Mayor Emanuel Introduces Ordinance To Create Chicago's First Shared Street At Argyle Between Broadway And Sheridan
CDOT Project in 48th Ward Would Create Three-Block Long Plaza to Host Night Markets, Boost Economic Development
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today introduced an ordinance that would formally create a Shared Street Pilot Program, creating Chicago’s first shared street on Argyle Street between Broadway and Sheridan.
“The Argyle Shared Street project is the result of an extensive community engagement process involving Alderman Harry Osterman (48th Ward) and local merchants and residents of the community,” Mayor Emanuel said. “This project showcases our efforts to construct green infrastructure that prioritizes safety and lays the foundation for neighborhood economic development. We are creating a flexible space that will serve as a unique destination, building on
Argyle Street’s existing weekly use for night markets and Chinese New Year celebrations.”
The innovative project being constructed by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) employs the Complete Streets design approach that ensures all users are accommodated safely and comfortably. The project is expected to be largely completed by late summer 2016 and involves raising the level of the roadway, eliminating curbs and adding decorative pavement, with the goal of creating a plaza-like effect that will make the street fully ADA accessible. It will make the corridor more suitable for sidewalk cafes, street fairs and the weekly night markets that take place during the warm weather months on Argyle Street.
The project includes a number of green elements, updating the infrastructure with new more efficient streetlights and the use of permeable pavers and infiltration planters that are designed to soak up rainwater. It will also improve safety by slowing down traffic with narrower lanes and the use of chicanes, which slow down vehicular traffic by introducing a slight curve.
In a shared street, the space is shared by pedestrian, vehicular and bicycle traffic. In order to clarify that pedestrians have the right of way over vehicles and bicycle riders, CDOT has submitted a proposed ordinance that will implement the following changes:
- Defines the Shared Street Pilot Program within the City of Chicago Municipal Code.
- Defines Shared Street as a public right-of-way which can be shared at the same time by pedestrians, bicyclists, motor vehicles and other legal conveyances, and where pedestrians have the right of way over all other traffic.
- Designates The Argyle Street Streetscape between Broadway and Sheridan as the pilot location.
The ordinance will enhance pedestrian safety on Argyle Street and clarifies that vehicular drivers are obligated to yield to pedestrians, throughout the three-block corridor.
For more information about Chicago’s Complete Streets approach, go to: http://chicagocompletestreets.org/