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Ryan Lakes and I took our Peoria Street pedestrian street proposal to the masses by speaking to Molly Adams and Brian Babylon on Tuesday morning’s Morning AMp show on Vocalo, FM89.5
Listen (or download) to the 15 minute interview on SoundCloud.
What is the Peoria Street pedestrian street?
We propose creating a gateway connection between the University of Illinois at Chicago’s east campus and the West Loop neighborhood over the Peoria Street bridge by nearly eliminating car traffic, completely eliminating parking, removing curbs, and adding amenities to make this a place to go to instead of through.
The Peoria Street bridge over I-290/Eisenhower expressway, between Van Buren and Harrison Streets, was closed to car traffic in 1965 when a new entrance for the CTA station opened. This entrance of the UIC-Halsted Blue Line station is by far the most used access point to the busy station, as it’s the closest to campus buildings. In fact, according to a CTA letter to IDOT, “weekday passenger volumes at this station entrance exceed 11 of the other 12 total station passenger volumes at the other stops on the Forest Park Blue Line branch”.
The UIC Campus Master Plan of 2010 calls for creating a gateway at this place, and the Illinois Department of Transportation is proposing to rebuild this bridge as part of its Circle Interchange project. The bridge should rebuilt to accommodate a pedestrian street. However, rebuilding isn’t necessary and our proposal can be implemented in situ.
Ryan Lakes with Vocalo producer and cohost Molly Adams at the Vocalo studio in the WBEZ studio.
Updated March 20 to bring the chronology of events up-to-date.