UPTOWN — The CTA has proposed using the space below the new Wilson "L" Station as a parking lot, but several community groups have come up with their own proposal to reclaim it as "a vibrant, safe, lively and welcoming public amenity."
The Wilson L Public Space Committee, Graceland Wilson Neighbors Association and Uptown United bill Wilson Underline as "a space that reclaims a forgotten landscape below the Wilson 'L' tracks."
For the last year, the groups have worked with recommendations from the Metropolitan Planning Council and TOD Design Studio "to create a vibrant, safe, lively, pedestrian friendly and transit-oriented public space" as opposed to "a fenced-in parking lot." The groups have also worked with community stakeholders and property owners near the site to create the proposal.
The CTA has been collaborating with the groups to find something that works for the community and even commissioned TOD Design Studio specifically to "help us see the opportunities for redevelopment," said Jeff Tolman, a spokesman for the CTA.
"All input they have proposed will continue to be considered," he said. "Parking is just one aspect of it," but will be included because of contractual obligations to the businesses in the area.
"We're continuing to look at multiple ways to develop," said Tolman adding the project already includes plans to make Broadway more pedestrian-friendly by removing columns from the original structure.
The Wilson Underline design includes:
• Bike activation zones
• Linear striped asphalt paving, marking pedestrian pathways
• Green Space: in-ground landscape areas with sustainable plantings
• Dynamic LED Lighting: Similar to Wabash Avenue.
• Lit column banners with local historical art showcasing Uptown
• A food truck area with picnic tables
• Newly striped and organized parking for Aldi (50 spaces), the McJunkin building (35 spaces) and an additional 20 “flex” parking spaces.
The groups are asking residents to give them feedback to improve the project. To take the survey click here.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: