The ability to redevelop a 1.8 acre parcel with two 14-story residential towers and 26,000 square feet of ground floor retail is always a challenge in a dense urban setting. However, this project was especially challenging due primarily to the surrounding transportation network and environment. Gewalt Hamilton’s scope was to evaluate all of the transportation impacts including those to numerous and unique nearby multimodal facilities.
The site is situated in a tightly constructed web of heavily travelled streets, most of which most are major arterials. Situated as a poster child for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) next to the CTA Blue Line Chicago/Milwaukee station, the site also has over 30,000 vehicles per day travelling past on Milwaukee Avenue and Chicago Avenue. The geometry of the roadway network that creates a complicated triangle intersection adjacent to the site, along with the multitude of pedestrians and bikes, required an extraordinary effort to identify “outside the box” improvements. Both Milwaukee Avenue and Ogden Avenue are identified by the City as major bicycle routes.
Gewalt Hamilton collected data of motorized vehicles, buses, trucks, pedestrians and bikes at seven locations and modeled these transportation characteristics to help conduct a detailed analysis of the site and surrounding area. Our analyses included a review of all intersections and resulted in schematic diagrams for new pedestrian safety improvements and traffic signal modifications to include new signal changes providing greater efficiencies in cycles and phasing. City approvals relied heavily on Gewalt Hamilton’s superior public testimony to the numerous resident and neighborhood groups, aldermanic representatives, the Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Plan Commission and Committee on Zoning.