CHICAGO — The number of parking spots along Ashland Avenue will decline, while buses will move considerably faster if a $160 million express bus project gets a greenlight, a CTA study concludes.
CTA released an environmental impact assessment of the proposed express route between Irving Park Road and 95th Street, evaluating everything from traffic to economic development to pollution.
Among the study's findings:
• The express buses could run up to 83 percent faster than current local routes.
• Up to 12 percent of parking spots along Ashland Avenue would be lost, though some drivers will just move to side streets.
• Thirteen of 89 intersections along Ashland Avenue would operate at an "unacceptable level of service," including the loss of left turns, though the city is considering ways to avoid that.
While the project has faced criticism from residents in West Town over the loss of traffic lanes and left turns from Ashland, it has drawn praise from public transit advocates who say traveling along the busy street will become faster and more reliable.
The agency is holding two public meetings on the plan. They will be held at:
• Benito Juarez Community Academy, 1450 W. Cermak Road, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 10
• Pulaski Park Field house, 1419 W. Blackhawk St., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 11
The CTA also is soliciting comments via email that can be sent to AshlandBRT@transitchicago.com.