Decrease speed limit near Illinois Masonic Medical Center, joins new list of candidates for Lakeview Alderman

Lakeview — Aldo. Bennett Lawson, former 44th Ward Aldo’s successor. Tom Tunney wants to lower the speed limit along Wellington Street in Lakeview.

Mr Lawson introduced an ordinance at the first city council meeting on Wednesday to reduce the speed limit on Wellington Street from Sheffield Street to Holstead Street from 25 mph to 20 mph.

This stretch of Wellington runs alongside the Illinois Masonic Medical Center, the Alexian Brothers Housing and Health Alliance, and several apartment buildings.

“By lowering the speed limit in high-traffic areas of the ward, we can ensure pedestrian safety,” Lawson said.

Lawson has emphasized improving street safety for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and other users as a priority when he took office. He recently polled his neighbors and garnered more than 2,000 of his responses, most of which praised Lakeview’s walkability.

credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Alderman-elect Bennett Lawson (#44) poses for a photograph at the Center in Holstead on April 25, 2023.

The speed limit measure was one of three ordinances introduced by Lawson on Wednesday, becoming the city’s first under Mayor Brandon Johnson. Twelve other new aldermen also attended the parliamentary chamber for their first meeting.

Two other ordinances introduced by Mr. Lawton aim to protect affordable housing and make it easier for some small businesses to open businesses in Chicago.

The first of these ordinances strengthened the city’s additional housing experiment program and expanded it throughout Chicago. The program allows homeowners to build new housing units, such as coach houses and in-law apartments, which changes in zoning laws have prohibited him since 1957.

The second ordinance regulates business to allow private and salon services (nail salons, beauty salons, barbershops) to operate within 200 feet of each other, instead of the currently required 1,000 feet. is updated.

“When we talk about the issues facing Ward 44 residents and their families, we constantly hear concerns about how to increase affordable housing options, help small businesses thrive, and improve pedestrian safety. I will,” Lawson said in a statement. “That’s why I’m introducing these ordinances as the first ordinances on the Chicago City Council.”

Mr. Lawson has also been appointed Vice-Chairman of the Commission on Urban Planning Landmarks and Building Codes. Mr. Tunney chaired the committee before his retirement. The new chair is Aldo. Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35th).

Other committees on which Lawson participates include Ethics and Government Oversight, Environmental Protection and Energy, Health and Relationships, Licensing and Consumer Protection and Special Events, and Cultural Affairs and Recreation.

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