THREATENED: Public Comment Encouraged for Massive $3 Billion Plan to Rebuild North Lake Shore Drive

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“The North Lake Shore Drive (NLSD) Phase I Study is a historic project that aims to improve NLSD between Grand Avenue and Hollywood Avenue. This study offers a rare opportunity to consider new solutions to enhance the historic NLSD corridor.

“Please watch the project update videos which discuss all of the design improvements that have been advanced since we last met. While public comments are welcome at any point in the project process, this Public Input Opportunity will be open through November 9, 2020.” (www.nlsdinput.org)

Preservation Chicago strongly supports investment in infrastructure, increased green space, bike lanes, and transit. Enlarged and improved lakefront parks are the headlines, however this plan is, at its core, a highway project. There is concern that these more popular elements are being used to “greenwash” a roads project that is largely an effort to bring it up to interstate highway standards and dramatically change the character of N. Lake Shore Drive from it original parkway intent.

To impose interstate highway standards on Lake Shore Drive would fundamentally change the character of this important and historic parkway. Destroying the slower speed, meandering pleasure drive qualities of N. Lake Shore Drive in order to increase the average traffic speed is futile as the string of traffic lights at Grant Park will remain unchanged.

Preservation Chicago would like to see no widening to the existing roadway. We would like to see the existing historic art deco bridges restored. We would like to see the existing green medians and mature trees protected and maintained.

This plan is highly complex and robust public participation is essential for a good outcome.

Additional reading
Redefine the Drive Public Comment Page

Redefine the Drive Public Comment Ideas Wall

Plans for a massive overhaul of Lake Shore Drive are moving forward. Here’s how to give your input., Katie Surma, Chicago Tribune, 9/25/20 

Big, green rebuild of North Lake Shore Drive moving forward; the $3 billion project includes beach space and an eye-catching new park, but it still needs funding and is years away from completion., Greg Hinz, Crains Chicago Business, 9/24/20

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