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View Poll Results: Which Chicago casino proposal is your favorite?
Ballys at Tribune 28 19.58%
Ballys at McCormick 7 4.90%
Hard Rock at One Central 9 6.29%
Rivers at The 78 79 55.24%
Rivers at McCormick 20 13.99%
Voters: 143. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1441  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2022, 3:19 AM
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Originally Posted by emailspyro@gmail.com View Post
How come there is hardly any planning for bike lanes at the site? No bike lanes at the river and only a typical green paint lane with no barriers or seperation for the rest of the site. Horrible and shame on city for not making this into an issue
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  #1442  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2022, 2:25 PM
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Curious of the COD brings up the Jefferson frontage and lack of bike infrastructure at today's meeting. I'm hoping The Daily Line or Urbanize are tuning in to provide a synopsis.
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  #1443  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2022, 2:40 PM
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Originally Posted by emailspyro@gmail.com View Post
How come there is hardly any planning for bike lanes at the site? No bike lanes at the river and only a typical green paint lane with no barriers or seperation for the rest of the site. Horrible and shame on city for not making this into an issue
The riverwalk is similar to the other downtown sections - bikes will be allowed, but they need to defer to pedestrians.

For the streets, they haven't really done any detailed planning yet, it's too soon to tell. The streets shown in the presentation are still very rough early designs. They are showing a bike corridor through the site from Erie to Jefferson that would let bikes bypass the awful Grand/Halsted/Milwaukee intersection to get to River North, but that will require bike lanes on Erie and Grand outside the boundaries of the site. The street designs have to be approved by CDOT if they want the city to assume responsibility for plowing and maintenance, so they would be the ones to do any bike planning, not the Bally's team.

Lincoln Yards is going through a similar process and they will have a Dearborn-style cycle track along Throop, so I imagine the city may ask for similar infrastructure here.
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  #1444  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2022, 3:54 AM
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Bally's presented to the Committee on Design today and I just captured a few screen shots.

There were good questions and comments about design excellence and how to make a truly urban casino.

Noting was mentioned about the bridge and I certainly posed the question in the ZOOM comment/? box.

I also commented that they shouldn't reduce the currently approved FAR and should encourage more residential vs commercial.

Hopefully the Youtube version of the presentation will be posted in a few weeks.


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Originally Posted by r18tdi View Post
Curious of the COD brings up the Jefferson frontage and lack of bike infrastructure at today's meeting. I'm hoping The Daily Line or Urbanize are tuning in to provide a synopsis.
The Jefferson frontage was brought up by Jeanne Gang and others agreed. Basically don't make it a back alley. She suggested raising the entire structure 1 level, have parking below the casino floor and wrap that with active/commercial space.








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  #1445  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2022, 8:24 PM
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Zoning app is now available. It's only for the casino at the moment, but the overall PD is for allowing 6,000 units and a max height of 650 feet.

App: https://chicago.legistar.com/Legisla...vanced&Search=
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  #1446  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2022, 9:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emailspyro@gmail.com View Post
How come there is hardly any planning for bike lanes at the site? No bike lanes at the river and only a typical green paint lane with no barriers or seperation for the rest of the site. Horrible and shame on city for not making this into an issue
I wouldn't be surprised if we see restrictions on bicycles at the property as well. Its a common practice with large casinos and likely has to do with liability and security.

A lot of the 'not urban friendly' elements of this design have specific reasons behind them and aren't just typical developer cost saving measures.
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  #1447  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2022, 5:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Randomguy34 View Post
Zoning app is now available. It's only for the casino at the moment, but the overall PD is for allowing 6,000 units and a max height of 650 feet.

App: https://chicago.legistar.com/Legisla...vanced&Search=
The PD does mention the pedestrian bridge. Bally's or its successors must "permit the future placement of a pedestrian bridge along the riverwalk in the general area of the former Erie Street Bridge abutment over the Chicago River to Montgomery Ward Park".

Translation, Bally's won't pay for the bridge but if the city wants to build it in the future, Bally's has to allow it. There's still a chance we get a bridge after the casino opens and it's not actually a wretched hive of scum and villainy like the River North neighbors think it is. But it's a slim chance if our broke-ass city still has to pay for it.

Other tidbits:
-Bally's can't receive their CO to open the Casino until the Riverwalk and Jefferson St are completed, and must open the Riverwalk to the public within 1 year of completion
-new public streets will be Jefferson, Erie, and Ancona. Any other streets in the site plan will be privately owned/maintained.
-the transitway is maintained thru the lower level of the site. UPRR still owns the corridor, but the plan is for CDOT to eventually take it over the way they did for the Chicago Terminal Railroad on Goose Island/Lincoln Yards. CDOT doesn't want to do this until it's necessary, since it means they become liable for all the crumbling bridges and other structures along the route.
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Last edited by ardecila; Sep 17, 2022 at 5:26 PM.
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  #1448  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2022, 1:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
The PD does mention the pedestrian bridge. Bally's or its successors must "permit the future placement of a pedestrian bridge along the riverwalk in the general area of the former Erie Street Bridge abutment over the Chicago River to Montgomery Ward Park".

Translation, Bally's won't pay for the bridge but if the city wants to build it in the future, Bally's has to allow it. There's still a chance we get a bridge after the casino opens and it's not actually a wretched hive of scum and villainy like the River North neighbors think it is. But it's a slim chance if our broke-ass city still has to pay for it.

Other tidbits:
-Bally's can't receive their CO to open the Casino until the Riverwalk and Jefferson St are completed, and must open the Riverwalk to the public within 1 year of completion
-new public streets will be Jefferson, Erie, and Ancona. Any other streets in the site plan will be privately owned/maintained.
-the transitway is maintained thru the lower level of the site. UPRR still owns the corridor, but the plan is for CDOT to eventually take it over the way they did for the Chicago Terminal Railroad on Goose Island/Lincoln Yards. CDOT doesn't want to do this until it's necessary, since it means they become liable for all the crumbling bridges and other structures along the route.
I have to wonder if Ballys wants that bridge there.... I mean - It's an instant connection for River North to go spend their money at the casino by simply walking over there. I wonder if there was some internal conversation where the pencil numbers where the amount of additional "foot revenue" that bridge would bring into the casino would pay for itself and generate revenue in lieu of not having a bridge.
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  #1449  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2022, 10:03 PM
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I have to wonder if Ballys wants that bridge there.... I mean - It's an instant connection for River North to go spend their money at the casino by simply walking over there. I wonder if there was some internal conversation where the pencil numbers where the amount of additional "foot revenue" that bridge would bring into the casino would pay for itself and generate revenue in lieu of not having a bridge.
Yeah, I think the original concept was that pedestrians would come from the east via the bridge, and drivers would come from the west via Chicago or Jefferson. There were also synergies with the restaurant/entertainment options across the river. Grab dinner at Erie Cafe or Victory or Obelix, then stroll over to the casino to play a few slots or a few rounds of 21. Not a bad concept honestly; half the business at the New Orleans Caesars (formerly Harrahs) is just tourists cutting through the casino as a shortcut.

I don't think Bally's would have proposed the bridge if they didn't see the value in it. The fact that they included the bridge in their original plan was a nice reassurance that they appreciated the importance of good walking/biking/transit connections. My fear was that they would only care about drivers, like most "urban" casinos in the US. That's why it's so infuriating that River North NIMBYs keep trying to kill the bridge - by making pedestrian access harder, they are making the casino into the kind of auto-oriented dead zone that is more likely to create vandalism/property crime, muggings, etc.
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  #1450  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2022, 1:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Yeah, I think the original concept was that pedestrians would come from the east via the bridge, and drivers would come from the west via Chicago or Jefferson. There were also synergies with the restaurant/entertainment options across the river. Grab dinner at Erie Cafe or Victory or Obelix, then stroll over to the casino to play a few slots or a few rounds of 21. Not a bad concept honestly; half the business at the New Orleans Caesars (formerly Harrahs) is just tourists cutting through the casino as a shortcut.

I don't think Bally's would have proposed the bridge if they didn't see the value in it. The fact that they included the bridge in their original plan was a nice reassurance that they appreciated the importance of good walking/biking/transit connections. My fear was that they would only care about drivers, like most "urban" casinos in the US. That's why it's so infuriating that River North NIMBYs keep trying to kill the bridge - by making pedestrian access harder, they are making the casino into the kind of auto-oriented dead zone that is more likely to create vandalism/property crime, muggings, etc.
the idea that there are a bunch of residents in this corner of river north that are going to want to walk to a new casino across the river is really funny to me.

more concretely there are no tourist destinations or services in this part of the neighborhood. it's really a sleepy area about 1-2 miles from all of that.
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  #1451  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2022, 2:45 PM
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Originally Posted by west-town-brad View Post
the idea that there are a bunch of residents in this corner of river north that are going to want to walk to a new casino across the river is really funny to me.

more concretely there are no tourist destinations or services in this part of the neighborhood. it's really a sleepy area about 1-2 miles from all of that.
NW River North is a bedroom community with zoned parking. Even the area's limited restaurants struggle to stay open. These are the same neighbors that shot down a grocery store along Chicago Avenue at the base of The Hudson because they were afraid it would bring "outsiders" to the area.
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  #1452  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2022, 3:20 PM
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Originally Posted by r18tdi View Post
NW River North is a bedroom community with zoned parking. Even the area's limited restaurants struggle to stay open. These are the same neighbors that shot down a grocery store along Chicago Avenue at the base of The Hudson because they were afraid it would bring "outsiders" to the area.
Well, it's time for them to wake up. They live downtown now. Maybe it wasn't the case before because that area had been hollowed out, but it's certainly the case now and will be increasingly so in the next decade.
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  #1453  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2022, 3:52 PM
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Hate folks who live downtown who want it to be like suburbia. Please fuck off to Downers Grove already and let downtown Chicago be the dense vibrant metropolis its suppose to be.
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  #1454  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2022, 4:37 PM
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yes all of these are reasons the bridge is a dumb idea

pedestrian bridge to casino does not turn the already built out river north into some kind of global metropolis
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  #1455  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2022, 5:14 PM
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Y'all are wild. This is not a bedroom community. This is downtown. It's HALF a mile at most to nightlife and that's ONLY IF you don't count the handful of clubs on the edge of this little enclave by the brown line. (2 miles away puts you at the far edge of Navy Pier...) It's ok if you don't see it at the moment. In the next 10-20 years the transition is going to be inevitable. Even if only a quarter of the currently planned units are built out on the West Side of the River in the next 10 years, that's 3000 units. There's going to need to be better connectivity and a pedestrian bridge here makes the most sense. Sorry to all the residents who enjoyed the buffer of the former industrial zone, but that is about to change drastically.

Last edited by Klippenstein; Sep 19, 2022 at 6:26 PM.
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  #1456  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2022, 9:32 PM
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On a different note, I really wonder with all the elevation changes on the site if it will make it more or less human scale. On one hand, hiding half the parking below street level will make Jefferson a better experience on foot (even with the giant parking garage). On the other hand, Jefferson could just turn into an auto sewer. I'm still trying to imagine the pedestrian experience going North on the new extension of Jefferson from Grand. Especially before phase 2 (the 3 buildings along River) is completed the approach from Grand is probably going to be pretty barren. On top of that they're saying there will be bike infrastructure. I really hope they're intentional about incorporating pedestrians and bikes with sufficient and separate infrastructure in this Southern portion of Jefferson so it doesn't just extend the kind of subpar pedestrian/biking experience that already exists on that part of Grand.
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  #1457  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2022, 5:19 PM
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On a different note, I really wonder with all the elevation changes on the site if it will make it more or less human scale. On one hand, hiding half the parking below street level will make Jefferson a better experience on foot (even with the giant parking garage). On the other hand, Jefferson could just turn into an auto sewer. I'm still trying to imagine the pedestrian experience going North on the new extension of Jefferson from Grand. Especially before phase 2 (the 3 buildings along River) is completed the approach from Grand is probably going to be pretty barren. On top of that they're saying there will be bike infrastructure. I really hope they're intentional about incorporating pedestrians and bikes with sufficient and separate infrastructure in this Southern portion of Jefferson so it doesn't just extend the kind of subpar pedestrian/biking experience that already exists on that part of Grand.
I don't think it's wide enough to really be an auto sewer. I think of "auto sewer" as multiple lanes, no speedbumps or traffic calming features, heavy traffic. Like Clark St through the South Loop.
Jefferson will be one lane each direction with a turn lane in the middle and parking both sides. The worst case scenario is something like Upper Stetson: https://goo.gl/maps/JT9Q2E9Hy4aJ3v9R8

I don't think it'll be as barren as Stetson though. I'm sure the city will insist on landscaping at the very least and probably some nicer paving materials and street furniture. It's hard to do trees on an elevated roadway, so we'll probably get planters. This bit of Upper Illinois is probably a good template for what to expect: https://goo.gl/maps/Qmrx5j4Q9mMuJgeC6

Also there may or may not be a bike lane, I assume that's still being negotiated between Bally's and CDOT. And I wouldn't be surprised if they do speedbumps on Jefferson also, since it is meant as a local access road and not an arterial.
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  #1458  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2022, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I don't think it's wide enough to really be an auto sewer. I think of "auto sewer" as multiple lanes, no speedbumps or traffic calming features, heavy traffic. Like Clark St through the South Loop.
Jefferson will be one lane each direction with a turn lane in the middle and parking both sides. The worst case scenario is something like Upper Stetson: https://goo.gl/maps/JT9Q2E9Hy4aJ3v9R8

I don't think it'll be as barren as Stetson though. I'm sure the city will insist on landscaping at the very least and probably some nicer paving materials and street furniture. It's hard to do trees on an elevated roadway, so we'll probably get planters. This bit of Upper Illinois is probably a good template for what to expect: https://goo.gl/maps/Qmrx5j4Q9mMuJgeC6

Also there may or may not be a bike lane, I assume that's still being negotiated between Bally's and CDOT. And I wouldn't be surprised if they do speedbumps on Jefferson also, since it is meant as a local access road and not an arterial.
That stretch of Upper Illinois is actually a good example of what I'm afraid of happening, which might be inevitable to some extent. The lack of street level interaction except with cars (the curb cut/garage access), awkward way finding, decent landscaping and big empty spaces where development will eventually occur. I just hope stage 2 doesn't take too long because that will at least extend the riverwalk to Grand.

In the original PD there was a plan for what looks like basketball hoops and playground equipment under the Ohio Feeder ramp. I wonder if that's off the table because the multi-level plan makes that more difficult. It would be ideal to have greater connection to the riverwalk. The casino is already interrupting access for such a long stretch.


Last edited by Klippenstein; Sep 22, 2022 at 2:51 AM.
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  #1459  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2022, 7:26 PM
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Hissy fit from Reilly over Medinah Temple traffic study:

Quote:
Statement from Alderman Reilly Regarding Medinah Temple Traffic Study

As reported in Chicago Tribune, earlier today, the City published a Traffic Study evaluating Bally’s temporary casino at Medinah Temple, located at 600 North Wabash. Click here to review the study. A statement from Alderman Reilly is below:

“Shocking: Bally’s hired a traffic consultant to tell the city that a Casino bound by Ontario, Wabash, Ohio and State won’t create any additional traffic burden on the neighborhood. In my 16 years as alderman, surprisingly, every single traffic study commissioned in support of a development project concludes traffic will not be negatively impacted.

I fundamentally disagree with the assumptions made by the traffic consultant - from vastly low-balling the number of vehicular trips to the casino and vastly overestimating the number of people who will be dumb enough to take the CTA or walk to this casino with cash in their pockets.

The consultant claims to have made its trip projections based on other casinos in similarly dense, heavily built urban environments like Chicago. I find that hard to believe, given there aren’t other casinos in cities as large as Chicago. So, I’d love to see the list of cities and corresponding traffic data to those.

The report essentially shrugs off rideshare and charter bus traffic, noting it’s hard to predict and difficult to regulate, because rideshare and charters don’t coordinate their trips with the City. They do not provide accurate projections for rideshare trips or charters, which is likely how half the visitors will get to the casino. Again, nobody would be stupid enough to ride the CTA or walk to a casino with cash in-hand.

The report is also vague regarding “recommended valet operations” - suggesting valet operations will improve traffic conditions. If you can show me one valet in the City of Chicago that has ever “improved traffic conditions” at a particular location, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

The report also makes no attempt to evaluate vendor deliveries. Evaluation of delivery and service loading docks are important to any new development or use – a standard section in every traffic study I’ve ever looked at. Even “ancillary” restaurant and bar areas need to be delivered product. The ingress and egress calculations are missing from this report.

As far as I’m concerned this study is seriously flawed, overly vague and clearly written for the sole purpose of concluding a casino will work at Medinah Temple. Having read literally hundreds of traffic studies over the years, I can tell you this one is thin gruel and lacks the credibility that an independent analysis would’ve provided.

Finally, true to form, the Administration has had this traffic study in their hands for the past two weeks and, for some reason, instructed Bally’s not to share it with my office until last night - just hours before they released the study to the media. So much for transparency and working collaboratively with the City Council. Way to bring in that light, Mayor.
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  #1460  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2022, 8:31 PM
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In the original PD there was a plan for what looks like basketball hoops and playground equipment under the Ohio Feeder ramp. I wonder if that's off the table because the multi-level plan makes that more difficult. It would be ideal to have greater connection to the riverwalk. The casino is already interrupting access for such a long stretch.
I think the removal of those things from the plan is more about IDOT than anything Bally's wants to do or not do. They allowed a skate park under the Kennedy in Logan Square, but I can't think of anything else under an expressway structure in the city. It's all just sad underused parking lots. Too bad we aren't like Tokyo. Or even Toronto.
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