The entrance to the Sheridan Red Line stop.
There hasn't been a tighter red vs. blue matchup since the 2000 presidential election. The Division Blue Line station won an online poll over the Sheridan Red Line station by 11 votes. But more CTA riders e-mailed and tweeted their support for the Sheridan stop.
In the end, the winner of Going Public's 2012 Crust Station contest, which dishonors the most disgusting CTA stop, is … the Sheridan Red Line stop in Lakeview.
The station was derided by riders for its dirty look and moldy smell. Sheridan also is not accessible for riders with disabilities. Instead, there are long and narrow staircases to and from the aging wooden platform.
"I had the misfortune of getting off the Red Line at Sheridan a few weeks ago after a rain and it was disgusting. The rain made it seem like slime was dripping down the walls," wrote Brandon Stanley, 28, of Logan Square. "The smell was terrible too. Not only that, the street entrance looks like a scene from a zombie movie. Definitely the grossest stop I have seen in the system."
The Sheridan stop saw about 5,400 riders each weekday in June, according to a CTA report. That places in the top 5 for ridership among northern Red Line stations—behind the Howard, Addison, Wilson and stops, respectively.
While seven of its cohorts on the Northern Red Line are seeing cosmetic facelifts this year, Sheridan seems like the outcast station. The CTA has said it will create a plan for Sheridan that's separate from the Northern Red Line project. Riders say this work is long overdue.
"I use the Red Line every day of the week, and the Sheridan station is one that I use a lot. It's always so dirty and dank and depressing, even smells like mold some times," wrote Rick Rivera, 49, of Edgewater. "The stairs are way too steep, the platform is worn out, and the screeching from the trains as they turn … can be maddening some times."
The Crust Station runner-up, the Division Blue Line stop, which GP targeted for its dirt and lack of accessibility, won the popular vote in an online poll but received no votes via e-mail.
Meanwhile, Sheridan's neighbor to the north, the three-time Crust Station winner Wilson stop, also got a few dishonorable mentions from riders. One rider even compared dethroning the Wilson stop to taking away beach volleyball gold medalistMisty May-Treanor's title.
Renovations on the Wilson stop are expected to begin in 2014, the CTA said. The agency has looked into making it a transfer station where Purple Line Express trains would stop.
In the meantime, Uptown/Lakeview riders have an excuse to be crabby about their Red Line stations … at least for another year.
Story time, again
"El Stories," the play about riding the CTA, returns Aug. 25 to the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. The new version of the play will feature 16 stories adapted from commuter interviews. "El Stories" runs every Saturday at 11 p.m., through Nov. 17. Tickets are $15 at greenhousetheater.org.
Shoot to thrill on the CTA
Jack Marchetti of Riverside has less than two weeks to collect more than $80,000 to create his Chicago-set crime thriller that he would like to film on the CTA. Marchetti, 32, told GP he wants one of the characters to be filmed on the Blue Line, but it costs at least $2,000 to shoot on the CTA.
"The CTA looks great. It fits the beginning of the movie perfectly," Marchetti said.
Marchetti, who compared his movie to"The Departed,"is collecting donations through Kickstarter, an online funding platform.
A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note
This week: State/Lake"L" stop
With more than 10,300 CTA riders each weekday, the State/Lake elevated station in the Loop is a revolving door of passengers—and that's the problem. The revolving doors at the east end of the platform slow the flow of passengers through the exit. What's worse, the narrow platform becomes even more difficult to traverse when tourists stop to figure out which way to go. At least there are nice views of State Street to occupy riders while they wait to deboard.
Next up: Diversey Brown/Purple Line stop.