Chicago Tribune: ELPC Spearheads Report Offering Tool Kit to Improve Chicago Pedway

By Blair Kamin

July 7, 2017

For the Pedway to succeed, says the report, “it must be viewed as more than just a shortcut between places; it must be seen both as a destination and as a desirable way to move around downtown.”

If, like me, you’re a veteran Pedway user, you might be tempted to respond, “I could have told you that!” Yet the report moves things ahead by formulating a systematic approach — the equivalent of an urban design tool kit — to solve the Pedway’s problems. While some of the suggested tools, like consistently labeled signs, are no-brainers, others, such as the cube-shaped entrance pavilion, promise imaginative touches of architectural spectacle. The Pedway needs both.

Commissioned by the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center, which is partnering on the effort with Broadway in Chicago and the Chicago Loop Alliance, the 38-page study got a boost Wednesday.

Confused by Chicago’s pedway system? It’s not just you.
Key players — including Steve Koch, a top adviser to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and city Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld — informally approved going forward with the next steps to develop plans to revitalize the Pedway.

“The city has given us the green light,” said Howard Learner, the center’s executive director.

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