(The Blue Line, in a convenient, new 180-day trial size).
Today, the Chicago Sun-Times Letters page published my response to the CTA’s use of a grade-school contest to determine an appropriate name for the impending new route for the Cermak Branch of the Blue Line — a folly that countermanded the educated judgment of the CTA’s own, well-paid planners and cartographers.
The new Cermak Branch, moving this summer from the Dearborn Street subway to the Loop’s elevated tracks for a “180-day trial”, was originally to be the Silver Line. But seeking to quell community opposition to that plan, CTA Chair Carole Brown decided to open up the line’s naming rights to local schoolchildren, who settled on pink — thereby discarding the work and public money it took to come up with the original naming scheme.
I used to think Brown was a bit more clued in than CTA hack-cum-President Frank Kruesi. Now, however, I want a recount.
Text of the Sun-Times letter…
The CTA board should leave its transit planning decisions in the hands of those who went to grad school, not grade school. CTA’s professional staff originally came up with the name Silver Line for the new Cermak L route for a reason: Silver would be easiest to see among the colors already on the CTA map.
Now, because some kid with a crayon likes pink, all future L riders without perfect vision are going to have a tough time telling one line from another on the CTA map. This is wise planning? Worse, the public money it took to come up with the original name for the line is completely wasted. Where do [Chairman Carole] Brown and the CTA board get off throwing my tax dollars in the trash like that?
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-Read more about Chicago transportation planning follies in my Getting Around archive.
-Read my December 2005 letter in the Sun-Times on downtown residents’ right to quiet.
Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.