Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Well-Wentworth Connector: A New Type of Road at The 78 Development

The 78 - the new mega development planned for the gigantic vacant land south of Roosevelt - has been written about a lot.  Regardless of your beliefs on the development it surely is going to be transformative for the Sloop.

There was an old post on Curbed Chicago that we didn't link to awhile back but is pretty interesting.  It talks about the plans for the Wells-Wentworth Connector:
In Chicago, a new street main street built from scratch will consider a lot more than just cars. The Wells-Wentworth Connector will be a road for pedestrians, bikers, and new modes of transportation the city might adopt in the future such as scooters.
In a major city it’s a rare opportunity to construct a brand new road without existing infrastructure to work around or other development obstacles, but that’s exactly the chance developer Related Midwest will get with the Wells-Wentworth Connector.
Earlier this summer work on the project began which will be the main road running from north-south in the megadevelopment The 78. The road will directly and easily connect near South Side neighborhoods to the Loop for the first time.

So that sounds great, but what does it really mean.  The article goes on to provide more specifics:
The street will only have two lanes for cars and speed tables at crosswalks will reduce the risk of speeding down the straight road. A speed table is similar to a speed bump except it has a flat top. The ones at The 78 will be placed at crosswalks and reach the same height as sidewalks. This removes the dip at most other intersections in the city, and the pavers will intuitively lead people toward the riverfront and park, Pfeffer said.
The bike lane is protected by a double parkway and designed to guard bikers against hazards like dooring and cars pulling into the lane. The entire lane is 15 feet wide with 5-foot planted barriers on either side and a 5-foot space to ride.

It will be fun to see how this progresses, but it does sound like a unique opportunity.

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