New Crosswalk by the Logan Square Blue Line

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A new crosswalk was recently installed adjacent to the Logan Square Blue Line station. It crosses Kedzie Ave at the intersection of Emmett Street and Schubert Avenue. New paint clearly identifies the area as a pedestrian walkway, and a new cutaway in the center island gives pedestrians a smoother safer crossing, in addition to improving wheelchair accessibility.

Map

Pedestrians coming from and going to the blue line station seem to be using this crosswalk more than they were before improvements were made. Drivers behavior has not changed much, however. Drivers are still unlikely to yield to pedestrians, as state law requires. It took less than a minute of observation to capture the two pedestrians pictured below, who were clearly waiting to cross, but had to wait for a gap in traffic.

Pedestrians Waiting to Cross- 4 Pictures

A crosswalk sign in the middle of the road, reminding drivers that state law requires them to stop, would be well placed here. The pedestrian island would likely protect a sign from much of the damage other middle-of-the-road signs have been subjected to.

Although there are still a number of safety issues surrounding the Logan Square Blue Line station, Bike Walk Logan Square is thrilled to see progress being made. We have high hopes for more improvements in the future.

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Logan Square Blue Line Placemaking Audit

BWLS, Community Members, and MPC

On May 28 Bike Walk Logan Square and the Metropolitan Planning Council conducted a Placemaking Audit at the Logan Square Blue Line Station.  What’s a placemaking audit? It’s a survey of the existing conditions of a place.  The survey is comprised of a series of questions about:

The People

The People

Are there people around?

Are they in groups?

What are they doing?

Are they smiling, making eye contact, do they know each other?

How old are they?

Is there evidence of volunteerism?

The Place

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Is it clear what to do there?

Is it easy to get to?

Is it accessible to those with disabilities?

Is there seating?

Is it clean, does it feel safe?

Weather protection?

Ideas for Improvement

What’s good about the place now?

What would you add or change in the short, mid, and long term?

And the winner is . . .

So the members of BikeWalk Logan Square, MPC, and the volunteers in attendance discussed these questions, problems they saw, and potential lying there the whole time.

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Short term ideas to make the space:

Improve the planting

Allow food trucks to use the 2nd bus lane

Invite people to bring their own chairs for meals, knitting, or a drum circle

Try pop up retail

Chalk drawings / Wayfinding

Mid Term:

Improve wayfinding (which way is north, which street is Milwaukee, and which is Kedzie)

Program a performance series, farmers’ market, craft fair, business incubator

Improve pedestrian experience and safety through crosswalk striping, signage and signal timing

Install a Chamber of Commerce merchant map, include contact information for those organizing the space so future ideas may be coordinated including art, sidewalk chaulking, planting

Increase bike rack capacity, install bike lockers, add Divvy

Partner with Chase to shovel snow from alley

Long Term: 

Increase green space through better design. This could include utilizing the bus lane for seating, installing a water feature, using planting to muffle road noise

Reduce speed limit on Milwaukee and Kedzie

Alter the curb radius to slow cars turning from Milwaukee to Kedzie

The group was able to gather some great ideas and is looking for your help. What do you want the Blue Line Station to be? Let us know below!

Thanks to the Metropolitan Planning Council for leading the audit and providing pictures from the event.