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Gompers Park Upgrades, Protected Bike Lanes, Improved Crosswalks Coming To 39th Ward

Neighbors chose four projects out of 11 to receive $500,000 total in Ald. Samantha Nugent's participatory budgeting process.

Concrete bike barriers.
Ariel Parrella-Aureli/Block Club Chicago
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FOREST GLEN — Four neighborhood infrastructure projects picked by 39th Ward residents are coming to the Northwest Side.

As part of Ald. Samantha Nugent’s annual participatory budgeting process, residents voted to get protected bike lanes installed in Old Irving Park, a left turn arrow in Mayfair, crosswalks and other calming measures at a Forest Glen intersection and the renovation of the baseball diamond at Gompers Park, 4222 W. Foster Ave.

Nugent announced the winning projects last week in her newsletter and said 1,044 residents chose from 11 projects. Four projects will be funded, totaling $500,000.

“Thank you to the Participatory Budgeting Committee for their work and dedication to the process, and thank you to all the community members who submitted project proposals and ideas for improvements across the ward,” Nugent wrote.

The winning projects:

  • $150,000 will be used to install a protected bike lane and add safety measures for pedestrians on a 0.6 mile-stretch of Montrose Avenue from Kostner Avenue to Pulaski Road.
  • $150,000 will be used to install a left turn arrow on the westbound side of Lawrence Avenue to southbound onto Cicero Avenue.
  • $50,000 will be allocated for pedestrian safety and traffic calming measures at Catalpa/Forest Glen Avenue and Latham/Forest Glen Avenue. Crosswalks and signage will be added as part of the project.
  • $150,000 will be used to rehab the Little Gompers baseball diamond and install new concrete slabs, benches in the dugout and field improvements.

Before improvements can begin, letters from the participatory budgeting committee are sent to the budget office explaining the projects. The alderman then signs off to transfer the money, said Adam Roberts, Nugent’s chief of staff.

“Whenever a project wins and the request is made, the money is held for that project; so it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when,” Roberts said.

The design phase for all of the projects will begin this year, but the timeline for each will depend on the project scope and which city agency is responsible for the respective improvements, Roberts said.

The projects are the fourth cycle of Nugent’s participatory budgeting process of deciding how menu money is spent, which only a handful of aldermen have opted into since 2009.

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