CTA Considers Closing Lawrence El Station – UPDATE

By Samantha Abernethy | Thursday, January 27, 2011

Photo of Lawrence el stop by Flickr user archer773.

Update (1/30/11): The Chicago Tribune reports that closing the Lawrence el station is in three of five possible Red Line upgrade options.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Transit Authority is considering closing the Lawrence el station as part of its repair and renovations plan for the Red and Purple lines.

The Sun-Times writes:

Track repair and station renovations also are part of possible changes on a “dilapidated” 9.5-mile stretch of track from Belmont to the Linden terminal in Evanston, built between 1900 and 1920. The plans call for making 15 of 21 stations along that route handicap accessible. The project could top $4.2 billion.

The nearest stations to the Lawrence are Wilson, two blocks to the south, and Argyle, three blocks to the north.

The Lawrence stop links to the 24-hour #81 Lawrence bus, a crucial route that runs west through the Ravenswood and Lincoln Square neighborhoods, linking with the Milwaukee blue line stop, which connects the corridor to the O’Hare airport.

The Uptown Update blog has some recommendations for making sure the CTA hears area residents’ voices.

Other stations considered to be closed are Thorndale and Jarvis in Chicago and the Foster and South Boulevard stations in Evanston.

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  • Anonymous

    Twice a month I take the Lawrence bus to the Lawrence stop and ride the Red Line to Jarvis, and then back again. Funny how CTA wants to close both of my stops. I think they’re out to get me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennfree Jennifer Freeman

    Noooooo! The Lawrence bus to the Red Line is my connection to the rest of the city!

    Close Argyle. Or Berwyn. Berwyn seems like a less useful stop than Lawrence.

    • http://spudart.org spudart

      me too

  • Anonymous

    If the CTA really decides to close the Lawrence station, they need about 30 new lights on Broadway between Wilson and and Lawrence. It’s so dark when you go under the tracks. I’m petrified someone will jump out from behind those poles.

    And do they need to add lack of access to Uptown’s woes? That’s the nicest part of the neighborhood with venues that attract people from across the city—Green Mill, Riviera, Aragon. And they’re going to make it more difficult to access for outsiders?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jennfree Jennifer Freeman

      How many shooting have happened in the last year on that stretch of Broadway between Lawrence and Wilson? This is not a good idea.

    • Anonymous

      Reading the plans more closely, although the Lawrence station would be closed, they would be adding entrance points at Ainslie for the Argyle Station (larger expanded station) and a block or so north of Wilson. I think access to all of those venues wouldn’t suffer too much.

      Are they thinking of extending the Lawrence streetscape east of Clark as well. Wondering why they would choose to close Lawrence, seems like a heavily trafficked station.

      I take the Lawrence bus to the Lawrence Red Line and truthfully wouldn’t mind if that stop closed down even it it meant walking a block or so. It would be nice to have the bus jogging that Pete14 mentioned.

  • http://twitter.com/sjezioro Stacy Jeziorowski

    I’ve taken the Red Line and gotten off at Lawrence once. I was so terrified waiting for the bus because it’s so dark that I though about taking a cab. Thank god it was only a two minute wait for the bus. Wilson just looks terrifying when driving past.

  • Anonymous

    Per some of these anxious comments, I think it’s safe to assume that closing Lawrence will only happen in the context of a full-scale renovation of the Wilson station (which is LONG overdue) and streetscape improvements to Broadway and other nearby thoroughfares. I’d also guess that the CTA would consider rerouting the Lawrence bus to serve the new Wilson station. If you look at it geographically there’s no reason to have three stops within 6 blocks, and with adequate security measures in place the Wilson stop would serve the Aragon, Riviera, and Green Mill (someday joined by Uptown Theatre?) just fine.

    Long-term, just looking at the way the neighborhood is laid out, the Wilson/Broadway intersection just has that “neighborhood gateway” feel that could be the perfect entry point for future visitors to a (hopefully) thriving Uptown neighborhood.

    • Anonymous

      Some very good points. There is a Lawrence Ave. streetscape project on the way, too—we did a story on that a bit ago—http://www.centersquarejournal.com/news/lawrence-avenue-updates-construction-current-and-future

      But I’d say a Wilson bus isn’t likely. The whole route is residential (with lots of stop signs) and surely the homeowners wouldn’t want a 24-hour bus route. Plus, the Wilson bridge over the river is in crummy shape, and things get kinda narrow through Albany Park. In the meantime, Lawrence is commercial all the way, and it has the Ravenswood Metra station on the route.

      • http://spudart.org spudart

        I take the Lawrence bus to the red line almost every day. I hope they re-route the bus to Wilson or Argyle. It wouldn’t have to ride down Wilson the whole way, just turn right down Broadway.

      • Anonymous

        Actually I wasn’t suggesting a new Wilson bus (although the #145 does already serve the Wilson stop for certain riders). I was thinking of an arrangement like the #76 Diversey bus, which “jogs” a couple of blocks down to the Logan Square Blue Line stop and then back up to continue its straight line down Diversey. The Lawrence bus could easily be rerouted to jog down Broadway and back up Kenmore or Sheridan in the same way. And it’s likely that would help eliminate some of the current traffic nightmares when cars get stuck behind buses stopped in front of the Lawrence station.

        Responding to your comment about the Lawrence bus and Ravenswood Metra station, I will say that there has been no effort made by the CTA to schedule the buses to meet the needs of Metra commuters. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten off a Metra train in the evening rush hour to see a nearly empty bus that had pulled away seconds before. There are also no bus shelters near the Metra stop, meaning that those who miss the bus end up having to stand 10-12 minutes in the exposed elements for the next bus to arrive. Given the fairly limited number of trains to stop at the Ravenswood station each day, there’s really no excuse for this. (Though I shouldn’t be surprised as it’s always been clear that Metra and the CTA see each other as competitors, not partners.)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4FCVPPF22W7QFU2XTIGX5MZMUU Spyro

    I just don’t get it. We need more train stations not fewer and need new train lines to connect the North and South sides of this city.

    Why spend 4 BILLION fixing what is broken when can do something like this instead:

    A new subway line, completely under the surface, running under Lake shore drive. It will have stops at Museum Campus, Navy Pier, Oak Beach, North Beach, Montrose Beach, Lawrence (Uptown), Edgewater, Loyola Campus (In the campus), Rogers Park, Evanston.
    Do you imagine how popular this lakeside line will be during the Summer? It will also remove all buses from LSD and alleviate ridership on existing purple and red line stations. This will allow the following to happen:

    The existing Red and Purple dilapidated rails will be made into an Elevated Bicycle Expressway and pedway with many green features. It will be covered with a canopy so that it can be used year round, protecting from the rain and snow (Not the cold: ( Thousands of Chicagoans will use this do get to work fast and clean. Chicago will still charge the same price as using the train (or slightly less) so that it will pay for itself… once payed off, the price will go down so that it covers just the maintenance. I would pay 2 dollars to get on it daily it would be a safe, scenic route…. would you?.

    What do you all think? What do we dream such small dreams recently?

  • Anonymous

    Hey, commenteers! Check out the update with a link to today’s Chicago Tribune article about CTA plans for the stop. Also, it’s probably worth checking out the 2010 ridership reports here: http://www.transitchicago.com/news_initiatives/ridershipreports.aspx

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