§ 17-4-0500

Pedestrian streets

17-4-0501 Purpose. The regulations of this section are intended to preserve and enhance the character of pedestrian streets that are widely recognized as Chicago’s best examples of pedestrian-oriented shopping districts. The regulations are intended to ensure pedestrian safety and comfort, promote economic vitality and preserve the positive character of downtown’s most pedestrian-oriented streets .

17-4-0502 Description and Criteria for Designation. Pedestrian streets exhibit most or all of the following characteristics:

17-4-0502-A have a high concentration of existing stores and restaurants;

17-4-0502-B have a continuous or mostly continuous pattern of buildings that are built abutting or very close to the sidewalk;

17-4-0502-C have doors and entrances abutting the sidewalk; and

17-4-0502-D have many storefront windows abutting the sidewalk.

17-4-0503 Designation and Boundaries.

17-4-0503-A Pedestrian streets are identified in the text of this Zoning Ordinance and shown on the Official Zoning Atlas.

17-4-0503-B The “ pedestrian street ” designation may be established or removed only in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance Text and Zoning Map Amendment procedures of Sec. 17-13-0200 and Sec. 17-13-0300. Both a text and map amendment is required.

17-4-0503-C The “ pedestrian street ” designation applies to all zoning lots that abut the right- of-way of a pedestrian street .

17-4-0503-D The following downtown street segments are classified as pedestrian streets :


From To
North-South Streets
Clinton Washington Jackson
Halsted Washington Van Buren
LaSalle Washington Jackson
Michigan Cermak 24th Place
Michigan Oak Roosevelt
Rush Division Pearson
State Lake Congress
Wabash Lake Congress
East-West Streets
Chicago State Michigan
Division Dearborn State
Erie Rush St. Clair
Grand Wabash St. Clair
Huron Wabash St. Clair
Oak State Michigan
Ohio Wabash St. Clair
Ontario Dearborn St. Clair
Superior Wabash St. Clair

Figure 17-4-0503

For a printer-friendly PDF version of Figure 17-4-0503, please click here.

17-4-0504 Standards.

17-4-0504-A Applicability. The standards of this section apply to all development on lots that abut the right-of-way of designated pedestrian streets unless otherwise expressly stated.

17-4-0504-B Building Location.

1. The entire building façade that faces a designated pedestrian street must abut the sidewalk or be located within 5 feet of the sidewalk.

2. These building location standards do not apply to permitted arcades, public plazas or parks, entries to through-block connections, or recessed building entries.

Figure 17-4-0504-B

17-4-0504-C Transparency.

1. A minimum of 60% of the street- facing building façade between 4 feet and 10 feet in height must be comprised of clear, non-reflective windows that allow views of indoor commercial space or product display areas. This standard applies to building façades that face pedestrian streets .

2. The bottom of any window or product display window used to satisfy this requirement may not be more than 4.5 feet above the adjacent sidewalk.

3. Product display windows used to satisfy these requirements must have a minimum height of 4 feet and be internally lighted.

Figure 17-4-0504-C

17-4-0504-D Doors and Entrances.

1. On lots abutting pedestrian streets , buildings must have a primary entrance door facing the pedestrian street . Entrances at building corners facing a pedestrian street may be used to satisfy this requirement.

2. Building entrances may include doors to individual shops or businesses, lobby entrances, entrances to pedestrian-oriented plazas or courtyard entrances to a cluster of shops or businesses.

Figure 17-4-0504-D

17-4-0504-E Prohibited Uses. The following uses are expressly prohibited on lots abutting pedestrian streets :

1. drive-through facilities;

2. vehicle sales and service uses involving any outdoor storage of vehicles or goods;

3. gas stations ;

4. car washes;

5. residential storage warehouses; and

6. strip centers.

17-4-0504-F Parking Location. Any off- street parking spaces must be enclosed or located to the rear of the principal building and not be visible from the right-of-way of a pedestrian street .

17-4-0504-G Driveways and Vehicle Access. Vehicle access to lots located along pedestrian streets must come from an alley . No curb cuts or driveways are allowed from a pedestrian street .

(Added Coun. J. 5-26-04, p. 25275; Amend Coun. J. 3-9-05, p. 44391; Amend Coun. J. 9-13-06, p. 84870, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 9-8-11, p. 7559, § 3)



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