IDOT Seeks Public Input on Future of Lake Shore Drive

Second public hearing scheduled for Tuesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Charlie Wojciechowski takes you through some plans for Lake Shore Drive that could affect the Chicago commute very soon. (Published Monday, Jul 7, 2014)

    The Illinois Department of Transportation wants to solve growing congestion headaches on North Lake Shore Drive, and it's looking for the public's help.

    An IDOT study found that a quarter million people use the roadway along Lake Michigan daily, and about three accidents occur on LSD every day.

    The study determined that aging bridges and pedestrian tunnels have reached 80 years old, and some intersections are too closely spaced. CTA buses also are getting stuck in the same dreaded traffic as cars, making commutes difficult for public transit riders.

    Leaders are considering several plans for the future of Lake Shore Drive, including a bus-only lane during rush hours. Tunneling under the Drive to add another level is also being considered, as well as straightening out the iconic Oak Street curve.

    But IDOT wants to hear from those who ride the drive.

    "Do you drive on North Lake Shore Drive? Bike or walk on the Lakefront Trail? Use any of the lakefront parks? Or value living by and using Lake Shore Drive? We want your input," an IDOT flier reads.

    Tuesday marks the second public hearing on the subject, where IDOT and the Chicago Department of Transportation plan to present a working proposal along with information on roadway issues and infrastructure needs.

    The meeting runs 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. in an open house format. Attendees can watch the presentation then participate in a workshop to identify possible solutions.

    Construction on the Lake Shore Drive Flyover is already underway to reduce the cluster on one of the most congested areas along the lakefront path.

    The 16-foot-wide flyover path will extend from south of the Chicago River Bridge to Jane Addams Park, and includes stairs and a ground-level entrance for easy access. More importantly, it will eliminate crossing conflicts with cars at Illinois Street and Grand Avenue.

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