BUCKTOWN — Parts of Wabansia Avenue and Cortland Street will be converted into shared streets in Humboldt Park, Logan Square and Bucktown.
Beginning Friday, the Chicago Department of Transportation program will eliminate through traffic on three neighboring sections of Wabansia Avenue: between Rockwell and Western, Western and Milwaukee and Milwaukee and Ashland. Through traffic also will be prohibited on Cortland Street between Rockwell and Central Park.
The Wabansia and Cortland closures parallel the Bloomingdale Trail, also called The 606. The trail remains closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Shared Street is part of a citywide effort to convert portions of residential streets into open spaces where people can safely walk, ride bikes and do other outdoor activities.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said city officials will announce where all those roads will be in coming weeks. So far, the city only has opened Leland Avenue between Lincoln Avenue and Clark Street.
CDOT’s Shared Streets program, which focused on residential streets, is separate from another initiative to close commercial streets to expand patio dining for restaurants.
Only local traffic will be allowed on the designated shared streets, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said Thursday in a newsletter to constituents.
This means residents can still park on their street and get deliveries, but vehicles cannot pass through. Residential vehicles must travel slowly and always stop for anyone in the roadway. Emergency vehicles are permitted.
“Walkers, bikers and runners are encouraged to use the full street to maintain proper physical distance from other people” Hopkins said. “Remember to always keep a face covering with you for times when you are not able to maintain 6-feet distance from others.”
When evaluating streets for the program, Hopkins said CDOT considered the following factors:
- Existing pedestrian and bicycle amenities
- Neighborhood density
- Access to green space
- Proximity to active CTA routes
The program is expected to last 30 days. In that time, CDOT plans to listen to resident feedback, 32nd Ward staffer Paul Sajovec said.
If you observe an issue with a shared street — for example, a barrel or barrier broken missing — call 311 and provide the address.
To provide feedback on how COVID-19 has affected your community and to let CDOT know where you think other shared streets should be located, visit this website.
“They indicated that everything they are considering is designed to be temporary and evaluated at various points to determine how it is functioning and what changes may be warranted,” Sajovec said.
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