Kenmore Avenue. Can you spot the monk in this photo?
The Chicago Department of Transportation’s Janet Attarian recently told me about DePaul University’s proposal to create a new pedestrian plaza by closing the block of Kenmore Avenue (1030 West) south of Fullerton Avenue (2400 North). Known as the Kenmore Green, it sounded like a great plan to me, but it’s turning out to be more controversial than I thought.
Allen Mellis of the Wrightwood Neighbors Association, a local community group, has been spearheading opposition to the plaza. Mellis is concerned about the loss of 47 parking spaces associated with closing the block. Also, a traffic study conducted by the firm Kenig, Lindgren, O’Hara, Aboona Incorporated found that the closure would funnel thirty percent more southbound traffic onto Sheffield Avenue (1000 West), the nearby business street. Mellis also argues that the project would create little additional green space. He also feels that, unlike the closure of Seminary Street (1100 West), which created the campus quadrangles, a popular dog walking site for neighbors, the Kenmore Green would be used almost exclusively by students.