The pedestrian crosswalk from Buckingham Fountain to the Chicago lakefront is open again after 6 years. The city removed the chains that blocked pedestrians from crossing Lake Shore Drive to reach Lake Michigan at Queen’s Landing. The crosswalk was originally installed in 1988 after a 13 year old girl was stuck and killed by a car attempting to cross Lake Shore Drive to reach Queen’s Landing. In 2005 the crosswalk was closed and chains were put along the sidewalk to speed traffic on Lake Shore Drive. People still crossed Lake Shore Drive at that location to reach the lake. Two young festival goers were seriously injured during Lollapalooza when they attempted to cross Lake Shore Drive at that location and we hit by a car.
Luann Hamilton, CDOT deputy commissioner stated in the Chicago Tribune:”Traffic flow is important. But pedestrian safety is No. 1 priority and we have to make sure this location is safe for all users.”
The move is part of Mayor Emanuel’s goal of making the city of Chicago safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Chicago’s first protected bike lanes were opened this summer on Kinzie Street downtown.