City Seeks Input as Planners Launch Study of North Western Avenue

December 30, 2020

Planning Effort Will Aim to Improve Corridor Uses, Amenities and Traffic Circulation Between Addison and Howard Streets

A study to enhance the northern five miles of Western Avenue as a neighborhood amenity will seek stakeholder participation starting in January 2021, the Chicago Departments of Planning and Development (DPD) and Transportation (CDOT) announced today.

The Western Avenue Corridor Study will examine land uses, development patterns, public amenities and traffic circulation along a five-mile stretch of Western Avenue, between Addison and Howard streets.

“This is an opportunity to identify and maximize new development opportunities and small business growth while improving the corridor experience for all users, especially motorists, public-transit users and pedestrians,” DPD Commissioner Maurice Cox said.

The $240,000 planning project will emphasize the voices and goals of the multiple communities that intersect the study area, including portions of North Center, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, West Ridge and West Rogers Park. The study will consider opportunities for higher-density and transit-oriented development, pedestrian safety, economic diversity, and transitions with lower-scale residential areas that surround the corridor, among other subjects.

"Our goal is to produce a long-term vision for this segment of Western Avenue that builds on the existing mix of commercial and residential uses, while enhancing mobility and safety for all users, particularly for pedestrians and people on bikes, as well as CTA bus riders," CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi said. "Public feedback is a crucial ingredient in this process. We encourage everyone who lives and works along this corridor to get involved and let us know their ideas for how it can be improved.”

Community stakeholders are invited to attend a virtual kick-off meeting for the study at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Registration is open now on Zoom, and the event can be live streamed on DPD’s YouTube page. Participants’ comments and insights will help shape planning and focus areas in the months to come.

Additionally, local stakeholders can take part in an online survey available now. The survey, which seeks input related to challenges and opportunities for the corridor, will remain open until Sunday, Jan. 31.

To be led by DPD and CDOT, the study is being financed entirely by Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues from four North Side TIF Districts.

The study is expected to conclude this summer with a presentation of its goals and strategies to the Chicago Plan Commission, which could adopt the study as a long-term roadmap for corridor growth and development.

Additional information is available at chicago.gov/western. Members of the public can direct general questions and comments to WesternAve@cityofchicago.org.

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