The Chainlink

Does anyone have any info on what the bike parking facilities will be like when the station is remodeled?

Currently there are 32 spaces, and at certain times of day its completely full.

The station is being remodeled, but I cannot find out what will happen to the bike parking.

CTA tells me its a City issue, and the City says its CTA.

I've emailed the CTA website several times about this and always get the reply that they can't provide info on the new station for "security reasons".

They did say one time that there will be 8 'random' bike spaces around the new bus station, but no info as to whether its secure, under cover, etc.

And the City just doesn't reply at all.

Please, does anyone know who I can contact?

I depend on being able to park there as part of my commute downtown.

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WTF?!?  This is a huge step backwards.

I've reached out to Active Trans for assistance on this. I've also reached out to Oboi Reed with Equiticity. 

Agreed Jane. A definite bicycle downgrade. Rahm's Sunday re-opening news report.
It sure looks like you are not getting that commitment of equal or greater number of racks at the renovated station that was reported on and falsely promised by the CTA.
Sad to hear. Hope there's something this community can do to press the CTA to make good on their promise.

This is also a downgrade for folks who need to catch westbound buses along 95th St. At least for now, they've separated the 95 and 381 buses. Having those together at one stop was great, because I could wait in one spot and know I'd get the next westbound bus, whether it was the CTA or Pace option. This sucks! Of course, it sucks slightly less than what we had during the previous phase of construction, but it's still stupid from a rider perspective.

I contacted Active Trans about this. They followed up with CTA and got this response.

“As promised last fall, CTA is planning to provide plenty of bike racks at the new 95th Street station. In fact, the number of bike racks will be nearly double with 60 indoor and outdoor racks installed upon completion of project work later this year. All bike racks will be under video surveillance and the outdoor bike racks will be under a canopy. The racks will be in locations where they will cause the least amount of disruption to the flow of pedestrian traffic between buses/trains, while still being conveniently located around the facility.

It’s important to note that project work is being completed in phases and is still ongoing. The new South Terminal building features 24 bike racks (16 exterior, 8 interior). The remaining 36 bike racks (24 exterior, 12 interior) will be available upon completion of project work on the North Terminal later this year.”

I'm not thrilled with the fact that the majority of the racks will be outside, and the number of indoor racks will be less than what existed in the old station.  This is a glass half full, for sure. I am not really reassured by the statement that outdoor racks will be under a canopy with video surveillance.

I got the exact same reply from Gerald Nicholls at CTA, it must be a standard statement.

There are 4 racks in the station, which provide 8 spaces, obviously that is 1/4 of what we had before.

I don't know why they think that it is double the 32 that we had before.

The outdoor racks are a joke. There seem to be 6 of them, scattered around the bus station.

The canopy does not extend far enough to protect them from rain or snow, as seen this week when staff put out some of those yellow 'caution' cones by them as it was wet and slippery.

But the whole project seems a mess. There are no escalators, just two staircases. and one elevator.

There are no drop curbs to allow wheelchair access, except directly from 95th itself, which is not a great idea in busy traffic. It looks as if wheelchair users have to go into the road in order to get up onto the curb, there are no other entry point for them that I can see. There don't seem to be any entrance points on State or Lafayette.

What a great plan, a wheelchair crossing in 4 lanes of aggressive rush hour traffic!

Passengers waiting for buses blocked the station doorways as the bus stop areas are just not protected at all from the weather, the canopies are set all wrong!

And the doors themselves seem too heavy to open for a lot of people. I've seen people with strollers struggling to get in.

It doesn't seem to resolve any of the previous site's problems with people having to walk in between buses as there are still two bus lines, so those going to the 103 for example, have to cross the first bus line to get to it.

And I have to ask what the point of the development is at all.

If they are planning to run the extension down to 130th, (another hollow promise?) then the number of people using 95th will be decimated. Most of those using it now arrive by bus from the south side, and they will use the new stations when/if they are built.

It seems a huge waste when you consider it could be virtually obsolete in 5 years.

On a bright note, I was the first person to use the station, ahead of the formal opening by the Mayor!

I start work at 11pm, and the bike parking at the old site was closed at 10pm Saturday night, so they had no option but to let me in to park at one of the 4 racks on my way to work! 

I flat refused to use the outdoor parking and gave them no choice. But the 4 indoor racks are never going to be enough during the week, they will be full by mid morning and then what?

So of course I get there today and there are no spaces. Who is the best person to complain to?

The station manager says he doesn't like bikes in his station and to get an Uber.


----"Who is the best person to complain to?"

Why not request a response from city hall?
Ask Rahm Emanuel.

That sounds even worse than I thought it would be. 

FYI - the total number of racks given in CTA's message above was for the finished configuration of the station, with both north and side sides finished. 

In response to Tom's post, yes I have emailed the Mayor and will wait to see if I get a reply.

I am really concerned that someone thought outdoor racks were a good idea.

Not only are they vulnerable in terms of weather but they are a huge risk for theft.

There seem to be about 6 of them, placed by each bus stop and even with cameras, it would be easy for a organized thief to wait until there is a crowd gathered around boarding the bus and then cut the lock unseen.

And of course they are incredibly risky for steaming raids, those really professional thieves who drive up in a van or pick up, all jump out with boltcutters and angle grinders and remove a whole bunch of bikes in seconds, before anyone has really grasped what is going on. I'm pretty sure that outdoor bike parking disappeared from most stations when the steaming raids began some 15 years ago, but it seems that Chicago has not kept up with this.

And even more annoying is that the space occupied by two indoor racks could easily accommodate 8 or 10 racks. They are positioned almost as if they are some sort of art display, when they could have been lined up far better to use the space more efficiently.

What a lousy use of space. I agree that this area could accommodate a lot more bike parking.

No response to my emails yet from either CTA or the mayor.

I was emailing with Gerald Nichols from CTA's customer service, as he is the 'front' for all the public consultation meetings about the Red Line extension, but he seems to have gone strangely quiet this week.

Still no response from CTA or from the mayor.

Bicyclists at 95th continue to fight for one of the 8 spaces, some you win, some you lose.

But I've also noticed a disturbing new problem.

I've gone from having 2 or 3 punctures a year to having 2 or 3 a WEEK. Each time there is no debris or glass to be found in the tire and instead its a clean half inch slice, as if it was cut with a knife.

Too big to be patched, so its a new tube each time.

The only place this bike is parked regularly is at 95th. I have another bike downtown, and this one makes trips to grocery stores once a week, but is at 95th every day.

The new racks are in front of a bench/box arrangement, with numerous electric outlets, so kids sit there charging their phones while waiting for friends.

I'm starting to think that they are messing with the bikes while they are waiting?

I never had this problem until the new racks were opened. The old racks were tucked away, and very visible outside the police office, while the new ones are not monitored as I can see.

Anyone else having problems at 95th?


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