The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and @GovernorQuinn plan to build three flyover ramps as part of their 4.5 year ~450 million dollar circle interchange project. Two ramps will go over Harrison street west of Halsted just east of South Des Plaines Street. Another ramp will go over Halsted street just south of Van Buren street and divide the Greektown from Halsted to the south.
Sign the Petition to Stop IDOT
Overpass structures create dark and dirty environments. They are threatening to pedestrians. This ramp will be located outside the Halsted Street Blue Line station where people need to wait for buses and enter/exit the station.
We don't have to guess what this will look like, three blocks to the east, the Clinton CTA station lives under the Congress Street feeder ramp.
The proposed flyover ramp over Halsted will be massive it have two 12’ lanes and two 10’ shoulders, plus the support structure required to handle 40,000 cars a day. We know what flyover ramps look like: concrete behemoths. Even in the "renderings" IDOT shows they are dressing up the style of the overpass.
Unfortnately, the design is overstated, and will anything will ultimately be covered in dust and debris from the highway.
The flyover structure will be located at the south end of Greektown and creates a separation from the UIC neighborhood. It will greatly impact the restaurants and businesses that are currently thriving in a resurgent Greektown. Today we need transit that unites communities not divides them. Today we can look north while walking up Halsted from UIC and see the amazing chicago skyline. To the south we see the tree lined streets and green areas of UIC. This would be replaced by a concrete spagetti of roads, honking cars, and engines stretching up into the sky.
We need transit that unites not divides.
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We are petitioning the Illinois state legistature and @govenorquinn to halt this project and develop an alternative proposal. A proposal that is safe, unites the neighborhoods and prioritizes Chicago communities affected over cars and trucks moving through Chicago.
Tweet to @govenorquinn and other government figures and voice your displeasure using hashtag #stopidot
Chicago and the world need ideas in transit. We need ways to move people and cargo through urban environments. We are realistic that cars, trucks, and congestion aren't going away. Tweet your ideas to fix the circle interchange and use the #stopidot hashtag.
We need big ideas. 450 million is a lot of money. We need a big solution to go with that. Unfortunately, IDOT seems to be using 450 million as a magical cap. It's the budget they think they can get...not necessarily what they need. Maybe the best solution costs a billion dollars. Maybe a perfectly workable solution that doesn't involve flyovers can be had for 250 million. Without real public hearings on what costs what, we will never know. We need you to push our goverment to act. Sign the petition and let them know we need new ideas.
Why not turn the above ground loop highway into a local exits only road?
Imagine if on 90/94 near ohio street there was a thru-traffic set of lanes that started going deeper underground and the current highway ran on top of it (a double decker...but not going any higher than today). The new thru-traffic tunnel would have exits for 290 and would merge back into the main traffic near Roosevelt/Taylor street.This would allow north/south bound traffic to move directly through the city. The Locals road above might even be able to be made a lane to two smaller...opening up room for other ideas like safer merging on/off the highway or even green space?
Let's face it, we'd rather have our tax payer dollars fixing more roads and schools than bundling it all up in one big road project. Why not find the core areas that need structural reinforcement, resurfacing, and just fix those core areas. Let's leave the interchange structurally as it is. We know all roads and bridges deteriorate over time...but that doesn't mean we need to redo the interchange. It means we repair what is already there.
Send us your ideas and we'll post them here!