'Make Way for People:' City aims to create new places to gather

June 7, 2012 (CHICAGO)

It's called the "Make Way for People" program, and it involves using parts of streets, alleys, and plazas and turning them into places for people to gather.

An artist's rendering from the city's Department of Transportation shows one idea: Building a temporary deck over parking spaces -- next to the sidewalk -- that could be used for an outdoor neighborhood cafe or retail space where stores could move their items for sale outdoors.

The city has identified four areas where these "people spots" might be created in a pilot program with local businesses:

On the North Side, in Lakeview on North Lincoln, the block between Southport and Lakewood.

Also on the North Side, in Andersonville, North Clark and West Olive.

On the South Side, two areas along East 47th Street, one at 47th and Greenwood and another at 47th and Champlain.

The City Council would have to approve this.

All of this would seem to dovetail into the city's desire to place less emphasis on big downtown events, like Taste of Chicago, and more emphasis on events in the city's neighborhoods. This year's Taste is not connected to the July 4th holiday, it's later in the month, from July 11 to the 15 and only five days in duration.

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