Tuesday, September 24, 2019

What's going on with this bus shelter at 79th/Cottage Grove

79th/Cottage Grove bus shelter loitering
You might have seen this photograph circulating on Facebook and I've been trying to determine where at 79th/Cottage Grove this was located. I see in a recent article from Block Club Chi that this was probably in front of the currency exchange on the north east corner of 79th & Cottage.

A bench was removed from this shelter and people who want to just hang out here simply bring their own chairs. I've even seen reports online that although these loiterers may seem menacing at first glance have been courteous enough to offer their chairs to those waiting for a bus. Certainly a plus for any senior citizen who are taking public transit.

However, this is an issue that the police and the 8th Ward Ald. Michelle Harris are looking to take care of the loitering and have taken steps:
Administrators of the Concerned Citizens of Chatham, a popular neighborhood Facebook page, said there were requests to remove the bus shelter bench, as well as one on 71st Street and Indiana Ave., due to the robberies and other “dangerous activities” at both locations.

The shelter bench at 71st Street remained in place as of Sunday.

Harris and 6th District Police Cmdr. Rahman Muhammad said they believe the removals are a good way to combat loitering. But when asked about how the removal affects elderly riders and passengers with disabilities, Harris said the move removal was only temporary.

“Once we get things under control, it will return,” Harris said. “I and Cmdr. Muhammad will be monitoring the intersection for the next week or so, and going from there.”

Muhammad said he is taking a “three-pronged approach” to tackle the problem.

“Firstly, offering those individuals a warning to leave the area, while at the same time giving them job fliers for employment opportunities,” Muhammad said.

Harris and Muhammad are planning to meet with CTA leadership “in the near future” about the issue and possible solutions.

“There will be weekly updates,” said Harris, who added that she hopes to have a meeting with the owner of the nearby currency exchange to persuade them to hire security.
Here's an update with the above photo from Worlee Glover's Concerned Citizens of Chatham
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