Mayor Johnson and CDOT Cut Ribbon on Central Park Avenue Pedestrian and Bike Safety Improvement Project
New raised crosswalks and protected bike lanes will help reduce serious traffic crashes, create safer crossings, and expand Chicago’s bike network
Chicago – Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson today joined the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), 28th Ward Alderman Jason Ervin, 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, and community leaders to unveil newly installed pedestrian and bike safety improvements on Central Park Avenue in Garfield Park. The project, which extends from Madison Street to Franklin Boulevard, includes new protected bike lanes and raised crosswalks, improving safety and accessibility for people traveling in and around Garfield Park.
“With the completion of this infrastructure improvement project, neighbors and visitors will now be able to get to the Conservatory and other Park destinations in a safer, more comfortable manner and access all that the West Side has to offer,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “My administration recognizes that traffic safety is public safety, and that creating safer streets is part of creating a better, stronger, safer Chicago.”
“We’re glad to cut the ribbon today on a project that makes it safer and easier for people to get around Garfield Park and expands Chicago’s low-stress bike network,” said Acting CDOT Commissioner Tom Carney. “Under the leadership of Mayor Johnson, CDOT will continue investing in equitable, safe streets that ensure residents can safely reach every corner of our city, regardless of their mode of transportation.”
The improvements to Central Park Avenue include several components that make the corridor safer for all road users, especially people walking, biking, and taking transit. Project highlights include:
- Raised crosswalks in front of the Garfield Park Conservatory and Garfield Park Field House. Raised crosswalks encourage drivers to slow down and yield to people crossing the street. They also improve visibility, making people crossing the street more visible to drivers.
- Increased pedestrian space at the main entrance to the Garfield Park Conservatory.
- Protected bike lanes between Madison Street and Franklin Boulevard, which provide physical separation between people biking and motor vehicle traffic. The new lanes connect to existing protected bike lanes on Franklin Blvd. and Lake Street.
“This project will help reduce dangerous speeding and traffic crashes on Central Park Avenue and improve accessibility to some of Garfield Park’s most popular destinations,” said Alderman Jason Ervin. “These enhancements are a great addition to Garfield Park and the 28th Ward.”
“The improvements to Central Park Avenue not only enhance safety but help improve accessibility and quality of life for West Side residents,” said Alderman Walter Burnett. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with CDOT and Mayor Johnson to invest in and improve infrastructure in the 27th Ward.”
The improvements on Central Park Avenue are already resulting in safety benefits for everyone using the street. Initial data collection by CDOT indicates a nearly 60 percent decrease in people driving over 30 mph. Driver speed is one of the leading factors influencing the likelihood and severity of crashes, with studies showing that a person hit by a car traveling at 35 miles per hour is five times more likely to die than a person hit by a car traveling at 20 mph.
The new protected bike lanes are part of a growing network of bike infrastructure in the Garfield Park and Austin neighborhoods. This year, CDOT is on pace to install more than 55 miles of bikeway projects citywide, including more miles of protected and low-stress bike lanes than in any previous year. Informed by the Chicago Cycling Strategy, this expansion focuses on providing low-stress options and filling gaps in the citywide bike network to make Chicago a better place for cycling and help create a more connected, healthy, and sustainable city.
CDOT recently launched a new Complete Streets website outlining how Chicago is transforming its streets into safer, more equitable, and inviting spaces for everyone. Learn more about traffic safety, Chicago’s expanding bikeway network, pedestrian safety programs, and transit infrastructure at Chicago.gov/CompleteStreets.