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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

How Should Lincoln Square Spend Its Money? Survey Says: Traffic And Bike Lane Upgrades (So Far)

A new poll asks residents how money from a business district tax should be spent in the area. You can still weigh in.

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LINCOLN SQUARE — Neighbors say a new master plan for Lincoln Square should address traffic congestion and add more pedestrian and bike amenities, according results from a community poll released last week.

“The Master Plan is going to be a very collaborative process,” said Rudy Flores, executive director of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve developed a website where people can share testimonials or show us on a map what they’d like to see in the neighborhood.”

The website yourlincolnsquare.org began collecting community feedback on Oct. 6 and will continue to do so over the next six months. The final version of the master plan expected to be presented to the public on March 2019.

The results of the first poll on what the master plan should focus on were made public on Thursday. A total of 563 people took the poll. The majority were between the ages of 35 and 50, 49 percent, and said they lived in Lincoln Square, 81 percent.

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When asked what they like most about Lincoln Square the top two responses were its “walkable environment,” 79 percent, and its “quality of local shops, restaurants, businesses,” 71 percent.

Credit: Submitted

When asked what about Lincoln Square needs the most improvement, the top three responses were “traffic congestion,” 55 percent, “pedestrian and bike amenities,” 39 percent, and “public art and celebration of local culture and history,” 38 percent.

Credit: Submitted

Special Service Area districts, or SSAs, levy a special tax on property owners for communal services like snow removal, landscaping, sidewalk cleaning and graffiti removal.  

The Lincoln Square Master Plan is part of the SSA for the neighborhood and will be the guiding document for the next five to 10 years regarding how those funds are used.

But before that happens, leaders will continue to gather feedback to identify neighborhood issues and community opinions as to what the plan should focus on. By November and December, information gathered up to that point will be used to draft an initial strategy for the master plan. In January and February of next year, a version of the plan will be shared with the public before it’s discussed at a public meeting.

“It feels good to be putting such deliberate thought and study into our plan, and it’s especially valuable to see what has worked in other communities,” Flores said. “But we need more help from residents and people who love the area. We all have a stake in creating an even better Lincoln Square.”

The second neighborhood poll focusing on place making considerations, public art and site-specific improvements is currently live and collecting feedback from the community. In order to participate in the second poll click here

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