On Wednesday, July 31, Cambiando Vidas applauded the efforts of the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Transit Authority to begin work to repair the public way and bus stops along the 31st Street Bus Route. The 31st Street Bus Route is a vital transportation artery for residents of Little Village. Recognizing demand for transportation, the City of Chicago reopened the route in 2012 after it had been closed for 15 years. Though the route returned, transportation was still not navigable by people with disabilities because sidewalks were broken, or sidewalks didn’t exist at the site of bus stops. The disrepair made the bus route inaccessible to people with disabilities. “Transportation is a vital link to independence for people with disabilities,” said Osbaldo Reyes, a member of Cambiando Vidas. “But for us, that link broken along the 31st Street corridor.”
Osbaldo Reyes of Cambiando Vidas played a lead role on the campaign.
To address accessibility, Cambiando Vidas began building support from neighborhood residents, community-based organizations, and local alderman. After meetings, community forums, and rallies, the City of Chicago committed to repairing sidewalks and public ways to improve access at bus stops along 31st Street. Earlier this summer, the Chicago Department of Transportation began work at 31st and Spaulding. Perched near the bus stop at that intersection, Reyes said, “We applaud the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Transportation Authority for their commitment to access. Working together, we will ensure that all neighborhood residents and all people who visit the neighborhood have the same opportunity to access public transportation.”
Cambiando Vidas also salutes Alderman Cardenas, Alderman Munoz, Enlace, and LVEJO for their support in the campaign to improve accessibility along 31st Street.
Cambiando Vidas is a community organizing group of Latinos with Disabilities. The group is supported by Access Living and its Power to the People Coalition.