CHICAGO (CBS) – Many riders in voiced outrage Wednesday night over a possible plan by the CTA to eliminate five stops, or maybe even bury much of the Red Line ‘L’ as a subway.
At the meeting at the New Field Primary School, at 1707 W. Morse Ave. in the Rogers Park neighborhood, some area residents were furious at the idea that stations might close – particularly the Jarvis stop.
“I want to understand what your thinking was that our station should even be considered, because it’s all we need. It would be the death knell to Rogers Park, the absolute death knell,” one woman told a CTA representative. “We’ve worked so hard to bring that up, and we have a wonderful shopping area now. It never existed before. It was liquor stores. We can’t have that.”
Ald. Joe Moore (49th) was also in attendance at the meeting. He previously came out strongly against the closure of the Jarvis stop.
“I am absolutely opposed to any option that would include the closing of the Jarvis station,” Moore told CBS 2’s Jim Williams Tuesday.
He said the options that include closing Jarvis are more expensive than options that would call for renovating the station instead.
Two of the plans call for downgrading Purple Line express and Red Line local service by maintaining three or four tracks. These plans also call for eliminating the Jarvis stop, as well as the Lawrence and Thorndale stops, on the Red Line, and the South Boulevard and Foster stops on the Purple Line.
In their place, new entrances would be added to other existing stations – including an Ainslie Street entrance at the Argyle stop, a Hollywood Avenue entrance at the Bryn Mawr stop, entrances to the Howard terminal at Rogers Avenue, and an entrance to the Noyes Street Purple Line stop at Evanston’s Gaffield Place.
The current concrete ground embankment structure would also be replaced with a new concrete elevated structure, as seen on the Orange Line.
A different scenario would replace the existing four tracks with three tracks, which would eliminate reverse-direction Purple Line Express trains.
And an even more radical plan calls for getting rid of the ‘L’ structure altogether between the Belmont and Loyola stops, and replacing it with a subway. New subway stations would be located at Addison, Irving Park, Wilson, Foster, Bryn Mawr and Glenlake.
Under that plan, the Argyle, Lawrence, Berwyn, Thorndale and Granville stops would vanish, in some instances without a new entrance in close proximity to replace them.
Neighbors in Uptown are also angry about the plan. The blog Uptown Update is urging residents to speak to the CTA about the possible closing of the Lawrence stop.
“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,” Uptown Update said. “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.”
Neighbors in Uptown would rather see money dedicated toward a major rehab of the Wilson stop two blocks south, Uptown Update said.
Another meeting on the Red and Purple Line upgrades is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster St. in Evanston.