Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project

Beginning January 24-26, the CTA will start consecutive weekend-long closures of the  Bryn Mawr, Thorndale, and Granville stations from Friday 10 p.m. through Monday 4 a.m. each weekend. This will last at least six consecutive weekends (weather permitting) and the CTA will operate a bus shuttle on Broadway making regular stops at Bryn Mawr, Thorndale, and Granville. 

Register for any of the four open house meetings (listed below) to learn about the project timeline and its community impacts including temporary station construction, alley and street closures, alternative parking options and construction of new stations and tracks.

Ald. Harry Osterman, 48th Ward, will address participants at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day. Afterward the meeting will be devoted to Q&A with experts. Click here to register.

Tues., January 28                  Thurs., January 30
Furama Restaurant             Saint Ita Catholic Church
4936 N. Broadway                5500 N. Broadway
9:30 a.m.–1 p.m. or              9 a.m.–1 p.m. or
4 p.m.–8 p.m.                        4 p.m.–8 p.m

Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will be present at the morning meetings to provide RPM-impacted businesses information about financial and technical assistance during construction.

CTA’s Diversity and Workforce team members will be available at the morning meetings to provide information to businesses interested in participating in this project and/or other CTA opportunities, as well as guidance for individuals interested in training and workforce opportunities related to RPM.

This new exhibit at the Edgewater History Museum examines how the previous historically high lake levels in the late 1980s caused extensive damage to Chicago’s lakefront communities. This crisis spurred a variety of citizen task forces to propose lasting solutions to prevent future flooding, but few of these recommendations were actually implemented. The exhibit also examines the science behind the fluctuations in lake levels and how Chicago extensively rebuilt more than eight miles of shoreline over the past 30 years. The current crisis calls for the same collective action to protect Chicago’s unique lakefront from further erosion.

The museum is located at 5358 N. Ashland and is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1–4 p.m. Admission is free.

Download Your March 3 Property Tax Bill Now

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas announced that next year’s First Installment Cook County property tax bills are available online. You can view and download your bills at You may also pay your bill online with no additional fees using your bank account. The Treasurer’s Office accepts partial payments. However, all taxes must be paid by the due date to avoid the interest charge of 1.5 percent per month mandated by Illinois law.

Neighbors Gather to Discuss Lakefront Protection

More than 300 people packed Loyola University’s Galvin Auditorium to talk about problems arising from historically high lake levels. The meeting, held Monday, October 21, was hosted by Aldermen Harry Osterman (48th) and Maria Hadden (49th) and featured experts from city and federal agencies. The primary focus was on public safety as winter weather approaches. Many people in the audience remembered when lake levels were this high in the late 1980s and storms flooded Sheridan Road and Lake Shore Drive, endangering pedestrians, motorists and lakefront properties.

The good news is that the city is better prepared this time. Already, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has placed more than a mile of concrete “Jersey” barriers along areas vulnerable to flooding to help repel high waves. The city has sandbags ready for deployment as well as water pumps obtained from the Department of Homeland Security. The response to such emergencies will be coordinated through Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).

The long term solutions, however, are still elusive and will be expensive. For example, adding another eight miles of breakwater barriers along Chicago’s coast would cost around half a billion dollars today. Several people asked who has responsibility for revetments, breakwaters and other coastal protection measures. In the late 1980s, the Army Corps of Engineers did the majority of the work, then passed the responsibilities for upkeep to the Chicago Park District. However, the programs and agreements in place 30 years ago have long since expired. Alderman Osterman noted than no city department “has a golden chunk of money in our jurisdiction to pay for this.” Developing a plan and executing it will cost billions of dollars and require many years. Despite that dire forecast, the problem has become a high priority and has the attention of the Chicago Park District, state legislators, CDOT, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, all of whom were represented on the panel Monday night. Coordination among these groups is ongoing and more public meetings are planned. For a more detailed look at the meeting, check out this story from Block Club Chicago.

Legislative Updates

City Ordinance Ups Condo Deconversion Vote to 85%

On September 18, the Chicago City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that requires 85% of condominium association members to approve the sale of an entire building. Aldermen Harry Osterman (48th) and Brendan Reilly (42nd) proposed the bill. Deconversions of condo buildings into rentals have increased in part because of soaring rents in some of the most desirable areas to live in Chicago. It is becoming more profitable for developers to invest in existing buildings rather than in new construction. Many of the aldermen noted that the vast majority of their constituents favored the change from a 75% threshold. However, the state law has not changed, and some legislators plan to introduce a bill to address that. For a more detailed discussion of the issues, check out the article in BISNOW, a real estate news website.