Friday, October 12, 2012

Let's Talk Details: CTA's Open House

Photo by Steven Vance for Grid Chicago, via Flickr
Grid Chicago has a comprehensive article about the Wilson Station open house that took place last night, with a lot of photos and a good bit of information.  Read it here:  New Wilson Red Line train station offers more flexibility, better looks, and a long wait.

You can see the whole set of photos, including the one above, at Flickr, here:  Wilson Red Line Station.

Update:  Another transit blog likes the new design, a lot:  "Wilson station design: sleek, bold, neighborhood-changing" at CTA Station Watch.


  1. Cap's talk about increasing social services as a means of dealing with the chronic drug use is concerning...not sure more clinics is the hasn't worked in decades.

  2. "Cappleman said he will continue to maintain the affordable housing stock, increase and improve social services, and work with neighbors, police, schools, community groups, social services, and police (he said it twice for emphasis), to reduce crime and poverty in the area."

    INCREASE social services (?!?!?) and MAINTAIN affordable housing - which is already at a level above what HUD recommends?

    Did Cap get misquoted? This isn't the guy I voted for. Sounds like they quoted Helen!

  3. @miss kitty: I looked at my notes and I changed a couple words in my quote of Alderman Cappleman. He said "protect affordable housing stock". Also changed one other thing. -Steven, co-author of Grid Chicago

  4. I would like to know why Target is getting a direct acess entrance to it's store.

    I would like the train to be diverted to my home as well.

    How does it come about that Target gets a direct entrance?

    The store was largely paid for with public funds from what I understand in the form of Tiff's.

    They are always busy, making money like crazy and I really would like to know who talked to who and how this came about.

    When does a "Store" get a "L" stop. It no doubt will cost millions to provide this unnecessary stop.

    This exemplifies the current times when private enterprise takes over the public sector and starts feeding itself on the backs of taxpayers.

    Target is a low quality store. It doesn't deserve it's own L stop.

    Who got paid to pull this off?

  5. @ stu

    merch mart has entered directly into a playground of private enterprise for years without outrage.

  6. @ Stu Piddy: Hey, don't dis Target - it's not a low quality store! Their demographic is white collar yuppies – like me! ( Although I do agree it doesn't deserve it's own entrance/exit - street traffic should be diverted along Broadway to help the other storefronts in the McJunkin building – like those klassy hair salons – gheeeetttooo.

    Also the definitions of affordable housing and low income/subsidized housing differ. Perhaps the alderman can offer some clarification on what he meant.

    I’m sure nobody who reads this blog is excited to hear anyone talk about more public housing in Uptown… The public housing and social services are what causes the crime in our neighborhood (I have no statistical sources, just go on what I witness). To increase these services and expect crime to go down is counterintuitive. I mean come on.

  7. Stu, there must be three exits because of the size of the new station. It will be a transfer station for the Purple Line and the platforms will be longer than what we have now. Because of the length of the platforms, three entrances are required.

    Now, we can argue about where they should be placed. But there must be three.

    If you look at the new stations at Belmont and Fullerton, they each have three exits.

  8. Thanks for the clarification Steven. That makes a huge difference.

  9. Sorry kids, but public housing in itself does not mean crime. It's the people who prey upon public housing residents who become criminals. People who utilize social services generally do not commit violent crimes. By the way, I live about twenty feet from the elevated Red Line tracks on Broadway. You live in Uptown, you live with people who receive social services. Get rid of the a**holes who circle around these folks like sharks and then see where our crime stats go.

  10. Do you think any politician is honest to the tax paying citizen? Think again. Dealing off the bottom of the deck and throwing nothing but lies and if you think they will hear out our voices you got another thought coming. As long as they have control of our money it will be used to fill their pockets and take care of the ones that make it happen in the first place. It all amounts to nothing but lots of lip action and going through the motion to keep us happy and feeding them more dollars.

  11. @Nicky: Sometimes they don't even bother to go through the motions of trying to keep people happy.

    I'm certain that you'll be hearing more about the subject.

  12. The Sunnyside entrance is only required to be there for emergency purposes. The CTA is in favor of it and the Alderman and the Uptown Chamber are against it. If you want to ensure that the Sunnyside entrance/exit is usable on a daily basis then you need to e-mail your comments to the CTA at There are a large group of residents that live either south of the current entrances or southwest of the area and we are strongly in support of a closer entrance. The idea is to make the station more inviting and promote people using the station and one of the best ways to do this is to offer more convenient entrances/exits. Currently there are people south of Montrose that walk to the Sheridan stop even though Wilson is closer. We want those people to come north and feel safe doing so. People avoid Wilson because they don't feel safe and this Sunnyside entrance would provide them a safer alternative.

  13. There are a multitude of factors that go into the decision about the entrances and exits for the Wilson L Station. My office is still hearing from experts in fire safety, public safety, and urban planning.

    Once the feedback from these experts is made known to all of us, everyone will be armed with the necessary information to express an informed opinion.

    When I ran for public office, I stated over and over again my commitment to the use of evidence-based, best practices. My opinion about the use of best practices has not changed.

    I have heard experts in public safety express concerns about an exit behind Aldi. Work is being done to ensure concerns about public safety are addressed before any final decisions are made.

  14. I'm strongly in favor of a Sunnyside entrance. It has nothing to do with Target, and everything to do with shortening my walk to the train. I'm glad to see some agree, and puzzled why it would be opposed by anyone. I wish much success to the businesses along Broadway between Sunnyside and Wilson, but in 5 years of living here, I haven't patronized any of them. That's not going to change whether or not there's a Sunnyside entrance - I'm not in the market for their goods and services.

  15. I'm confused about Cappleman's posting and use of the term,
    evidence-based, best practices.

    I moved to Uptown from Denver in 2010 and followed the aldermanic election process closely after my new neighbors on Kenmore filled me in on Uptown's lively history.

    I did attend several of the candidate debates. I was attracted to Cappleman's background in social work since my undergrad degree is in a similar field.

    However I don't recall him ever talking about evidence-based best practices since this term is primarily used in the health care field, especially in the mental health, drug addiction field. It really has no application in the community and urban planning field.

    Gosh, I sure hope our new alderman listens to the people who live in Uptown and doesn't start hiding behind terms that don't have any real meaning for community planning.

    I support the new Sunnyside entrance since it would cut my commute walking down to the Sheridan El by 10 minutes.

  16. "Gosh," Stella, if you never heard Cappleman talk about evidence based best practices before, I doubt very much you were paying close attention during the campaign. If you had been, you would have heard him use that phrase as often as he said his name. Helen's good buddy Laura Washington even mocked him for it in her columns touting her hero, Don Nowotny. Gosh!

    I think your priorities are really amusing. There was an attempted murder of a police officer less than 24 hours ago just a few steps from the placement of the proposed Sunnyside exit, and that isn't as much a concern to a steady stream of first-time posters as their single-minded fixation with a CTA exit from a station that hasn't been built yet and won't be available for use until 2016. Gosh, Stella, how will you be able to bear that onerous extra ten minute walk for the next three and a half years? Will you even be living in Uptown in 2016? How about 2026? 2036? 2046? Whatever is built in the next decade will be around for at least 50 years, maybe even a century.

    Are you even concerned with your safety? Because if you are, then maybe you should question why you want to exit from a train into a dark parking lot, just steps away from a corner where gangbangers feel free to shoot up police cars and attempt to murder police officers?

    If I were living where you live, I would have a very different set of priorities than cutting ten minutes off my walk. Did you hear the dozen shots fired? Did you call 911? Does that ten-minute walk to Sheridan bother you more than hearing an attempt on a cop's life was made right where you want to exit the el?

    I'm waiting impatiently for the next wide-eyed first-time poster who is set up to make Cappleman look like Helen. Gosh, maybe the perpetual victim Bear60640 is behind this. Or maybe I'm just the suspicious sort.

    Cappleman isn't Helen. UNC was screaming to the high heavens because Helen paid no attention to experts or urban planners when building Wilson Yard or zoning Labor Ready to go right across from a school. Now that Cappleman says he wants to hear from experts before the new station is planned, suddenly a bunch of new commenters are screaming that he's a big meanie for wanting to do this right. Sheesh. Or, gosh. Or, wah, wah, wah.

    Make up your minds, do you want solid urban planning before things are built, or do you want an alderman who disregards the opinions of experts before he makes a decision? Can't have it both ways.

  17. Hey STELLA,

    Well it seems like TSN has taken the wind out of my sails for the comment I wanted to make. My pencil has lost its lead. I feel like Paul Ryan shaking his rattle after Joe Biden directed "my friend" at him a few dozen times at the debate.

    Gosh, Stella, just gosh.

    "Best practices" can be utilized in many different areas of life. Whether it be social work, urban planning, policing or dare I say "trolling".

    Gosh, just gosh. Jaysus, do I have to do to you what I did to another "gosh, gee willickers, golly kinda guy who posted here prior to the aldermanic election? I'm picturing Raggedy Ann taking her forefinges and and twisting them on her cheeks while saying:

    Golly, Gee Willickers, I just don't understand.

    Now I happen to believe that an entrance/exit should be built at Sunnyside to service the folks south and east or west of there. Many people are scared to utilize Wilson since it frequently resembles the cantina scene in "Star Wars".

    Let Cappleman work to try to minimize the risk to the commuters who will use such an entrance/exit. Considering we are years away from seeing the station rebuilt we might as well try to get it right.

    Ok, Stella? Golly, I hope you agree.

    Frigging troll! Step up your game or go somewhere else. I only like creative and amusing trolling. If you're gonna do something do it right.

  18. If we miss this chance to get the station we want, it will be another 50 years before they build another! I have faith the gangs will gone by then...

  19. "People avoid Wilson because they don't feel safe and this Sunnyside entrance would provide them a safer alternative." Cowboy

    If we miss this chance to get the station we want, it will be another 50 years before they build another! I have faith that Wilson will be much safer and with more shoppers walking along Wilson, it would be a safer entrance than in an isolated parking lot.

  20. @TrumanSquareRichard: You're sounding more than a little shrill and petty, and your suspicions aren't correct in this case. I'm not sure where you get the idea that I'm a perpetual victim, nor do I get where you get the idea that the best way to control crime is to wall it off west of the L tracks. What I *do* know is that there is all sorts of talk from you and yours about consulting with the "experts" on any number of issues, and you never seem to tell us who these "experts" are, let alone what their backgrounds are that make them "experts". A wanna-be cop who thinks he's being followed by gangmembers to the North Shore 'burbs is not "the police". And a social worker who says that a survey question asking "where do you want to see station entrances" isn't "correct" without asking if a particular one is "safe"...I'm afraid doesn't understand the concept of "loaded questions" let alone scientific method.

    You've mentioned before that the Sunnyside entrance is MY "pet project". I think it may be useful to say that if it serves my ignored part of the neighborhood, then I'm certainly in favor of it. It isn't any more my "pet project" than directing traffic to your buddies in the McJunkin Building is YOUR pet project. What I think that you and yours need to finally understand is that there are hundreds--based upon the empirical evidence of an unbiased public survey--who want to have an entrance at Sunnyside. You two need to learn to look, impartially and objectively, at the big picture, and understand that experts also include the people who live and work in the neighborhood and understand their part of the neighborhood better than you much of the time. One of things we understand is that $203 million--including $3 million of our TIF money--will have enough money set aside to clean up, reconstruct and light that dark scary (for you) alley, and it will make it inviting and safe enough that a LOT more people will make use of it. And just as an aside, if we're going to use evidence-based best practices and be concerned about EXISTING crime, then CTA should close the Wilson Station entirely--there have been shootings, assaults, gang activity, drug dealing and drug use, loitering, panhandling, and more right in front of the existing entrances...and all that plus a murder right in front of the 46th Ward Service Office. Who wants to walk in all that, and what can we tell the mother of a kid who gets murdered there?!?

    I hope that you and the Alderman, with all due respect, wake up and smell the coffee sooner rather than shouldn't have escaped your notice that people who are not me and who I don't know are starting to draw parallels between the Alderman's performance and his predecessor's, and that is dangerous. It isn't unreasonable for people to expect that their elected official will listen to them and act accordingly, as long as their expectations harm no one and benefit many.

  21. Bear, you are a BooBoo Bear!

    As in, you made a big boo-boo.

    Whether or not I am shrill or petty is subjective, but speaking factually, I am not Richard. Completely different parts, if you catch my drift, although we are both married to hot men with grey hair.

    If you look into the Wayback Machine, I have posted under this name going back to the days when everyone posted on the Beacon Neighbors message board before migrating over to the Buena Park Neighbors message board, then migrating over here. I thought it was kinda cute: TrumanSquareNeighbor posting on BeaconNeighbors.

    I lived in Truman Square at the time I chose that screen name, and Richard and James did not. Ergo, I am not Richard. (Let me check my X and Y chromosomes. Yep, confirmed: I am not Richard.)

    Ironically, I have since moved into your turf, and now live on Montrose, but I kept the name for continuity's sake. After ten or so years of using it, I'm rather attached to it.

    Your apologies are accepted.

    Now, since I believe this blog is to discuss Uptown issues, rather than the personalities behind the posts, can we get back to talking about the new Wilson Station?

  22. Bear60640. I have called you a cry baby and said I wish I was your boss because I would fire you in a heartbeat if you whined and complained like an 11 year old like you do here... you are perhaps the most self centered myoptic poster here. And btw, I anot not Richard nor James either... but I am tired of your one man selfish agenda where if you are not coddled your cry like a baby....grow up and be a part of the solution, not a self involved problem, as you are now...