Adding Bike Lanes, Gutting Lakeview

girl on bikeAll around Chicago, we’re intentionally slowing things down. Chicago is proudly revitalizing neighborhoods by adding protected bike lanes and relaxing traffic patterns to bring back local business, reinvigorate community life.

Meanwhile, the CTA plans to gut the heart of Lakeview, including  blocks of Clark St., an historic shopping street – turning one of the city’s top theater, restaurant, entertainment and residential communities into permanent under El wasteland with a huge cement Skyway-style Brown Line Flyover overhead, all to shave 20-30 seconds off what is already by far the best commute in Chicago.

Goodbye, Central Lakeview. Hello, Skyway.
Maybe we should think again? See article below:
highwayflyovercroppedModern Road Design in Five Words: Cities Aren’t Hoses, They’re Gardens
Streetsblog Chicago, 8/10/15
By Michael Anderson, blogging for The Green Lane Project

Excerpt from the article:
He begins with the story of a recent day when he turned on a hose for a friend watering a garden. At first he opened the valve all the way, but it was too much; his friend asked him to turn the flow down a bit so she wouldn’t damage the plants.

If our big goal as a city was to keep the most water flowing, then designing streets to maximize volume would be the obvious solution.

And in fact, that’s how traffic engineers have traditionally thought of traffic, as cars circulating like blood through corporeal arteries. Just like cholesterol clogging arteries, congestion was seen as inherent vice. A lot of money, public space, and social resources were spent on unclogging our streets to maximizing the “flow” of cars.

But the problem is that cities aren’t the hoses, they’re the gardens. Just like you don’t want to water your tomatoes with a fire hose, you don’t want to maximize traffic flow in a neighborhood. We need to stop focusing on the water, and start focusing on the plants. How much water do they need to grow? At what rate? Are we flooding them?