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.