ROGERS PARK — The city is looking for feedback on its plan for a sweeping overhaul of the Clark Street and Devon Avenue intersection, which includes adding pedestrian crosswalks and possibly converting a portion of Arthur Avenue into a public gathering space.
City officials last week unveiled a plan to reconfigure the Clark Street streetscape from Devon north to Arthur Avenue, including the intersection of Ashland Avenue and Clark.
Rebuilding the streetscape is one of the major goals of the Clark Street Corridor Master Plan, which looks to turn the area into a vibrant business corridor that welcomes people to Rogers Park and Edgewater.
Currently, the area near Clark and Devon is a jumbled mix of intersections, parking lots and bus terminals.
The area has “large amounts of asphalt,” making it tough for pedestrians to cross, said Lubka Benak, director of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s livable streets department.
The Clark and Ashland intersection in particular is “excessively large and a bit confusing to navigate,” necessitating two traffic lights, Benak said.
The city is proposing a number of changes. They include a revised streetscape that will narrow portions of Clark to allow for wider sidewalks and easier-to-navigate crosswalks.
A raised median with plantings is proposed for Clark, north of Devon. For the public parking lot at the northeast corner of the intersection, the entrance would be moved north, away from the Devon Avenue, in an effort to decrease car congestion at the corner.
The sidewalk running alongside the parking lot would be reconfigured, with a new crosswalk over Ashland, according to CDOT. Plans call for a new mid-street crosswalk near Clark and Arthur to allow for better access to the CTA bus terminal.
The intersection at Clark and Ashland will also be reconfigured, which will allow for only one traffic light instead of two, officials said.
An additional proposal being considered is turning Arthur, from Clark to Ashland, into a pedestrian refuge.
The street could fully or partially get rid of car traffic and install pedestrian infrastructure such as seating, plants and decorative elements. A similar project is being eyed for Catalpa and Clark in Andersonville.
Cosmetic changes will come to the area, as well, including Clark Street branding and neighborhood signs for Rogers Park and Edgewater. Devon is considered the dividing line for the two neighborhoods.
Clark Street branding has already been established as part of the city’s master plan for the corridor. But residents are being asked to weigh in on what kind of neighborhood signs are preferable, and what other design features should be included in the plan.
The city has released a survey asking neighbors to share thoughts on the project. Neighbors can choose which kind of streetscape design they prefer (with choices like “traditional, contemporary and bold”) and what should be included in a pedestrian zone on Arthur.
The survey can be filled out through Tuesday, according to the city. Suggestions from survey submissions will be incorporated into the plans and presented to the public in the fall.
A final public meeting will be held in the spring, with construction scheduled to start in spring 2022 and wrapping up in summer 2023, according to the city.
To check out the city’s presentation on the Clark Street improvements, click here.
CDOT’s website for the project can be found here.
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