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Looking to the future, City officials and unnamed Northwestern University policy makers met privately to explore the feasibility of a subway replacing the elevated tracks between Howard Street and Linden Avenue.
The meeting came to light when an Evanston alderman let slip the idea at an April 1 fundraiser for the development of Evanston Plaza at Dempster/Dodge. “Just a wacky idea,” the alderman stammered, trying to change the subject. But his comment left some noses itchy.
Discrete probing has revealed that the University has serious and growing concerns for student safety and feels a subway entrance at Sheridan/Chicago (the L/subway diverted, of course) would be a plus for commuter students and staff and a more direct tie to its downtown campus.
Citing the harshness of the last two winters, both City and NU representatives felt a subway would help to handle the climate changes augured for the years ahead.
NU has consulted with the Washington, D.C. engineering firm of Digg, Diepper & Densumb, which was involved with the D.C. project some years ago. The City also foresaw the possibility of its own High Line á la New York City.
“It seems to be just a brainstorming product at present,” the RoundTable source said, adding however, that 2025-2030 was mentioned as target date more than once. City Council admits to knowing nothing about the project. Stay tuned.