Immediate Fixes Desperately Needed for Museum Campus Access
I went to the MPC open house last week and it was good to talk with people, including Yonah Freemark. My hope (and goal) is to institute immediate (and relatively inexpensive) improvements to the current DISMAL public transportation situation to the museum campus.
In order to counteract the CTA's foolish and disastrous decision to cut 146 bus service to the museum campus (by truncating the southbound 146 bus route, most of which now stop at Harrison St.), other options are desperately needed. I write this to not only facilitate TOURISTS getting to the museum campus, but also thousands of EMPLOYEES who find it harder and harder to get to (and leave) work! (The CTA may deny that they have cut service to the museum campus, but this is absolutely untrue and I have old printed 146 schedules to prove it.)
In light of this, I enthusiastically endorse the open house idea of Trolley Circulators! Bringing these back (they used to exist) could help greatly-- as long as they run during early and late rush hours (for museum campus staff), as well as for late-arising tourists. And as long as they are free or accepting of Ventra cards.
Also the open house ideas of having color coded or thematic trails (from Roosevelt train station), and a large unified sign program, for tourists, could really help. Today, if a tourist is foolish enough to hope that they can make it to the museum campus on foot from Michigan Ave or the Redline station, a huge impediment is the draconian security fencing that often gets put up during the frequent (horrible) Columbus Drive street closures (most recently for the Chicago Marathon). These huge, intimidating fences effectively seal off the Museum Campus and prevent people from making it to the museums.
I have worked at the Field Museum since 2002, and have seen the access to the museum campus get worse and worse. Also I cannot count the number of times I've assisted bewildered tourists, both on the 146 bus and on foot. Tourists-- AND employees-- have to be VERY determined and resourceful to actually make it to the Museum Campus. Something REALLY needs to be done, and thank you so much for taking this messy situation on!
A campus circulating bus would be great. Bus should go from parking lot to bus stops and various campus sites!! Either free or small charge??
The bus waiting areas outside of Ogilvie--I hesitate to call it a stop--are not inviting to people who don't use the CTA often. I'd suggest Ventra vending machines and clear maps (maybe even floor markings to various transportation options) in Ogilvie to help make the transition from Metra to the CTA easier.
I like those bus stops where instead of chairs there's a swing set.