I was waiting at the intersection of Logan Boulevard and Western Avenue several years ago when a car blew through the red light on Logan and clipped another car, sending it spinning into a pedestrian who was waiting at the corner to cross.
So, I wasn’t surprised to learn that the intersection, which also includes an exit ramp from the Kennedy Expressway, is notoriously dangerous for pedestrians, who must cross several lanes of traffic with limited lighting and poorly marked crosswalks.
The good news is that a coalition of local organizations, including the Active Transportation Alliance and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, is looking to change that.
The group released a new report this week, Reimagining Logan Boulevard to Lathrop Homes, to help identify and advocate for priority biking and walking improvements throughout the corridor running along Logan Boulevard from Rockwell Street to the Lathrop Homes.
The report’s recommendations include removing a travel lane on a short segment of Logan from Western to the service drive to create more space for people walking and biking, adding protected bike lanes on Logan and the Diversey Avenue Bridge, and re-painting and adding crosswalks at the Logan/Western intersection.
“Residents use this part of Logan daily to take their kids to school and drop them off at daycare. For far too long it has been a high-stress, terrifying experience to walk, bike and drive on Logan to Lathrop Homes,” said Nancy Aardema, executive director of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. “As the neighborhood’s population rapidly increases, we need active ways of getting around without relying solely on cars to do so.”
Improving this stretch of Logan also makes even more sense now, say advocates, since it connects to the new mixed-use development under construction on the site of the Lathrop Homes, which will include a public riverfront park that links to a network of safe biking and walking routes along the Chicago River.
“The growing network of riverfront trails is only useful if it’s safely and easily accessible to neighborhood residents,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “Dedicating more space to people walking and biking while calming car traffic would greatly improve safety for everyone.”
More information about the report is available on the Active Transportation Alliance’s website. Residents and community groups that are interested in joining the effort to improve the Logan-Western corridor can contact Active Transportation Alliance Trail Advocacy Manager Steve Simmons at email@example.com or (312) 216-0472.
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