In late summer 2018 construction crews began building the 49th Ward Greenway, including such improvements as speed humps and bump-outs, on a number of streets in our ward, including large portions of Glenwood and Greevniew Avenues. This is part of the 49th Ward “Greenway Project,” an undertaking that aims to provide pedestrians and bicyclists a safe, low-stress way to traverse the neighborhood from Edgewater to Evanston.
The project also aims to reduce the high-speed, cut-through motor vehicle traffic that often afflicts Glenwood south of Pratt and Greenview north of Pratt.
This project found its origin in the 49th Ward’s Participatory Budgeting process. Various proposals for shared bike lanes received voter approval over the years, but the neighborhood volunteers, who served as “Community Representatives” in the Participatory Budgeting process, saw the need for a more comprehensive plan to address the challenges bicyclists face travelling north and south through Rogers Park.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is the lead agency in constructing these pedestrian and bicycle improvements to create the 49th Ward Greenway corridor. The work includes better signage, intersection changes, improved lighting and some pavement markings that will provide Rogers Park residents and visitors with a low-stress way to move across the neighborhood to Edgewater to the south and Evanston to the north.
This project is a response to resident requests over the years for a safe and easy route for crossing the neighborhood while on a bike. Many Rogers Park residents commute for work to the northern suburbs and further south in Chicago. Additionally, many visitors to the neighborhood opt to travel by bike in order to avoid having to park a vehicle.
The 49th Ward Greenway runs north-south connecting with the existing bike lanes in Edgewater and Evanston. From the south the route starts at Glenwood and Devon where it meets the existing 48th Ward greenway. The corridor runs north to Pratt where cyclists will be directed north to Farwell on a contraflow bike lane on southbound Glenwood and then west to Greenview on another contraflow bike lane on Farwell. The route continues north on Greenview to Jonquil Terrace, where it turns west toward Paulina and north on to Juneway Terrace. On Juneway the route travels west with a contraflow bike lane to Triangle Park and then out to Evanston’s Chicago Avenue. The southbound route follows the same streets and includes one contraflow bike lane on Greenview between Morse and Farwell.
For most of the route, cyclists share the roadway with drivers. Aside from four blocks where a dedicated contraflow lane will allow cyclists to ride against traffic on one-way streets, the route will not have dedicated bike lanes. This route was chosen based on CDOT traffic counts that showing bike traffic makes up one quarter of all users on Greenview and Glenwood, greenway planning standards, feedback at community meetings, and comments submitted to my office and directly to CDOT.
Changes to the roadway and intersections include raised crosswalks, sinusoidal speed humps (less steep), landscaped curb extensions to shorten crossing for pedestrians and landscaped traffic circles. Please note that the stop sign at Jonquil and Bosworth remains, based on requests from residents North of Howard.
Intersection visibility improvements and more logical traffic flow are designed to make walking in the neighborhood easier and safer. Other improvements will include a sidewalk extension and viaduct lighting at Pratt and Glenwood, viaduct lighting at Sherwin and Greenview, and pavement markings at the intersection of Greenview, Howard and Rogers.
In addition to the improvements for people travelling across the neighborhood, this project will help reduce stormwater flooding. Many of the curb-extensions and traffic circles are landscaped and engineered to improve drainage during heavy rain.
Funding for the project is a combination of aldermanic “menu” money, designated through my Participatory Budgeting (PB) process, combined with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements have been some of the most popular types of Participatory Budgeting projects since I began the process in 2010.
I would like to thank all the residents who attended my community meetings on this proposal, the members of 49th Ward Greenway Advisory Committee, and the Chicago Department of Transportation. The Greenway project should make walking, biking and driving through this corridor more logical and safer. If you have any construction concerns or observations, please contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 773-338-5796.