CHICAGO (CBS) — Some neighbors are furious at a plan by the Chicago Transit Authority that would the No. 11 Lincoln Avenue bus from Lincoln Square to Lincoln Park.
The CTA on Wednesday announced the plan to cut service on the No. 11 Lincoln-Sedgwick route between the Western Brown Line stop and the Fullerton Red-Brown-Purple Line Stop. On the south end of the route, the No. 11 bus would be replaced with a new No. 37 Sedgwick bus – resurrecting a line that was discontinued back in 2006.
The proposed cut to the Lincoln Avenue bus route is part of a greater plan to add more service to 48 busy bus routes and all ‘L’ lines except for the Pink and Yellow lines, while cutting bus routes with low ridership. The CTA argues that the No. 11 bus is made redundant by the path of the Brown Line ‘L,’ which crosses the northwest-southeast path of Lincoln Avenue four times.
But neighbors say the loss of the route would be detrimental to the busy and vibrant neighborhoods it serves, and are petitioning the CTA to reconsider. They have launched a Web site, SaveRoute11.com, where they point out that the bus route is used by 5,800 people every weekday – from “senior citizens, low income and disabled individuals (to) families and DePaul students.”
The Web site also credits the route with bolstering the small businesses that transformed “a previously undeveloped stretch into a bustling commercial artery between Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square. Businesses that are accessible by public transportation flourish and create jobs, those that are not, fail.”
Says the Web site: “If the CTA’s plan is approved, our community will be faced with fewer transportation options, and the threat of stunted economic growth. Take action today and make sure the Route 11 Lincoln Bus keeps running, so our community can keep growing.”
The Lakeview Chamber of Commerce has also mounted a petition asking the CTA to keep the No. 11 line as is. Along the West Lakeview stretch of Lincoln Avenue, the petition points out, nearly 150 jobs have been added just between Belmont Avenue and Diversey Parkway.
“Lincoln Avenue is quickly becoming Chicago’s hot new commercial corridor and accessible public transportation fosters continued growth. The local work force and consumers rely on the #11 Bus to get them to this area of Lincoln Avenue,” the petition says. “The elimination of bus service here may squash Lincoln Avenue’s Renaissance. We cannot allow that to happen.”
The stretch of Lincoln Avenue that would be affected by the cut is lined with an assortment of local landmarks and venues, including the Old Town School of Folk Music, the Half Acre Brewery, Martyrs’ music club, Paulina Meat Market and the Discovery Center adult education facility; as well as the busy and iconic intersection of Lincoln, Ashland and Belmont avenues.
The Western, Addison and Paulina Brown Line stops are all a short distance from Lincoln Avenue, although only the Paulina stop has an entrance right on Lincoln.
Under the proposed plan, the No. 11 route would retain service between the Western Brown Line station and the current terminal at Howard Street and McCormick Boulevard in Skokie.