WICKER PARK — New bike lanes, pedestrian bump-outs and other infrastructure improvements will be built in Wicker Park, West Town, Bucktown and Logan Square in 2022.
The projects were approved by residents through the 1st Ward’s participatory budgeting process. The seven projects will cost about $1 million, which will come from the ward’s annual “menu money” that aldermen receive to fund infrastructure upgrades.
Usually, aldermen spend menu money at their discretion, but participatory budgeting — where aldermen let residents decide on what gets funded — has gained popularity in recent years.
“Our full menu money is around $1.5 million. A good rule of thumb is to provide some room for potential cost overruns, and to also leave some room for street repaving and alley work. So, we took the most popular projects and also provided a buffer so that we can actually make those projects happen,” 1st Ward policy director Nicholas Zettel said in an email.
Residents submitted ideas for projects last summer and voted on them at the end of 2021.
The most expensive proposal approved would spend an estimated $325,000 to add protected bike lanes to a section of Wood Street in Wicker Park. The project would turn Wood from Grand Avenue to Ellen Street into a one-way street, with protected bike lanes going in each direction. That stretch of Wood is a popular low-density route for cyclists.
Several approved projects will create what are known as pedestrian bump-outs, which extend sidewalks and shorten crosswalks for pedestrian safety.
Bump-outs will be built along part of Armitage Avenue in Bucktown and Logan Square, Augusta Avenue in Ukrainian Village and at the intersection of Division and Paulina streets in Wicker Park.
Zettel said the goal is to have most of the projects completed in 2022, although some may run into 2023 depending on Department of Transportation schedules.
The full list of approved projects and estimated costs:
- Shared Bus Lane Painting, Chicago Avenue (Western to Ashland): estimated cost of $100,000.
- Division/Paulina crosswalk reconfiguration and bump-outs: estimated cost of $143,000.
- Armitage pedestrian bump-outs: up to $200,000 expected cost, between Western and Humboldt. Recommended intersections to be surveyed are Rockwell (west end), Point (west end), Francisco (west end).
- Augusta pedestrian bump-outs: up to $150,000 expected, bump-outs will be surveyed specifically around Paulina & Wood.
- Diversey Bridge Bike Lane: up to $100,000 expected cost, needs coordination with 32nd Ward.
- Wolcott & Milwaukee increased lighting: expected to be free.
- Wood Street Protected Bike Lane: up to $325,000 budgeted cost. This proposal will turn Wood into a one-way street, with protected bike lanes proposed in both directions.
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