TIMELINE and HISTORY

WHERE:

The WILSON UNDERLINE occupies the space under the Wilson ‘L’ tracks between Montrose and Wilson, including the space surrounding the future Sunnyside Substation (Auxiliary Entrance) located behind Aldi and Target.

20160224-ContextPlan

MISSION:

To create a welcoming and beautiful public space adjacent to the reconstructed Wilson ‘L’ that is safe, lively, pedestrian-friendly, well-lit and incorporates public art, green space and transit-oriented uses that reflect the community.

TIMELINE:

  • May-June 2012 – The Graceland Wilson Neighbors Association (GWNA) created a Community Survey in which over 520 respondents weighed in. The original CTA plans did not include the Sunnyside substation. Through community persistence and the overwhelming survey response, the Sunnyside Substation Entrance is now moving forward.
  • 2013/2014 – The Metropolitan Planning Council worked with the community to look at Transportation Oriented Development (TOD) near the Wilson ‘L’ and create a report. The report describes “the opportunity to significantly improve the space under the elevated rail tracks”, “CTA should improve lighting and offer paved, landscape connections between Truman and Broadway” and in scenario 2 concluded that under the tracks should be “designed for community gatherings, food trucks and the like” (pages 3 and 17).
    Click here to see MPC report.
  • September 16, 2014 – CTA and CDOT Public Meeting was held at Truman and was the highest attended CTA public meeting. Many people spoke up about what they wanted for the open space around the Wilson ‘L’ Station: safe, open passageways that connect people with good sight lines, shortest distances and great urban planning. No one mentioned they wanted fences and parking. Even given such strong community feedback, the plans have remained unchanged, calling for a fenced-in parking lot with no public space. GWNA sent Meeting Notes to CTA regarding the results of the public meeting highlighting that the current design does not take into consideration the concerns the community noted at the 9/16/14 meeting or from the May-June 2012 survey results.
  • Fall/Spring Semester 2014/2015 – CTA sponsored the UIC Transit Oriented Design (TOD) Studio to “develop a realistic, market-based concept for TOD at the CTA Wilson Station with the goals of generating revenue for the CTA and supporting community vibrancy.”  One of the conclusions  indicated “little appeal for parking spaces under the ‘L’” and “recommends physical and programmatic elements.”
    Click here to see UIC report.
  • Spring, 2015 – The Wilson ‘L’ Public Space Committee formed to help influence a public space design. The CTA Wilson ‘L’ Red Line Phase 1 Construction began.
    Click here to learn more about the CTA Wilson Reconstruction.
  • Summer, 2015 – The Wilson ‘L’ Public Space Committee, Uptown United (Uptown’s community economic development organization), its Development Partners committee, GWNA, MPC and UIC’s TOD Studio leaders gathered to brainstorm a design proposal for the space under the Wilson ‘L’.
  • Fall, 2015 – The first design proposal was crafted by Uptown United and presented to a group of key stakeholders. The proposal incorporated transit-oriented uses, such as expanded bike parking stations and an Uptown Food Truck Zone.
  • November, 2015 – The Committee and Uptown United collaborated on a design to rethink the best use of funds for the public space. Several organizations and groups (including a UIC TOD Studio commissioned by the CTA) have studied the site over the years and have found that creating a public space conducive to Transit Oriented Design (TOD) is the appropriate solution in lieu of a fenced parking lot. Creating a vibrant community space rather than a parking lot will strengthen businesses, create a welcoming feel and renew Uptown by bringing the community together.
  • February, 2016 – The Wilson ‘L’ Public Space Committee and Uptown United release the WILSON UNDERLINE design plans and www.wilsonunderline.com website with a new survey to assess public opinion and create excitement for a vibrant new public space in Uptown.
  • June, 2016Public Input survey results released
  • June 21, 2016 – The Wilson L Public Space Committee holds a public meeting to review the Wilson Underline proposal, survey results and discuss the next steps. Meeting Minutes can be viewed: HERE
  • November, 2016 – A public petition is issued to garner support for a public plaza below the Red Line: SIGN PETITION HERE
  • December, 2016 – Local block clubs adjacent to the Wilson Red Line Station support the Wilson Underline by sending letters to the Alderman
  • January, 2017 – Transition to Version 2.0 Approach (Current version you see on the website).
  • February, 2017 – Meeting with Alderman Cappleman to go over new approach
  • June, 2017 – Meeting with Alderman Cappleman and CTA to go over new approach and current construction schedule.
  • June-September, 2017 – Creation of Version 2.0 design and plan
  • September, 2017 – Meeting with Alderman Cappleman and CTA to go over the design and proposed installations/modifications to the CTA owned area.
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