Anti-BRT Group Proposes Alternatives, Discusses Strategy
Around 40 concerned residents and business owners turned out Wednesday evening to hear about what next steps the Ashland-Western Coalition is proposing to stop the city’s plan to bring bus rapid transit to Ashland Avenue.
With cars whizzing by behind them, attendees seated in a fenced in parking lot at Orlando Glass and Trim, at 641 N. Ashland, heard a presentation outlining the negative impact the city’s plan on the street and neighborhoods, an outline of the group’s alternative proposal and what the group needs to do next to succeed.
Roger Romanelli, executive director of the Randolph/Fulton Market Association, said the group was committed to improving bus transit along Ashland but was opposed to what the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Transit Authority are proposing.
“We want the best public transit for our city,” Romanelli said. “We want to work with our mayor. We want to work with our aldermen and our congressman. We are saying ‘No thank you’ to the [express bus plan] as of today. We don’t think Ashland is ready.”
The city’s current proposal for the Ashland project is for a center lane running express bus service from 31st Street to Cortland Avenue with stops every half mile. But in order to achieve this, the current four lanes of traffic on Ashland Avenue would be reduced to a single lane in each direction. Local bus service would continue, and except for a few intersections that connect directly to expressways, all left turns would be prohibited.