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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Can A Redesign Make Logan Square’s Most Confusing Intersection More Safe? City To Unveil Plans Soon

Residents are invited to weigh in on the city's proposal at the third and final community meeting, set for Dec. 4.

The city is making significant traffic fixes to Logan Square's confusing namesake intersection. Improvement ideas (pictured right) were presented to the community earlier this year.
Paul Biasco/DNAinfo Chicago; CDOT
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LOGAN SQUARE — Next week residents will finally get a chance to see what the long-promised overhaul of Logan Square’s most confusing intersection could look like.

After years of planning and gathering community input, the city’s Department of Transportation will unveil its “recommended designs” at its third and final community meeting.

The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 4 at Logandale Middle School at 3212 W. George St. All residents are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be accessible to people with disabilities.

At the last community meeting, held in early 2018, city officials had narrowed down the project to four possible designs, or “concepts,” which called for everything from adding separated bike lanes to completely reshaping the intersection.

What the city will formally recommend next week is a mystery. City spokeswoman Susan Hofer couldn’t immediately provide the designs Monday afternoon, but said experts will be at the meeting to answer questions.

The intersection rework is just one part of the city’s larger plan to overhaul Logan Square and Avondale’s stretch of Milwaukee Avenue under the “Complete Streets Initiative,” which has brought traffic improvements to other problem intersections such as Milwaukee, North and Damen avenues in Wicker Park.

The Logan Square circle is unique in that it’s not a true roundabout because it’s broken up by stoplights. Perhaps because of this, the intersection has confused locals and tourists alike for years.

One lifelong resident likened the chaotic experience of navigating the winding intersection of Kedzie and Milwaukee avenues and Logan Boulevard to “running with the bulls.”

The intersection has also proven to be dangerous. Between 2011 and 2015, the circle saw 121 crashes, according to CDOT data. In 2016 alone — the most recent year data is available — the circle saw 34 crashes, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The data only includes reported crashes. 

This comes as Logan Square residents are biking and taking the train more than residents in other parts of the city, according to CDOT data. The city agency said cyclists make up 4-to-7 percent of daily traffic on Milwaukee Avenue. The number jumps to 11 percent during morning and afternoon rush hour.

The entire project is expected to cost at least $10 million in city, state and federal funds. But officials say that figure will likely change once the plan is finalized. Construction won’t begin until at least 2020, according to officials.

Local activists and community leaders have said they’re worried the project could speed up gentrification. They met over the summer to examine how racial and ethnic groups will be affected by the project.

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