Today’s Headlines for Thursday, March 24

  • For the First Time Since 2007, the Population of Cook County Has Dropped (Crain’s)
  • Chicago Wins the Battle of the Bulge: New Bump of Lakefront Opens at Fullerton (DNA)
  • Plan for Serpentine Pedestrian Bridge at 41st & LSD Clears Plan Commission (DNA)
  • Is Emanuel’s Recent Spate of Trail & Park Plans an Effort to Rehab His Image? (Chicagoist)
  • Intoxicated Driver Who Caused Fatal Romeoville Crash Gets 8 Years (Tribune)
  • 2 Robberies Aboard Trains on Lake Street Branch of the Green Line (Tribune)
  • RedEye Looks at City’s Plans to Separate Pedestrians & Cyclists of the Lakefront
  • Burke Discusses ATA’s Dream of a Multiuse Trail Along the Entire Riverfront (DNA)
  • CTA Renting Out Space Under ‘L’ for Parking — Could It Be Public Space Instead? (DNA)
  • Metra Station at 107th in Morgan Park Reopens With New Floor (DNA)
  • Developer Who Wants $10K in Crowdfunding for Bike Counter Listed $4M Home by 606 (Curbed)
  • Nice Wheels: The History Museum Displays Abe Lincoln’s Family Carriage (DNA)

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  • Chicagoan

    For the ATA article, I believe you meant “riverfront”.

    Also, how great would a riverfront trail be!? Couple it with good water taxi service and living by the Chicago River suddenly becomes very transit-friendly.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Fixed, thanks. However, expanding the Lakefront Trail to include all of the shoreline on the Far North Side and the Southeast Side could be great too (although some local residents have argued this would be a foot in the door for extending Lake Shore Drive.)

  • crosspalms

    The link for the 41st Street Bridge item goes to an old story, not the new one.

  • I often run in North Lincoln Park. I never ever use the bike and multi-use trail. There are plenty of options either to the east or the west. Even at the Belmont squeeze I run on the grass embankment to the west up against the LSD. Really the only reason to run on the trail is because of the better for the knees gravel side paths. I find it amazing that runners so often do not use the gravel but run on the asphalt instead.

    Just like more road means more cars, so will more trail lead to more bikers. And that’s good. I really feel for bikers. Their own bike expressway along the lake is the ideal. The current multi-use path in good weather is a social path and not a transit path.

    There is simply not enough room along the lake for all the desired use. Especially during rush hours. And especially especially during rush-season rush-hour.

    When geometry places limits in the city then priorities must shift to the most efficient users. Cars lose every time in that calculation. It is time for cars to lose some of their 8 lanes in some of the most desired geometry in Chicago.

    It is not unreasonable to have a Lake Shore Drive of 4 lanes for cars and 2 lanes for bikes and 2 lanes for mass transit. I get that car drivers will scream bloody murder. But it is the city. They can go back to the sub-urbs where they belong if it is a problem for them.

    The crown jewel of Chicago should not be sullied by and squandered on an elitist space devouring anti-urban wastrel usage.

  • Local residents opposed to extending Lincoln Park to Evanston do not deserve consideration nor respect. imho, of course. The lakefront does not belong to them it is public trust.

    The thing is that a reduced LSD (two lanes each way) from Hollywood to Evanston would so improve the ruined and destroyed neighborhood environments of Rogers Park and Edgewater that land values would skyrocket and drive them out. Denser Parisian style urban development would ensue and the lakefront would become available to a greater number of people.

    The lakefront should not be treated as someone’s ultimate NIMBY back yard.

  • Chicagoan

    Regarding the population decline of Cook County, do people expect Chicago (just the city) to grow?

  • BlueFairlane

    The article says that the Fullerton project added 5.4 acres of lakefront at a cost of $31.5 million. Estimates based on Google Earth measurements suggest you’d need about 270 acres of fill to run Lincoln Park to Evanston, and that doesn’t include the space you’d need to include your Lake Shore Drive idea. At the Fullerton rates, that would cost about $1.5 billion. You will never convince this city to spend $1.5 billion on a project like this. Nor should you.

  • aweg

    “…the ruined and destroyed neighborhood environments of Rogers Park and Edgewater…” I what way are RP and EW “ruined and destroyed”?

  • aweg

    My fantasy is a boardwalk that would connect the northern terminus of the LFT north to Berger Park around the back of the lakefront condos. From Berger Park to Loyola Campus. From Loyola campus its one more block to Hartigan Beach at which point you can continue north on CPD land up to Touhy. I’d love to see a cost estimate for a project like this—I wonder how it compares to infill.

  • Sheridan Road and Broadway. Have fun crossing them on foot. Living with expressway traffic coursing through your neighborhood on your residential and commercial streets is what I call ruined.

  • The way I would convince not just the city but the county and state is to reduce Sheridan Road and Broadway with the kind of road diets they need and add the landscaping and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure that the neighborhoods deserve.

    If drivers can live with that fine. Then we can spend a lot less on a Lincoln Park expansion. But remember your expense is someone else’s income.

    Besides, the feds need to cough up the bulk of the money. It would help the disinflation the country is suffering from.

  • I am with you totally. Just add the road diets on Sheridan and Broadway and we are most of the way there.

  • BlueFairlane

    You’re talking about road diets, and all I see is $1,500,000,000. And it doesn’t matter if that $1.5 billion comes from the city of Chicago or the state of Illinois or if you somehow con all the taxpayers in America into paying for it, you’re still suggesting we should spend $1.5 billion to make what is already the largest city park in Illinois slightly larger.

    For $1.5 billion, you could:

    * Cover the 2016 deficit for the Chicago Public Schools. Twice.
    * Recruit 22,000 new Chicago Police Officers, or pay the salary of 2,200 CPD officers for 10 years.
    * Reopen the six mental health clinics the city closed in 2012 and add 494 new clinics.
    * Build 66 Navy Pier flyovers.
    * Cover Rahm’s campaign expenses for the next 65 elections.
    * Launch a space shuttle three times.

  • I would love to spend $60 million on more overbuilt bike bridges like the Navy Pier Flyover.

  • Funny, I think the flyover is too narrow.

  • Disinflation. Crumbling infrastructure. Sovereign nation with its own currency. Neo-Liberalism.

    Look, you can fling $ signs all you want but your conception of economics is not the same as mine. I believe that our problems are political and/or social rather than economic or technical.

    So lets take economics out of it and lets just discuss what we each think would be the best approach for our city. If you believe that a level of car use, just as a for instance, is best and I don’t then that is a discussion we can have a shot at being reasonable together.

    But for us to debate economics here is probably not going to be a good one for the blog.

    Besides your 1.5 billion is a straw man. Or, Are you saying the original building of all the lakefront parks was a waste of money?

  • BlueFairlane

    …but your conception of economics is not the same as mine.

    That’s for sure. But 90% of the people you’d have to talk into this scheme conceive economics the way I conceive economics. You can’t take economics out of it, because we live in a world that includes economics.

    As for what I think is the best approach for our city, it is an approach that focuses on building a functional school system and doing what we can for the safety and stability of the people who live here before everybody starts following your usual command to move to the suburbs. Once we’ve got that pegged down, then maybe we can start talking about wasting resources on a silly project focused on one corner of town that adds a little bit of space to a 1,200-acre park that already exists.

  • Overbuilt, and way too expensive, for this particular problem.
    For a bike bridge, it’s probably of an acceptable dimension and mass.

    It cost less to put nearly 5,000 Divvy bicycles at 476 scattered sites in the hands of 25,000+ members (in three years) than it cost to build this bridge (over 16 years).

  • You are right that people get the economics they choose. But choice is a political process and our current political process is plutocratic oligarchy. So the oligarchs choose the economics that keep them in power. That economics is a terrible one for cities. That’s why I choose one that is better for cities. Unfortunately I have no more say than you do and neither of us has enough.

    My corner of town is also a corner of my state. The lakeshore is a statewide resource, even a planetary one, so when I advocate for it I am advocating for a lot more people than the few people living in a few precincts along the lake.

    As for safety and schools I am totally in your court.

  • Matt F

    Hi Jeff, I think by “Geometry” you mean “Geography.”

    Also just want to add that the current multi-use path is NOT a bike path — bikes have to share and give their right of way to other users.

    Personally I think cyclists deserve their own path. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to pass a crew of side-by-side stroller moms on my north-south lake shore commute. When I announce that I’m passing (“on your left!”) they tend to look over their left shoulder, which causes them to turn their stroller left and place their stroller-with-child right in my path.

  • I use geometry because Jarrett Walker ( does. I assume he uses it to make the point that traffic congestion rules are mathematical and apply to all cities no matter the geography.