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'Tremendous amount of land': A reimagined DuSable Lake Shore Drive adds more greenspace

A reimagined DuSable Lake Shore Drive adds more greenspace
A reimagined DuSable Lake Shore Drive adds more greenspace 01:50

CHICAGO (CBS) -- DuSable Lake Shore Drive could look dramatically different if an ambitious plan goes through. 

The area near Oak Street Beach could get supersized, according to renderings of what a new and improved Oak Street Beach might look like. It would be bigger and lots more greenspace nearby.

CBS 2's Noel Brennan explains what's behind the push.

As beautiful as the lakefront can be, picture what it could become. New renderings from the Illinois (IDOT) and Chicago Departments of Transportation (CDOT) offer a glimpse of a redesigned Lake Shore Drive.

"Yeah, it's a tremendous amount of land that they're going to add to our lakefront. More public space is a great way to engage our community and say we are prioritizing people over cars."

David Powe with the Active Transportation Alliance likes most of what he sees from the Redefine the Drive project. The proposed plan would improve a seven-mile stretch of Lake Shore Drive between Grand Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard.

Renderings show a bigger Oak Street Beach and improvements to the Oak Street curve and areas prone to flooding. But Powe would like to see more renderings with bus-only lanes.

"Over 20% of people that use North Lake Shore Drive, DuSable Lake Shore Drive, they're on buses," Powe said.

CDOT and IDOT point to potential bus lanes and ramps at Chicago Avenue, included in the renderings. But everything is not set in stone.

"They're meant to help people picture what could be as the project moves forward.

"These projects move incredibly slowly," Powe said.

Any major changes to DuSable Lake Shore Drive are still years away, but the project team hopes to have a design approved in 2024. 

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