All in all this project doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.
The city has big debt problems, the state has big debt problems and the Feds have big debt problems. As a matter of fact there are big debt problems in Asia and Europe as well. If everybody’s broke where would the funding come from except more debt?
I’ve taken trains through the Brown-Purple-Red Line junction many times and have never felt inconvenienced. Maybe this flyover would help. But at some point, if you’re broke, you have to say, “maybe it’s OK to live with what we have even if it isn’t perfect.”
It also occurs to me that there might be another solution. When I was a kid the Metra line through town had three tracks. At some point they removed one of them. But the frequency of service wasn’t impacted. I wonder if they couldn’t rework the schedule to make things better at Belmont Avenue, especially since I think those Purple Line trains only run at certain times.
Finally I question how this would impact the neighborhood. Right now it’s got some aesthetic character. The renderings I’ve seen of this flyover, on the other hand, are ugly. They’ve made a lot out of how removing the Belmont-Western-Clybourn overpass is going to improve the looks of the neighborhood just west of here, which is probably true. But now it seems they want to build another concrete monstrosity to take its place.
© 2015 practicalchicago.com