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Lake Shore Drive Proposal Inspires Debate

Take a car lane or widen Lake Shore Drive? That's the question facing state and local officials in Chicago.
July 25, 2018, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Transportation officials are considering creating bus lanes on North Lake Shore Drive by either taking out a regular traffic lane in each direction or widening the roadway," reports Mary Wisniewski.

As Wisniewski notes, either option is potentially controversial. Divers won't want to lose a lane, and transit and neighborhood advocates don't want more space to go to drivers.

To prove the latter prediction correct, Yonah Freemark followed up on the news with a post about the "wishful thinking" of urban transportation planning.

"For American cities, highways are a drug," writes Freemark. "They’re expensive to acquire. They devastate healthy tissue and arteries, replacing previous modes of nourishment with destructive ones. They force the rest of the body to adapt to their needs, and they inflict pain on those nearby." Freemark references North Lake Shore Drive as exhibit number one in making that case.

Wisniewski provides more details of the potential project, like the still very long timeline for the project.

Neither proposal would become reality anytime soon — the ideas are among many being discussed as part of a long planning process for the reconstruction of Lake Shore Drive between Grand and Hollywood avenues by a project team made up of officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Park District. It will be years before the $2 billion to $3 billion reconstruction would take place.

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Published on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in Chicago Tribune
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