Reactions to CDOT’s Chicago Forward Action Agenda vary

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Transit, safety, and congestion make up parts of the Action Agenda. 

Below are excerpts from others’ reactions to the Chicago Department of Transportation’s two-year plan, the Chicago Forward Action Agenda.

Ryan Richter, writing for Transport Nexus:

I think the very first performance measure, to increase activity, sales revenue, and occupancy rates in neighborhood commercial districts, is a fantastic example of breaking out of the silo. This is a problem that will have to be addressed city-wide through multiple agencies. Recognizing that streets can “add value”  to the neighborhoods means that you begin looking at streets in “complete” terms, as in how can a street serve multiple modes simultaneously?

Michelle Stenzel, writing for Bike Walk Lincoln Park:

My impression: Awesome! It’s very clear that we’re in a new era in Chicago, where city leaders like Commissioner Gabe Klein recognize that our streets are public places that must be made safe and accessible to everyone, and that we need a variety of transportation means beyond just the car or SUV. Of course, motor vehicles are here to stay for now, but this plan makes it clear that the choice of walking, riding a bicycle, or using public transportation instead will be made even more attractive through hundreds of policy and design improvements in their favor.

Various commenters on Phildadelphia Speaks message board:

1. Speaking about reducing hit-and-run deaths: “Planning & transportation policy alone can’t rectify the problem of 50 traffic deaths a year, when there’s this element of the population that just has no respect for the law or for basic ethics. Having said that, it’s becoming a less dangerous city every year (and at a much more impressive rate than Philadelphia), so that part of the problem is getting rectified, although separately.”

2. Responding: “But these things are not static. European cities with lower rates traffic fatality aren’t just full of nicer people who are more careful when driving.”

Angie Schmitt, writing for Streetsblog DC:

Published last week, the “Chicago Forward Action Agenda” [PDF] places a very strong emphasis on safety, in addition to setting admirable cycling ridership targets and goals for transit investment.

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) writes:

“Chicago Forward” does not provide much detail on how CDOT will finance its recommendations.  The document does not include a budget for the programs identified in the plan, such as expected revenues or cost estimates over the next two years. The plan provides few financial details beyond expenditures on, or estimated cost savings for, a small number of featured projects.  The plan does not mention how CDOT will interface with the newly-passed Chicago Infrastructure Trust and does not provide detail on its proposed transportation enterprise fund.

What is your reaction to the plan?

Read all coverage of Chicago Forward.

3 thoughts on “Reactions to CDOT’s Chicago Forward Action Agenda vary”

  1. I enjoyed reading Ryan’s comments and it occurred to me that many of the initiatives listed in the Chicago Forward plan are much needed in Chicago, but are usually handled by a Planning Department, which we don’t have. (Why not? It seems like we stand alone in big US cities in not having one.) In the section called “Fuel Our Economy”, there is discussion about the need to develop commercial areas, increase occupancy in commercial districts, activate plazas to make the “people places”, and review new developments to make sure they enhance the public ways. Transportation is an important part of these initiatives, but they go far beyond moving people.

    1. There’s a planning department, the Department of Housing and Economic Development. What we lack is a comprehensive city plan like New York City’s PlaNYC 2030. The Chicago Forward Action Agenda would only comprise a fifth of PlaNYC 2030.

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