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.
Continue reading Can more be done? An update on the Kenmore Green proposal
Photo of La Grange Metra station by Tristan Garrett.
Ed. note: Ted Rosenbaum is originally from Evanston and has a master’s in transportation engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently works on public transportation in the San Francisco Bay area, and is on Twitter @RedTosenbaum. His opinions are his own, independent of his employer. -Steven
On Wednesday, July 25, DePaul’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development published their report on The 20 “Top Transit Suburbs” of Metropolitan Chicago—An Index Approach. It’s a good thing they put “Top Transit Suburbs” in quotes, because this report has a tenuous link to that phrase at best. Although the abstract says the study aims to evaluate “the region’s suburbs on the basis of their attractiveness to those with lifestyles oriented toward the use of public transportation,” they focus exclusively on Metra access & amenities. Metra is an important part of Chicagoland’s transportation network, and the region’s greatest hope for reducing the car dependence of downtown workers who don’t live all that close to the city. But drawing a straight line from Metra station aesthetics and auto-accessibility to public transportation-oriented lifestyles? That’s a stretch.
Download the full report (.pdf). Continue reading Report lists top transit suburbs with a cloudy definition of transit and suburb