UPTOWN — Leland Avenue east of Clark Street has been added to the city’s shared streets program, creating a two-and-a-half mile stretch of streets meant to be shared by pedestrians and drivers.
Leland from Clark Street to Kenmore Avenue has been given a “shared streets designation,” which seeks to reduce car traffic to allow for more pedestrian uses of streets like biking and jogging, Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said Wednesday.
The first barricades and signs for the new segment of the shared street will be set up Friday, Cappleman said.
The new designation makes for a continuous shared street on Leland from the Chicago River to Kenmore, which is one block west of Sheridan Road in Uptown.
Leland between Lincoln Avenue and Clark Street was the city’s first shared street when the program started at the end of May. In June, city officials extended the designation west to the Chicago River.
When the program was first announced, Leland’s shared street status was to extend from Lincoln to Sheridan. But scheduled utility work on the east stretch of Leland prevented the shared street from extending past Clark, Cappleman said in a note to constituents.
That utility work has been postponed, allowing for the shared street to be extended from Clark to Nordine “through the end of the season,” Cappleman said.
The shared street is not extending to Sheridan because of the ongoing construction of women’s charity Sarah’s Circle’s new building at Leland and Sheridan, said Tressa Feher, chief of staff to Cappleman.
Shared Streets are meant to give neighbors more socially distanced outdoor options during the coronavirus pandemic. The designation closes the road to local traffic only, erecting road barriers and traffic cones along the route.
Parking is still available on Leland. Though through-traffic is prohibited, emergency vehicles and delivery drivers still have access.
Like in the 47th Ward, Leland Avenue neighbors in the 46th Ward were interested in the shared street program, Cappleman said. The program has been a hit on Leland, staffers for Ald. Matt Martin (47th) previously said.
“We are looking forward to seeing how Shared Streets can improve mobility in our neighborhoods,” Cappleman said.
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