May 20, 2013
Bike/Walk Logan Square invites you to add your voice and critical eye to evaluating the Logan Square station. Join us May 28 or June 1.
April 25, 2012
BikeWalk Logan Square invites you to kick off the 2012 season Thursday, April 26. Join us.
March 20, 2012
McDonald’s revealed its plans for the 2707 N. Milwaukee Avenue property at last month’s community meeting.
The alderman began the meeting touting the changes as supporting the corporate McDonald’s concept of hip and its desire to appeal to a new breed of customer, one who lingers in the restaurant and enjoys the Wi-Fi access. I think these are customers who would embrace a pedestrian orientation and would gladly do without the drive-through. The drive-through plans and flaunting of the “pedestrian street” designation (see Save Milwaukee Avenue’s pedestrian orientation) appear to conflict with the new McDonald’s concept.
The plan shows that the west/Milwaukee Avenue side of the building will stay where it is now, several feet from the property line. (Unfortunately, McDonald’s Corporation’s representative has not returned repeated calls requesting a rendering of the plans to share here.) The north and south sides of the building will also stay, while the east side will accommodate the expanded building, moving several feet to the east.
At the time of the community meeting, what should be the front face of the building with its bright yellow awning was oriented toward the drive-through rather than toward pedestrians on the street. Instead, the Milwaukee Avenue face would be the typical side façade of McDonald’s redesign.
The former “pedestrian street” designation calls for buildings to be built to the sidewalk, not several feet back, but at the point of last month’s meeting, McDonald’s would not entertain bringing the building to the sidewalk. The construction manager stated that they could not build to the sidewalk because of accessible requirements with the two exit doors to Milwaukee Read the rest of this entry »
December 19, 2011
Business as usual
On December 13, 2011, the Chicago Committee on Zoning conducted a public hearing regarding removing the “pedestrian street” designation for the portion of Milwaukee Avenue between Kedzie and Sawyer Avenues. This despite the fact that the applicant (in this case the alderman/the city) did not meet (as acknowledged by the acting city Zoning Administrator) the notice requirements necessary for the hearing to take place.
According to the Chicago Zoning Ordinance, Section 17-13-0100:
No hearing will be scheduled or conducted until the applicant complies with all applicable notice requirements.
As the applicant, the alderman explained that he introduced the ordinances in order to allow the McDonald’s franchise at 2707 N. Milwaukee Avenue to construct a new building and maintain its driveway and drive-through. He stated that the dimensions and diameters of the existing driveway and drive-through would not change. He also said that he would later re-designate Milwaukee Avenue a “pedestrian street.”
Five residents (myself, Steven Vance, Christy Prahl, Mike Jaskula, and Nicole Semple) testified in opposition to the proposed lifting of the “pedestrian street” designation for a variety of reasons.
The McDonald’s franchise owner and her attorney were the only people to speak in favor of the proposal. Contrary to the alderman’s statement, they (and the acting city Zoning Administrator as well) revealed that they planned to increase the drive-through capacity at this site. Oddly, the owner touted another McDonald’s franchise she owns on four-lane North Avenue at the busy, car-centric intersection of Grand and Kostner Avenues as an example of how nice it will be for Milwaukee Avenue. She really wasn’t grasping the concept of a pedestrian oriented street.
As is typical of zoning in Chicago, the Committee on Zoning deferred to Read the rest of this entry »
December 5, 2011
Public Hearing December 13
If you’re able, please attend the Zoning Hearing on Tuesday,
December 13, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall in order to preserve the “pedestrian street” designation of Milwaukee Avenue between Kedzie and Sawyer Avenues.
Read the rest of this entry »
September 18, 2011
August 25 Plaza Concept
for Logan Square “el” Station
The other concept the BikeWalk Logan Square committee is exploring for the Logan Square “el” station “plaza” (see also Park concept for Logan Square “el” station and Let’s put the Logan Square “el” station “plaza” out of its misery) is a much enhanced plaza.
As previously stated, beyond the mechanics of the train and bus transportation, our group wants to include and move beyond the multi-modal transportation aspect of the hub to create an aesthetically inviting destination. Read the rest of this entry »
September 8, 2011
BikeWalk Logan Square committee presentation
On Thursday, August 25, the BikeWalk Logan Square committee, of which I’m a part, presented its ideas for improving the main Logan Square “el” station and enhancing how the station accommodates pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders. This post explains some similar and some different ideas as those discussed at Improving multi-modal access and experience at the Logan Square transportation hub.
Pedestrian access and experience
Starting with the bottom of the concept image below (click on image to enlarge; north is to the right), this scenario also envisions a planted median on Kedzie Avenue and new mid-block crosswalks that connect the east sidewalk on Kedzie Avenue with the transportation hub.
August 25 Plaza Concept
for Logan Square “el” Station and Access
Read the rest of this entry »