Station to Station: Architecture Foundation to Hold BRT Design Contest

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Could Chicago's BRT stations look as cool as this? Photo: Sasha Aickin.

Earlier this winter the Active Transportation Alliance asked members to complete a questionnaire about what features they’d like to see at future bus rapid transit stations for proposed BRT corridors on Western and Ashland, and in the Loop. More than 900 people responded to the survey, which ended January 31. The results show that “people are really interested in real-time arrival screens, they’re interested in improving protection from the elements, from wind, as well as heat lamps when it’s cold,” said Active Trans’ Lee Crandell in a WBEZ interview. Crandell said that about 60 percent of respondents put shelter from the weather on the top of their wish list.

Now that input is being used for a design competition that could help determine what the new BRT stations look like. The Chicago Architecture Foundation and the Chicago Architectural Club are organizing the contest, which kicks off in March. A panel of transportation and design experts will judge the submissions. Look for the official announcement soon on the CAF’s website. Hopefully the competition will lead to BRT stations that are not simply utilitarian but iconic, like the totally tubular station from Curitiba, Brazil, pictured above.