As the public process for the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive continues, the demand for biking, walking and transit improvements throughout the corridor is becoming increasingly clear.
Last week the reconstruction project team released an updated timeline and a list of the top 20 ideas raised during in public comments at the July meeting and submitted online through the project website and email address.
The top 3 ideas match the priorities we identified based on conversations with members, community residents and longtime trail advocates:
1. Separating people biking and walking on the trail.
2. Improving transit service throughout the corridor.
3. Improving east/west walking and biking connections to the lakefront.
More than 260 commenters mentioned separating people biking and walking to make the trail safer for everyone. Just last month a crash between someone biking and someone running on the trail left a Chicago woman seriously injured, raising the issue of creating a separate trail once again.
Mayor Emanuel also addressed trail congestion and safety at a recent press conference for a new park on the lakefront.
Improving transit service was featured in more than 180 comments while more than 130 commenters talked about improving east/west access. The transit comments mostly focused on implementing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line to move more people through the corridor.
The project’s study area is not limited to just the lakefront path itself, but also includes the surrounding intersections and adjoining city streets, which are crucial to addressing current safety and connectivity issues.
The project is still in its conceptual stages with the next public meeting expected to be held in summer 2015, and construction will likely not begin until 2019.
You can leave a comment in support of a top 20 priority or give feedback regarding where you think an improvement is needed on the project’s online comment form. Send an email to [email protected] to receive future email updates on the project.
This blog post was written by Roxanne Bertrand, Active Trans' Advocacy Intern