Transitway Plan Revived And Revised In Chicago

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley proposed a revised version of a crosstown expressway his father, former Mayor Richard J. Daley, first envisioned almost 30 years ago. The mayor's new plan for a Mid-City Transitway would utilize existing rights of way.

"The Crosstown envisioned by the mayor's father, Richard J. Daley, would have run roughly parallel to Cicero Avenue on the city's western edge, providing an interstate truck route that bypassed downtown. It would have linked the Kennedy and Edens Expressways on the Northwest Side with the Stevenson, Midway Airport and the Ryan. But it died because thousands of homes and businesses would have been displaced in order to build it. That's still a problem."

"But traffic is still a problem, too, and getting worse. In 2002, Daley started looking at ways to build a rapid-transit line or a truck bypass along the Crosstown corridor. His Mid-City Transitway would begin near the CTA Blue Line's Jefferson Park station and head south past Midway, turn east along 75th Street and end at the Ryan. It would intersect with the CTA's Orange and Red lines and connect the city's two airports. Options being studied include a CTA-type line, a light rail line, a commuter train service like Metra or a bus rapid-transit line. A trucks-only road could be added if space allowed."

"Unlike his father's plan--or Madigan's--Daley's Mid-City would mostly use existing railroad rights-of-way, avoiding the need to acquire land and uproot residents. Its other advantage is that it involves mass transit, moving more people while causing less pollution. A truck bypass is also a good idea, especially if it could fit on the same footprint."

Thanks to David Kralik

Full Story: Crosstown back from the dead

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