The Clark Street Crossroads working group first organized and began meeting at the end of 2021, and we have shared updates along the way.
Close to $8 million dollars in Clark-Montrose TIF funds are expiring this year and need to be spent to improve the district before they expire or are lost to the City's general fund.
The Crossroads group solicited public comment and received input from local residents before issuing their draft report a couple of weeks ago. Our inbox has been busy along the way, with emails from multiple readers up and down the Clark Street corridor. The recent draft report brought a lot of those discussions to a head.
The biggest concern? Parking.
The draft report (which is a recommendation only) proposes eliminating parking from one side of Clark Street from Montrose all the way to Foster in favor of a protected bike lane. Needless to say, this hasn't been popular with people who want the corridor to flourish.
Clark Street Crossroads Draft / Chicago DPD
With the permission of the readers, here's a sampling of what we have heard:
Reader TM says "87% of [Clark survey] respondents wanted restaurants and 70+% wanted entertainment and retail. I have lived here since 2005 and want nothing more than more business on that stretch. [Crossroads' plan] is a joke if they want businesses to open."
Reader SA writes "The whole thing seems to be a waste of money. Just look at the money dumped into Lawrence. Nothing good came from that, and when has spending money on community signs been a good investment? Plus all that consultant money went to waste for something I could do myself."
Reader JR says "Are they insane? No way that commercial stretch from Argyle to Foster survives without parking."
Reader CS says "[I]f I were a restaurant or bar owner I would never open in those new spaces on [the 4500 Block of] Clark with no parking."
Reader LN says "What a joke. A huge waste of City money and nothing they propose will get built. If things get built and we thank god get businesses to open, the people won't park on Clark but park on side streets. Ridiculous for residents."
Reader EJ writes "The loudest mouths are going to drive this process. No one cares to participate. I'm a biker but getting rid of an entire lane of parking on a narrow street makes no sense. Broadway, absolutely. Clark no."
So what do you think?
If you have feedback, you can always write us, but you can also take a survey here and be sure to register for a virtual meeting on January 31 at 5PM to discuss your feelings on the plans.
The Bike lobby is very strong in Chicago. To hel l with businesses and parking, give me my bike lane. If you eliminate parking on one side of the street, then create some alleys or parking lots for customers who will shop on Clark.ReplyDelete
I live off of Broadway near Addison and the two sides parking is a mess. Trucks & busses can't make it down the street, it's too narrow! There should parking banned on one side of the street for the busses to get through.
When people talk about de-populating chicago and business leaving, blame the lack of parking and lack of alleys and lots for parking.
The way of the future is not to accommodate drivers. When you visit any world-class city around the world, such as London, Tokyo, Amsterdam, you see pedestrian-focused infrastructure is light years ahead of Chicago. Our city has so much potential to become a walkable, transit rich city to the point where you wont even feel the need to drive. This change doesn't even scratch the surface for what's possible.Delete
We don't even have to provide new parking! There's multiple studies that show that, time and time again, when you remove parking and add on bike and pedestrian infrastructure, it leads to a boom in business. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200422151318.htmDelete
here's an article from that just this week that shows bike and pedestrian design does not hurt commercial businesses, and in fact usually helps them: https://www.wired.com/story/the-battle-over-bike-lanes-needs-a-mindset-shift/ReplyDelete
this is a great plan for the corridor. can't wait to see it come to fruition despite the cherry picked quotes in this article.
Why do you deal in absolutes? The Wired article that you provided as proof that bike lanes don't hurt businesses, a salon owner saw sales drop 40%, and notes that 90% of her customers drive.ReplyDelete
I LOVE bike lanes but pretending that less parking is good for everyone pits cyclists against everyone, which is why cycling loses. Where do those import wholesalers on Clark go? They need trucks to unload, and they need customer vans to load purchases. Not every block can be a walkable plaza with European sidewalk cafes, and it's going to be cold out today.
https://www.davemabe.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2020-01-20_6-41-16.png This is a link to how much space 60 people need to commute with a bike, bus and walking. Yes, parking is reduced, and cycling is introduced, but let's not forget buses. So you have a parking issue because the bike lane is in the way on both sides, people will begin to use the bus, with eliminates traffic all over the city, and can bike if they choose too. Bike lanes and less parking is a win for everyone, especially if they take the bus. Also - take a look today with how many cars are parked along this stretch. It's a TON of space for very little amount of parked cars. It would be a different story if this stretch of roadway was jam packed with parked cars at all, or mostly all times.ReplyDelete
I do not support spending this kind of money to benefit such a small portion of the population. Taxpayer money would be better served in other areas. Until cyclists pay additional taxes/fees I say no more bike lanes! Maybe cyclists would like to pay $95 per year to have a bike city sticker, $175 for a Illinois license plate, $30 for a bike license and $100+ per month for insurance. Pay those fees then you can have your bike lane.ReplyDelete
I'm with Chicago Dude. The cyclists should pay licensing and sticker fees just like cars.Delete
this is a hilarious take, considering all the millions and millions of tax dollars that go to maintaining auto infrastructure whether one drives or not. nothing's stopping you from hopping on a bike and ditching your car if you're so mad about paying a nominal cost every year for car registration.Delete
Cycling pays for itself! The need for those fees with driving exists because drivers are *always* a drain on the local economy. Infrastructure for driving is incredibly costly to build and maintain because cars are large vehicles that tear up the roads quickly. Bicycles, on the other hand, are cheap and lightweight, which leads to less wear on the roads and cyclists having *more disposable income to spend*. That's why when you increase cycling infrastructure, it always leads to a boom in business. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2rjbXb-iTxiEMOG9voRQMgDelete
That boom in business means that cycling infrastructure quite literally pays for itself. Instead of having to spend money on incentivizing local businesses to build stuff, you just install new bike infrastructure and gain any revenue lost back in taxes from the business. Pretty simple! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200422151318.htm
Our family lives nearby. We also own a car and pay all of the associated fees. We prefer to walk or bike because it is more efficient and fun. At the same time, the greatest danger my kids face on a daily basis is traffic violenceDelete
Driving is massively subsidized because the fees paid by drivers cover a fraction of the costs associated with car centric infrastructure. Cars also degrade street surfaces in a way that walking and biking do not.
If a "pay for play" process were truly applied to urban movement not only would drivers be assigned a hefty bill to cover their outsized consumption of resources but bikers/walkers/public transport users would be afforded a large refund
I spend at least $100 or more on CTA and Metra monthly, both benefit local jobs, local roads and local transportation. Having a car, means most of the fees go to the state, not Chicago or our neighborhoods. Also, why is paying more tax the barrier to entry? By the way, bike lanes cost a fraction of that needed to build, and maintain bike lanes. Also who is to say that I don't also own a car, along with being a biker?ReplyDelete
Will someone write about how badly Chicago needs alleys for trucks to unload and parking garages and lots? Street parking is ridiculously tight on narrow streets like Broadway and Clark.ReplyDelete