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Tear out the Blue Line? A look at the I-290 corridor study
A couple weeks ago I attended the 11th meeting of the I-290 Corridor Advisory Group and Task Force. The group is currently considering many proposals for how to improve mobility in the I-290 corridor.
The Eisenhower is one of the oldest segments of the region’s highway infrastructure and one of the first in the nation to incorporate a rapid transit line and an expressway within the same corridor.
This relationship has functioned successfully — which means transit should be an important focus of any reconstruction or improvement project.
At the meeting, the Illinois Department of Transportation presented a number of project options, from extending CTA's Blue Line all the way to Oak Brook Mall to adding more freeway lanes.
It’s early in the process, but one of the options really gives us cause for alarm: tearing out the Blue Line in favor of additional freeway lanes and some express buses.
We need to expand and improve transit options in the corridor and focus on moving people, not just cars. This means don’t get rid of existing transit like the Blue Line. Instead, consider the options that extend the Blue Line to bring it up to date with where people live and travel today.
Other options such as Bus Rapid Transit may provide good ways to extend service to new areas, but it should make sense with the transit we already have and the riders' needs.
We can’t continually build ourselves out of congestion by adding new lanes. This is a short-term solution that may lower commute times for drivers initially, but ultimately will just lead to even more congestion and create broader consequences for our environment.
Sign on to Riders for Better Transit. Be prepared to join with other transit riders in speaking out about this.
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