FEDERALLY REQUIRED ACCESS - VERTICAL COMPLIANCE - RAMPS AND ELEVATORS
When the Fairmont Hotel was build in 1987, the City of Chicago Department of Planning required internal and external ADA access to all three levels of Columbus. Pedestrians had access to Middle Columbus Bridge to the city north of the river and Northwestern Hospital. In 1993 a PUBLIC elevator at the golf course was required to provide handicap and wheelchair access to our convenient hospital and rehabilitation facilities north of the river. Later in 1997, Blue Cross was also required to provide internal private access to Middle Columbus and the bridge.
However when the land was cleared to begin construction on the Aqua, the public elevator to Middle Columbus was demolished...and the Department of Planning neglected to require the restoration of the PUBLIC ELEVATOR access to Middle Columbus and the bridge to the hospital for wheelchair assisted patients. When the Coast was constructed, again the handicap wheelchair access to our nearby hospital was over-looked.
When Magellan was building the Regatta and the Chandler, the City of Chicago omitted consideration for persons needing wheelchair access to the north of the river at either the Lake Shore Drive Bridge (to Navy Pier) or the Columbus Bridge (to Northwestern Hospital).
After reviewing the plans for the Vista on Wacker Drive, it appears that ADA access to Middle Wacker has again been forgotten. This also affects every parent with a stroller, and every older person that may have difficulty climbing or descending the stairway at Middle Wacker and Middle Columbus Bridge.
Under the requirements of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), NEAR confirmed (in September, 2016) any Chicago Department of Planning documents relating to PUBLIC wheelchair ADA access to Middle Wacker and/or the Middle Columbus Bridge from the Wanda building at the public Pedway elevator level.
Please share you comments and opinions with your neighbors.
This "unspecified" Pedway Level MAY or MAY NOT line up with Middle Wacker for handicap access to the Middle Columbus Bridge.
Also, there appears to be no pathway north from the Pedway elevator stop to a Middle Wacker public doorway.
<----There appears to be no door to Middle Wacker. The "public pathway" would have to cross this internal garage lane connection to the GEMS II garage.
<---------------------------------------------Note "public" PEDWAY ELEV LOBBY
This stairway from Lower Wacker to the Middle Columbus bridge is impossible for a person in a wheelchair, and very difficult for parents with a stroller or older persons that have difficulty climbing or descending stairs.
This is the intersection of Middle Wacker and the Middle Columbus Bridge over the Chicago River to Streeterville and Northwestern Hospital.
After the Golf Course elevator was removed for the Aqua, it is nearly impossible for many New Eastside residents and workers to cross the river.
It is equally difficult for many residents and workers from north of the river to get to friends and their workplace south of the river.
This is the walkway on the southside of Middle Wacker that is wheelchair accessible and will be a safe route from the public Wanda Pedway level elevator to the public door to Middle Wacker.
It will also allow parents with strollers and older New Eastside residents to cross the river.
The Public Pedway does go through the Coast garage, however this entrance/exit does not line up with Middle Wacker, so some 5% slope ADA ramp would be needed in either the Coast, GEMS II, or the Wanda to meet the federal requirements for ADA access. .
Middle Wacker sidewalk to Middle Columbus Bridge and Northwestern Hospital.
This is the Middle Wacker sidewalk
just outside the Wanda Hotel and Condominiums now under construction. The project will be completed in 2020.
A Public Elevator will be built into the Wanda, with stops at: 1) the Lakeshore East Park and riverfront level, 2) the Pedway level (approx Middle Wacker), and 3) Plaza level of the Wanda and the New Eastside.
This screenshot from a 2012 webpage when the GEMS II building was announced has been included on this 2016 webpage, so that the Chicago Department of Planning, Alderman Reilly's office, and the Magellan/Wanda team can determine the most cost-effective option for the required ADA access to Middle Wacker and the Middle Columbus Bridge. Our New Eastside community had that bridge access before the Aqua was built, and we need it restored in either the Coast, GEMS II, or the Wanda Vista. Our disabled residents, workers, baby strollers, and older persons that have difficulty with the stairs at the bridge need access across the river to Northwestern Hospital and other medical medical locations...and the Streeterville folks need access to many destinations in the New Eastside.
WE NOW KNOW IN 2016 THAT THIS DOUBLE-SITE WILL BE THE NEW WANDA VISTA.
NEAR addresses identified problem areas by researching documents and presenting discussion and graphics on this neighborhood website. Within our New Eastside community of approx. 14,000 residents, there are several individual residents that want to see the source documents, and do further research themselves. The icon to the right will link to the current lead developer's (Magellan's) 212-page .pdf application to amend the original 1969 Planned Development #70 (previously fully amended in 1979, 1993, 2001, and 2002 - copies available in NEAR files). NEAR also has obtained, studied, and archived the Part II Dept. of Planning approvals, required for each individual building prior to construction.
Many residents are not aware of the public elevator at the east end of the Shoreham.