Neighborhood News

Lincoln Yards Proposal Update from Ald. Hopkins (2nd)

Posted on September 6, 2018

Below is an update from Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) on the Lincoln Yards proposal from Sterling Bay originally published in the Inside Booster.

This is an update regarding the status of the Lincoln Yards community review process. Below are details highlighting community engagement, early feedback and what to expect as we move forward.

To date, per my instruction, Lincoln Yards developer Sterling Bay has met with or scheduled meetings with leadership of the Bucktown Community Organization, Lincoln Central Assoc., Sheffield Neighborhood Assoc., Wicker Park Committee, Wrightwood Neighbors Assoc., Friends of the Parks and Friends of the River, and the Lincoln Park and Wicker Park/Bucktown chambers of commerce.

These meetings are a preliminary dialogue with community, where representatives of each neighborhood are able to directly convey their respective group’s priorities, interests and concerns.

During these initial conversations, Sterling Bay and the community groups will work to facilitate a meeting with their planning committees and members to review the initial proposal and offer constructive feedback.

Sterling Bay will be expected to collect, disseminate, and incorporate each group’s input into a revised plan, to be presented at a future public meeting.

As you may know, my office commissioned a survey after the first public meeting in July that received over 450 responses.

Additionally, we received over 400 comments and emails during the open survey period. Thanks to all who submitted their thoughts and suggestions, as this feedback provided valuable insight to my office. Those correspondences were provided to the developer as well.

I’m meeting with constituents on a weekly basis in living rooms, coffee shops, my office and at community events in an effort to continue soliciting feedback. So far, based on my conversations and responses from the survey, transportation and infrastructure improvements are a high priority for residents surrounding the proposed development.

While there are multiple elements that are integral to satisfying a sound master plan, it’s clear that the existing infrastructure, traffic flow, and limited transit options are ill equipped to handle any large-scale development.

As a result, I’ve directed Sterling Bay to fund an independent traffic study, to be reviewed by the Chicago Dept. of Transportation and paralleled with their own study.

I’ve also asked the development team to explore engineering and design solutions similar to the newly realigned Elston, Damen and Fullerton intersection. Following this intersection’s realignment, commuters have seen a 70% – 80% travel time improvement at this location and within the network.

In a recent meeting with Lincoln Park neighbors, our conversation emphasized the need for improved access and mobility. There was unanimous consensus that Sterling Bay should plan for transit improvements at both east-west and north-south extensions and thoroughfares, as well as an extension of the 606 and pedestrian bridges.

These are essential needs, especially if the proposed development is to accommodate thousands of new residents and day workers in the area.

Next Steps

Following the aforementioned community group meetings with Sterling Bay, I’ll coordinate with each organization to get a report on their discussions and suggested improvements prior to the next public presentation. I will continue meeting with neighbors each week, and my office will collect and review every bit of feedback from local meetings, email and phone calls.

A second public meeting will be planned in the future months once I feel that Sterling Bay has revised their proposal to reflect the collective input from my office and the community.

I look forward to continuing this process together, and please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (312) 643-2299 with any questions as we move forward.

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