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Riders weigh in on CTA proposals at hearing

  • The tracks at the CTA Red Line Argyle station, seen on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, are scheduled to be replaced as part of a rehab of that station and several others on the North Side of Chicago. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune) B583671851Z.1 ....OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS, NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV, CHICAGO OUT, NO DIGITAL MANIPULATION...
The tracks at the CTA Red Line Argyle station, seen on Wednesday, April 16,… (Terrence Antonio James…)
May 22, 2014|By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz | RedEye

Bhuttu Mathews of Uptown said he uses the Argyle Red Line stop multiple times per week and is tired of the station's crumbling infrastructure and lack of accessibility.

He said he is looking forward to the CTA's proposal, which will cost $1.13 billion, to overhaul Red Line stations and track from Lawrence to Bryn Mawr. If the CTA identifies funding, the four stations could get elevators to become accessible for riders with disabilities.

"These plans are encouraging," said Mathews, a resource coordinator for people with disabilities.

Mathews, 38, was one of more than 75 people who attended a CTA hearing Wednesday at Truman College in Uptown about the overhaul project.

Work on the project would begin in 2017 at the earliest but would depend on funding.
As proposed, the four Red Line stations would get wider platforms, longer canopies and better lighting, among other improvements.

Three of the stations—Lawrence, Argyle and Berwyn—received facelifts in 2012. The stations were closed for six weeks on a rolling basis.

The CTA is not sure how long these stations would be temporarily closed for the proposed overhaul, but the agency has identified three buildings it would need for construction. The project would potentially affect a strip mall from 4837 to 4887 North Broadway; a Public Storage building at 5637 to 5643 North Broadway and Northside Toyota at 5657 North Broadway.

Still, this proposal is not as controversial as a proposed bypass north of the Belmont station that would ease Red, Brown and Purple line traffic there. Some nearby residents have complained about the CTA's need to acquire 16 buildings by the track. A meeting for that proposal will be held Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 850 W. Addison St.

At Wednesday's meeting, Donald Bosan-Bruno expressed concern that the CTA would not preserve elements of the Red Line stations that date back to the 1900s.

"I just don't want [the CTA] to throw everything out when they rebuild," said Bosan-Bruno, 27, of Evanston.


tswartz@tribune.com

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