Notes from CDOT and OPC Meeting – 9/12/17
MIDWAY PLAISANCE PARK ADVISORY COUNCIL (MPAC) MEETING
September 12, 2017
Representatives from CDOT, OPC, and CPD in attendance to discuss the proposed OPC parking garage on the Midway with MPAC members and community members.
CDoT overview. Representatives – Aaron Patterson, John Sadler
- Shared handouts and display boards describing the proposed changes to Cornell, Stony Island, etc. These same displays were available at the public meetings held at the South Shore Cultural Center.
- Outlined the changes under consideration, some of which were considered in previous plans, including the 1999 framework plans, including closing Cornell and Marquette.
- “Preliminary design phase.” Need more community input.
- Traffic Volumes? – 59th St, Stony Island, Lake Shore Drive (LSD).
- Changes are intended to shift most traffic to LSD and out of the park, but traffic on Stony would also increase. Currently ~27,000 cars/day on Cornell: estimated volume increase of ~6K on Stony Island (14K to 20K, max = 30K), and increase of ~18K for LSD (46K to 64K, max = 65K).
- Traffic coordination -impact of changes to bus routes. Setting visiting hours with traffic patterns in mind?
- Access to LSD? -still under consideration
- Concerns about the Stony & 59th St intersection. -trucks under the viaduct, traffic calming, congestion on 59th, high school, Lab access to park across Stony.
- Want to improve Stony for drivers and pedestrians.
- Looking at different busy times
- Working with Lab School
- Considering opening 57th St to two-way traffic – further analysis needed
- Might prohibit right turn onto 59th – further analysis needed
- Parking – increased demand in saturated area due to OPC visitors looking for free parking. Note: Commuters may fill up a parking garage.
- OPC visitors will be looking fo
- Impact of changes to bus routes.
OPC overview. Representatives – Michael Strautmanis and Roark Frankel
- Current stage: release of designs, community meetings, focus groups, meetings with organizations. Interested in lots of input and will make changes.
- At this meeting: Focus on design, timelines, spaces for community use, parking. Also looking at the 1999 plan and entire South Park system.
- Plan Commission by end of 2017. This is not the final design, but will grant OPC permission to build something of a certain size.
- Ground-breaking in 2018.
- Opening in 2021
- Design: 3 buildings—museum, forum, library. The only tall building will be the museum. Park will be placed on top of forum and library.
- Parking: Current proposal is to have garage on the Midway that would be buried, but not fully underground. Don’t want to go to water table (reduces cost). 400-450 cars. Landscaping on top of garage = landscaped mound. 20’tall, 3-4’ higher than Metra tracks. Bus parking – up against the Metra tracks.
- Cons to burying it beneath the OPC buildings – a) unattractive; gaping hole on Stony Island; ventilation towers. b) traffic flow; would require a left-hand turn from Stony.
- Cons to remote parking -Not practical, due to anticipated scale of museum, to shuttle visitors from remote parking.
- Pros to parking on Midway – would encourage people to walk through the neighborhood. (Note: At MSI, they get 1.4m visitors a year, but is not connected to neighborhood.)
- Negative impacts on the park: 1) Affects the connection between the parks; 2) Parking lot will destroy Midway as a park, as will a bus terminal; 3) Unfortunate precedent to build a parking garage on parkland; 4) Jackson Park and Midway were to be included in National Register of Historic Places in 1972 – Does this place limits on what can be done with the land? 5) Garage does not fit in with the 1999 Master Plan or 2000 CPD framework plan
- Design: What is distance from top of garage to Metra? Are there boards showing underground garage?
- Distance between garage and train tracks – 50’ at north, 100’ from south
- No design boards available
- Location: Has OPC moved north from original proposal? Zoning change requires legal notices to people within a certain number of feet and approval. Activation on street is good, but would be better further south, at 63rd Is it worth the downsides? Plan B if the community is opposed to the garage? People crossing Stony Island?
- Site boundaries have changed, which allows for track to move.
- People would have the right to object to a zoning change, but it won’t change.
- This is the preferred strategy, but is not a done deal.
- Other parking options: Why not 60th St parking lot? Driveway entrance (not “gaping hole” like MSI.
- 60th St is privately owned, not offered to OPC.
- Re: driveway like MSI – want to prioritize community over visitor convenience, make the streets livelier. Obamas want to “activate” the streets near the OPC.
- Buses park on Hayes Drive now, but won’t be able to if this goes through.
- Looking into a full solution, for MSI buses and for OPC buses.
- Economic development – 1) Remote parking would help. 2) Will OPC and garage be private or publicly available? For-profit entity?
- For-profit, owned by Foundation.
- Why encourage driving?