As Chicago moves into phase three of the city's reopening plan on Wednesday, certain streets will open to provide more space for pedestrians, cyclists and businesses to utilize while social distancing during the pandemic.
Six streets will make up a pilot program that converts residential streets and commercial corridors for "alternative uses," such as outdoor dining as the city prepares for phase three of reopening.
“This vision to reimagine some of Chicago’s residential streets and key restaurant corridors allows for increased social distancing and adherence to public health guidance as we begin the gradual reopening of our great city. In coming days and weeks, I look forward to expanding these pilot projects citywide with input from the public and local stakeholders," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday.
These six streets will be among the first in the program:
- Chatham: 75th Street from Calumet Avenue to Indiana Avenue
- Lakeview: Broadway from Belmont Avenue to Diversey Parkway
- Little Village: 26th Street from Central Park to Harding Avenue
- Rush & Division: Rush Street from Oak Street to Cedar Street
- Near West Side: Taylor Street from Loomis Street to Ashland Avenue
- West Loop: Randolph Street from Expressway no further than Elizabeth Street
The roads will be closed to thru traffic during specified hours "over the coming weeks and following the city's official move into phase three," which is still set to begin Wednesday, the mayor confirmed in a Tuesday briefing.
After the launch, the city plans to look at expanding closures to other locations in the city.
Beginning June 1, business associations and restaurants in groups of three or more can submit applications for expanded outdoor dining, which would allow them to "temporarily use streets or private property for outdoor dining and drinking until 11 p.m.," the mayor's office said.
CDOT confirmed the initiative Wednesday, as first reported by Streetsblog Chicago after a reader identified the locations the city will begin to open using the ChiStreetWork website that lists public permit information.
Another four streets will be opened to share among pedestrians, bikers and local traffic while utilizing social distancing guidelines.
Shared streets that have so far been slated to open, all on the city's North and Northwest Sides, include:
- Glenwood Avenue from Carmen Avenue to Devon Avenue, running north through Andersonville and Edgewater
- Leland Avenue from Lincoln Avenue to Sheridan Road, stretching from Lincoln Square to Uptown
- Palmer Street from Long Avenue to Kedzie Boulevard, from Hanson Park on the west to Palmer Square on the east
- Cortland Avenue from Ridgeway Avenue to Rockwell Avenue, one block north of the 606 trail, which remains closed
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