The Chainlink

Help us kill a proposed drive-thru that will cut the Halsted St. bike lane below Clybourn

There is a plan in my neighborhood to develop 1530-34 N. Halsted St. into a small banking facility with a drive-thru. Please help kill this threat to part of the Halsted St. bike lane.

The drive-thru as depicted in the most recent architectural plans would create 2 curb cuts, each wide enough for 2 lanes of traffic:
- 2 lanes entering the facility from Halsted and
- 2 more lanes exiting the facility onto Halsted.

These 4 lanes of traffic would cut the sidewalk and the bike lane on the west side of Halsted St and thus pose a danger to pedestrians (The Apple Store, REI, British School, a number of small storefront businesses, childcare, facilities, etc.) and especially to cyclists using the Halsted St. bike lane.

I am a year-round commuting and recreational cyclist as well as owner of a residential property adjacent to the proposed development. I am part of a group of local owners that opposes the drive-thru for many reasons, including the danger to the vulnerable groups mentioned above.

*** This drive-thru will require rezoning or a special use permit, so with enough pressure, we can stop this proposal. ***

==> Action Item for Persons with Clout:
The small group of local owners are to meet with 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith and Matt Rich from her staff on Feb. 16. At that meeting I would like to present among other evidence a letter from anyone with clout stating opposition to the drive-thru for any reason, but in particular from a heavyweight from one of the Chicago cycling advocacy organizations and/or from the Dept. of Transportation who opposes developments that would harm existing bicycling facilities and pose a danger to the vulnerable groups (pedestrians and cyclists).

==> Action Item for Individuals:
An email, telephone call and/or a letter to Alderman Smith's office from individuals and cyclists opposing the threat to pedestrian life and cycling on Halsted south of Clybourn would also be very useful:

==> Email:
Matt@ward43.org

==> Call:
773-348-9500 (Matt Rich or Alderman Michele Smith)

==> Mail:
Ward 43 Office, Alderman Michele Smith
2523 N. Halsted
Chicago, IL 60614-2539


Thank you!!!

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Looks like they will have to remove several metered parking spots to do this. I wonder who will pay for these missing spots for the next 73 years.

+1.

I expect Michele Smith will be far more interested in hearing from residents and businesses of the 43rd Ward than from people who may pass through the 43rd in their travels. The Department of Transportation will be asked to look at any kind of proposal which will affect traffic and the bike lanes, and deference will be given to the views it expresses. While the support of the alderman is important in the process of obtaining special use permits or zoning variances, the Zoning Board of Appeals is the ultimate arbiter and will hear evidence from those in favor and from those opposed. Don't approach this by just trying to organize a group of bicyclists and handing each one of them a burning torch.

You've been a member of the chainlink for all of 5 hours now.

Pace yourself.


Cameron Puetz said:

Do you do have a link to the plans or any other information?

Yes, every third one should wield a pitchfork for the mob to be effective. Oh, and you would do well to have some agitated large breed dogs.

Newbies.

Hey Charles,

See if you can get a copy of the zoning revisions that went into effect in 2003.

Particularly there were provisions to limit curb cuts in the interest of a pedestrian and disability-friendly built environment.  Also, I'm not sure if presenting this as a hindrance to bicycling is your best tack-- you might want to keep the focus on the effect on disabled and elderly for maximum effect.  Also, think about contacting Equip for Equality and seeing what kind of help or info they can offer.

Good luck and keep that fighting spirit.

Yeah, dude also says he owns the property next to the proposed development. Conflict of interest?

Yes, 3 or 4 spots. Under their contract with the parking concessionaire, the City would have to replace those spots somewhere to "make the concessionaire whole".

Louis K said:

Looks like they will have to remove several metered parking spots to do this. I wonder who will pay for these missing spots for the next 73 years.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. In my experience at the Zoning Board of Appeals, the position of the local Alderman is given a lot of weight, as will in this case, The Dept. of Transp. as you point out. "Weight" is the key word here. The Zoning Board's decision will weigh the evidence. More evidence opposed will help kill the idea. I'm attacking the proposal on several fronts, and the interests of cyclists that use the Halsted bike lane is one key group that can add weight to the opinion against.

Kevin C said:

+1.

I expect Michele Smith will be far more interested in hearing from residents and businesses of the 43rd Ward than from people who may pass through the 43rd in their travels. The Department of Transportation will be asked to look at any kind of proposal which will affect traffic and the bike lanes, and deference will be given to the views it expresses. While the support of the alderman is important in the process of obtaining special use permits or zoning variances, the Zoning Board of Appeals is the ultimate arbiter and will hear evidence from those in favor and from those opposed. Don't approach this by just trying to organize a group of bicyclists and handing each one of them a burning torch.

You've been a member of the chainlink for all of 5 hours now.

Pace yourself.


Cameron Puetz said:

Do you do have a link to the plans or any other information?

In case this hasn't occurred to you already, I'll point out that my interests as a cyclist and my interests as a property owner (and a resident in that property) align perfectly in this instance. A "conflict" of interests would be when those interests do no align. Or are you bothered merely by the fact that I own property? Does that mean to you that I'm not a cyclist?  Well, I don't own a car, and I probably put in more miles annually than most people here, if that helps you form a more informed opinion.

Vando said:

Yeah, dude also says he owns the property next to the proposed development. Conflict of interest?

Thank you for the useful reply. Do the 2003 zoning revisions apply city-wide, or just in this Halsted Triangle area? That may be a good angle, because pedestrian use is way up around here, and there is a medical facility one block south that probably attracts the elderly and persons with limited mobility.

h' said:

Hey Charles,

See if you can get a copy of the zoning revisions that went into effect in 2003.

Particularly there were provisions to limit curb cuts in the interest of a pedestrian and disability-friendly built environment.  Also, I'm not sure if presenting this as a hindrance to bicycling is your best tack-- you might want to keep the focus on the effect on disabled and elderly for maximum effect.  Also, think about contacting Equip for Equality and seeing what kind of help or info they can offer.

Good luck and keep that fighting spirit.

City-wide, Charles.  There seemed to be an overall goal to reduce curb cuts but I'm fuzzy on the details at this point.

Charles Brasfort said:

Thank you for the useful reply. Do the 2003 zoning revisions apply city-wide, or just in this Halsted Triangle area? That may be a good angle, because pedestrian use is way up around here, and there is a medical facility one block south that probably attracts the elderly and persons with limited mobility.

h' said:

Hey Charles,

See if you can get a copy of the zoning revisions that went into effect in 2003.

Particularly there were provisions to limit curb cuts in the interest of a pedestrian and disability-friendly built environment.  Also, I'm not sure if presenting this as a hindrance to bicycling is your best tack-- you might want to keep the focus on the effect on disabled and elderly for maximum effect.  Also, think about contacting Equip for Equality and seeing what kind of help or info they can offer.

Good luck and keep that fighting spirit.

Is the property in question the low brick one in the shot below? Yes, I would absolutely join in opposition to a drive through bank there. That row of 7-8 buildings forms a nice border to the street that should be maintained continuously and developed, not interrupted, if that area wants to maintain any hope of becoming a livable, pedestrian-oriented shopping district. Curb cuts and a car-oriented business would be horrible there.

Yes, that's the one! The development would take down the 1-story building you mentioned as well as the 2-story building to the left,  comprising about 60 feet of frontage. (The For Sale sign spans both of them).

Please contact the Ward43 office to express your opposition. See my orig. post for contact info. I have just learned that staff there includes a person responsible for public safety: Libby Prakel, Chief of Staff for Michele Smith. Matt Rich is the Ward 43 Director of Zoning and Development. I am meeting with him Monday 2/6 and with him and the alderman on 2/16.

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