Two of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Chicago, Wicker Park and Bucktown are expected to undergo a significant change in the next couple of months. The end result is Wicker Park and Bucktown as walkable and cycle-friendly communities.
This plan was introduced in a commissioned study by the Wicker Park/Bucktown Special Service Area #33, which was released earlier this year. The report was prepared by Sam Schwartz Engineering, McElroy Associates, and Teska Associates.
Expanding the old masterplan
As of date, the Wicker Park and Bucktown areas are known to have the most expansive system of public transportation in Chicago. It was acknowledged, however, that more and more residents are preferring alternative modes of transportation: on foot or by bike. Thus, the study proposed the creation of more bike parking, the improvement of bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as the creation of several mini parks and even a dog park in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area.
“Talk is already underway to implement major improvements to our three six-corner intersections to make them more approachable to everyone,” said Brent Norsman, Commission Chair of the Wicker Park/Bucktown Special Service Area #33 as per press release.
Items stated in the plan include the following neighborhood improvements:
- The renovation of the Milwaukee/North/Damen intersection;
- The improvement of the connection between Wicker Park/Bucktown and the 606;
- New lighting and public art fixtures located in the Cortland/Ashland underpass;
- Widening of sidewalks throughout Wicker Park and Bucktown;
- The creation of a dog park located on a vacant land by the Damen ‘L’ stop in North Avenue;
- The improvement of Polish Triangle;
- The extension of bike lines along Milwaukee Avenue;
- and the aforementioned creation of mini parks and spaces for bike parking throughout the Wicker Park/Bucktown area.
Wicker Park and Bucktown in the near future
Along with making Wicker Park and Bucktown more cycle- and pedestrian-friendly communities, the Wicker Park/Bucktown Special Service Area #33 study also detailed several initiatives that will make the neighborhoods are more thriving place to live. Key changes are expect to improve the community engagement in the area, as well as the arts and culture scene and overall sustainability of the neighborhoods.
Here are some of the key proposals outlined in the report:
- Creation and promotion of affordable live-work arts space to support local artists;
- Incorporation of more art into Wicker Park and Bucktown’s corridors and streetscape by scouting for potential locations for public art and merging WPB events with local talent;
- Preservation of historically significant architecture in WPB and the creation of complementary new developments;
Reduction of car accidents and improvement pedestrian crosswalks in several points across the neighborhood;
- and improvement of access points in the neighborhood to create a better sense of place.
Read the full report, which includes the detailed implementation plan, here.
Live in Wicker Park/Bucktown