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Small Group Attends Red Line Public Meeting

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 19, 2012 5:20PM

So how was the turnout for last night's public meeting about CTA's decision to shut down the south branch of the Red Line next year for a full rebuild? Judging from the screen grab above and video below from NBC 5, about what one would expect when a transit agency schedules a meeting at a location served minimally by its buses, and not at all by its trains.

A cynic would assume CTA purposely scheduled last night's meeting at the South Shore Cultural Center to keep attendance low because they don't really want to hear from those who will be most affected by the decision. With a prominent black population on the South side, it's also near-impossible not to read racism into the plan. One attendee at yesterday's meeting, Lionel Walker, told Chicago Transit Board chairman Terry Peterson and CTA officials, "this would not have happened on the Brown Line or any line serving the white community."

Others among the 50 in attendance echoed our sentiment that the time to have held meetings about the decision to shut down the south branch for repairs was before the announcement was made, and raised concerns about safety along alternate routes during the project.

Which is going to make Thursday's meeting at Kennedy-King College very interesting. Dorothee Butts, another attendee at yesterday's meeting, questioned what tighter safety precautions CTA was putting into place for "L" stations that will be running shuttle buses. Butts, who works at Kennedy-King, said the intersection near her job is already a "hot spot" for crime and could get worse with shuttle bus service.

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