Chicago as a city is relying more and more on public transit each and every year as more workers move into the city and as more corporations set up camp in the city’s downtown. The CTA is breaking previous rail ridership records, and specifically, the Red and Blue lines have witnessed substantial increases in ridership in recent years. Thousands of new apartment units are being built along Milwaukee Avenue and the Blue Line, and when they are all online and filled with residents in the next year or two, we can expect to see more workers commuting to work on the ‘L’.
And with all of the news about Chicago workers preferring to use public transit or alternative modes of transportation (like bicycling), there is a very real concern about congestion and the CTA’s inability to keep up with the demand. The CTA is certainly going to be very busy in the coming years to keep up with the steady increase in rail ridership, but what if we had other creative solutions to improve transit in Chicago?
Over the last couple of years as the city’s downtown building boom continues expanding outward into the neighborhoods, some developers have offered some creative and perhaps very valuable transit solutions. One developer wants to extend the 606 trail east towards the former Finkl steel site in Lincoln Park, while another has proposed building a pedestrian and bicyclist bridge over the Chicago River to connect Goose Island to the Milwaukee Avenue corridor. And with all of the new development heading north on the Chicago River’s North Branch—such as the redevelopment of Finkl steel campus, Goose Island, and the Lathrop Homes—we may even start seeing Chicago workers taking water taxis downtown or Lincolnd Park to their offices.
There’s even a campaign to connect the Brown and Blue lines with one another—a project that would make it much easier for lakefront residents to take public transit to O’Hare. While ambitious in scope, this concept will likely remain just that—a design concept.
Chicago truly is a city in motion. But Chicago has many transportation challenges to approach. What would be your dream transit project for the Windy City?
- Chicago sees decrease in commuters driving to work alone [Curbed Chicago]
- CTA Breaks Rail Ridership Record With 241M Trips in 2015 [Curbed Chicago]