Tonight’s North Lakeshore Drive open house at Truman College was an energetic kickoff to what could be a park-heavy multi-modal redesign of the iconic roadway.
The official material presented the history of Lakeshore Drive as a mixed-use corridor whose identity was intertwined with that of Lincoln Park. The framework was clever: by suggesting that any “green” changes we make to Lakeshore Drive would bring us back to the original design of the drive as a park-like boulevard, it mitigates complaints that these visions are newfangled and therefore scary and unacceptable. To the contrary! The idea of Lakeshore Drive being a permeable extension of our beach and park space is in fact kind of an old idea.
Lakeshore Drive will be redesigned from Grand Avenue to Hollywood. We are in Phase I right now, which covers design and environmental studies. There will be public meetings throughout the process to gather community input.
By the numbers:
- 70,000-150,000 vehicles per day;
- 1,100 crashes per year;
- 69,000 bus riders/day using Inner and Outer Drive Express buses; and
- 25,300 people use the Lakefront Trail each day.
These numbers do a good job of using data to make the point that transit users, bicyclists and pedestrians should be considered in any redesign.
Here are a few fun pictures from the open house, and at the bottom, a way for you to get involved.
Alderman James Cappleman signs in at the meeting
Residents view the existing conditions report (made on an incredibly beautiful printer!)
A super cool resident points to some existing issues
State Representative Greg Harris holds court with CDOT officials and friends
Color coding system
Marking up existing maps
The sun-dappled Task Force sign.
More about that
Throughout the entire process, IDOT, CDOT, CTA, and Chicago Park District will consult local task forces. There are 3 regional groups to represent the areas between Grand Avenue and Hollywood. Uptown readers may be most interested in the task force representing Montrose-Hollywood. There are a maximum of 25 residents allowed to be on each task force, and each member must commit to attending the 5 public meetings scheduled until 2016. Representatives at the meeting said they’d be looking for the task forces to represent a range of perspectives.
Want to apply to join a Task Force? You should join the task force! Use the North Lakeshore Drive’s Task Force Interest Form.