Closing the Red Line from Chinatown to 95th for 5 months is at best an appalling idea and at worst a blatantly racist move, by according to multiple reports the most racially segregated city in the country. We have had one of the most violent springs in Chicago history so the question needs to be asked; Is the proposed closing of the Red Line in May of 2013 the city’s plan to make sure none of the violence on the South Side is able to easily come downtown or to the north side? The question is not as afar fetched as it may seem, many European cities like Paris for example do not provide adequate transportation to allow residents from lower income neighborhoods to get easily to the city center. This lack of mobility was one of the key reasons that the Paris riots of 2005 and again of 2008 occurred.
When Chicago improved the Brown Line (which runs entirely on the North Side) it kept the line running and closed one station at a time. The justification is by closing the entire Southern portion of the Redline it will save $75 million for the city. The Brown line reconstruction cost the city $530 million and the South Side reconstruction will cost the city much less, but still the city claims it is necessary to close the Red Line entirely. Are residents on the South Side not worth as much? Are South Side residents not worth as much because many are African American or Latino? Is it because there are higher levels of poverty on the South Side than the North Side? Whatever the answer as a resident of the South Side, a CPS educator on the South Side, and more importantly a citizen of this city, this plan is offensive, ill planned, and morally wrong. I along with thousands of South Side residents absolutely do not support and am extremely offended by this plan.