- Chicago Newstips by Community Media Workshop - http://www.newstips.org -

After 30 Years, Red Line Extension”Needs Study”

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Extending the Red Line past its 95th Street terminus has been discussed and included in plans for thirty years, but funding has never materialized.

This year the Developing Communities Project [2] in Roseland is pushing inclusion of the project in the Chicago Area Transit Study’s 2030 Regional Transportation Plan, which determines planning priorities for a projected $60 billion in transportation investments over the next three decades.

The 95th Street Red Line station, serving 50,000 riders a day, is the busiest hub in the CTA system, according to Lou Turner of DCP, and residents have signed petitions and turned out in large numbers at community meetings to show their on-going support for an extension. But in its final draft, issued in April, CATS listed the Red Line extension as a proposal needing more study.

Existing communities get short-changed in the CATS draft, said Jan Metzgar of the Chicagoland Transportation and Air Quality Commission (CTAQC): the majority of new project miles are in areas with under 2000 people per square mile, promoting sprawl rather than “investing in places where people already live.”

DCP and others are turning out to support the Red Line extension at a public hearing on the 2030 plan to be held by the Northeast Illinois Planning Commission on Tuesday, September 2, 4 p.m., at Lilydale Progressive MB Church, 10706 S. Michigan.

CTAQC holds its second annual regional congress on Saturday, September 20, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Egan Center, DePaul University, 243 S. Wabash.