Take a Virtual Tour of the Wilson Stop’s New Sunnyside Entrance

Unlike most unstaffed CTA entrances, this one is wheelchair- and bike-friendly

The Sunnyside entrance provides easy access to Uptown's Target and Aldi stores. Photo: John Greenfield
The Sunnyside entrance provides easy access to Uptown's Target and Aldi stores. Photo: John Greenfield

This morning the CTA hit the latest milestone in the $203 Wilson station rehab project with the opening of first-ever entrance to the station at Sunnyside Avenue, a block south of the main station house at Wilson and Broadway, which opened in September. The reconstruction project has transformed what used to be one of the system’s gnarliest stops into a new centerpiece for the Uptown community, complete with a dazzling art installation in the main entrance on the south side of Wilson, as well as a transfer between the Red and Purple lines.

The entrance on Sunnyside makes it more convenient to travel between the platform and the neighborhood’s Target and Aldi stores, located just east of the station house. Currently you can’t head west from the entrance to Truman College due to construction, but soon a walkway will open that will allow for continuous pedestrian and bike access on Sunnyside under the tracks to Broadway.

After a new pedestrian walkway is finished, it will be possible to walk under the tracks by the Sunnyside entrance from the Truman campus to Broadway. Image: Google Maps
After a new pedestrian walkway is finished, it will be possible to walk under the tracks by the Sunnyside entrance from the Truman campus to Broadway. Image: Google Maps

The Sunnyside entrance doesn’t include a customer assistant booth (although it does include a small office with a window facing the turnstiles), so it is secured with roto-gates, which don’t accommodate wheelchairs or bikes. However, unlike just about any other unstaffed entrance in the system, the station house features a wheelchair gate with a tall glass door, which would be tricky for would-be fare evaders to climb over, and will also be handy for customers with bikes or luggage.

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The wheelchair gate at the right is also handy for bikes and luggage, but tall enough to deter turnstile-jumping. Photo: John Greenfield

After passing through the turnstiles, you ascend a ramp. At the first landing you can head left to the southbound platform or right to the northbound one. Staircases lead directly to the platforms, while wheelchair-accessible ramps require users to take a much more circuitous route. Due to the long ramp journey to the platforms, it’s likely that some wheelchair users will prefer to use the main station house on Wilson, which has elevators.

Exits to stairs and ramps at the south end of the platform. Photo: John Greenfield
Exits to stairs and ramps at the south end of the platform. Photo: John Greenfield

The Wilson project is slated to be fully completed in January 2018, when the restoration of the 1923 Gerber building on the north side of Wilson at Broadway — including the restoration of its historic clocktower, which was amputated many years ago – is done.

  • neroden

    It’s best practice, when possible, to have both a ramp and an elevator entrance to a platform. This is essentially because elevators have a nasty habit of breaking and the ramp makes a good backup.

    So: nice work CTA!

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Eyes on the Street: The New Wilson ‘L’ Station Platform

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With Monday’s opening of a new, modernized southbound platform, the $203 million Wilson station reconstruction project is now one-third finished. The overhaul, which began in late 2014, is slated for completion by late 2017. There are currently four entrances to the station. The old main, attended entrance on Broadway, as well as the old auxiliary […]