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Car Free Streets Could Be Coming To Your Neighborhood

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A number of Chicago streets could be motor-vehicle-free if CDOT chooses to move forward with a plan presented today by alternative transit group Active Transportation Alliance, the same organization that runs Bike The Drive and Open Streets. The group suggests that by removing vehicle traffic from specific locations downtown and congested areas in the neighborhoods, the areas affected would become more attractive to current and future residents by making the every day inconveniences of shopping and commuting safer and easier.

A few of the stretches of major streets to impose a traffic ban would be:

· Monroe Street from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive
· Magnificent Mile along Michigan Avenue
· Parts of Rush Street in the Gold Coast
· Parts of Broadway Avenue. in Lakeview
· Multiple stretches around Wrigley Field
· Stretches of Milwaukee Avenue. in Wicker Park and Logan Square
· Humboldt Boulevard in Humboldt Park

Chicago has already experimented with traffic bans in the past, most famously when State Street was off limits to motor vehicles for nearly two decades. Many consider the State Street Pedestrian Mall experiment a failure, and the famous shopping destination was reopened to vehicle traffic in 1996. There's no doubt that Chicago has some serious issues with vehicle congestion in popular shopping and restaurant districts, and this topic seems to be a key concern for residents during neighborhood battles over large developments. So, what do you think would be best dear reader?

· Civic group proposes closing parts of 20 Chicago streets [Tribune]
· Top streets for creating car-free spaces in Chicago [Active Transportation Alliance]
· The short, sad life of State Street's pedestrian mall [WBEZ]