The Campaign for a Free and Clear Lakefront is a grassroots coalition to remove Lakeshore Drive from Grant Park, and eventually the entire Chicago shoreline.
The Queen Returns to Queen's Landing
Monarch Displeased with LSD Crosswalk Closing
What: God Save the Queen's Landing Crosswalk Rally.
When: Wednesday, July 20, 2005, 4pm.
Where: The west side of Lake Shore Drive at 500 South.
Who: Queen Elizabeth II will lead a rally of pedestrian and open space activists demanding the re-opening of Lake Shore Drive pedestrian cross walk.
In 1959, the red carpet was rolled across Lake Shore Drive to welcome the Queen, but today Chicago pedestrians and visitors from around the world are getting less than red carpet treatment.
Recently, the City of Chicago's new Traffic Management Authority closed the Queen's Landing crosswalk, which provided pedestrian access from Buckingham Fountain to the lakefront. Unsightly red snow fences have been strewn along the Lake Shore Drive to corral walkers from the former crossing area. In addition, barricades, which can function as ladders, make it possible for disgruntled pedestrians to climb over the snow fences, risking life and limb to cross Lake Shore Drive.
"It's all about getting the traffic through more expeditiously," said Traffic Management Authority spokeswoman Monique Bonds in a Chicago Tribune interview, leaving little doubt that city planners are all but ignoring pedestrian needs on the lakefront.
Forty six years after taking the historic lakefront stroll, the Queen is back, and she's not happy.
"Where I come from, the pedestrian is king, not the auto," said Kathy Schubert, Chicago's foremost Queen Elizabeth II impersonator. “You've honored my 1959 visit by naming the area across this highway Queen's Landing. Now follow my example and make the crossing open to all who approach under their own power. Long live the pedestrian!"
"Mayor Daley is no stranger to Chicago's long history of preserving our lakefront as accessible open space," added Michael Burton, secretary of the Campaign for a Free and Clear Lakefront. "I'm sure once this comes to his attention, the Queen's Landing cross walk will be open again in no time."
The God Save the Queen's Landing Crosswalk Rally is sponsored by the Campaign for a Free and Clear Lakefront, a grass roots group working to prioritize sustainable transportation on Chicago's lakefront. More info at www.ForeverFreeandClear.org or 773-248-5499, 773-562-9942 (cell).