Chicago Is Opening Shared Streets To Help Pedestrian Social Distancing

Colby Smith Colby Smith

Chicago Is Opening Shared Streets To Help Pedestrian Social Distancing

Chicago follow big cities in opening up streets for safer pedestrian passing.

Since Chicago entered Phase 2 of Pritzker’s Restore Illinois reopening plan, city hall members, firms, and citizens have requested the city to expand walkways to pedestrians in order for them to maintain social distancing. As Chicago gears up to enter Phase 3 in early June, the city has finally agreed to open four temporary shared streets.

As reported by chistreetsblog, you can find on CDOT’s ChiStreetWork website, the infrastructure map portal for Chicago, six streets on the city’s North and East sides that the CDOT describes as “shared street(s) for physical distancing.”

Those are:

  1. W Cortland St & N Rockwell St from W Cortland St & N Ridgeway Ave
  2. N Glenwood Ave & W Devon Ave to N Glenwood Ave & W Farewell Ave
  3. N Greenview Ave & W Farwell Ave to N Greenview Ave & W Howard St
  4.  W Leland Ave & N Lincoln Ave to W Leland Ave & N Clark St
  5. W Palmer St & N Kostner Ave to W Palmer St and Kedzie BLVD
  6. W Wabansia Ave & N Milwaukee Ave to W Wabansia Ave and N Ashland Ave

Due to website’s not so specific search features, these were the only streets that we could find, so it’s likely that more exist.

Mike Claffey, the spokeman for the CDOT, made a statement in regards to the Shared Streets:

“As the city anticipates transitioning into a new phase of its re-opening plan sometime in June, CDOT is preparing plans to equitably re-allocated street space to residents, where feasible, for various uses beyond driving a car. CDOT will continue working with stakeholders in all of Chicago’s neighborhoods to implement effective and meaningful transportation initiatives that help increase access and mobility for all of Chicago’s residents, while keeping safety at the forefront.”

Earlier this month, Hammersley Architecture, an architecture and urban design studio, proposed opening some of the streets as promenades to allow for cooped up citizens to get outside, enjoy the warm weather, and stretch their legs without having to worry about close contact.

More recently, Alderman Matt Martin of the 47th ward proposed opening Lincoln Square to a pedestrian walkway, saying:

““People are going out for their morning or evening walk with a pet or taking a jog, they’re wearing masks and they’re trying to social distance, so they’re walking in the parkway or running in the street. It looks like more space could be helpful.”

At this point, citizens are allowed to practice individual sports in the streets so long as they practice safe social distancing.

[Featured image: @lev.kaytsner]

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