The CTA issued a statement Thursday saying that the transit agency is not considering “compact station” options for any Oak Park or Forest Park train stations in its Blue Line upgrade plan. The clarification came after Wednesday Journal and the Forest Park Review published an article Wednesday pointing out CTA documents which showed a “compact station” option was being considered for stops at Harlem, Oak Park and Austin.
“Based on Blue Line Vision Study findings and public feedback, the CTA is not presently considering compact stations for any of the Oak Park and Forest Park stations,” said a statement from CTA Media Representative Lambrini Lukidis.
“The agency is still very early in this process and is reviewing and collecting public feedback regarding other design options with regards to the remainder of stations along the I-290 corridor,” the statement continued.
“The CTA continues to welcome all comments and continues its collaboration with the Illinois Department of Transportation.”
Documents on the CTA’s http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/planning/CTA_Blue_Line_Boards_FINAL_100813.pdf website showed the three Oak Park and Forest Park stations as candidates for the “compact station” design, which would have meant mean eliminating “minor” entrances at Lombard, East and Circle Avenues.
All 12 stations along the Blue Line are slated for complete replacement in the CTA’s Blue Line Vision Study.
Thursday morning, State Senator Don Harmon sent an email saying he had contacted CTA planners and had been assured that Oak Park and Forest Park’s stations would not be considered for “compact” CTA station designs.
“CTA clarified for me that, in fact, its own planners are against the idea of closing the second station entrances at those locations,” Harmon said. “The CTA planners recognize that such steps reduce transit access.”
Wednesday Journal wrote the article after former IDOT Citizens Advisory Committee Chair Fred Branstrater pointed out the CTA’s own documents showed local train stations being considered for the “compact” design, which would have reduced entrances from two points to one.
These diagrams were displayed at an April 22 joint presentation by IDOT and the CTA at Proviso Math and Science Academy in Forest Park.
Harmon said he has been following the CTA Blue Line plans very closely.
“Transit greatly benefits our community, helping us avoid traffic on the roadways, providing environmental benefits, and providing affordable transportation options for all households,” he wrote.