City approves pedestrian-oriented improvements for the Halsted Triangle

Halsted Street Bridge

Not long after work began on the Halsted Street bridge in late 2010, Mark Boyer pointed Curbed readers to this rendering of one the bridge’s 34-foot-wide pedestrian tunnels, which would help extend the Riverwalk into the North Branch Canal. According to The Architect’s Newspaper, these tunnels will be closed upon completion, and will open only after the city has landscaped the riverfront north of the bridge.

In November, the Chicago Plan Commission approved a new “Halsted Triangle Plan” that “presents a dozen objectives to guide growth within the 16-block, triangle-shaped area bounded by Halsted Street, North Avenue and the Chicago River’s North Branch Canal,” home to approximately 1 million square feet of industrial space, 1.3 million square feet of commercial space, and 1,040 homes, says a city news release that finally hit news feeds this morning.

Among those objectives is the construction of a continuous walkway along the canal from North Avenue to Division Street.

From the release:

The plan’s objectives will reinforce their combined role as a buffer between the predominately residential uses to the east and north and the largely industrial uses to the west and south. To promote compatibility and quality-of-life enhancements within the study area, the plan targets several pedestrian-oriented improvements along local streets and the North Branch Canal. It also identifies key transit upgrades and presents design guidelines to ensure new buildings conform to the size and scale of existing structures.

Along with the riverwalk extension, the plan’s priorities include the development of new public transportation connections at Division and Orleans streets (a Brown Line station at last?), widened sidewalks along North, Halsted, and Clybourn, the development of public plazas on oddly shaped and hard-to-develop parcels, improved parking along Kingsbury and other streets, improved pedestrian access to the North / Clybourn Red Line stop, and new traffic signals at the North / Fremont and Halsted / Eastman intersections.

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