Missing New Eastside Sidewalk Ramps
As many sidewalk ramps have been replaced in recent years through out the Chicago area, there are fifteen (15) locations that have been over looked since the ramps were required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [ADA]. These locations in the New Eastside should be made accessible as soon as possible. These locations will be numbered (#1 thru #15) only for reference and discussion. All of them should be the same high priority, ahead of other locations that already have existing ramps, and only need to be updated..
Location #1, Across from 175 Harbor. A painted crosswalk is also needed at this new Stop Sign location.
NEAR is reviewing where other sidewalk ramps are missing.
Starting at this location on the northeast corner of Middle Randolph and Middle Columbus, sidewalk ramps are needed all the way east to DuSable Harbor and the Lakefront.
This frequently used crosswalk to Grant Park and Millennium Park is used especially by visitors from hotels north of the Chicago River. It has been many decades since the sidewalks have been rinsed off with a hose, and each property owner will be asked to clean the walks adjacent to their building. Then our visitors to Chicago will have a more favorable experience walking from their hotel across the Columbus Bridge to our beautiful Lakefront attractions of DuSable Harbor, Grant Park, and Millennium Park.
Required Sidewalk Ramp Locations #2 and #3 on both sides of the Middle Randolph Blue Cross (300 E. Randolph) Garage Exit and Entrance.
Required Sidewalk Ramp Locations #4 and #5: When the 340 Randolph building was recently constructed, both the architect and the Chicago Building Department forgot the required sidewalk ramps. This "over-sight" should be the financial responsibility of the city and/or the developer who made the mistake, and not an expense for the 340 condominium association. It should also be confirmed that the width of the sidewalk is sufficient for a wheelchair, and not obstructed by sign posts attached to the sidewalk.
This stairway in front of 360 Randolph is obviously not handicap accessible, and it is still necessary to provide a "vertical handicap connection" (elevator) with stops at :
1. Upper Randolph
3. Middle Randolph
4. Lower Randolph
The Pedway Completion to Harbor Drive was confirmed by the City Council in both 2001 and 2002. The completion of the Pedway to the Lakefront had been the financial responsibility of every lead developer since 1969, and was never legally shifted to the residents (or the city) in 2001.
The sidewalk at Middle Randolph and Field Drive is sufficiently wide and not obstructed by sign posts.
Required sidewalk ramp #11 at the northwest corner of Lower Randolph and Lower Harbor Drive (outside 400 Randolph and Field Harbor Parking Garage).
It is important to enforce no parking on our lower sidewalks, so our handicap residents can use the sidewalks to get from their homes to their work place, especially during inclement weather when our lower sidewalks are used more frequently. This truck would require a wheelchair-bound person to go out into the street (also the same for walking pedestrians).
This incline in the "public" sidewalk at 400 Randolph appears to exceed the allowed 5% slope, and should be evaluated by the City of Chicago.
This may be required ramp #12
Again, Chicago should evaluate this slope, although it appears to be less of an incline for a wheelchair.
This may be required ramp #13
Can you imagine approaching this nearly 1-foot "curb" in a wheelchair?
This is required ramp #14 at Lower Field Drive and Lower Randolph, which will become more pedestrian friendly for persons wanting to possibly use the lower entrance to the Village Market, especially during snow and rainy weather... You can see why the Village Market is currently reluctant to use this as an entry. We must also work towards storing all garbage containers indoors, and not on the pedestrian sidewalk.
On the west side of Lower Field Drive is a gravel area that would be hard to navigate in a wheelchair. This triangular corner was rejected for a completely closed elevator for valid safety reasons. The parking garage did not offer to pay for a safer all-glass elevator, similar to the existing elevator next to the Lancaster. The required handicap vertical connection with stops at: 1. Upper Randolph, 2. the Pedway, 3. Middle Randolph, and 4. Lower Randolph remains a continuing unsolved problem.
Just next to the gravel area at Lower Field Drive (and Lower Randolph) is where the required handicap ramp #15 needs to be built.
This stairway that goes from Lower Randolph to Middle Randolph and Upper Randolph is a 45 foot impossible climb for a handicap resident. The elevator that is being built into the Village Market will NOT serve this Lower Randolph area, according to recent statements (2010) made by the developer's spokesperson.
A related issue to the required handicap sidewalk ramps is access to our resident's workplaces from Lower Randolph and the other lower streets in our unique New Eastside area. Even though this sign states that the lower AON garage is "Not a Pedestrian Entrance", the security guards have been authorized by their building managment to allow handicapped persons entry at this entrance, with the proper identification.
However, just down the block at Prudential Plaza, we were not able to contact anyone using the call button and the outside speaker. We presume "handicapped parking on Level P3" is also a welcome sign for our residents arriving in a wheelchair. However, this has to be confirmed.
Also, in a related handicap access issue, this ramp from Upper Randolph down to the east side of the Daley Plaza has been measured as a 5% (ratio 20:1) legal handicap slope. This is contrary to the information provided by the Children's Museum representatives.
However, the west ramp down to the Daley Plaza was measured as an 8% slope, and does not meet current standards. So, handicap persons now can use the east ramp.
<-----This is the most direct route from Millennium Park to Navy Pier. As we are walking along this route to the Lakefront, consider the impression it will make on visitors --- we want them to remember this historic part of Chicago favorably. For over a hundred years, this "viaduct" carried trucks over the Illinois Central Railroad tracks to unload the large lake ships at the docks.
Required Sidewalk Ramps #6 and #7 are at this Southbound Lake Shore Drive (LSD) Off Ramp at Middle Randolph.
This dangerously unmarked intersection has been confusing for 25 years since being built in 1985. Without this automobile sitting at the stop light (and hopefully giving the right-of-way to pedestrians before turning), the pedestrian does not know which way to look for oncoming vehicle traffic.
In the next 2 pictures, you will see one slightly less and one considerably more confusing pedestrian crossings - and then a recommendation to mark ALL crossings with LARGE ARROWS to show the direction of traffic. This is a similar solution that was used at nearby Northwestern Hospital, and we will show that picture (as well as all the others on this webpage) to the Chicago Dept. of Streets, and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Required Sidewalk Ramps #8 and #9 on this Northbound On Ramp to LSD.
If the pedestrian spots the arrow on the Hwy. 41 sign, they will know to look behind them on the right for fast moving traffic, that tends not to stop for pedestrians. Most "locals" know this, but imagine the visitor from out-of-town.
This intersection could use the recommended pavement arrows shown in the next picture that would confirm all traffic should be coming from the right.
These are the "LANE ARROWS" used at Northwestern Hospital to help both pedestrians and drivers. We recommend that they be considered at ALL NINE ROADS (including Parking Ramp and U-Turn Around) that meet at this dangerous intersection, that is confusing to motorists, a mix of higher speeds and lower speeds, and woefully confusing and dangerous to pedestrians - especially to the thousands of visitors walking from Millennium Park to Navy Pier (the #2 and #1 tourist spots).
Two-Way traffic for DuSable and Columbia Parking.
Northbound entry to LSD and Wacker Turn
Westbound traffic from Turn-around
These are just 3 of the 9 roads (an amazing 22 lanes of traffic) that meet at this confusing pedestrian and vehicle busy interestion.
Please consider pavement arrows at all 22 lanes of traffic entering crosswalks.
There are already sidewalk ramps on all remaining corners that you will see in this and the following pictures. However, one ramp needs replacement.
This is also a lakefront "pick-up" point for families.
Remember, traffic is coming from BOTH Parking and the Turn-Around...and could even be traffic that missed Monroe and exited LSD and wants to return southbound.
Behind you was the Northbound LSD exit for either Randolph or Wacker.
This would work for a wheelchair, but should be replaced as Needed Ramp #10
Now we are walking back west....
Here is a visiting family formally dressed probably walking from Millennium Park or Buckingham Fountain to Navy Pier. They are probably not familar with the 22 lanes of traffic. This may also be a family from Orland Park or Rogers Park - they also would need help safely crossing. Large arrows on the pavement will help them know which way to look for fast or slow moving traffic.
We have now walked down the "desire path" in Peanut Park to Lower Randolph at Lower Harbor Drive.
Liability trip-hazard for the city ---->
Please add your comments and suggestions for needed improvements in this "guest book", and to share with your neighbors and the NEAR Board.