The straight dope on slow zones, swine flu prevention from the CTA
Since the CTA announced in April that federal stimulus dollars would fund more slow zone elimination work on the Blue Line, we've all had questions. And one of the biggest is: 1. What about all the work done in 2007-08? 2. How is this different? 3. And what's the full scope?
The CTA does a decent job answering those questions on its slow zone elimination page. Such as:
1. "During 2007 and 2008, track tie replacement and other improvements were made to eliminate existing slow zones that were substantially impacting travel times. Using the resources available, construction crews focused on the sections of track that were in the worst shape."
2. "Many track components in the subway, including aging track ties, will be replaced in the coming months to provide even more reliable service in the future."
3. The project is broken into three phases: North of Division to south of Grand, through the summer; south of Grand through Clark-Lake, in the fall; from Clark-Lake through the south tunnel portal past Clinton.
There's other Blue Line work outside the tunnel, currently around Damen.
Red and Purple Line work too: Many of you have been wondering about the slow zones around Sheridan and Wilson, plus the Purple tracks from Belmont to Howard. Wonder no more! The CTA says 6,000 feet of slow zones will be removed through 2009.
Swine flu prevention tips. But do we need them anymore? The "big scare" (or shall I say scam) appears to be over. But after what Biden said last week, the CTA wants you to know what it's doing to prevent the spread. For instance, it's telling employees how to avoid it. And the reminds us riders to keep it clean -- and how the CTA keeps itself clean:
"Because swine flu is spread through person to person contact, CTA riders are advised to take basic precautions to protect themselves and their fellow riders, including frequent hand washing, covering their mouths or noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. The CTA’s deep cleaning procedures include the washing and sanitizing of hand rails, poles and seats and the CTA uses several cleaning agents, including hospital grade disinfectant, that are approved as virucidal against swine flu. Because CTA vehicles are heavily used, the CTA suggests that to keep their hands clean while traveling, riders may want to consider carrying tissues, hand-sanitizing gels or disinfecting wipes."
(Photo by the CTA)