Chicago Loop Alliance Announces Return of Sundays to State Events – Streetsblog Chicago
At their annual meeting last Thursday, the Chicago Loop Alliance announced the member organization’s plans for the coming year, including the return of popular public programming like Sundays on State and the relaunch of the arts project. ACTIVATE pre-pandemic alleyway. (The Chicago Loop Alliance is one of several managers of “special service areas” in the city, which uses a small amount of property tax money to host events and promote businesses in their area.)
In response to the lingering pandemic last summer, CLA closed State Street to vehicular traffic from Lake to Madison for eight Sundays, hosting a series of block parties with performances, fitness classes, kid-friendly activities , expanded outdoor dining for restaurants and outdoor vending for small businesses. The series of events proved to be a highlight of free public programming in 2021, attracting thousands of people from all over the city and, according to CLA’s pedestrian counting system, bringing visitor numbers back from downtown to pre-pandemic levels and above for the first time. .
According to the press release, the Sundays on State will expand into 2022. No dates or details of street closures have yet been announced, but we hope the larger vision includes full pedestrianization of the footprint of the festival. In its first year, the party was cut out by cross-traffic in Randolph, Washington, and Madison. Streetsblog continues to encourage CLA – and the City of Chicago, which must approve CLA’s proposal – to prioritize participating artists, small businesses, and participants over cars by completely closing the stretch of roadway on Sundays. from the state to vehicles during the event, as street festivals in city neighborhoods have been doing this successfully for years.
CLA also announced the reboot of ACTIVATE, a day-long event that filled the aisles of the Loop with art, music and performances; date and details to come.
Also of note is CLA’s announcement that they will take over the Elevate State Corridor Planning Project which, due to the centrality of community input to the process, was tabled at the height of the pandemic. Elevate State was first announced in February 2020.
The plan’s roadmap is divided into three categories – location, mobility and market – each led by a different advisory group. The mobility category will be led by Arup, the design firm behind the transformation of an industrial area in Long Island City into an 11-acre park and the first shared street in Brooklyn. Streetsblog will follow the Elevate State planning process with particular attention to the mobility priorities of biking, walking, and transit; ride hail and parking; and gateway.