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Uptown Chicago Commission Press Release

UCC, area block clubs work with CTA to clean up N. Broadway block

Contact: James Cappelman, 773-485-1952; or Cathy Tokarski, 773-965-8563

June 15, 2003 Responding to concerns about the safety of the 4600 block of North Broadway raised by the Uptown Chicago Commission (UCC), a community organization dedicated to improving the neighborhood's quality of life, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has pledged to meet with UCC and address its concerns.

The UCC and nine area block clubs outlined several safety concerns in a letter sent last month to CTA President Frank Kruesi, noting that the majority of the west side of the 4600 block of North Broadway is owned by the CTA. The block is also home to the Wilson Avenue L station, which has the highest number of arrests than any other single CTA station, according to statistics from the Chicago Police Department.

"We at the CTA are devoted to public safety and we look forward to working with you as the Uptown Chicago Commission continues its efforts to improve this area," said CTA Chairman Valerie Jarrett in a May 28 letter to UCC Vice President James Cappelman.

To ensure improved safety of residents who use the CTA and the local community, UCC and the block clubs, which represent more than 1,000 area residents, asked Kruesi to provide fencing and a locked gate at the CTA-owned lot at 4630 N. Broadway. Currently, the lot is the site of frequent arrests for drug sales, prostitution, public drinking and other crimes.

In addition, the UCC called on the CTA to take other steps to improve the appearance and safety of the retail space located on its property. Specifically, the CTA should: keep areas in front of businesses clean and free from litter; discourage drug sales, prostitution and drinking in front of retail stores; hire one uniformed security guard for all stores on the block; work with CAPS and contact police as needed; and maintain storefront windows to promote commerce and discourage illegal activity.

"We would like you to join us in making Uptown a community that is safe for our families," said UCC Vice-President James Cappelman. "Waiting a few more years for improvement is costly to the business community and places undue strain on the Police Department."

UCC worked with representatives of the following Uptown block clubs: Magnolia/Malden Neighbors, Buena Park Neighbors, Graceland Wilson Neighbors, Margate Park Block Club, Argyle-Magnolia-Glenwood Block Club, Lakeside Neighbors Association, Dover Street Neighbors, Gunnison Block Club, and the Wilson-Foster-Carmen Winnemac Block Club.

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