CTA riders could see red on North Side

June 01, 2012|By Tracy Swartz, RedEye

Starting this week, the Red Line may become the "Dread Line" for some North Side riders.

On Friday, the CTA will close the Granville stop in Edgewater for up to six weeks as part of its program to rehab seven of the most deplorable stations on the North Side Red Line.

Granville is the first of seven stations to close, and the CTA is encouraging riders to use the Thorndale stop, which is less than a half mile away, or the Loyola stop, which is about a half mile away.

The station closure will likely bring slower trains. The area around the Granville stop is already under slow zone, according to a map posted this month to the CTA's Web site. More than 20 percent of Red Line track is under slow zone—second to the Brown Line in terms of lines with the highest percentage of these zones.

About 4,000 riders use the Granville stop each weekday, and if they so choose, they will be joining about 3,000 riders who use the Thorndale stop on weekdays or 5,500 riders who use the Loyola stop, according to March ridership statistics from the CTA. The Granville station is expected to reopen July 13.

During this time, the CTA said it will paint the station's viaduct and improve the lighting under it. Also on the agenda: new windows, doors, stationhouse lighting and bike racks.

The CTA plans to make similar improvements to the other six stations. Under this project, the agency is set to close the Morse stop on June 29, the Thorndale and Argyle stops in August, the Berwyn and Lawrence stops in October and the Jarvis stop in November.

A CTA spokesman said the Granville stop was picked to go first because of scheduling.

The Granville stop suffers from a lack of lighting and a platform that's too narrow, but it is not the most disgusting station on the north side of the Red Line—that distinction likely goes to the Sheridan stop in Lakeview or Uptown's Wilson stop, the three-time winner of Going Public's Crust Station contest, which names the most repugnant station, based on reader feedback.

The CTA has an idea to transform the Wilson stop into a transfer station with access to the Purple Line Express. The agency said it also plans to make improvements to the Sheridan stop.

Meanwhile, in other Red Line news, the Chicago Department of Transportation said it is set to begin overhauling the Clark/Division stop on the Near North Side on July 1. The station will remain open during the rehab, which includes mezzanine work.

Chatter's up

Teams from TransitChatter, a new app by Chicago developers that lets riders on the same train or bus connect for chats or games, have been promoting their new app at Red Line stations. Go to transitchatter.com for more information.


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Stationary

A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: 35th/Archer Orange Line

This McKinley Park stop is for the birds—it seems the pigeons have taken over this station. Going Public caught a few pigeons hanging out among the spikes, installed to deter pigeons, above the platform Friday. Because of these unwanted visitors, riders should watch where they step. Pigeon excrement decorates the floor and the wall near one escalator. That's not fly.

Next up: Francisco Brown Line.

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