Chicago Planning Meeting Turns Against Cyclists, Walkability

This week, the Illinois DOT kicked off a set of public meetings to "redefine" Chicago's Lake Shore Drive. At the first meeting, a decidedly pro-car and anti-bicyclist sentiment crept into the comments.

As we noted earlier this week, a coalition of Chicago advocacy groups, including the Active Transportation Alliance, the Metropolitan Planning Council, and the Congress for the New Urbanism released a set of recommendations last week to guide the public process. The platform recommends increasing public access to the waterfront, providing more access for cars to the street grid, and slowing traffic speeds from 40 mph to 35 mph. Advocates say that without public support for these ideas in whole or in part, the roadway will likely continue on "a slow shift towards a superhighway."

But at the debut meeting, many of the Chicagoans who attended (at least according to the Chicago Tribune) were mixed on their support of these ideas. “Bicyclists think they have priority in sidewalks and other places, not the bike path...(c)yclists do not yield," complained one post-it noter. Another person quoted in the article seemed to think doing anything different was a bad idea. "Just resurface it," they suggested. "Save the taxpayers money." Still, there seemed to be widespread support for light rail along Lake Shore Drive. 

Supporters of the coalition's platform will have more chances to get their voice heard - initial meetings continue this week

Full Story: Bicyclists take a beating at Lake Shore Drive revamp meeting

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