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Bus Lanes, Desired by Advocates for Chicago's Lake Shore Drive Project, Back on the Table

After releasing a list of project alternatives that didn't include new bus lanes in the existing roadway, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has changed its mind.
August 5, 2020, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Image of Chicago Lake Shore Drive Freeway
Rhett Sutphin

John Greenfield reports that advocates, including Streetsblog Chicago readers and writers, have succeeded in swaying the Illinois Department of Transportation to reinstate a bus lane in the existing roadway among a list of project alternatives for the Lake Shore Drive improvement project. 

Greenfield cites IDOT spokesperson Maria Castaneda for an explanation of why IDOT made the decision to remove the desired bus lane configuration, called The 3+1 Bus Only option (3+1 BOL), from the list of project alternatives released in June. According to Castaneda, the 3+1 BOL option improved bus performance but decreased motor vehicle throughput.

Greenfield argues that IDOT's analysis might be failing to account for how many car trips might be eliminated if functional bus service was operating on the roadway. Moreover, "[t]here’s also the phenomenon of 'traffic evaporation' — when the amount of capacity for driving is reduced, the demand tends to decrease as well as people opt out of making unnecessary car trips."

"Thankfully last week the North Lake Shore Drive project officials reversed course, saying that they’ll advance the bus lane option to the next stage of the finals," reports Greenfield.

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Published on Monday, August 3, 2020 in Streetsblog Chicago
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