Urban Design

CTA's Least Walkable Train Stations

by crandell | 02/05/2011


Chicago has an incredible train system with 144 stations providing access to many great walkable neighborhoods, and that's not even counting Metra stations. The combination of walking to transit is what allows city residents to be less dependent on their cars. But there are also stations in not-so-walkable areas, surrounded by freeways, vacant lots or suburban-style development. I took a look at the Carfree Chicago Train Stop Guide to find the CTA's ten least walkable stations. The Train Stop Guide lists Walk Scores for each train station, which gives a sense of whether the station has lots of people and activity within convenient walking distance. Below are the least walkable stations listed with Walk Scores.

Livable Streets and Reviving a Chicago Plaza Proposal

by crandell | 07/02/2010


Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin today posted a great piece on livable streets and street closures and revived a plaza proposal I floated last year: Let's keep an open mind on closing streets: They might bring new life to dull city blocks

Read the proposal for a plaza by the Belmont Red Line station here: http://www.carfreechicago.com/belmontplaza

Where else might you envision a neighborhood plaza in Chicago?

Design new bike racks for Chicago

by studiomurmur | 11/02/2009

Studio Murmur is a product design firm based in Chicago. We currently seek to engage individuals, organizations and city /state transportation officials in launching a bike parking initiative to design the next generation of bicycle racks in Chicago. Similar efforts have been successful in Toronto and New York City and smaller initiatives are underway in other cities. Secure and easy-to-use parking for a wide range of bicycles is a non-trivial problem that is not sufficiently addressed by many current rack designs. If you are someone, or know someone, who can help, please contact us at info@studiomurmur.net Thanks!

City to Reopen Queen's Landing Crosswalk?

by crandell | 09/18/2009


I thought it was time to revisit the Queen's Landing crosswalk following last month's approval of the updated Central Area Action Plan. You may recall that this crosswalk connecting Buckingham Fountain to Lake Michigan was closed back in July 2005. Well, slipped in among the costly major infrastructure projects outlined in the plan is a small item about a crosswalk with a $500,000 price tag. No massive overdone bridge over LSD as had been discussed following the crosswalk closing -- just a simple way to cross the street at Queen's Landing and restore a critical connection between the Lake and Grant Park. A bridge or an underpass would be an over-engineered and overpriced solution to getting people across the street.

Chicagoland's Best Public Place? Explore and Vote!

by crandell | 08/11/2009

The Metropolitan Planning Council has been on the hunt this summer for the best public place in Chicagoland. They've compiled over 50 photos and videos of people’s favorite public places and now they want you to vote for the best at http://www.placemakingchicago.com/places (deadline for voting is Sept. 14).

They've also created a handy Google Map to make it easier for you to explore interesting places to visit in the region, many of which are accessible by foot, bike or transit. Google offers directions by public transit for CTA and Metra to help you find your way.