Commentary: The case for escalators and elevators — now — on the Blue Line

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Pictured Above: chicagotribune.com, A traveler navigates the stairs of the CTA Blue Line station at Grand Avenue in Chicago. The Grand, Chicago and Division Blue Line stations are scheduled to be modernized, but new escalators and elevators connecting the sidewalk level with lower levels are not in the plans. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

Stand near the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Halsted Street, and you’ll see fatigued airline passengers hauling their suitcases up the stairs from the subway mezzanine below. There’s an escalator from the platform to the mezzanine, but none from the mezzanine to the sidewalk, and, frankly, that last climb up to the street is a challenge. Most of the people towing suitcases — and often trying to balance a garment bag, or a backpack or a shopping bag as well — are young and fit and up to the challenge. But why is the city inflicting that challenge at all?

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