WBEZ | 95th Street http://www.wbez.org/tags/95th-street Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en CTA wants local artist Theaster Gates to create work at a Red Line station http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/cta-wants-local-artist-theaster-gates-create-work-red-line-station-108046 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 11.33.22 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Transit Authority wants a well-known local artist to create two pieces for a Red Line station.</p><p>Theaster Gates is an award-winning artist who has a show at the city&rsquo;s Museum of Contemporary Art now. He&rsquo;s known for exploring the intersection of art and urban planning, such as his <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Ftheastergates.com%2Fsection%2F117693_Dorchester_Projects.html&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHJBPUMGolava_MSEMpGT1tjlVzEw">Dorchester Projects</a>.</p><p>Gates doesn&rsquo;t know what the CTA art would look like yet: He says he&rsquo;d base his design on input from residents.</p><p>Local colleges and community groups would help him with the installations, and so would high school students in an apprenticeship program.</p><p>&ldquo;I want them to see that process and understand that architect and builders and developers and planners help shape that work along with artists,&rdquo; Gates said.</p><p>The proposed artwork is part of a larger renovation to the aging CTA Red Line terminal at 95th Street. The CTA board is expected to vote on the project Monday.</p><p>Lee Jian Chung is a WBEZ arts and culture intern. Follow him @jclee89</p></p> Sun, 14 Jul 2013 11:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/cta-wants-local-artist-theaster-gates-create-work-red-line-station-108046 ‘L’ train rides were up in 2012, but some stations’ traffic drops http://www.wbez.org/news/%E2%80%98l%E2%80%99-train-rides-were-2012-some-stations%E2%80%99-traffic-drops-105229 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/chart_2.png" alt="" /><p><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0AsCcVlINIfzAdC1sVFQ0T0I3X09hTGRlQjN2dWpSZFE&transpose=0&headers=1&range=B1%3AH2&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"vAxes":[{"useFormatFromData":true,"title":"","minValue":null,"logScale":false,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"logScale":false,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"series":{"0":{"color":"#ff9900"},"1":{"color":"#0000ff"},"2":{"color":"#9900ff"},"3":{"color":"#f4cccc"},"4":{"color":"#b45f06"},"5":{"color":"#ff0000"},"6":{"color":"#38761d"}},"booleanRole":"certainty","title":"Percentage increase by rail lines","animation":{"duration":0},"backgroundColor":{"fill":"#efefef"},"domainAxis":{"direction":1},"legend":"in","theme":"maximized","hAxis":{"useFormatFromData":true,"title":"","minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"isStacked":false,"width":524,"height":343},"state":{},"view":{"columns":[{"calc":"emptyString","type":"string","sourceColumn":0},0,1,2,3,4,5,6]},"chartType":"ColumnChart","chartName":"Chart 2"} </script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago Transit Authority announced Wednesday that the number of rides on its &lsquo;L&rsquo; trains hit a fifty-year high in 2012, going up 4.2 percent from 2011. Across the bus and train system, the CTA saw a modest 2.4 percent increase for a total of 545.6 million rides.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F77258937" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Every train line increased its ridership, with the Yellow Line spiking 18 percent due to a new station opening. The Orange, Pink, and Blue Lines also went up. The Red Line, which experienced multiple station closures and construction projects throughout the year, only had 1.8 percent more riders in 2012 than 2011.</p><p>But some rail lines&rsquo; stations haven&rsquo;t fared so well. At the<a href="#redline"> 95th Street stop on the Red Line</a>, 37,000 less people came through in 2012 compared to the previous year. It&rsquo;s a marginal drop&nbsp; &mdash; the station sees nearly 4 million visitors per year &mdash; but it&rsquo;s notable, given that almost all stations in the CTA system increased rides last year. Some saw gains in traffic as high as 7 percent between 2011 and 2012. But all the Red Line stations from Garfield south lost riders.</p><p>&ldquo;This is the worst station in the city,&rdquo; said Wayne Johnson, who commutes from the city&rsquo;s Roseland neighborhood to commutes to Evanston. &ldquo;The Purple Line station, you go on Davis Street downtown. It&rsquo;s clean. Always somebody sweeping and cleaning up ... Out here, it&rsquo;s terrible.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Johnson says racism is behind what he considers to be mediocre service on the South Side. &ldquo;They don&rsquo;t care,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Other people asked by WBEZ suggested that violence is behind the 95th street station&rsquo;s drop in popularity. Another reason: the Red Line&rsquo;s slow pace. Currently the line&rsquo;s south branch is marked by a series of <a href="http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/rail_slow_zone_maps/slzm_01_15_13.pdf">slow zones</a> caused by aging tracks.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s ridiculously slow and we&rsquo;re very well aware of that,&rdquo; said a CTA spokesperson.</p><p>The agency plans to close all nine South Side Red Line stops from Cermak to 95th for five months, beginning in May. CTA says it will remodel stations and eliminate slow zones by rebuilding the tracks.</p><p><em>Charts by Elliott Ramos.</em></p><p><em>&nbsp;</em><a name="redline"></a></p><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0AsCcVlINIfzAdGNlU0VYejJQRGhpWmdxcWZINTZJZ2c&transpose=1&headers=1&range=A1%3AG3&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"vAxes":[{"title":"Number of riders","useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"logScale":false,"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"logScale":false,"maxValue":null}],"title":"Red Line South Branch Ridership 2011 vs. 2012","booleanRole":"certainty","animation":{"duration":500},"backgroundColor":{"fill":"#efefef"},"legend":"in","theme":"maximized","hAxis":{"title":"Station Name","useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"isStacked":false,"width":491,"height":284},"state":{},"view":{},"chartType":"ColumnChart","chartName":"Chart 1"} </script></p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 17:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/%E2%80%98l%E2%80%99-train-rides-were-2012-some-stations%E2%80%99-traffic-drops-105229 Rahm vows bus rapid transit, but can he deliver? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-23/rahm-promises-brt-can-he-deliver-90926 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-23/Transmilenio.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>All this week, WBEZ is looking at <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/first-100-rahm-emanuels-first-100-days-chicago-mayor" target="_blank">Rahm Emanuel’s first 100 days as Chicago mayor</a>.</p><p>One of Emanuel’s pledges is to push for the creation of the city’s first bus-rapid-transit line. The idea behind BRT is to deliver the benefits of rail at a fraction of the cost. BRT shortens travel times through dedicated bus lanes, pre-paid boarding that’s level with station platforms, and traffic signals that favor the buses.</p><p>WBEZ’s West Side bureau reporter <a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/chip-mitchell" target="_blank">Chip Mitchell</a> gives us a progress report on Emanuel’s ambitious plan.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 23 Aug 2011 16:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-23/rahm-promises-brt-can-he-deliver-90926 West 95th Street looks to development, post-Borders http://www.wbez.org/story/west-95th-street-looks-development-post-borders-85853 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-29/borders.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Six Borders bookstores have disappeared from Chicago, and that’s bad news for several neighborhoods that depended on them for more than just something to read.</p><p>Borders outlets sometimes secured other stores.</p><p>That was especially true in the Southwest Side neighborhood of Beverly, where Borders spurred a bit of a retail renaissance a decade ago.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>&nbsp;ambi: Customer ordering a burger with sharp cheddar</em></p><p>Some stores on west 95<sup>th</sup> Street are doing just fine.</p><p>Like, Top Notch – one of the best burger joints in Chicago.</p><p><em>young boy: I want a chocolate milkshake</em></p><p>Top Notch is a hub for people in the Beverly neighborhood.&nbsp;</p><p>One topic of conversation is the neighborhood’s economic pulse.</p><p>People wonder, because just a block west, a 25,000 square foot store recently went dark.</p><p>Borders bookstore closed as the company reorganized under bankruptcy.</p><p>Lois Weber is executive director of the 95<sup>th</sup> Street Business Association,which focuses on Ashland to Western.</p><p>WEBER: A developer said to me once, ‘Lois, if we took an aerial view, we want to see rooftops, not trees. You love your trees but we want to see more density.’</p><p>Weber says the Borders wasn’t just any other store – it lived up to being called an “anchor.”</p><p>WEBER: Borders opened its doors in November of 1998. It was kind of a pioneer. For one of the first time ever was willing to redefine its mall store and fit it in a city in-line space. Borders coming had a very positive impact on the commercial district of 95<sup>th</sup> Street.</p><p>Borders helped attract new chain outlets – like Chipotle and Panera Bread.</p><p>Weber’s take is that Beverly needs a good fit – not just any replacement.</p><p>After all, Beverly isn’t some dire neighborhood. It’s an educated community with one of the city’s loveliest housing stocks.</p><p>Matt Walsh would agree with that.</p><p>He’s with the Beverly Area Planning Association.</p><p>Walsh says the neighborhood should ideally try to attract development that will foster local, independent businesses – places important to Beverly’s identity.</p><p>WALSH: That’s fine with us. Speaking as a community, we don’t want to be Orland Park or Tinley Park, which are fine towns but they have the space for the giant box stores. We don’t have the room for that here. It would change the relationship between our commercial strip and the houses that are just off the commercial strip.</p><p><em>ambi of Top Notch fades</em></p><p>Local business owners have some thoughts, too, about the strip that’s weathered many changes.</p><p><em>ambi: inside Southtown Health Foods; carts</em></p><p><em>owner: no, that’s not the one</em></p><p>Emil Mahler owns Southtown Health Foods.</p><p>From his vantage – there’s just not enough development on 95<sup>th</sup> Street.</p><p>MAHLER: After being on in this street since 1961, I’ve seen a lot of closure and a lot of re-openings.</p><p>But he has a tinge of optimism.</p><p>MAHLER: I always think there’s going to be a rebirth on this street. What do I want to see here? I want to see companies that are viable. I’ll let the marketplace do it’s on rebirth.</p><p><em>ambi fades</em></p><p>The 95<sup>th</sup> Street retail corridor in Beverly has a new alderman, and replacing the Borders store appears to be a top priority.</p><p>Matt O’Shea says he’s making calls about it – before he’s even sworn in.</p><p>OSHEA: Those developers that reached out to to ask for ideas or just some advice have made it that is a terrible time to lose an anchor.There’s no question about it – this is a serious blow to our community.</p><p>O’Shea says the update is not good: some big businesses have flat-out said <em>no</em> to taking over the space.</p><p>So, maybe it will take time to re-use the hulking Borders building.</p><p>But O’Shea says there’s a small silver lining.</p><p>95<sup>th</sup> Street could really use more parking. And the empty Borders store, has a 107-car parking lot – the biggest on the strip.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 02 May 2011 16:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/west-95th-street-looks-development-post-borders-85853