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Wilson Underline Project Community Meeting Set

 Several community groups have proposed a plan to turn the space into a
Several community groups have proposed a plan to turn the space into a "vibrant" public space.
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The Wilson 'L' Public Space Committee

UPTOWN — The neighborhood groups fighting to make the area below the Wilson "L" Station "a vibrant, safe, lively and welcoming public amenity" will have a community meeting to discuss the project this month.

The meeting to discuss the Wilson Underline and the results of its public input survey will be held at 7 p.m. June 21 at the Institute of Cultural Affairs building at 4750 N. Sheridan Road.

The Wilson L Public Space Committee, Graceland Wilson Neighbors Association and Uptown United bill the project as "a space that reclaims a forgotten landscape below the Wilson 'L' tracks." The project's design include bike activation zones, linear striped asphalt paving, dynamic LED lighting and a food truck area.

For the last year, organizers 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."

In March, the organizers surveyed residents to find their opinions on the project. Earlier this month, they revealed the results of the public input survey, which found overwhelming support for the project.

The results included:

• 96 percent of people preferred the Wilson Underline project over the fenced-in parking lot

• 79 percent said the "plan brings people together and promotes community interaction

• The top desired amenities are landscaping, a farmers market, lights and public art

• 90 percent of those surveyed said the plan "makes them feel safer"

For the full results of the survey click here.

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.

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