Plans for drive-through on Milwaukee Avenue

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 »

Save Milwaukee Avenue’s pedestrian orientation

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.

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Pedestrians have been left out of the multi-modal Logan Square transportation hub

May 23, 2011

Pedestrians Cross Kedzie Ave.
at the Logan Square “el” Stop

The photo above illustrates a typical daily evening scene as passengers exit the main north exit of the Logan Square “el” station to head east across Kedzie Avenue on foot.  In the morning pedestrians are crossing in the opposite direction.

As people will forever choose the shortest distance between two points, it does not make sense for passengers to walk out of their way due north or due south to the intersections with Schubert and Milwaukee Avenues, respectively.  As people also tend to choose the lesser of two evils, it does not make sense for passengers to tangle with the bus traffic at the bus depot north of the exit, so they instead choose to dodge the cars on Kedzie Avenue.

Fortunately there’s a large median separating southbound and northbound Kedzie Avenue traffic, so after negotiating southbound traffic, pedestrians have a respite to plan their next traffic dodge on the other side of the median.  But this seems like a problem whose time has come to be solved.

The east side of Kedzie has filled out nicely over the years to create a restaurant row conveniently located to the “el,” bus depot, and public parking lot that combine for this excellent multi-modal transportation hub.  Bike racks have been installed inside and outside the station in recent years, and there are plans for bike lanes on Kedzie Avenue from Milwaukee Avenue north. Pedestrians, though, have not been accommodated well.  So what’s the solution?

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Emmett Street lot improvements, a day late, and done

September 9, 2010

Things didn’t go exactly as planned for the Emmett Street parking lot maintenance.  But they are done, a day late and a dollar short I don’t know and I don’t care at what cost (since Chicago Parking Meters, LLC/LAZ Parking is picking up the tab per the city’s 75 year contract with them).

There was some confusion with regard to what exactly consitutes north and south in a lot that’s oriented northwest/southeast, both by LAZ and by drivers.  They ended up splitting the maintenance work on a vertical, rather than horizontal axis as first explained.  They changed the dates mid-stream so that the switch between south and north (or west and east, if you like) was made a day later than planned and the completion date was a couple of days later.  There were some straggler drivers that didn’t make the shift in time.  But in the end they completed the project a day later than originally planned, a day earlier than the revised plan.

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Emmett Street parking lot maintenance

August 18, 2010

LAZ Parking/Chicago Parking Meters, LLC (CPM, LLC) will be repairing potholes and other bumps in the road, re-paving and re-striping the Emmett Street parking lot the week beginning Monday, August 30.  These are some of the issues I previously wrote about in The 3 P’s of Parking (Part I) regarding the product offering.  And hats off to LAZ Parking/CPM, LLC as they address these issues before they become major concerns. 

Preparing for Maintenance at the
Emmett St. Parking Lot

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Snow patrol

January 13, 2010

Who to credit?

I’m not sure who to credit for the consistent clearing of snow from the Emmett Street sidewalk in front of the Emmett Street parking lot (photo below left), the city or LAZ Parking/Chicago Parking Meters, LLC (CPM, LLC).  But it pleases me.  I imagine LAZ/CPM, LLC is responsible for keeping the area around the main pay box (photo below right) and

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Emmett Street lot rezoning = done deal

January 8, 2010

Like many proposed zoning changes, the rezoning of the Emmett Street parking lot is a done deal, so I’m not sure of the purpose of last night’s meeting.

The ordinance has already been introduced, the proposed change will be before the city’s Committee on Zoning on January 12, and is set for “passage” (the alderman’s choice of words) by City Council on January 13.

The rationale still is that the change is necessary in order to allow Chicago Parking Meters, LLC to operate the lot legally, something having to do with its business license.