LOGAN SQUARE — Part of Logan Boulevard is considered perilous for bicyclists and pedestrians, so a transportation group wants the neighborhood to rally behind a way to fix it.
Installing curb-protected bike lanes and widening the sidewalks are just two of the many ideas proposed under the campaign, spearheaded by Active Transportation Alliance.
The campaign focuses on Logan Boulevard from Rockwell Avenue to Lathrop Homes, including the notoriously dangerous underpass at Western Avenue, where 22-year-old cyclist Tyler Fabeck was struck and killed in 2008.
Several cyclists told Block Club Chicago that riding on the historic boulevard, particularly at the Western Avenue underpass, is especially dangerous compared to other parts of the neighborhood.
“I’ve had more close calls than I can count,” Avondale resident Lisa Hilleren said of the underpass. Hilleren said she’s been commuting to work via bike for about six years.
Jacob Peters, who also routinely bikes the boulevard, called the stretch the “scariest segment of an otherwise calm route east west across the city.”
“The two worst portions are under the highway [and] the Diversey bridge crossing the river where you’re riding in mixed traffic trying to avoid potholes [with] speeding drivers,” Peters said.
Another cyclist called the stretch a “horror show.”
To find out which improvements are most needed, the nonprofit is inviting neighbors to fill out an online survey.
“The input of residents and stakeholders is crucial to developing high-quality recommendations that reflect neighborhood priorities,” a blog post reads.
“This is especially true for Logan Blvd. and its diverse mix of residents, as well as its aldermanic districts, big box stores, entertainment venues, schools, churches and public housing.”
So far, about 700 residents have filled out the nine-question survey. Active Transportation Alliance is hoping for many more responses ahead of the Aug. 1 deadline.
By gathering suggestions, the transportation group is hoping to eventually improve the cycling, walking and driving experience along the boulevard for locals and tourists alike.
A portion of the focus area — from Western to Diversey avenues — already has a designated bike lane. But the lanes could be enhanced by either painting them orange to increase visibility or installing concrete medians that separate cyclists from drivers, according to renderings.
The campaign is not to be confused with the square reconfiguration project, a city-led initiative that has been in the works for years.
Steve Simmons, trail advocacy manager for Active Transportation Alliance, said the campaign is a way for the nonprofit to get the city to commit to improvements. It’s not a city-funded project as of yet, he said.