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Decades of research shows that expanding roads doesn’t provide lasting congestion relief. More lanes means more traffic.

Let’s rebuild Lake Shore Drive the right way

Strong turnout at last week’s open house on the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive shows Chicagoans are committed to a bold vision for the project that serves the needs of everyone who uses our lakefront.

More than 330 people – including several Active Trans supporters – attended the meeting last Tuesday at the Drake Hotel, sparking lots of dialogue about how to make our lakefront more safe, convenient and accessible.

Attendees reviewed data and presentations on the current configuration of North Lake Shore Drive and offered their feedback and ideas for the new design.

If you couldn’t make the meeting, there’s still time to be part of the public process. The project team is accepting comments on the draft Purpose of Need statement, which lays out the project vision, until July 31st.

You can join the hundreds of supporters already asking for greater attention to alternative transportation options, like bicycling and public transit, in the document. Read more about our vision for the project in this civic platform released last year.

This is a rare opportunity to stop the slow shift of Lake Shore Drive towards a superhighway that serves as an ever-widening barrier between Chicago and our lakefront, and support a design built upon shared principles of mobility, safety, connectivity, livability and sustainability. Contact the project team today.

The next public meeting for the project will be in summer 2015, and construction will not begin until 2019 at the earliest, but there are some things we can do right now to improve the experience for everyone using our lakefront, particularly in the busy summer months.

These include adding pavement markings to the trail to separate bicyclists from pedestrians and designating a separate trail in the most congested areas, such as between Oak Street Beach and Fullerton.

We’ll continue to engage trail users to push for these and other improvements in the coming months.

Stay tuned to the Active Trans blog for continued updates on the project and other opportunities to help improve our lakefront. In the meantime, be sure to submit your comments on the draft Purpose and Need statement to the project team.