Citizens of Chicago are urging police to focus on drivers who speed on North Lake Shore Drive by increasing the number of tickets issued to violators. However, less people are reportedly on board to create a lower and upper North Lake Shore Drive in connection with a revamping of the road, according to a recent news article. Residents were given the opportunity to voice their opinions during a project called "Redefine the Drive," which seeks to get citizen proposals to solve the problems along the seven-mile stretch at the north end of Lake Shore Drive.
Officials from the Illinois and Chicago Department of Transportation say a majority of the parts of North Lake Shore Drive are old and in need of being rebuilt. While doing so, it is their hope that other problems will also be addressed, including structural issues and the lack of space for joggers and bikers. The double-decker drive idea was proposed to address some of these concerns. The suggestion would include the lower drive being used by faster vehicles and maybe carrying a toll. The upper drive could feature a lower speed limit, as well as a bike lane.
Opponents say that splitting the drive would result in major issues with drainage so close to the lake. Instead, some are proposing that a lane on inner Lake Shore Drive be designated for buses and the parking spaces be eliminated to encourage mass transit instead. The argument is that if people were given an option other than using their car, they would take it.
One of the most crucial issues present on the drive is the problem of speeding, with the vast majority of drivers doing so and some by as much as 30 or 40 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. The north end of the drive sees as many as three crashes per day. Citizens' answers to the speeding problem is simple: cops must issue a high volume of tickets. Officials say the problem with that suggestion is that police who patrol the road do not have an adequate place to park and patrol speeders, or the space needed to safely pull over violators.
In addition, current Illinois law does not allow the use of speed cameras on Lake Shore Drive, which some argue should be changed. Citizens argue that it is well known that there is little enforcement of speed limits on Lake Shore Drive. Another suggestion is to have law enforcement be visible along the roadway in an effort to discourage speeding, and not just catch a speeder after the infraction takes place.
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