Eyes on the Street: Loyola University’s New Kenmore Avenue Path

IMG_0064
A new crosswalk spans Sheridan Road, leading from the new Kenmore pedestrian mall to the center of Loyola’s campus. Photo: Melissa Manak

Loyola University Chicago recently expanded its Lake Shore campus south into the neighborhood, and took a different approach to connect the new buildings to its main campus across busy Sheridan Road. The university closed to car travel the entire 6300 block of North Kenmore Avenue, between Rosemont Avenue and Sheridan Road, and replaced the avenue with a wide brick shared-use path — one of the first pedestrian-only streets on the far north side. The idea behind the new path was to allow a safer, car-free route between the southern portion of the school, which includes several dormitories and the new Institute of Environmental Sustainability building, and the main campus.

As Streetsblog reported earlier, some residents in the area were frustrated with the plan for two reasons, both closely associated with auto access. One issue was that several parking spaces would be eliminated in an area with a high demand for free parking, and another issue was that barring cars from Kenmore eliminated a short cut for far north-siders to take when Sheridan Road is congested.

Construction on this project started in 2013 when streets in the immediate area were closed entirely, and continued for over a year. In the meantime, cyclists and pedestrians alike had to take alternative routes using alleys or by biking the wrong way on parallel Winthrop Avenue. (The only other parallel street is the four-lane Sheridan Road speedway, where the city’s ban on sidewalk cycling is strictly enforced.) The university bought Kenmore from the city for over $300,000, and spent over $3.5 million dollars to renovate the property. This pathway now includes a permeable brick surface, green space, and flower gardens to fill what a space that once was rows of parked cars.

I frequently travel through the area and was curious to see what others in the community thought of this project. After two different days of visiting the site, it seems that other residents and students agree that it’s enhanced the area and created a safer way for them to reach the university.

Bikes and pedestrians share the new path. Photo: Melissa Manak
Bikes and pedestrians share the new path, shown here at its south end. Photo: Melissa Manak

It seems that most of the path’s users are university students or staff, rather than neighborhood residents, although I did see several residents walking by with their dogs.

Elaina, an employee of Loyola University, commutes daily via bike from Lincoln Park. She said that she found this pathway to be a great asset on her commute. Although many other paths shared between bicyclists and pedestrians have resulted in conflicts, that doesn’t appear to the case here. When asked if there was room for improvement, her answer was no: “I haven’t had any issues while using this pathway.”

De’Netria, a first year graduate student who’s only lived in Chicago for four months, appreciates the new path, saying “I think it has been nice and tranquil since it has been built. It’s easier for me to walk to class or work, especially with all the senseless traffic in the area.” Kelsey Plunk, who is also a first year student, said it made accessing the campus easier for her — especially when she has evening classes, since it’s well lit at night.

Several of the cyclists on the path seemed to be in a rush to beat the light across Sheridan. This could eventually lead to a collision, either with a pedestrian on the path or an automobile on Sheridan. Not many northbound cyclists were taking the pathway in the first place, though. Instead, 15 of the 22 cyclists I observed turned west onto Rosemont, perhaps to head west into Edgewater. Perhaps these cyclists are heading to destinations to the west, or if continuing north, want to avoid the university campus entirely. Although it’s possible for a bicyclist to travel through the campus, there aren’t many routes to the north besides Sheridan.

Once snow falls on the ground, it will be interesting to see how well Loyola University maintains this route. When more residents discover this new neighborhood asset, I suspect that more will choose to walk or ride down this pathway to connect to the lakefront trail to the south or Loyola Beach to the north.

  • tooter turtle

    I am a neighborhood resident, and ride my bike through Loyala almost daily, due to the paucity of safe biking routes. This is a really nice addition to the area.

  • Anne A

    If I was visiting friends or going to restaurants in Rogers Park east of Sheridan and north of Loyola, I would probably use this. When I lived in Rogers Park (west of Sheridan), Glenwood was a better option going home, because the steep speed bumps through the Loyola campus and in alleys north of campus were a pain in the butt – enough of a deterrent to keep me away unless my destination was east of Sheridan.

  • The route I take from Lunt and Sheridan is through the alley to arrive at Morse. Left on Lakewood, left on Albion, right through the alley by Chipotle. This brings you to Loyola Road as it curves around to the Loyola Station Plaza and the new building at Loyola and Sheridan. From there I proceed directly into Loyola and south to Winthrop. The reverse for northbound. My frustration is, as you mentioned, the speed bumps south of the main campus. Speed bumps are always my greatest frustration and CDOT intentionally chooses this design as it causes the greatest jolt to drivers versus the sinusoidal that is effective, though not as memorable as a CDOT representative told me once.

  • Would you be willing to get together and talk about the neighborhood sometime? Plus, do you live in Edgewater or Rogers Park? I live in Rogers Park.

  • Katherine Bentley

    It is great
    that more comfortable conditions are created to make life safer. Frankly speaking
    students don’t always pay much attention on such things as the constantly think
    where to get british
    essay writing assistance
    or something like this but, anyway, when you
    feel comfortable, it makes the life easier. I don’t think that it can influence
    someone’s decision regarding the choice
    of college, as there are some more important thing. However for students who
    are already there, it is an excellent advantage.

  • We are some sort of neighbors , in addition to journey our bike via Loyola just about every day, a result of the paucity involving risk-free cycling tracks. custom homework writing at chief papers

  • Anaa Angel

    Loyola is definitely not
    a community college. It has bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs. It has a
    medical school. As the other poster noted, the school’s main campus is in the
    far North Chicago neighborhood called Rogers Park. paper writer
    service

  • Reza Schwarz

    You should make you own decision. And I just give you a piece of advise. Look freelancehouse.co.uk for awesome writer, and you’ll never regret.

  • joyky

    It’s very interesting! I’d like to know more about this and about writting services in this context. For example this buy essays online uk. How the wide appearence of them can influence on the problem?I hope it will come a notification to me when you add something new to this brunch.

  • Paul Thompson

    Great! I liked live photos. They emphasize the charisma of a man/woman.Autor, you have profile on the flickr?

  • Lusia

    this idea is really great.A lot of people like walking aspecially as it is near the Loyola University. A lot of students have now time not only go home by this route but as well have some nice walk. We’ll help with your studding to save some time for relaxing walks on <

  • Tim

    It is a pleasure when you can go to school or work on foot. You have time to think about something valuable and settle in your head. If you need to write an essay – do not even think and contact professionals from http://paidpaper.net/

  • Latisha Clark

    Maybe these cyclists are going to destinations toward the west, or if proceeding http://ukdissertationpros.com/ with north, need to evade the college grounds completely.

  • This is wonderful! I am a marine science graduate student – which I love, and have been working toward, and am happy to be… and is sometimes tiring and challenging! geometry
    dash lite apk

  • This is really nice view and I am excited after watching this. apk download mod

  • Newton Moses

    Sometimes engineering comes with some challenges. Whereas the engineers do everything possible to ensure that their work is flawless, there always seems to be room for improvement and this case is no different with Loyola university. We are yet to see what will happen once the snow falls. Help with Putting Endnotes

  • Helen Steiner

    cool

  • Chris Harries

    A few of the cyclists on the way appeared to be in a hurry to beat the light crosswise over Sheridan. This could in the long run lead to an impact, either with a person on foot on the way or a car on Sheridan. For More Visit Our Website:
    whiteboard animation video services

  • Thanks really valuable. Will certainly share site with my good friends. I liked it a lot! Thank so much! :) color switch

  • The new path is very appropriate for the student of loyola university. It will be great path to have a nice walk on the street.

    Thanks and Regards
    Johnson Reacher
    Editnpublish

  • check casher Holiday

    In USA you will realize U.S. Everyplace, every city and 24/7. We honestly want to serve you the simplest matters with 100 percentage satisfactions. It is extraordinarily exhausting to say as soon as exactly must be forced to money your test.
    check casher Holiday

  • Anisha Malviya

    God Eater Season 2 release is expected in 2017 and here are exclusive updates and plot details about our favorite anime series

  • Adam Milne

    Amazing! good to hear that Loyola University Chicago is expanded its campus, this will entertain the students and put positive impact on students. Students who have to submit their assignments, feel free to contact Essays On Web for any writing assignments on any topic.

  • check cashing

    So, you will be able to be aware U.S.A. All time giving you the best services with 100 percent pride inner terribly short quantity.
    check cashing

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Woonerfs Are Great, But Lincoln Park Deserves a Car-Free Kenmore

|
Why do some people think Edgewater deserves to have a tranquil, car-free block of Kenmore Avenue running through its local college campus but Lincoln Park doesn’t? Loyola University is moving forward with its plan to build a completely pedestrianized street on the 6300 block of North Kenmore, which is almost totally surrounded by Loyola-owned buildings. […]

Voting for Transportation Projects in the 49th Ward Started Saturday

|
Residents of the 49th Ward, which includes Rogers Park and the Loyola University Campus, can now vote on how to spend their alderman’s discretionary “menu” money. In 2010, Alderman Joe Moore became the first U.S. politician to implement this democratic budgeting process, called participatory budgeting. This year he’s allocating $1 million of the ward’s $1.3 […]

Evanston City Council Advances Key Projects From Bike Plan

|
On Monday night, Evanston’s City Council held a special meeting solely to address four bike infrastructure or policy measures, all of which will implement pieces of the city’s recently adopted Bike Plan. The council advanced new protected bike lanes along Sheridan Road and along Dodge Avenue, in spite of considerable opposition over the latter, while deferring […]