New Group Organizes To Fight Ashland BRT

Photo credit: CTA

A group of business owners and residents have launched a new group to fight against the city’s current plan to impose a mass transit makeover of Ashland Avenue according to DNA Info.

The Ashland-Western Coaltion is focusing a lot of attention on the many drawbacks to the city’s push to remove a lane of traffic in both directions and construct a center running bus rapid transit system.

After news came out that many left hand turns would be prohibited under the most recent version of the plan. But the Ashland-Western Coalition says 66 of the 71 current left turns on Ashland between 31st Street and Cortland Ave. would be eliminated. According to the CTA, left turns would only be allowed on Armitage Avenue, Van Buren Street, Robinson Street, Congress Parkway and 31st Street–all streets that connect to an expressway.

The group worries trucks trying to deliver to businesses along Ashland Avenue would be problematic when Ashland is reduced to one lane of non-bus traffic.

But the coalition says it’s not opposed to modernizing public transit along Ashland and are proposing their own plan that would ditch the center running buses, allow left turns but modernize the current bus route.

Here’s DNA Info’s full story, “Ashland Express Bus: Group Warns Most Left Turns Will Be Eliminated.”

5 Responses to New Group Organizes To Fight Ashland BRT

  1. David says:

    Not a word as to who are actually the members.

  2. Jeff says:

    The DNA article mentions 2 of the individuals with local businesses who are members of the coalition.

  3. Jeff says:

    This group’s executive statement has both a well reasoned critique of the Ashland Brt, and a detailed alternative plan to upgrade the existing bus service on both Ashland and Western Avenue (including ideas for how it could be done with existing transit programs/funds):

    http://saveashland.com/files/AWCoalitionExecSummary.pdf

  4. Jeff says:

    In addition to the poorly thought out design of the Ashland BRT, one has to wonder about the $200 million projected budget. CTA does not exactly have the best track record on budget projections. Just yesterday, CTA announced yet another “unanticipated” $10 million budget deficit for this year:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-officials-cta-facing-10m-budget-hole-20130814,0,7348846.story

  5. Jeff says:

    The Chicago Way.

    When Roger Romanelli, head of the Randolph/Fulton Market Association, took on the leadership role of the Ashland/Western Coalition (the main group opposing the Ashland BRT), he may have anticipated some City Hall payback. Well that payback may have come now – in the form of onerous landmark restrictions — proposed for the business owners in the Randolph/Fulton Market area:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140702/west-loop/randolph-street-fulton-market-landmarking-opposed-by-west-loop-businesses

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