Thursday, February 13, 2014

Active Transportation Alliance Proposes Car-Free Streets; Includes Idea for Clark and/or Dearborn in the Sloop

One of our favorite things about European cities are their pedestrian streets.  That's why we perked up when we read a new proposal put out by the Active Transportation Alliance that suggests implementing similar concepts in Chicago (via Chicago Tribune):
The idea of car-free streets might seem pointless to some, but if selected thoughtfully they are just the kind of peaceful havens that are in too-short supply in Chicago, a civic group says.  
That group, which for years has advocated pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly Chicago streets, is releasing a proposal Wednesday for 20 car-free areas and public plazas across the city. 
The Active Transportation Alliance's objective is to make downtown and the neighborhoods more attractive places to live and shop, and to help residents get around easily and safely by promoting more bicycling and walking while also reducing traffic accidents, officials at the alliance said.
And one of the areas the group identified was Dearborn and/or Clark.  While it sounds like the plan is to alter one or both of the streets, it wouldn't be car-free, but rather less cars:
Dearborn and/or Clark Streets, River North to South Loop. Example concept: convert a travel lane on Clark to a protected bike lane with a landscaped seating area next to it.
We're pretty sure this has already been done on Dearborn, but maybe they're proposing taking it to the next level.  Dearborn technically doesn't have a landscaped seating area.

This isn't the first time something similar has been talked about on Sloopin.  As you may recall we thought it would be a great idea to transform Dearborn between Polk and Harrison into a walking street way back in 2010.

We can dream.

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