LOGAN SQUARE — The city is looking to install protected bike lanes along a Logan Square stretch of Milwaukee Avenue as part of a larger plan to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along the busy bike route, according to Ald. Daniel La Spata’s 1st Ward office.
Under the plan, which is in the early stages, protected bike lanes would be installed along Milwaukee Avenue from California to Western avenues, according to Allison Carvalho, La Spata’s community development director.
The lanes would either come in the form of concrete barriers or a series of posts. Some number of parking spots along Milwaukee would be eliminated, but it’s unclear exactly how many. The design has yet to be finalized, Carvalho said.
Asked about the project, Susan Hofer, spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Transportation, said protected bike lanes are just one of many safety improvements being considered for Milwaukee Avenue but nothing has been finalized.
The city recently finished painting new green bike lanes and installing curb extensions along Milwaukee between Sacramento and California. The project cost the city $75,000.
That portion of Milwaukee was not considered for protected bike lanes because it’s not physically wide enough to support them, Carvalho said.
The city chose the stretch of Milwaukee between California and Western for protected bike lanes because it’s both wide enough to support them and because it’s a high crash corridor, Carvalho said.
The project has the support of La Spata, who is an avid cyclist himself.
“As someone who rides on Milwaukee Avenue on a daily basis, I know how treacherous it can still be. You can paint a stencil of a bicycle, as we do through Wicker Park, and still feel endangered by cars encroaching,” La Spata said.
The project is still a long way off. Carvalho said the city is currently in the outreach phase and will soon move onto the design phase. Once design options are finalized, the alderman will host community meetings so neighbors can weigh in, she said. The earliest construction would start is the spring.
Carvalho said the project is part of the city’s Vision Zero program, which aims to eliminate death and serious injuries from traffic crashes by 2026.
The city has installed more than 60 miles of new and upgraded bike lanes since Vision Zero launched in 2017.
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