FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lee Crandell, Active Transportation Alliance, firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-427-3325 x395
Mandy Burrell Booth, Metropolitan Planning Council, email@example.com or 312-863-6018
Tim Jeffries, Friends of the Parks, firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-857-2757 x12
Coalition of 15 Civic Organizations Calls for Bold Vision for North Lake Shore Drive Reconstruction
Design of North Lake Shore Drive Should Meet the Needs of Everyone Who Uses the Lakefront
CHICAGO, July 25, 2013 – A coalition of 15 organizations today released a civic platform for the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive, calling for a bold vision to better meet the needs of everyone who uses the lakefront. On July 22, the Illinois Department of Transportation and Chicago Department of Transportation announced the beginning of a planning study for the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive. The planning study offers a unique opportunity to “Redefine the Drive,” according to the project tagline.
Chicago now faces a choice: We can seize the opportunity to pursue bold plans in the tradition of Chicago's great visionaries who hoped for a more livable city, or we can reinforce the slow shift toward a superhighway that serves as an ever-widening barrier between Chicago and its lakefront.
(Download PDF of civic platform: https://www.activetrans.org/sites/default/files/North_LSD_Platform_Final.pdf )
(Download high-resolution conceptual illustration: http://activetrans.org/sites/default/files/2013-05-31_Lake_Shore_Drive_Concept.jpg )
“Chicagoans deserve an iconic roadway that’s not just scenic to drive along, but is also an asset for everyone who uses the lakefront,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “Our lakefront is an important corridor and green space for walking, biking, running and public transportation.”
“An investment of this scale should not only address today’s needs, but also anticipate our region’s future,” said MarySue Barrett, president of the Metropolitan Planning Council. “This means recognizing that Lake Shore Drive isn’t merely a transportation thoroughfare but plays a critical role in creating a livable, economically vibrant city and region.”
“We envision a Lake Shore Drive that creates a stronger connection between Chicagoans and their lakefront, knitting together our neighborhoods, our parks and our beaches,” said Erma Tranter, executive director of Friends of the Park. “Our lakefront represents what is best about Chicago, attracting an estimated 60 million annual visitors.”
The coalition encourages the public to attend upcoming public meetings Aug. 6-8. Meeting details can be found at http://www.northlakeshoredrive.org/involved_meetings.html.
The coalition’s civic platform suggests the following principles for the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive and includes additional recommendations for the project team.
The civic platform is presented by a coalition of 15 civic organizations: