City Nerd calls DuSable LSD the worst waterfront highway in North America – Streetsblog Chicago

Earlier this year, Las Vegas-based planner and engineer (“planginer”) and YouTuber Ray Delehanty, aka CityNerd, did a great job of defining Chicago as a great place to live. In the video “Affordable Cities: 10 US Metro Areas With Low Livability, Walkability, and Transit,” he looks at “what are the cheapest cities.” [cities over 250,000 people] Living in the USA, but good prices, intersects with the things that interest city-lovers: public amenities, culture, sports, walking, biking and transit service. He put Chicago first.

However, in the new clip, Delehanty is at her wittiest the worst Things about living in Chicago: Our beautiful lakefront is surrounded by an eight-lane highway. In the video “Highway Engineering Madness: 10 Waterfront Freeways That Need to Go (North American Edition),” he presents a gallery of cities that wasted their waterfronts to make driving more comfortable, and Chicago once again tops the list.

“Waterfronts and riverfronts: In the world’s truly great cities, these are precious, unique places where you can find incredible views, great recreation, dense housing, tourism (perhaps too much tourism), but really, you’ll find it all,” says City Showing inspiration photos of Nerd Rio and (I think) Copenhagen.

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“However, for some cities, they are a very convenient place to build a freeway,” he adds. “From a highway engineering perspective, placing highways along waterfronts and rivers simply makes sense: Coastlines are typically straight and require no structures or tunnels, and natural barriers of rivers, lakes, or oceans reduce intersection conflicts. It’s a traffic engineer’s dream. But traffic engineering does not always (or usually) take into account the competing uses that may exist along waterfronts, such as active and recreational uses or dense mixed-use development.

In this section, his hall of shame:

  • Gardiner Expressway (Toronto)
  • I-278/Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) (Brooklyn Heights)
  • I-5 (Portland)
  • Storrow Drive (Boston)
  • I-5 (Sacramento)
  • I-787 (Albany)
  • I-64 (Louisville)
  • I-76 (Philadelphia)
  • I-95 (Philly)
  • I-5 (San Diego)
  • I-705 (Tacoma)
  • FDR Drive (New York)
  • I-190 (Buffalo)
  • I-580 (Berkeley/East Bay)
  • I-376 (Pittsburgh)
  • DuSable Lake Shore Drive (Chicago)
  • I-91 (Hartford)
  • I-293 (Manchester)
  • I-25 (Denver)
  • Hwy 315 (Columbus)
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Delehany saves the worst for last, DuSable Lake Shore Drive. “It looks like it could be some sort of tree-lined boulevard,” he says. “Hey, it’s not a highway, it’s a car. However, except for the short segment where he runs, do not make any mistakes [by] Millenium and Grant parks, this freeway. What does it mean? [Dusable] Lakeside Drive is just a land use. A fantastic green belt of beaches and parks, up and down the coast on the east side of the road, and tons of density and great views on the west side. It runs the length of the city at almost every level to maximize noise, air pollution and physical disruption to the waterfront.

He noted that from time to time, tunnels under the highway provide access to the beach for pedestrians and cyclists. “I don’t know who would be happy to use that.”

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“Chicagoans, weigh in, have [DuSable] Is Lake Shore Drive bothering you?” Delehany asks. “Or have you convinced yourself it’s not bad? I’m interested in hearing from people who have to live with it.”

Showing an alternate layout for DuSable Drive from the Better Streets Chicago website.
Showing an alternate layout for DuSable Lake Shore Drive from the Better Streets Chicago website.

The good news is we don’t do it You have to live with eight lanes of traffic. The North DuSable Lake Shore Drive reconstruction project could result in two of the eight lanes being converted to bus-only lanes — if enough residents make it clear that’s our preference. Many advocates are calling for a bolder vision to transform the drive into human-scale boulevards, with redundant mixed-traffic lanes converted into more space for transit, walking, biking and green space.

It’s time for Chicagoans to stop making the Great Lakeside Highway a national embarrassment to our city.


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