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Chicago Department of Transportation Draws Up Plans to Improve State Street

 Ald. Roderick Sawyer says he wants to revitalize a strip of State Street in the Grand Crossing community.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer says he wants to revitalize a strip of State Street in the Grand Crossing community.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Watson

GRAND CROSSING — The Chicago Department of Transportation is researching possible improvements for State Street between 69th and 79th streets, motivated in part by a request from Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), who has vowed to improve the stretch.

Sawyer has said he wants to bring more businesses to the corridor, to find ways to improve pedestrian safety and expand street parking. Funding would come from the Arterial Street Resurfacing Program.

CDOT’s recommendations include:

  • resurfacing the street
  • removing excess capacity
  • adding additional parking
  • improving crossings at major transit points

Another proposed improvement would shorten pedestrian crossing distances. Other improvements that would benefit pedestrians would be high-visibility continental crosswalks and ADA ramps at each intersection.

CDOT spokesman Mike Claffey emphasized that the plan is in its early stages. “Nothing is finalized or firmly scheduled at this point," he said.

He said the city is working on plans for renovations this summer.

An illustration of the project area. [Courtesy Chicago Complete Streets]

Ten blocks sit between the 69th and 79th Red Line stations along State Street.

Ethel Brice, 67, lives in South Holland, but works in Chicago. She shops at King’s Garden Floral Shop, 7201 S. State St. and said that driving down the strip is "awful."

"It has been like this for years,” she said.

“These city streets will destroy your tires. This street is the worse.”

Damon French, 40, of Englewood walks down the corridor every week and said it's crucial that something be done.

“It just looks raggedy,” he said.

[DNAinfo/Andrea Watson]

In April of 2014, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that city agencies and private utilities would resurface nearly 350 miles of arterial and neighborhood streets and alleys.

The 6300 block of South Ashland was the first city street to get resurfaced.

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