Friday, November 4, 2016

News from the Red Line extension hearing

Rendering of the west option Michigan CTA station - CTA
 I didn't get to attend the recent Red Line extension hearing this past Tuesday at 211 E. 111th St, however, both the Chicago Tribune and DNA Info went. Judging only by the headlines two issues came up during the hearing the dreaded "G" word and eminent domain.

Concerns over gentrification:
Activist Lou Turner, though pleased the project is going forward after decades of discussion, said he also wished it hadn't taken so long and had concerns that some residents may get pushed out by gentrification once the L goes through.

"There could be unintended consequences," said Turner, director of undergraduate and graduate studies in the African-American Studies department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "This area has the largest stock of affordable housing in the city."

Turner said the CTA's draft environmental impact statement on the proposed $2.3 billion project does not address the issue of gentrification, which has driven up property prices by as much as 48 percent in some areas along The 606 trail on the city's Northwest Side. A final environmental impact study is needed to secure federal funding.

"It's a concern, but at the same time I am very happy," said Turner, who like Jones had pushed for the extension with the Developing Communities Project, a group that once included President Barack Obama.
And then of course the properties CTA would need to purchase to build the extension:
Under the east option, the CTA elevated structure would be built east of the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way from 99th street to 118th street. This option would affect 260 parcels, including 106 buildings, 90 of which are residential, officials said. Under this route, more single-family residences would be affected, officials said.

Under the west option, the line would run west of the Union Pacific Railroad from 99th street to 118th street. This option would affect more commercial and industrial properties, some 205 of them, officials said. About 46 would require building demolitions; 26 are residential.

Those homes and business owners would be compensated, including for moving costs, under federal regulations.

Roseland resident Aaron Mallory discovered his four-unit building could be demolished under the extension.

“It’s an investment property, so I have mixed feelings,” he said.

Mallory said he doesn't want to lose the building, but he also supports an extension of mass transit.
By next year it's said we'll know which option east or west the CTA will pursue as their preferred routing. That way any property owner will brace themselves for the impact. Thus anyone in the way would have to move.

If you want to know more about this project click this link.

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