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Brown Line Stations Close

By Joanna Miller in News on Feb 20, 2006 10:23PM

The first long-term station closures went into effect today as part of the CTA’s Brown Line expansion project. Riders who usually use the Rockwell and Kedzie stops were treated with temperatures climbing toward the 30s as they walked to adjacent stops at Kimball, Francisco and Western. The CTA says the closures will last for up to six months, but at least there’s something to look forward to in the near future – the Francisco and Kimball stations will be closed for four consecutive weekends beginning this Friday. Whee!

2006_brown_line_sign1.jpgOn the weekends, Brown Line service will end at the Western stop and the CTA will run a bus shuttle to Kimball. During the week, however, riders have to find their own way to an operating station or use a nearby bus route instead.

Local businesses, fearing the closures will mean fewer customers, are getting a little creative in their efforts to stay afloat. The Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Mardi Gras open house this Saturday with several Rockwell Crossing businesses. It’s also embracing the extra walking residents face with a six-month fitness challenge to residents that includes a weekly walking/running group and events at neighborhood businesses. The CTA has put together some sad looking ads to promote the businesses affected by the closures.

Brown Line riders not affected by these closures: Not to worry, you’ll have your turn. The CTA plans to close eight other stations – Damen, Montrose, Iriving Park, Addison, Paulina, Southport, Wellington and Diversey – for up to a year, although no adjoining stations will be closed at the same time. Look for more information about these closures in the coming months.

2006_brown_line_sign2.jpgThere has been much speculation, and then some, and then some more, on the effects of the Brown Line station closures and the project as a whole. The Rockwell and Kedzie closures should be a good predictor of how the project will affect riders until it is finished – sometime in 2009.

Meanwhile, residents on the city’s far south side have been waiting for a Red Line expansion to 130th Street for a good 40 years, according to this week's Reader. Suddenly, six months doesn’t seem so long.

Chicagoist didn't notice any unusual delays or crowds this morning on the Brown Line? Maybe a lot of people were off for President's Day? Anyone feeling the pain of the closures?

Images via smussyolay