Good news from the CTA. It is turning its attention to the fifty-plus-year-old Blue Line and beginning a “feasibility/vision study” for the el line which stretches from the Loop to its terminus in Forest Park.
Being the end point for both the Green Line and the Blue Line trains has been a defining aspect of life in Forest Park for decades. It is the link that makes Forest Park an urban suburb with a rightful claim to commuters who work downtown but live in the village. There are some minor crime-related challenges but overall a giant plus for the village.
Now with federal money on hand to begin the study, Forest Park has the opportunity to join in and win improvements to the Blue Line, particularly our end of the line station at Desplaines. Maybe the current setup was cutting edge at some ancient point or maybe it has always been considered an impossible tangle of trains, busses, cars, pedestrians, cyclists and a major highway entrance. But this entire area must be rethought with priority given to walkability for the hundreds of daily commuters who live within blocks of the station.
We hope Forest Park will also actively push for the extension of the Blue Line further to the west – Maywood, Hillside, Oakbrook, even. As part of IDOT’s plan for the remaking of the Ike, major pressure is necessary to make sure that public transit is a key focus.