Will the New 95th Street Station Have Enough Bike Racks?
The $280 million renovation of the CTA’s 95th Street Red Line station is moving along nicely, with construction on the south terminal scheduled to be completed early next year and work on the north terminal slated to wrap up in late 2018. However, it looks like it may be necessary to keep an eye on the transit authority’s plans for bike parking at the renovated train stop.
The 95th station is one of the busiest in the ‘L’ system and also accommodates many bus lines. It’s a key hub for commuters coming from the Far South Side and the south suburbs, and many of them arrive by bike. Currently the existing north terminal has double-decker bike racks inside the “paid” area, with slots for 32 bikes, and the racks are often at capacity, according to a Roseland resident named Jane who often cycles to the station, parks her bike, and rides the train downtown.
Last week Jane posted on The Chainlink social networking site asking if anyone new what the plans are for bike parking at the new station. “CTA tells me its a city issue, and the city says its CTA.” A new bus station will be built at the south terminal, and Jane said that when she emailed an address on the CTA website, she got a response saying there would be eight bike racks at the bus station, but no details about what kind of racks will be used, and whether they’ll be in a secure area or sheltered from the elements.
When I asked CTA spokeswoman Irene Ferradaz for details, she confirmed that the new station will feature eight “multi-bike” racks at the south terminal and added that racks will also be available at the north terminal.
Yesterday Jane posted that she got a response from the office of 9th Ward alderman Anthony Beale. “Upon the completion of the new South Terminal, the 95th/Dan Ryan Station Improvement Project will include eight typical U shape bike racks located in the South Terminal,” the statement from Beale’s office read. “The racks will be located outside under canopy coverage in the bus loading areas around the terminal… There will be additional bike racks in the North Terminal when it opens as well, however this design is still on-going so a final number is not available.”
“This is not good,” Jane wrote. “Replacing 32 spaces with eight racks (presumably 16 spaces) is not helpful, especially when the 32 is already not enough and some folk have to lock their bike to the railings by McDonalds and just hope they are there when they return.” The fast-food joint is just west of the north terminal on 95th. She added that while the double-decker racks are relatively secure and completely sheltered since they’re located behind the turnstiles, next to a small office for the Chicago Police Department, the new racks by the bus station will be much more susceptible to theft.
Jane said she has requested a meeting with a CTA community relations officer to discuss the issue. In the meantime, if you live in the 9th Ward, it couldn’t hurt to call Alderman Beale and let him know that it’s important to you that there is plentiful, secure bicycle parking at the new station.
Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified the bike advocate and the alderman. I apologize for the mix-up.