‘Shared Street’ in Uptown causing confusion

CHICAGO -- The city’s new “shared street” concept in the Uptown neighborhood is causing some confusion.

The “shared street” opened at the end of August on argyle between Sheridan and Broadway.  The idea is to have a nice space for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists to share. Studies have shown shared streets increase economic activity and pedestrian safety.

But with this being the first of its kind in Chicago, there’s a learning curve.

Friday representatives from Alderman Harry Osterman’s office went from business to business on Argyle passing out flyers in hope of clearing up confusion.

During construction, Argyle was a one way street. But when it opened last month, it became a two way street.

There is construction signage indicating that, but there are also still one way signs up adding to the confusion.

And cars are now parked going both directions on the North side of the street.

Not helping matters are the lack of signs telling people where to park.  It’s a curbless design.C  Currently people are parking near what looks like a curb, but it’s the drainage.  The city says they should be parking near the dark gray pavers and are trying to get that word out to make more room for two way traffic.

The city says it plans to install signage and pavement markings this fall to help ease the confusion.

It also plans to put out a video describing exactly how to use the shared street.

In the meantime, the alderman’s office will continue to pass out flyers this week and next reminding people it is now a two way street and to park further in than you think.