LINCOLN SQUARE — Two surveys will help determine the future look of the streetscape on the northern half of Lincoln Avenue and the Brown Line stop in Lincoln Square.
Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) is working with they city’s departments of transportation and planning and development to bring street improvements to the stretch of Lincoln Avenue north of Lawrence Avenue.
For decades, this stretch of Lincoln Avenue has been a fairly sleepy area compared to the bustling, cobblestone neighborhood center to the southeast.
Vasquez long has envisioned an arts district for the north side of Lincoln Avenue, with murals and housing for artists so the area will be more vibrant and draw more commercial and community interest.
Funding has been secured for streetscape work on Lincoln Avenue from Western to Catalpa, Catalpa from Lincoln to Western, and Western from Lincoln to Lawrence, Vasquez said.
“Please help guide our new streetscape improvements by filling out the Lincoln/Catalpa visioning survey. This short survey should take less than five minutes to complete, and will help the department of transportation prioritize uses of the available public way,” Vasquez said.
Further south, the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and Ald. Matt Martin (47th) are in the process of gathering feedback to improve the Brown line stop on Western Avenue as part of a master plan for the area.
The Western Avenue station area is generally defined as the areas within and surrounding the station plaza area that includes the Western Station Plaza, city of Chicago parking lot No. 71 (where the farmers market is hosted) and the areas beneath the “L” tracks west of North Lincoln Avenue.
Surrounding areas — including Leland, Western and Lincoln avenues — will also be evaluated as part of the study to understand connectivity and influences on the area.
In 2019, neighbors told Martin, Vasquez and the chamber they wanted to reclaim the neighborhood’s sidewalks for cyclists and pedestrians by exploring the creation of a bench and planter art program, developing mini-plazas and enhancing existing plaza spaces, alleyways and walkthroughs beneath the Western Avenue station.
Design firm Teska Associates toured the station in May and began gathering feedback in June at the Lincoln Square Farmers Market and via an online survey that closed July 2. Teska will now draft some preliminary designs based on the feedback they’ve received so far.
“This next phase of the project timeline is an exciting step towards improving our neighborhood and providing a greater sense of community for residents,” said Rudy Flores, the chamber’s executive director.
In August, a second survey will be open to the public to help refine Teska’s designs. By September, Teska will incorporate this additional feedback into its final designs and then in October a formal open house will take place to present key design ideas through exhibits and presentations. The final design is expected to be adopted into the master plan by November.
“We are looking forward to the coming months of this project to see how this area of the neighborhood will improve to better serve our community,” Martin said.
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