Kenmore Woonerf Proposal: A Living Street

Last year DePaul University approached Alderman Waguespack’s and my offices to discuss calming Kenmore Avenue to increase student safety without closing the street.

The solution we’ve reached: a Woonerf!
“Woonerf” is a Dutch word for “living yard” and is a special kind of street that functions as a shared public space by pedestrians, cyclists and slow moving vehicles. It is a concept which uniquely fits the DePaul-Kenmore situation.

Here are the particulars of the proposed Kenmore Woonerf:

  • Cars will continue to use Kenmore, including emergency vehicles and the delivery and service vehicles that access the Schmidtt Center and library loading dock area
  • The entire block of Kenmore will be reconstructed to add a slight curve, use a variety of new hardscape (e.g. brick or cobblestone) and landscape materials, new bike racks and possibly a Divvy station, and decorative but functional bollards to assist as traffic calming measures;
  • Landscaping and built-in seating elements will be added as their strategic placement will cause vehicle traffic to move at slower speeds;
  • There will be multiple designated pull over points for disabled drop-off, food trucks and other temporary loading and unloading;
  • Parking will be removed from Kenmore, but the 47 lost on-street parking spaces will be made up by DePaul providing the community with 24 hour access to various parking lots and structures;
  • DePaul University will pay the full cost of creating the Woonerf, but Kenmore will remain a city street. Maintenance will be a joint effort between DePaul and the City;
  • The timing of the conversion is dependent upon working through details and an agreement with the City of Chicago.

Alderman Waguespack and I, along with DePaul University and the Chicago Department of Transportation, want to hear your input on this proposal to create a Woonerf on Kenmore between Fullerton and Belden.

Pleas Join us at a community meeting next Tuesday, October 8th at 7pm at the DePaul Student Center – 2250 North Sheffield Avenue – Room 120B.

Click the link below to read more about the proposed project.

Woonerf Press Release

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