Loyola proposes building a pedestrian street on Kenmore Ave.

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Forty-eighth Ward Chief of Staff Dan Luna recently said that Loyola University, which is currently constructing new campus building, has made a proposal to close the 6300 block of North Kenmore to traffic in order to expand its campus with a proposal that will improve pedestrian safety and foot traffic flow.

Jennifer Clark, Loyola’s assistant vice president of campus and community planning, said that because Loyola owns all the property on the block, it makes sense to convert it to a pedestrian-priority area, according to Streetsblog Chicago.

Clark hopes that the City Council will approve the street closure in July with construction of the new buildings completed in mid-August.

“After that, hopefully we’ll be able to landscape the plaza at that point instead of reopening it to traffic,” Clark said, Streetsblog Chicago reports. “But if the alderman doesn’t approve [the closure], it will revert to a street.”

At an Association of Sheridan Road Condominium/Condo Owners board meeting, an attendee argued that Loyola should construct a new parking garage to replace 55 spaces lost when the university demolished a parking lot between North Kenmore and Winthrop to construct room for green spaces and tennis courts. The same attendee added that Kenmore should remain open to automobile traffic because it’s a convenient shortcut for drivers to bypass congestion on Sheridan.

Clark said that building to accommodate driving will only encourage more driving, thus perpetuating the congestion problem.

“No matter how much parking you build it’s never enough for everyone,” Clark said, according to Streetsblog Chicago.

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