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Block With ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ Mural Is Now A Shared Street For Bikes, Cars, Pedestrians

Catalpa Avenue in Andersonville is the latest addition to the city's shared street program intended to give people more space during the coronavirus pandemic.

Catalpa Avenue is the city's ninth shared street.
Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
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ANDERSONVILLE — The Andersonville road that houses a Black Trans Lives Matter mural is now part of the city’s shared streets program.

Catalpa Avenue between Clark Street and Ashland Avenue has been added to the city’s pilot program that opens side streets to more pedestrian uses like jogging and bike riding.

It is the ninth street in the program meant to encourage social distancing while outdoors, according to the city.

Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) pushed to have Catalpa added to the shared streets program because of the massive mural that now adorns the road.

In early August, a group of local artists came together to paint “Black Trans Lives Matter” on Catalpa. The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce has since commissioned a “say their names” addition to the mural, honoring trans people whose lives were lost to violence.

Catalpa remained closed to car traffic after the mural went up before being opened as a shared street on Aug. 28, said Lindsay Tillman, community outreach and communications coordinator for Vasquez’s office. Additional cones and signage were more recently added, she said.

Under the new designation, the southernmost portion of Catalpa has been reserved for car traffic, leaving the mural area open to pedestrians.

The city’s first shared street came in late May to Leland Avenue in Ravenswood. It was created to help neighbors more safely and easily enjoy the outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

The same stretch of Catalpa in Andersonville is also being eyed as a pedestrian friendly zone that would permanently restrict or ban car traffic on the road.

A few blocks south of Catalpa, Balmoral Avenue at Clark Street is closed to traffic as part of the city’s expanded outdoor dining program.

Credit: Courtesy Carson Cloud
A “Black Trans Lives Matter” mural in Andersonville was completed by 22 Chicago artists.

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