Thursday, January 27, 2011

Don't Want The Lawrence Stop Closed? Tell The CTA

The Sun-Times says in a story today that "CTA’s top brass want to hear what riders have to say about plans to close up to three North Side stations and two others in Evanston along Red and Purple Lines.... Station closures also are being considered at Thorndale, Lawrence and Jarvis stops in Chicago."

We posted about this on Monday, and the week before, urging readers to go to the Uptown forum to tell the CTA how you felt about the Red Line as it stands in Uptown.  A few did.  But we've been getting a lot of email from people who are upset and surprised by the news that the Lawrence stop might be shuttered.

If there's a theme to this blog, this is it:
Be Aware!  Make Noise!  Do Something!

Living in Uptown has taught us that if we don't speak up -- whether it's about TIFs, or voting, or crime, or the CTA -- things will happen without us.  We'll end up paying for something that we don't like and didn't want because we didn't get involved and didn't make our opinions known.

The modernization of the Red and Purple Lines has the potential to be a $4 billion project.  We'd like to see a good amount of that spent right here in Uptown.  We'd love to have a beautiful "top to bottom" rehab of the Wilson stop, just like Peter Holsten promised (before Helen alloted it a mere $3million touch-up).  We need to convey that message.  The CTA is asking what we want; we need to tell them.

So this is our suggestion:
  • Read the original post, particularly the comments by people who attended
  • Then write, or fax, or email the CTA, who genuinely seem interested in hearing what people have to say.  Do it today, although the deadline for public comments is February 18th.

    MAIL: Steve Hands, CTA Strategic Planning & Policy
    PO Box 7602, Chicago, Illinois 60680
    FAX:  312/681-4195


  1. FYI Winthrop isnt such a pigsty this week just around the corner from the Lawrence Stop.

    But still some significant trash.
    Used two small plastic bags I found on the ground to pickup the trash yesterday. And I used nifty nabbers.

    You guys may also notice that there are plastic bags in a couple of the trees on that stretch of Winthrop.

    I would buy a bag snagger, but cant right now. Hefty Price of 450 bucks. Bette Middler has one in Newyork. Bag snaggers seem to be the best way to get trash out of trees.

    If trash in Uptown or anywhere is bothering you, just use a pickup tool like a nifty nabbers and a trash bag. You would be surprised what a difference you can make.

    People will litter less in general because if there isnt a giant reservoir of litter to add to, so you have less of the joiner crowd who just litter because its seen as acceptable.

    There will be persistent nuts though that will continue to litter despite any measure taken.
    But allowing litter to sit for long periods of time is bad for the environment and for everyones mental well being.

    Picking it up gives someone instant gratification, in that you have an immediate result. It can be disheartening to see the litter reaccumulate, but you have to remember this is not a one day job, its one that if taken on will take weeks, months, years. That part takes patience.

  2. I would suggest doing additional things rather than email because apparently their email address has some issues. I've gotten 3 delayed email notices coming back since I sent that...

  3. Noise made, email sent! I found it interesting reading in one of the comments on the old post, where the CTA offical smiled when someone asked about how long the 46th ward has been waiting for a rehab. He said something to the effect, "Well the Alderman really has to push for that."

    NOOOOO, really our Alderman for over 20 years has not pushed for something the property owners have wanted for almost as long? Wow that really takes me by surprise.

  4. Make some noise, now! Just sent an email and will be spending the 44 cents to put the same writing in the mail. Please take the 5 minutes to do the same!!!!!

  5. i for one would love for this station to be closed and upgraded. the new ones on the brown line are beautiful

  6. The CTA folks at this public scoping session were very open and helpful when we asked, what are the next steps? What can we do to make sure the Red Line modernization project really serves our communities?

    Taking the Red & Purple lines from the dark ages to the future is a huge project.

    Right now the CTA needs our feedback on which plan we want for the BIG PICTURE. Go to UU's posting with the link to the scope booklet. There are 6 plans.

    The 4-track modernization plan makes the most sense for the long term. Think El stations like Belmont with ADA accessibility, better lighting, wider platforms, and hopefully spanking-new, bright retail shops instead of public bathrooms like the Wilson El.

    The details like station entrances, Lawrence El station, etc will all come later.

    Right now the CTA wants to here first and foremost on which plan you want. You can certainly include your comments about stations and new entrances/exits.

    We also got some great pointers on how to make the Wilson El station a top priority. Why do you think the Wilson El revitalization never happened under the regime of the current alderman? It's a gateway; keep it blighted so retailers stay away, people don't use it and you have status quo with empty store fronts.

  7. Hey guys, RELAX! The CTA doesn't even have the money to finish the planning stage, let alone begin to break ground.

    There are alternative plans that would cost pretty much the same amount, give or take a few hundred million, that don't eliminate these stops. In particular, I'm liking the 4-track modernization alternative.

    BUT there is something to be said for subway stops - they're warmer, and their out of the rain. And I don't really use the Lawrence stop, so I don't really care that much about it. It's only two more blocks to the Wilson stop anyway.

  8. Hey Rob, RELAX! Many of us do use the Lawrence stop, so we'll keep writing to the CTA.

    Funny thing is - I don't use Wilson, but I sure as heck give a damn about it, along with Lawrence, because its part of MY neighborhood.

  9. I know I've mentioned this before, but another way to help keep Uptown clean is to call people out when you see them littering. You don't even have to be rude to them...I found that if I loudly said, "Sir, you know there's a trash can a block up the street!", most people looked ashamed, picked up the litter, and threw it away without looking me in the face.

  10. With the Aragon, Kinetic, Riviera, Green Mill, etc. right there -- the supposed heart of the "entertainment district" -- why would the CTA remotely even consider closing the Lawrence stop?

  11. Toucan - You said it. Make sure your letter to the CTA notes that, as mine does.

    Further, consider having your respective block clubs write a letter.

    Channeling foot traffic away from Lawrence will essentially put a nail through any plans to that to continue to develop as a north "Main and Main" for Uptown.

    Further, Lawrence is a major East / West Connector (not Wilson or Argyle!)

    It ONLY makes sense to close Lawrence given its proximity to other stops, but the geography, demographics, and population density along the north lakefront should give a clue that it should be kept open as part of any long term solution.

  12. I'm interested in finding out how riders feel about the potential for Wilson to be a "transfer station" with express access to downtown.

  13. E-mail sent, letter will be sent Monday