Redefine the Drive
Redefine the Drive seeks to address some of the challenges of Lake Shore Drive and Chicago’s lakefront by smoothing out the Oak Street curve, increasing Lakefront Trail and park access, and other improvements. I advocated for this plan long before I took office as your Alderman, serving on the Lake Shore Improvement Committee for over 15 years, and I will work tirelessly to protect our lakefront.
While there are many reasons to look at improving the design of Lake Shore Drive, none are more immediate than the damage being caused by lakefront erosion. Lake Shore Drive is used by 100,000 vehicles and 69,000 CTA bus riders per day, and 31,000 trail users on the average weekend. The recent addition of concrete jersey walls is not a sustainable solution for protecting Lake Shore Drive. My colleagues at Illinois
Department of Transportation (IDOT) Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the Chicago Park District Park, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, all agree that the much of roadbed is far beyond its useful service life and needs to be replaced.
Redefine the Drive includes plans to create additional park land, which will enrich our city's green space and allow for key infrastructure improvements, such as straightening out the Oak Street curve. The Lake Shore Drive / Chicago Avenue intersection must also be improved. With statistics showing that an average of three vehicle crashes occur on Lake Shore Drive each day, these crucial changes will improve road safety for thousands of drivers and pedestrians.
I have spoken with Governor JB Pritzker about the immediate need to move this plan forward, and I am working closely with my colleagues to address the needs of safety, mobility, transportation and access. I appreciate your support in this effort – and for the record, I am not in favor of renaming Lake Shore Drive. I will continue to update you on my progress in my regular 2nd Ward e-newsletters.