Public weighs in on improvements to North Lake Shore Drive

CHICAGO -- A meeting was held at DePaul University on Wednesday so the public could weigh in on how to improve North Lake Shore Drive. Much of the major roadway was built before World War II.

On a usual day, the drive is busy, jam-packed, high-speed and hectic.

When you add it all up, between the cars, the buses and the bikes, a-quarter of a million people use North Lake Shore Drive daily, now some of those people got to weigh in on its future.

“It’s a unique opportunity to really change people’s lives,” Kimberly Murphy, project manager, said.

Engineers from the city and the state have been brainstorming about this for the past three years.

On Wednesday, for the first time, they brought their ideas in front of the public.

The plans cover a seven mile stretch of road from Edgewater to Navy Pier with a lot of moving parts. bike paths, green space, mass transit, the lake and, of course, a lot of cars.

“Getting input on, you know, how does this look? Where are the ramps? And where are the lanes and what do you think about this? And we still have a lot of opportunities to make changes based upon the input that we’re getting today,” Jeff Sriver, Chicago Department of Transportation, said.

The process will be underway until 2020. Safety is a big part of the process. Lake Shore Drives sees an average of three accidents a day and statistically, 95 percent of the drivers are speeding.