information I've learned as filling in a lot of blanks.
    I think this has brought Uptown residents together....information is power.
    The information and comments on UU have been a huge motivational factor for me, to do whatever I can to improve things.

  8. So whattya wanna do Wicked Messenger?

    Good, bad, right, or wrong...I was out on Thursday night actually fighting a part of what's wrong with Uptown.

    What'd you do?

  9. I think that voting it the worst for a second year running will do at least something. The RedEye will publish that and the CTA's press person will spew the same BS that the station's being renovated, but maybe they've actually come up with a game plan by now that they'll be able to share with the public. Let's not make these blog comments personal again, keep it about the issue.


  10. Timothy Fitz,

    There are better people living walking distance to the wilson el and yes they are afraid to use it.

    Part of that reason is it is a commercial wasteland. So putting a coffee shop or something decent would be a good way to draw some decent people by that may want to use the el as well.

    Step One get rid of nasty retail
    Step Two put nonnasty retail in
    Step Three cross your fingers

    Does everyone really think that an el station two stops from wrigely field and just one stop from the sheridan station is just going to continue being a pit/hellhole forever?

    Then you are really a pessimist.
    And unrealistic.