Just as I start to worry that I won’t be getting enough exercise this winter, the CTA jumps in and offers a solution. As Chief Carole explains over on her blog, the Brown Line expansion project is closing in on our stop, Rockwell Station. Come late February, the station will be shuttered for a six-month overhaul process. “Customers are encouraged,” Carole says, “to use the Kimball, Francisco, and Western stations during this period.” And here I was ready to just give up the commuting business altogether, quit my job, and become a hermit for six months. Thanks for the suggestion, CTA!
This is the much-maligned construction project that’s triggered much indignation among the greater Ravenswood residential crowd. I’m actually not too upset about it, despite the six-month put-out. I know the short-term costs will be more than made up for by speedier train rides and friendlier access for the disabled in the long-run.
As for a back-up station, Sarah and I debate which is closer: Western or Francisco. As the crow flies, it’s clearly Francisco, but crows can fly over rivers. I still say it’s closer; Sarah says Western. I fired up the trusty Google Maps Pedometer to check it out.
Distance to Rockwell: 0.261876 miles
Distance to Western: 0.511795 miles
Distance to Francisco: 0.483345 miles
Francisco wins in by a nose. Taking into account other variables—the extra time it takes the train to get to Francisco; the time to cross Western Ave—I think it’s a toss-up. I expect we’ll run time trials, each picking a station and seeing who can get home first. We’ll have a whole summer of this. It’ll suck for a while, but at least our transit system won’t disappear completely.