LAKEVIEW — The blue and green polka-dot paint and plastic posts that define the Lincoln Hub six-way intersection in Lakeview will soon be replaced with permanent curb extensions as part of a streetscaping project.
The paint and posts were installed in 2015 at the intersection of Wellington, Southport and Lincoln avenues to create curb extensions that get rid of several dangerous right-turn lanes and shorten pedestrian crossing distances.
The intersection’s temporary infrastructure will now be replaced with permanent curb extensions as part of a $12 million streetscaping project along Lincoln, Ashland and Belmont avenues in Lakeview, said Michael Claffey, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation.
The project’s boundaries:
- Lincoln Avenue from Wellington Avenue to Melrose Street.
- Ashland Avenue from Barry Avenue to School Street.
- Belmont Avenue from Ashland Avenue to Southport Avenue.
The work includes a resurfacing of the Lincoln Hub that will remove its polka-dot paint, and the installation of street lighting, benches and bike racks along the three avenues, said Paul Sajovec, chief of staff for Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd). The intersection of Lincoln, Ashland and Belmont avenues will also get curb extensions.
Construction is expected to start this spring and finish in summer 2023, Claffey said.
The Lincoln, Ashland and Belmont intersection received similar plastic posts in 2018, creating curb bump-outs that discouraged fast turns by drivers, shortened crossing distances and corrected the junction’s skewed layout, according to Streetsblog Chicago, which was the first to report on the streetscape project.
But those posts will be removed in favor of concrete curb extensions when the project begins, Sajovec said.
“The curbs will be extended relative to their current locations in a fashion similar to, but not exactly as, the current bollards,” Sajovec said. “There will be no bollards or posts in the street once the project is implemented.”
The polka dots, which are exclusive to the Lincoln Hub intersection, were controversial among neighbors when they were installed. Neighbors also bemoaned that the temporary infrastructure slowed traffic and increased congestion.
One resident started a petition calling for the city to remove the polka dots and white posts, calling the project an “expensive eyesore” that caused traffic jams. The petition reached 620 signatures before it closed.
The city responded by making tweaks to the design, like reducing the size of some bump-outs to appease drivers’ concerns, according to Streetsblog Chicago.
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.
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