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CHICAGO – Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Gia Biagi and Alderman Daniel La Spata (1st Ward) today unveiled new protected bike lanes that were installed through a Rapid Delivery project on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square on one of the City’s most heavily traveled bike routes. The project is part of CDOT’s Vision Zero traffic safety program and will also include pedestrian safety infrastructure and transit access improvements, all designed in coordination with residents, businesses and the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce. CDOT also released a map of new bike lane projects being implemented across the City this year, including 15 miles of new bikeways on the South Side that are designed to complement the expansion of CDOT’s Divvy bike share system to cover more than 50 new miles on the far South Side.
“These new protected bike lanes show how we can use new safety technology to quickly deliver meaningful safety improvements on Chicago’s bikeways when we work with local communities and leaders to develop support for these types of projects,” said CDOT Commissioner Biagi said. “The key is working with and listening to community stakeholders and designing projects that are tailored to the needs of the neighborhood.”
As part of the City’s response to the mobility challenges of Covid-19 under the leadership of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, CDOT has launched a concerted effort to reach out and solicit feedback from the public in neighborhoods throughout Chicago at: www.Chicago.gov/covidmobility. The site includes a survey residents can use to share their transportation priorities with CDOT.
Alderman La Spata has been a strong supporter of bike and pedestrian safety improvements in the 1st Ward. “I’m very grateful not only for the opportunity to make Milwaukee Avenue safer for all of our residents, but for the public process that preceded it,” Alderman La Spata said. “The design we see today reflects the thoughtful input of hundreds of stakeholders.”
The City of Chicago’s Vision Zero Action Plan identified Milwaukee Avenue as a High Crash Corridor. Traffic safety data shows that two-thirds of all injury crashes over a five-year period from 2014 to 2018 on Milwaukee Avenue involved people walking and biking.
Through discussions with transportation activists, community members, local businesses and the 1st Ward, CDOT established a redesign that would better reflect the needs and use of the corridor. These improvements include northbound and southbound protected bike lanes installed in just the last two weeks to separate people biking from automobile traffic. The new protected bike lanes feature synthetic plastic curbs and bollards that are bolted to the pavement and can be installed much more quickly than traditional concrete curbs typically used to create protected bike lanes.
The work on Milwaukee Avenue will continue later this fall with the installation of two new crosswalks and pedestrian space will be expanded at intersections through Rapid Delivery bumpouts in the coming weeks. In addition, a new bus boarding island is being planned at Milwaukee and Maplewood for 2021. Over 35 new bike racks have been installed between California and Western to ensure ample bike and scooter parking. These infrastructure improvements are designed to make the corridor safer for all users and improve neighborhood access to local businesses.
CDOT released a map that shows that it is on track to install approximately 30 miles of new bike lanes this year across the City, giving Chicago more than 300 miles of bike lanes. In addition, CDOT is re-striping about 40 miles of existing bike lanes to clearly demarcate space for bikes. This was quadruple the miles of bike lanes restriped in 2019.
To view the detailed plans for the Milwaukee Avenue project and learn more about the CDOT and the 1st Ward’s community engagement process for this project, please visit https://www.the1stward.com/pb1.
For more information about the City’s Vision Zero Traffic Safety Action Plan, go to: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cdot/supp_info/vision-zero-chicago.html
You can follow CDOT on digital media:
The web: www.chicagodot.org