North Loop News   March 23, 2000, page 1

Where is the IC pedway ?    By Sean Cermak

While the residents of the New Eastside neighborhood, along Illinois Center Golf Course, await new plans from Joel Carlins, Magellan Corporation, they've discovered that previous developers have shortchanged them  leaving them without the pedway system they were promised.

Carlins is currently getting Plan Department review and approval for the massive residential community he's planning for the golf course property. His original plans were lambasted by local resident groups at meetings late last year.

He's hired new architects to do the revised plans, Skidmore Owens & Merrill.

Richard Ward, resident at 155 N.Harbor Drive, member of the Grant Park Advisory Council (GPAC) and retired city planner for the community of Island Lake, offered to review Planned Development No. 70 for GPAC. Carlins is using PD 70 to develop the golf course, which was originally penned in the late 1960's.

What he's discovered, Ward told the group at the recent GPAC meeting, was that one of the things that Carlins (Correction: insert "had not") promised them, a pedway system extension from the Loop all the way to their backdoors, was already promised by developers and never delivered.

Until the early 1990s, a pedway system was always included as part of the development plans that brought about the construction of the Harbor Tower and Buckingham building residences. Then, mysteriously, Ward said, "whiteout" was used to remove the line from the ordinance and lines on the map of the PD.

"This was after people had moved in and mortgages were paid," Ward said.

This pedway, 40 feet wide on the west extent and 25 feet wide on the east, was to link the Loop to Lake Michigan and Grant Park to the Chicago River, along with connecting to all the residences there. In1979, when PD 70 was reviewed and re-approved by the City Council, the pedway system was included in plans, Ward said.

But in 1993, while the area was represented by Ald. Ted Mazola (1st), "Somebody whited it out  There was no public hearing," Ward said. "It was just gone".

For this reason, Ward is urging the community to get proactive. He, with the help of his adult children, has set up a website  to make sure nobody forgets what developers promise again.

There are segments of this pedway built in the New Eastside neighborhood, but they're all disconnected. Illinois Center has a pedway connection to the Swissotel, and (but) the Amoco Building is (not) connected to Blue Cross.

But somebody still has to finish this work."

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