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Lake Street Bike Lanes Meeting Moved From Red Kiva to Prairie Production

By Stephanie Lulay | September 16, 2015 2:06pm
 Brandon Goodall of Avondale heading west on a Kinzie bicycle lane Wednesday.
Brandon Goodall of Avondale heading west on a Kinzie bicycle lane Wednesday.
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DNAinfo/David Matthews

WEST LOOP — A West Loop group will no longer host a community meeting at Red Kiva Wednesday as previously planned, an official announced Wednesday morning.

Instead, the Randolph/Fulton Market Association will host the community meeting on Lake Street bike lanes at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Prairie Production, 1314 W. Randolph St. Residents attending the meeting can park at L&P Provisions, 1301 W. Lake St.

Roger Romanelli, executive director of the Randolph/Fulton Market Association, said Wednesday that he moved the meeting in an effort to ensure all West Loop residents are comfortable attending the meeting.

"The shooting on September 6 is tragic, and the West Loop community needs time to recover," Romanelli said. 

The organization previously planned to host the meeting at Red Kiva, despite the nightclub's recent closure after a fatal shooting occurred near the business. At the time, Romanelli said Red Kiva owner Princess Lomax has demonstrated a passion to be involved in the community, host community meetings and prohibit crime.

Owners of Red Kiva on Randolph agreed to voluntarily close the business for 60 days beginning Sept. 9, according to Carla Agostinelli, executive director of the West Loop Community Organization. 

Both the victims and their attackers were at Red Kiva, 1108 W. Randolph St., early that Sunday before a fight later broke out on the street, according to Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th). The ensuing shooting on the sidewalk outside left one 23-year-old man dead and another injured.

At the Wednesday meeting, the group will present their proposed Lake Street Improvement Plan and are invited to weigh in on the city's plan to install bike lanes from Ashland Avenue to Halsted Street along the corridor. Local business owners and residents are encouraged to attend Wednesday.

The Randolph/Fulton Market Association wants the city to prioritize Lake Street improvements including:

• installing a four-way traffic signal at Morgan and Lake streets

• installing additional four-way stop signs along the corridor

• widening Racine Street

• installing new streetlights

• repairing sidewalks and street surfaces on Lake Street

Romanelli said West Loop residents overwhelmingly rejected the bike lanes proposal at a recent meeting.

Last week, Burnett said cops would push Red Kiva to close. At the time, Burnett said police leaders did not think the shooting near Red Kiva met the burden required by a new city ordinance to close problem bars, but said police were meeting with Red Kiva owners to pressure the bar to voluntarily close for 60-90 days, Burnett said.

In May, the city's department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection initiated a case to revoke Red Kiva's liquor license because the new owners failed to report the change of ownership as required by the city's licensing rules. That case is still pending, and Red Kiva's next hearing date is Sept. 21.

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