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Did You Know?

While the Chicago region’s population grew by 18 percent since 1980, the traffic increased by 66 percent in the same period.

Coalition calls for a bold vision for reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive

Active Trans is part of a coalition of 15 regional organizations that today released a civic platform for the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive (PDF). The platform calls for a bold vision that will meet the needs of everyone who uses the lakefront.

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The document is based on seven principles and includes a host of recommendations for the Illinois Department of Transportation and Chicago Department of Transportation as they embark on a planning study for the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive between Grand and Hollywood avenues.

Rather than reinforce the slow shift toward a superhighway, we urge Chicagoans to weigh in with your ideas to ensure North Lake Shore Drive serves neighborhood residents, tourists, pedestrians, bicyclists, runners, transit users and park-goers.

To make your voice heard, attend an upcoming public meeting about North Lake Shore Drive reconstruction on Aug. 6, 7 or 8.

This planning study offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to “Redefine the Drive.” Would you like to see bus-only lanes on Lake Shore Drive and split the Lakefront Trail into two paths to separate higher-speed bike traffic from more leisurely uses?

These are the kinds of ideas Chicago must pursue if we want a future for the lakefront that better serves everyone's needs. Download the civic platform to check out other recommendations for the north lakefront. Then take your favorites to the public meetings.

“Chicagoans deserve an iconic roadway that’s not just scenic to drive along, but is also an asset for everyone who uses the lakefront,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “Our lakefront is an important corridor and green space for walking, biking, running and public transportation.”

“An investment of this scale should not only address today’s needs, but also anticipate our region’s future,” said MarySue Barrett, president of the Metropolitan Planning Council. “This means recognizing that Lake Shore Drive isn’t merely a transportation thoroughfare but plays a critical role in creating a livable, economically vibrant city and region.”

“We envision a Lake Shore Drive that creates a stronger connection between Chicagoans and their lakefront, knitting together our neighborhoods, our parks and our beaches,” said Erma Tranter, executive director of Friends of the Park. “Our lakefront represents what is best about Chicago, attracting an estimated 60 million annual visitors.”

You can expect this conversation about the future of North Lake Shore Drive to last for several years, but as residents of Chicagoland, it's critical that we do our part to get the project started off in the right direction by clearly asserting our vision for the future of the lakefront.

Please join us in speaking up and attending the public meetings!

Gill Park
825 West Sheridan Road, 3rd Floor
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Open House: 6 – 8 p.m.

Truman College
1145 West Wilson Avenue, Atrium
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Open House: 6 – 8 p.m.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 North Cannon Drive, South Gallery
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Open House: 6 – 8 p.m.