Residents Start Petition to Fight IDOT’s Circle Interchange Project

Condo board president David Lewis shows the approximate height of the top of the retaining wall that would be 7.5 feet away from the building
Condo board president David Lewis indicates the height and proximity of a ramp.

The residents of 400 S Green Street, the building where the Illinois Department of Transportation plans to build a new highway ramp just a few feet away, have begun a petition to rally neighbors in opposition to the project.

The proposed flyover is part of IDOT’s $400 million Circle Interchange expansion, a project that the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s myriad committees allowed onto the funding list for the GO TO 2040 regional plan, even though it conflicts with the plan’s commitments to transit, livability, and sustainability.

IDOT’s “preferred alternative” for the project, known as Alternative 7.1C, calls for building a highway ramp next to 400 S Green, while a different variation, which IDOT rejected in mysterious fashion, would avoid building the new ramp.

Asserting that “the inclusion of the flyovers in an urban environment divides communities, creates unsafe viaducts, and increases noise and pollution,” the petition lists the many reasons people tend to not want flyovers or highway ramps outside their windows. For example:

Overpass structures create a darker and dirtier environment. Threatening to pedestrians. This ramp will also be located outside the Halsted Street Blue Line station where people need to wait for buses and enter/exit the station.

Some signers are leaving comments about how Alternative 7.1C would affect Chicagoans:

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300 South Green residents have hung an "IDOT: Don't destroy our homes!" banner on the building facing the Ike. Photo by John Greenfield.

This will make my friend’s home 20 feet away from passing cars traffic, noise, and pollution – he will not be able to ever open his windows or have a quiet moment ever again… -C.J.

Find an alternate that doesn’t affect the 1000’s of residents in the local neighborhood. This doesn’t benefit us and will cost us in decreased property values! -E.K.

E.K. is right in saying it doesn’t benefit nearby residents. CMAP’s own analysis showed an increase in carbon emissions, an increase in car traffic, and a decrease in transit ridership as a result of the Circle Interchange project.

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