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Lakeview Residents Face Belmont Flyover At Crowded Community Meeting

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jun 4, 2015 4:30PM

Artist rendering of the proposed Belmont bypass. (Image credit: Chicago Transit Authority))

City officials presented plans for the $320 million Belmont Flyover project at a crowded community meeting Wednesday night, but Lakeview residents said the meeting's format made the controversial transit project feel like a foregone conclusion.

The flyover's purpose is to shorten Red, Brown and Purple Line train commute times while modernizing the station so that trains don't have to wait for each other to pull into and out of the station, according to CTA officials. Among other changes, it would involve the construction of a separate elevated Brown Line track.

With CTA ridership expected to grow in the coming years, officials say now is the right time to improve the rails.

One outspoken critic of the project, whose house would be among 16 properties the CTA plans to repurpose or demolish to make way for the flyover told DNAinfo at the meeting that he is still waiting on specifics from the city.

"We're here waiting for there to be a community process — we think we should have a say in the future of our neighborhood," said Steve Johnson, who lives on the 3200 block of Wilton Ave. "Instead the CTA is just putting out this propaganda, and it doesn't even show any of the engineering or where they're going to build."

"I've asked multiple times for the CTA to come and have an actual conversation with impacted property owners, and they keep refusing," Johnson said. "There's been no community process at all. Instead they're just saying 'Hey, we want to do this, and you're in the way.'"