WICKER PARK — 1st Ward residents can once again weigh in on how to spend up to $1 million on infrastructure projects in Wicker Park, West Town and Logan Square.
Voting is now open through Feb. 5 in the 1st Ward’s annual participatory budgeting process, where neighbors can decide how Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st) spends a portion of his office’s menu money. Alderpeople receive $1.5 million a year in menu funds to spend on infrastructure-related improvements.
Usually, alderpeople spend the money at their discretion, but participatory budgeting — where ward offices let residents decide on what gets funded — has gained popularity in recent years.
Ideas for projects this year were submitted through an online portal and at meetings hosted by La Spata’s office. They were then formulated into specific policy proposals.
This year’s proposals include $100,000 to help modernize the Logan Square skate park under the Kennedy Expressway, $375,000 to build a protected bike lane on a portion of California Avenue and various repaving projects.
Residents in the both the current and future boundaries of the 1st Ward are eligible to vote, La Spata said. New ward boundaries across the city will go into effect after the municipal election this spring.
The full list of proposals includes:
- Build new “piggyback” street lights on the 1500 block of West Chestnut ($165,000)
- Modernize Logan Boulevard Skate Park ($100,000)
- Improve Wolcott Avenue sidewalks with ADA compliance in Wicker Park ($60,000)
- Beautify the Dean Street / Paulina Street Cul-de-Sac ($100,000)
- Repave two streets in the 1st Ward ($295,000)
- Upgrade an alley adjacent to Haas Park ($280,000)
- Develop a contraflow bike lane on Paulina Street ($75,000)
- Repave three alleys in the 1st Ward ($115,000)
- Improve Division / Paulina and Milwaukee / Paulina intersections ($150,000)
- Install traffic calming features throughout the 1st Ward ($280,000)
- Build a protected bike lane on California Avenue ($375,000)