When I was a kid I thought the cloverleaf at highways 290 and 90/94 captured my imagination. Even today, it is pretty incredible. A lot of cars and people get around it and somehow don't get tangled up. All those ramps criss and crossing. But the fascination has worn off. Mainly because it fences off the neighborhoods of the University of Illinois at Chicago to the southwest (upperleft in the pic) and Greektown northwest of the intersection (upper right) from the Loop and the rest of Downtown Chicago. What makes a city a great place is mixing it up. The highways that make the cloverleaf are only no-mans-land-barrenness.
People are cut off from one another.
I know the cars and their highways are necessary to get people to and fro. But why do we have to live around a car and their highways? Why do we have to design around it? We need to put the car in it's place. Let's drive IT rather than let it run us over.
There is an opporunity here to reconnect what was lost. Mend the breached connectivity between Greektown and the Loop and UIC with something people can really walk on. Something people can enjoy. New land. New habitat.
Why not BURY THE CLOVERLEAF?
It was done in the Big Dig in Boston. Land was made where there wasn't any. Daley did it with Millenium Park. Kids, and non-kids, playing in a fountain. Priceless. With the Modern Wing of the Art Institute, we're covering up rail road tracks by building a place where people can stroll in awe of masterpieces that enrich us.
So lets bury the cloverleaf. With what? a park, mall, condo, office, stadium, ... a bean
I think the place should be a safe haven. A place to reflect. A place to rejuvenate. A high place. But more on that later ...