The Active Transportation Alliance released Wednesday a list of 20 streets and locations with the potential to become car-free public streets and plazas. Christian Farr reports.
Ever thought about what a Chicago street would be like without any cars? Well, one civic group is hoping to turn several city roadways into “car-free” streets.
The Active Transportation Alliance released Wednesday a list of 20 streets and locations with the potential to become car-free public streets and plazas.
The list includes Taylor Street in University Village between Racine and Ashland, Milwaukee Avenue through the square of Logan Square, the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue, parts of Clark Street in Andersonville, and several others.
The organization, which took inspiration from Times Square in New York City and the Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall in Boulder, Colo., said car-free streets and zones “can make communities more attractive places to live and shop.”
“We believe a Complete Streets strategy that accommodates all modes of travel, including cars, should be the standard approach to street design,” Ron Burke, Executive Director of the Active Transportation Alliance, said in a statement. “But we should also look for those unique opportunities where converting street space into car-free zones really works to improve communities.”
The regulations could include anything from closing streets seasonally or during evenings and weekends to converting one lane of traffic into a bike lane and plaza.
Some areas of Chicago have already implemented similar regulations, like Giddings Plaza in Lincoln Square, Daley Plaza, Federal Plaza and Navy Pier, according to Active Trans.
Active Trans selected 20 other streets and locations, which they claim have been carefully studied, and hope officials will consider converting the locations into car-free spaces.
“Nearly a quarter of Chicago’s land mass falls within a public right-of-way, but most of that space is dominated by cars — not to mention the enormous amount of city space dedicated to private parking lots and parking garages,” said Burke. “Let’s give Chicagoans more car-free zones to walk, bike, shop, socialize or just relax.”
The full list includes: