Museum Campus Transportation Study - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Museum Campus Transportation Study

Amanda Persch (cc)

Better transportation options are coming for the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum on Chicago's Museum Campus.

Chicago’s Museum Campus is home to the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, Soldier Field, Northerly Island, FirstMerit Bank Pavilion and Burnham Harbor, which collectively attract millions of visitors each year. The potential additional of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art would bring even more people to the Campus.

Today the Campus is accessible via many modes, including Chicago Transit Authority bus services, Divvy bike sharing, pedestrian ways and personal automobile, but both locals and visitors find this area very confusing to navigate. In addition, the congestion during peak attendance periods is significant, suggesting that the time is now to consider transportation improvements to serve both current and future Campus visitors and employees. In August 2014, City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel created a task force to propose transportation enhancements to the Museum Campus area. The task force is chaired by Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) President MarySue Barrett and City of Chicago Chief Operating Officer Joe Deal. The task force is examining current transportation flows and proposing ways to improve pedestrian, public transit, water-borne, bicycle and vehicular traffic, which may involve new investments or opportunities to better leverage other nearby transportation infrastructure and services.

The public is invited to use the Civic ArtWorks web application to provide input, share ideas and consider project proposals. MPC also hosted an open house on Oct. 14 that attracted 70 attendees who shared their ideas in person.

Share your ideas on our interactive website

Task force members include the tenants of the Museum Campus, relevant government agencies and community stakeholders. This transportation task force is being staffed by the Chicago Department of Transportation and consultants at Sam Schwartz Engineering. Results from the study process are expected to be released in December 2014.

The task force’s study will serve as the transportation element of the Museum Campus Framework Plan, a long-range plan that will establish a vision for the future of the Campus as a whole, with a focus on recreation, education, access and sustainability. The Framework Plan is being undertaken by the Chicago Park District, with assistance provided by architect Jeanne Gang.


Please contact Yonah Freemark at with any questions.


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