Evanston this week received approval of a federal grant for an engineering feasibility study of a new south Evanston stop on the CTA Yellow Line.

The $220,000 grant will be matched with $55,000 in local funds from the city’s capital improvement program.

Last year, through a $120,000 Regional Transportation Authority grant, the city completed a market analysis of adding a station on line that’s also known as the Skokie Swift.

The study by Cambridge Systematics, Inc. considered locations at Ridge, Asbury and Dodge avenues.

It evaluated the three locations on criteria including multimodal access, physical design issues, population and employment draw and available land.

It also included a survey of over 500 residents within a half mile area of the potential station locations.

While the study and resident survey did not identify a clear preference for a station location, it did conclude that a new station in south Evanston could significantly expand the market served by the Yellow Line.

Depending on location, a new station could increase Yellow Line work trips served by 25 to 45 percent and attract up to 1,000 riders per day, and even more if the Yellow Line offered direct service to downtown Chicago .

Public Works Director John Burke says the engineering feasibility study is expected to determine which location would be most cost-effective.  

He said he expects the engineering feasibility study to start early next year, in time to let the city submit a funding request for the engineering design and construction of the new station in the 2010 funding cycle.

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11 Comments

  1. Ridiculous
    I am a South Evanston resident and believe the idea of adding a yellow line train stop in South Evanston is ridiculous and it is even more ridiculous that $55K of our tax dollars are being added to the pot to be used on the feasibility study. The yellow line train in South Evanston runs adjacent to Howard Street on its way to the Howard Street station. There are also multiple bus routes that run along Howard Street to/from Howard Street Station and their final destinations (Old Orchard, downtown Evanston, etc.). There is no need for a train station to be added and, correct me if I’m wrong, but there used to be a yellow line train stop on Asbury that was taken out years ago due to lack of interest/use. In an area already serviced by several bus lines, with limited parking and existing traffic issues from the pass-through motorists, this entire expenditure is shown to be ridiculous and unnecessary.

    Further, should such a stop be added, it is going to bring the Howard Street element existing around the Howard Street Station directly into our neighborhood. On the flip side, who from Skokie is going to take the train from their end of the line to South Evanston (the side of town which I recently heard described as a sow’s ear at a neighborhood meeting)?

    1. Old stations
      Until circa 1963, when the old North Shore Line folded, what is now the CTA Yellow Line featured stations at Ridge, Asbury and Dodge.
      Much more history of the line, including photos of the Evanston stations, is available here.
      — Bill

    2. NIMBYs always bring up ‘traffic’
      CLM says:
      “. In an area already serviced by several bus lines, with limited parking and existing traffic issues from the pass-through motorists,, this entire expenditure is shown to be ridiculous and unnecessary.”

      What does traffic have to do with this? I don’t see how creating a new CTA stop will increase traffic, unless a giant parking garage is built next to the station. If anything, the CTA stop might remove some of the traffic of people who are driving to work or driving to the Swift or Howard stations.

      “Further, should such a stop be added, it is going to bring the Howard Street element existing around the Howard Street Station directly into our neighborhood.”

      You point out that the area is “already serviced by several bus lines”. If the ‘Howard Street element’ want to take public transportation to visit your neighborhood, they can already do so. Anyway, I don’t see much of the ‘Howard Street element’ wandering around 4th and Linden in Wilmette – which has Purple Line service to Howard.

      “On the flip side, who from Skokie is going to take the train from their end of the line to South Evanston (the side of town which I recently heard described as a sow’s ear at a neighborhood meeting)?

      Probably not many people will take the train from Skokie to South Evanston. I think that they are creating the stop so that people from YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD can get on the train and go to the Loop. It will make it easier to commute from South Evanston.

      1. Let Southwest Evanston Out of your Schemes
        None of my neighbors want a stop added in our neighborhood. I think CLM has a good point about the Howard element. We are having an Aldi, a Salvation Army and a potential train stop added to our side of town. Tell me someone isn’t just dumping everything no one else wants in our neighborhood. For years, no one has looked to our side of town for anything. Getting police presence or plowing for our streets… we have stopped asking because the requests fall on dead ears. Now, suddenly, we are being asked to make room for three things none of the SW neighborhors want, and we are being told we have no choice. If they tried putting any of these things in any other area of Evanston, the residents would come out in droves against it, just like we did. The difference is that any other neighborhood’s residents would be listened to and not told ‘there is nothing we can do.’

        1. Shut down the Davis CTA and Metra stations
          SW Ev Res says:
          We are having an Aldi, a Salvation Army and a potential train stop added to our side of town. Tell me someone isn’t just dumping everything no one else wants in our neighborhood.

          Maybe they are putting a train stop in your neighborhood because it just happens to be on what I believe is the longest uninterrupted stretch of track anywhere in the CTA system ( Howard to Skokie).

          If they tried putting any of these things in any other area of Evanston, the residents would come out in droves against it, just like we did.

          Yes..I live downtown, near the Davis CTA and Metra stations, and let me tell you, if they even TRY to put another CTA station in my neighborhood, my neighbors and I will unite in opposition.

          In fact, even though the train tracks were put here 100 years before my condo was built, and I knew they were there when I moved in, I demand that the UP North and CTA purple line tracks be removed! The trains make noise that keeps me up at night, and I am afraid that undesirable elements from South Avenue, Main St., Dempster will take the CTA into my neighborhood. ( I also fear that undesirables from the Central Street Neighbors Assn, Wilmette, and Glencoe will take the Metra – especially if they open up that Trader Joe’s at Maple&Emerson.)

          But seriously, SW Ev Res, maybe the reason your side of town is so neglected and shabby..um, I mean ‘charming’ and ‘unique’… is that it is so isolated.

          No Metra? No CTA? Who would want to live in such a neighborhood? Of course..people who don’t have to commute to work, because they don’t have jobs! Sounds like a good place for the Salvation Army and Aldi.

    3. As a “Howard Street element”
      I can’t wait for this stop to be added: I know I personally would use the yellow line more if it actually went places I want to go. Since it soon will go to the Skokie shopping district (though hopefully in time I’ll be able to get those needs filled in Evanston) and to Dempster, and to connecting trains going downtown, I think it will be a GREAT ASSET.

      Not to worry, I plan to avoid your neighborhood completely. Thanks for letting your feelings about us known, though.

      Buses don’t offer the same type of public transportation that trains do: they are subject to the vagaries of traffic, and you often have to wait outside for a long time. While I don’t know if what you say about ridership on the yellow line is true, I think we can expect that its ridership will increase as more people have access to it, and as the number of stops increase.

      Find out more about Brummel Park Neighbors and Michele Hays

  2. Just shut the Yellow Line Down
    I can’t believe they’re seriously discussing adding a stop to the yellow line when they should just shut the whole line down! It’s a complete waste of taxpayer money. Even during rush hour, the train is only two cars long. Every time I see the train, there are like 10 people on it.

    It’s a waste of money to pay people to man the Skokie station, to operate the cars, and to maintain the cars and the tracks.

    People wanting to commute from Skokie to Howard street can take a bus or drive!

    1. Yellow Line Ridership
      Even during rush hour, the train is only two cars long. Every time I see the train, there are like 10 people on it.

      If there are only 10 people riding, then two cars is certainly sufficient, right?

      CTA ridership figures are available online.
      http://www.transitchicago.com/news_initiatives/ridershipreports.aspx

      The most recent figures show an average weekday ridership of 2,865 per day for the Skokie station, up 7% from the previous year, and 1005 on Saturday.

  3. Ignorant comments
    The negative comments about an additional yellow line stop are uneducated. Stations were closed, as was the North Shore line, because more people drove downtown in the 50s and 60s. Well, now Lake Shore Drive is a polluting parking lot for hours every day. And our society is trying to move away from driving and gas consumption.

    Yeah, there are bus lines, but they clog the streets and pollute. And having an all el trip is a lot more appealing than waiting at a bus stop, so another stop would attract more CTA riders. Also, the most likely stop would be at Dodge, where the Evanston senior center is. Many more seniors could enjoy a more comfortable all-el trip from all parts of Evanston, including the “howard element,” where a large and beautiful new apartment complex is near completion.

    Initial studies confirm a strong support and potential users for an additional stop for this non-polluting source of public transit. And obviously the dummie who called south Evanston a sow’s ear has never seen all the lovely and well maintained homes, condos, apartment buildings and neighborhoods in south Evanston.

  4. New stop on Dodge would be an asset
    For 12 years, we lived in southwest Evanston within walking distance of the proposed Yellow Line stop at Dodge.

    The stop would be a huge asset to that neighborhood. It’s a brilliant idea.

    It would improve the quality of life for those who commute from that area. It has the potential to turn two-car households (or three-car or four-car households in the case of some multigenerational families) into one-car households–a huge savings for families.

    It would also raise property values and make homes in that area more desirable.

    It would be great for the Levy Center, and would increase the number of people who use the facility.

    Bus lines just don’t compare to El lines.

    In these times, we should always look to use existing rail routes more intensively. We have a rail line that runs from Howard Street to the heart of Skokie. It passes thousands of homes on the way. All we have to do is add a stop and we make that line available to all those people.

  5. Nothing brings out NIMBY’s more than the threat of a CTA stop!
    It’s ironic that in other areas of Evanston (and in the rest of Chicago) living close to a CTA station is considered a huge asset and typically increases property values.
    Yet somehow in South Evanston, it’s “ridiculous and unnecessary” and will “bring the Howard Street element” to the neighborhood (gasp! not “those” people!) and therefore “none of the SW neighborhors” want it.
    Meanwhile, the highest rents and property values in the city are all within close walking distance of CTA stations (it’s a wonder these people aren’t constantly robbed by the “Howard street element”) and most real estate agents will tell you that living close to CTA will make your home easier to sell. Wake up people. It’s not 1965 anymore. People want access to public transportation and aren’t afraid to go into the big bad city of Chicago.

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