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Addison Blue Line Station Gripes Aired

 Residents and alderman got together Tuesday night to discuss possible improvements to the Addison Blue Line station.
Addison Blue Line Station
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AVONDALE — Dangerous crosswalks, poor snow removal and lack of wheelchair accessibility are all problems nearby residents have with the Addison Blue Line Station.

Those issues and others were discussed Tuesday evening by a handful of nearby residents, two alderman and representatives from the Active Transportation Alliance who toured the station to figure how best to improve rider experience at the station.

Nearly 3,000 people use the station each day, and even more use it on Cubs games day when riders get off it to board the Addison bus to Wrigley Field.

But doing so means crossing Addison Street as cars zoom by from east and west with even more fly by from an exit ramp for the Kennedy Expressway.

"It's not a safe area for crossing, and that's a major focus for this area," Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th) said.

The group quickly ran into other issues with the station, including a lack of a ramp or elevator for wheelchair users to get down to the train platform from the street level.

Ald. Rey Colon (35th), whose ward also touches on the intersection next to the station, was troubled by the lack of ADA accessibility.

"It's very un-wheelchair accessible," he said. "It's just kind of like, if you have a wheelchair, this is not a stop you want to use."

Many of the residents were also concerned bicycle safety on the bustling Addison Street.

"It's so challenging to bike on this street because of lane width, the speed of the cars, parked cars — it's just so challenging," said nearby resident Kevin Dekkinga, adding, "Addison was never meant to be a high-traffic street. It's just a few block south of Irving Park."

Active Transportation Alliance campaign manager Brenna Conway, who set up the meeting, said is gathering information to create a report on the station for people interested in the issue and for agencies such as the Illinois Department of Transportation and the CTA.

"We sit down and we look at that, and we offer suggestions about what the community can do to move those projects forward," she said.

Both aldermen said the event helped them better understand the most glaring issues with that intersection as well as commuters at large.

"It's eye opening to come down here with a group and identify all the different challenges, but it's encouraging because identifying the problem is the first step to make improvements," Colon said.