Monday, October 5, 2009

Progress for the Cermack Green Line Station?

The Chicago Journal reported last week that steps for the design of a Green Line station at Cermack are progressing:
Jeffrey Busby, general manager for strategic planning at the Chicago Transit Authority, confirmed Tuesday that a contract will be let out for designing an infill CTA station on the Green Line at Cermak Road.
According to Busby they picked this site due to its:
...proximity to McCormick Place. Tax increment financing could pay for the project.
Although we think this would be good for the Sloop, we we're hoping the CTA would start with the 18th street stop first. However, according to the article in the CJ there could still be a stop at 18th eventually:
The choice “doesn’t preclude something at 18th,” Busby said.
The good news is that if the circle line progresses, there will be a stop at 18th eventually. Here is a link to our coverage about the circle line public meetings last week. The Chicago Journal also had an informative piece on the subject last week.

(Hat Tip to James C!)


Andy Sites said...

I see it being silly to have an 18th and a Cermak stop. Cermak makes perfect sense to me, as would a 16th street one giving the stops about a 4 block spacing. Of course, my understanding is that there is really no space at 16th street. Nonetheless, can you imagine how nice a station akin to Roosevelt at 16th street would be and how it'd really open about the South Loop CTA?

Anonymous said...

Damn... I would have preferred 18th or 16th street. If you live between 16/18th street it seems safer to walk the extra 2 blocks to Roosevelt than walk to a 22nd street green stop. The neighborhood becomes a drag after 18th street and I never liked walking south of there even during the day.

Anonymous said...

Who in their right mind would walk to a green line stop @ Cermak? You'd have to have a death wish. Between the Ickes and Hilliard Homes? Could there be a less desireable location for an El stop anywhere in the Loop?

Andy Sites said...

I disagree about the resentment for the Cermak stop. With McCormick center, Chinatown and the gentrification of the area - this will be a nice area of town by the time the station is built. Not to mention unsafe areas need public transit too.

Nonetheless 16th really needs an L stop. Can you imagine a red/green/orange/circle line superstation? Coupled with the Roosevelt and Michigan buses this part of town would be a public transit heaven! I think in the long term this would be a much bigger boon to the area than the Olympic ever could have been.

David Trang said...

Funny how both anonymous comments seem to be "death"-ly afraid to walk to Cermak, just two blocks away from a major convention center and steps to the lakefront. Afraid to walk around during the day? I bet going to Reggie's is like traveling to Compton for you guys, huh? This is Chicago, grow some balls please.

Anonymous said...

Plain and simple: it IS dangerous and unsafe in that area.

Since when did it become acceptable to tolerate crime, drugs, and gangs "just because" this is the city? So "just because" this is the South Side we should be okay with sending our children through a housing project to catch a train? And "just because" this is the city we shouldn't expect to be able to walk down the sidewalk without gangs and drunks loitering and harassing us at every step? FYI: it's NOT okay; I expect better and so should you. Holding people to a higher standard and not settling or compromising on safety or quality-of-life issues are why some neighborhoods thrive and others don't.

Anonymous said...

It's completely safe because it's "Just two blocks away from a major convention center and Lakefront."

So you're telling us that crime can't/won't/doesn't happen near the lake or within blocks of McCormik Place? This is why people on this blog are routinely accused of being out-of-touch with reality.

FYI: the student savagely beaten to death last Thursday was murdered by a mob while walking between a high school and a community center.

Being geographically close to places that "should" be safe is irrelevant to criminals.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I live near the area. Everyday, I see that there's practically ZERO pedestrian walking on State/Wabash, south of 18th street. I'm the "anonymous" who said to grow balls to people who thought Roosevelt was a safety issue. RIGHT NOW when Ickes is NOT yet demolished, south of 18th street is basically like what south of Chicago/Orleans was like (AKA former Cabrini Green). Everything is pretty before that intersection, but once you hit it... it starts becoming a ghost town. Last time I walked by the new Lexington complex, it already had its retail complex glass (one on cermak) filled with gang-like-crazy-Jesus symbols by kids/people who walk the area. I've been to Reggies during the day and HELLS yeah my safety guard is high, simply because I'm walking toward an area close to where SOME people like their drugs (AKA ICKES). There's a difference between growing balls and stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Nobody walks south of 18th because it's not safe. Also, Ickes is NOT being completely demolished and the Hilliard Homes and other 'projects' (near Cullerton and Indiana) aren't going anywhere or getting any better. In fact, I've heard that it's actually getting worse because former Ickes residents and their "families" are using Second 8 vouchers to move in.

The gang tagging on the new Lexington complex is just a start. People who think that "all will be good" once some of the Ickes are gone are living a pipe dream.

Josh said...

I again note that the CPD's mass transit unit is based out of the complex at 18th and State. If there is a way to put the stop(s) there, it would kill several birds with one stone.

With respect to the Ickes/safety theme, the Ickes demolition was just announced (from out of the blue according to residents) and implemented within the last 12 months. Section 8 may not be perfect, but if a few of the residents getting vouchers and staying in the neighborhood using the vouchers is the result, its a VAST improvement over what was there 12 months ago.

Are crime stats in the 1st or 21st districts somehow increasing? All I hear from friends and family in the CPD is that 001, 002 and 021 are all basically retirement districts now.

Anonymous said...

18th Street is the best place for infill of development and for serving existing residents, which is what the CTA's job is to do. Cermak station is not even in the near south TIF and if they give Near South TIF money for a station no-one will use or wants, I like many will be pissed.

Andy, Josh, David, you guys need to get out more and do some fact checking. People won't use the Red-line because of the crime and safety issues getting to the station and at the station. No one will use the Cermak station for the Green line for the same reason.

The last Anonymous poster is spot on; if you look at the crime stats, attend the beat meetings, it is getting worse:
1. The problem with 2001 and 2101 S. Michigan is getting worse for the residents who live there and the neighborhood. Added by piss poor management of booth buildings by Habitat (thanks Vallarie Jarret) Company and another firm, brain cramp, the safety is getting much worse when it is supposed to get better.

These building were well run, not they are a crime problem with the Section 8's. They had to put a BLUE light Camera on Michigan and 21st - I repeat - The police had to install a BLUE light camera on Michigan Avenue. Who the f_ck puts up BLUE light Cameras on Michigan Avenue 5 years after some great development goes on.

2. Problem with getting to Wabash restaurants as people are getting harassed or held up. And people in the Prairie District, State, Clark areas are getting fed up with the delinquents damaging parks, stealing spare tires, bikes, and now more strong arm robbery and recent stick-ups. For example four weeks ago, employees of Triad Sushi lounge were held up at gun point after leaving work at Cullerton and indiana

18th Street Station will pay dividends now. A Cermak stop will take 10-15 years at least.
16th Street is not a real option, unless you build a station on top of the auto repair shop at 1549 S. Wabash.

My recommendation:
1. Build the station at 16th.
2. Build a Street Car system between Cermak and McCormick Place or 18th Street Station (which is what was planned for Indiana Avenue on the 90's) that is inexpensive. looks cool, can be added for events when needed, get's utilization out of Red line

Anonymous said...

For the same reason a blue light camera was installed @ Wabash and Roosevelt: a spike in crime.

What people don't realize about the demolition of Ickes is that a huge number of gang-bangers and drug dealers were displaced from their "turf" and are now being integrated into someone else's "turf.". That is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. That is exactlly what caused the brawl outside Fenger. When you integrate these animals with other animals - they kill. Two weeks ago it was on the far south side. Next week it could be at Cullerton and Indiana.

Anonymous said...

The groups of youth from Hilliard that congregate on weekend nights and vandalize/deface/destroy the trees outside the park at 16th and Indiana and the children's playground at 15th and Prairie disgust me. Absolutely zero respect for anyone or anything. Where are their "parents"?

Me said...

16th Street is literally impossible due to space issues. 18th is possible, but truthfully, Cermak is a good bet because the city needs to improve the link between McCormick Place and downtown. Expect additional hotel and dining options to open and I wouldn't be surprised if Ickes is completely closed since the Teacher's Academy is indeed expanding. This area is literally a carbon copy of Roosevelt in 1995. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

As for safety, I regularly walked to the Cermak El during the day and felt safe (along archer). I also went to Reggies, drunk walked home from that bar on 18th and regularly went running all along Cullerton st. to the lakefront. It's the lack of pedestrian traffic that spooks people. Increasing convention traffic (and duh, you know the city will beef up its patrols to protect its tourist (dollars) will remedy that problem. It's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Their "parents" are waiting for 'government subsidized parenting.'

FGFM said...

Stations at 18th *and* Cermak would be a good idea, but I am stunned at some of the ignorant comments. Makes this blog look like Uptown Update. What the Cappleman!

reality said...

Don't confuse "concern" with "ignorance.". Those who pretend that all is okay within the neighborhood are the ignorant ones. Pointing the finger at those who voice conern over the potential for grave security issues rather than admitting their is an issue is what will turn a formerly nice and up-and-coming neighborhood into "Englewood North" faster that you can spell 'section 8.'

Anonymous said...

Reality has it right. I am one of the original gentrifying residents of Dearborn Village south of 18th street (i.e., in 1998). This is before the 1st district moved from 11 E. 11th Street to 1718 S. State.

Our armed security guard was robbed of his gun before the gates were entirely up in the fall/winter that year. That is what the predators in the neighborhood back then were capable of.

I worked in police communications at the OEMC (OEC at the time), and was familiar with pretty much all of the crime incidents in the neighborhood at the time. The number of shootings (bona-fide people hit by gunfire shootings) in the Hilliard homes around that time was higher than 10 in a 6 month period. More than 10 people shot in different incidents between 2031 S. Clark and 2030 S. State. I think the actual number might have been more than 20 at those two addresses, but I could be mistaken. Those two buildings were emptied, renovated and repopulated, and that's the only reason those incidents don't happen there anymore.

A few years ago bad heroin sold out of the Ickes homes killed dozens of junkies in Chicago. Is it ignorant to remember that, or not to consider that in the context of what Ickes meant/means for the neighborhood.

Ignorant? I wish everybody knew what I know about how far things have come in the last 11 years. People in the neighborhood need to speak out LOUDLY to make sure the improvements continue.

Anonymous said...

I think walking on Archer is different than walking along Cermak. I still consider Archer somewhat of a so-so safe zone (even walking towards Reggies). The Cermak Green stop would be way pass those and closer to Ickes. Has anyone been to the "White Castle" or "Burger King" around that area? Is it clean, like in the burbs? I've only ventured a couple blocks south of Cermak once about 2 years ago by foot to scope out the neighborhood before to moving in further up north. Cermak/Michigan actually looks nicer now, but it's still too quiet. As for people damaging parks… Do you guys go to those CAPs (or whatever) meetings and demand for some ideas on what could be done to catch these people? I didn’t even know about these park damages till I read about them here, so some of you guys probably have seen something. It’s one thing to complain in this blog, but you’ll be more effective by voicing your concerns in those meetings.

Me said...

The Cermak stop could sit directly across from the White Castle. There's a large, empty lot there. So, yeah. I don't get how someone think the proposed Cermak stop would be four or five blocks SOUTH of Cermak. In the alternative, the city could exercise eminent domain over that swath of fast food shacks at Cermak & State and place the station there (though unlikely as you can see the Chinatown stop from there). It will likely hit right around Michigan.

I also lived directly behind the Hillard Homes post-renovation. Quiet. Like seriously. I did find Cermak to be a dividing line, mainly due to the swath of greasy fast food/Ickies people wandering around.

And if you want to talk crime, we can talk crime. See Wicker Park.

Anonymous said...

Check ownership records of land around that Cermak area. DiPiazza, The Woodland Group (leading member sat on plan commission), Guidos from the west cook county villages, etc.

Yes, that's gonna be a fair and unbiased review.

Anonymous said...

I'm about 2 months late to this party, but IMO 2 stops, one at 16th and one at Cermak, with 16th coming first, is the best setup IMO.

I really think that a station at 16th can work, as a center island platform. Why is 16th better?

1. Better station spacing - halfway between Roosevelt and eventual station at Cermak
2. Both Orange and Green line trains go by there (which means twice as many trains will stop)
3. The St. Charles Air Line Railroad is right there. At some point CN will abandon the SCAL and it and it will be converted either into some sort of transit line, or at least a Greenway. In either case, it makes sense to connect it with the CTA station.

taintedrose1989 said...

I know I'm late into the conversation but these comments were hilarious. I live in the HIlliard Homes and I have for all my 20 years on this earth. I was there during the shootings and the killings and also the renovations. Most people who comment have never ever been south of 18th street and clearly have no idea what they're talking about. I understand the fear 8-10 years ago because I was afraid to come out of my own room past nightfall. But I think a new stop on Cermak and State is a good idea. One reason being that now as of April 22, 2010 there is only one Harold Ickes building left after the other ones were demolished so there is less crime. Ever since they remodeled my building there has been virtually NO crime within these four buildings. There is also 24 hour security within each building and two security booths on the Cermak road and Cullerton street both requiring ID's to enter. As an African-American female I feel safe in my neighborhood and coming home from my job. I don't see a reason to build a station on 16th street because there's already one on roosevelt and its within walking distance. My boyfriend is white so whenever he comes to visit he doesn't worry about coming over weather its night or day because nothing has ever happened to him. I know my building has a certain stigma but with the building of a new stop people won't be so scared of the changes that have been made down here on the southern area of the loop.

Anon(SC) said...

TaintedRose - Thanks for commenting. I live on S. Michigan Ave (just south of cermak) and I agree with your comments. The only part of this area that needs to be cleaned up is the corner of Cermak/State with the random folks hovering around the liquor store next to Reggies. These guys are not thugs, but more alcoholic 'junkies' that we need to somehow move out. Ickes is gone! Most of those folks have moved. I am trying to figure out where the folks hanging around the liquor store actually live or come from. Hilliard is much, much better, please take no offense to this statement/question, but it seems there are alot of Asians moving into Hilliard- is this true? Just wanted to get a perspective of someone that lives in the building.

taintedrose1989 said...

Thanks for reading my comment made me feel good that I wasn't just typing into cyber space. Yes there are a fair amount of Asians that have moved in. I personally think its great because before the renovation it was 100% black and a little diversity goes a long way. I've also come across some interracial couples too that have moved in but only a few. I've noticed the alcoholics on the corner too. I guess they come from the Dearborn Homes or hang around the remaining Ickes.

Cullerton is for Lovers said...

Over year since the last post. Anyone know the status of the stations at either Cermak or 18th?

Why not split the difference and install at Cullerton?

Anonymous said...

I know it's been a while since the comments on this started, but a Cermak stop seems like a waste. The red line stops just a few blocks away from there. Get a shuttle going from McCormick to the red line/Chinatown, rather than spending millions on a stop that essentially duplicates service. 18th would be a great sport for a stop (16th would too but I have no idea how they'd put it in there). There's a lot of space between Roosevelt and the next stop on any of the three lines, so 18th should be one of the priorities on the CTA list, rather than the overpriced expansion of the red line to 130th, which would be better served by a good BRT line at a fraction of the cost.