The Chicago Edgewater neighborhood establishes an unprecedented protocol for transportation planning in American cities.
Too Much Traffic
Although only about half the residents in Edgewater actually own vehicles, traffic volumes are intensely congested. Locals complain of noise, pollution, dangerous intersections, and a feeling of isolation from the parks and waterfront.
Walkable Edgewater works with the community as well as the Illinois DOT to create a community-generated physical plan that is oriented toward local residents rather than pass-through commuters.
Multi-agency teams include a zoning specialist, a planning and development aide, a traffic-calming expert, and a chief of staff. The team works with local organizations, block clubs, and fire, police, and sanitation agencies to develop areas of improvement and test the projects’ physical feasibility.
A Walkable Neighborhood
The Edgewater neighborhood has become a model for pedestrian-oriented planning in Chicago, and other wards are flocking to the idea of community-generated physical change.
The positive relationships between neighborhood associations and the Chicago Department of Transportation are key to the success of the Edgewater planning project.