CHICAGO — The City of Chicago released a new study Friday on the potential traffic impact of a temporary casino at Medinah Temple.
Bally’s hired traffic engineering firms to study the controversial issue. Calculations developed by the Institute of Transportation Engineers produced an estimate of how much casino traffic will come to River North and Streeterville.
The engineers concluded in the 112-page study that the neighborhoods can handle the new traffic.
When it comes to new vehicular traffic, the study estimates the area will see an additional 462 trips to the temporary casino weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m and an additional 516 trips on Friday evenings from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. with potentially much higher numbers in the days and weeks after the grand opening.
To handle surge of traffic the study recommended Bally’s coordinate with the Chicago Dept of Transportation and the Office of Emergency Management to address the heavier traffic expected after opening.
Some that live and work in the area told WGN News there are major concerned for both traffic and safety.
42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly said he “fundamentally disagree with the assumptions made by the traffic consultant.
“Shocking: Bally’s hired a traffic consultant to tell the city that a Casino bound by Ontario, Wabash, Ohio and State won’t create any additional traffic burden on the neighborhood. In my 16 years as alderman, surprisingly, every single traffic study commissioned in support of a development project concludes traffic will not be negatively impacted,” he said in a statement. “As far as I’m concerned this study is seriously flawed, overly vague and clearly written for the sole purpose of concluding a casino will work at Medinah Temple.”
But many on the city council including Mayor Lori Lightfoot support the temporary casino that is expected to bring in an estimated $50 million a year in tax revenues to Chicago.