LOGAN SQUARE — The city is planning to install protected bike lanes on a hazardous portion of Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square sometime this summer.
Other improvements, including new crosswalks and a new bus boarding island, are coming later this year or in early 2021.
The goal of the project, which has been in the works since last year, is to make Milwaukee Avenue — one of the most popular bike routes in the city — safer for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
The stretch chosen for improvements — Milwaukee from Western to California — is considered a “high crash corridor.”
Milwaukee from Western to Sacramento saw 446 crashes from 2014 to 2018, according to Illinois Department of Transportation data.
Of the crashes that resulted in injuries, half involved cyclists. About two-thirds of those crashes involved pedestrians or cyclists.
According to the city’s transportation department, the stretch also has “long gaps” between crosswalks, which contributes to it being unsafe.
Under the current plan, plastic curbs and posts will be installed on Milwaukee Avenue from Western to California avenues. From California to Sacramento avenues, the bike lane will be delineated with green markings, said Ald. Daniel La Spata, whose 1st Ward includes the project.
Typically, protected bike lanes in Chicago take the form of a concrete barrier or a series of bollards separating cyclists from drivers. But for this project, the city plans to use plastic curbs and posts from a company called Qwick Kurb, La Spata said.
“It’s more lightweight and more affordable,” La Spata said. The curbs can also be easily moved should the city choose to make adjustments in the future, he said.
The project will eliminate some paid parking in the area. The city plans to replace 80-100 paid parking spots, possibly relocating them to nearby side streets, according to transportation officials.
Loading zones and standing zones will remain the same, as will all existing residential parking.
The city also plans to install more crosswalks along the stretch: one near Milwaukee Avenue and St. Georges Court and another near Turbo Tacos at 2050 N. Milwaukee Ave., according to city documents.
A new bus boarding island is proposed for Milwaukee and Maplewood avenues.
La Spata, an avid cyclist himself, said he’s looking forward to seeing the plan come to fruition.
“I want everyone to feel safe and comfortable riding on Milwaukee Avenue. I want to see that number —  crashes — go down,” he said.
CDOT has worked with businesses along the corridor on the plan and is now asking for neighbor feedback. Questions can be emailed to CDOTBikes@cityofchicago.org.
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