The new $50 million Green Line station would stretch from 23rd to Cermak between
existing stations at Roosevelt and 35th.
It would serve McCormick Place, the newly-designated Motor Row entertainment district and a residential population almost certain to grow with more “transit-oriented” development.
The station would have direct transfer connections to westbound buses and three entrance points to serve different sets of riders: neighborhood residents; Motor Row patrons and conventioneers walking two blocks over from McCormick Place.
Construction is expected to begin in 2013 and be completed in late 2014, using congestion fee funding and money from the surrounding tax-increment-financing (TIF) district.
This is welcomed news for many of us who think that the area south of 16th isn't served very well by the El (people living down there have to take a bus or hike it to one of the red line stops at Roosevelt or Chinatown).
On many fronts this appears to be a no-brainer as outlined in the points above. From the city's standpoint the McCormick Place angle has to be alluring. From a local residents perspective, the likelihood of this drumming up additional development around the stop is also enticing.
However, an article in the Chicago Journal last week discusses Alderman Fioretti's desire to have a new stop at 18th instead of Cermak:
But Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) says he’d rather see a new station built at 18th Street on the Green Line first, rather than at Cermak. That station would be closer to the center of population in the South Loop.
While he’s spent a lot of time and energy lately trying to get more development down near Cermak — particularly, turning South Michigan Avenue into an entertainment district between Cermak and I-55 — it’s going to be a while until that area gets more
settled, he said. There’s also already a station at Cermak on the Red Line, just
two blocks away.
“I still want the 18th Street station, where the citizens are,” Fioretti said. “I think the first place to go is to serve the people in the neighborhood.”
However, he said that the CTA had recently told him there were issues with putting a station at 18th Street, namely that there wasn’t enough track for the train to accelerate and stop on either side of a potential platform.
This is the first time we've heard about technical issues at 18th and if that's the case, it might be hard to press forward. Regardless, the 18th street El stop would seem more logical for a couple other reasons. One, it could serve both the Orange and Green Lines (which might mean more people frequenting South Loop and our neighborhood businesses) and it also would provide a better way of accessing Soldier Field and the lake from the South (by walking across the footbridge at 18th).
Anyway you look at it, this is generally good news for the Sloop. An El stop South of Roosevelt will only help the are develop.
It's fun to debate. So what do you prefer...Cermak or 18th?