The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) held a meeting to gather community input on the Blue Line Forest Park Branch Vision Study. CTA representatives spoke to residents and commuters about accessing stations, customer experience and station improvement concepts.
The Blue Line Forest Park Branch is 55 years old and in desperate need of improvement.
The line saw an average of nearly10 million riders in 2014, and that number will only continue to grow as CTA data shows big ridership increases, especially on the Blue Line.
CTA recognizes the need to accommodate the millions of customers currently using a service that is a few years late for a makeover.
CTA has spent the last three years looking into regional mobility issues, policy opportunities and funding options for the line.
The first phase of the study involved the creation of an Existing Conditions Assessment, data collection, local stakeholder involvement and public open houses. The development and evaluation of corridor design concepts were the focus of the second and third phases.
In light of its research, CTA recommends a complete reconstruction and modernization of the Forest Park branch, beginning with much needed track work.
Study recommendations also include improved customer experience features like wider platforms, weather protection and enhanced station design.
ADA accessibility at all stations is recommended, given that only four of the 12 stations are currently ADA accessible. Station design improvements include bike racks, landscaping, lighting and improved pedestrian crossings.
CTA is currently conducting outreach in the study area. CTA staff has met with the Village of Oak Park Board, the Village of Forest Park Council, and they are coordinating closely with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) on two concurrent studies regarding I-290 and the Jane Byrne Interchange.
The Blue Line Forest Park Branch Vision Study is set to be complete in 2017 in preparation for a I-290/CTA public hearing.
Do you have feedback on CTA’s plans for the Blue Line Forest Park branch?
Submit your comments on the project electronically to [email protected]. To learn more, go to CTA’s Blue Line Forest Park Branch Vision Study website.