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Did You Know?

Nearly five children are hit by people driving every day in Illinois while walking or biking within one block of a school.

How would you spend $1.5 million to improve a street? Ald. Arena wants to know.

/Residents of the 45th ward on Chicago's Northwest Side have a unique opportunity to bring much needed bike, pedestrian and transit improvements to the stretch of Milwaukee Ave. between Lawrence and Elston.

Earlier this month, 45th ward Ald. John Arena and the Chicago Department of Transportation kicked off a public input process to collect ideas from residents on what changes they would like to see brought to the corridor as part of a $1.5 million project under the city’s Complete Streets program.

Do you want to see a road diet or protected bike lanes? Pedestrian bump-outs or countdown timers?

If you live in the 45th ward, now's your chance to speak up and share your vision for a safer and better Milwaukee Ave!

At a neighborhood meeting earlier this week, Ald. Arena’s staff said there is no plan or design yet and all your most creative ideas are welcome. After collecting input, the design team will integrate the ideas into a plan that will be shared at community meetings in the spring.

So what are you waiting for? If you live in the ward, you can email the alderman’s office (ward45@cityofchicago.org) or call at 773-286-4545 to add your voice to the conversation. (If you aren’t sure what ward you live in you can look it up here.)

And if you don’t live in the ward but want to show your support, you can sign this petition started by grassroots advocates

Why is the city looking at bringing improvements to this street in particular? According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, this segment of Milwaukee has seen nearly 1,000 crashes in the past five years, including a tragic fatal crash earlier last week

Numbers like these certainly contribute to putting this project toward the top of the city’s to-do list, but the street also serves as a critical link in the city’s active transportation network, providing access to transit hubs and destinations like the multi-modal Jefferson Park Transit Center and the North Branch Trail.

We know the best Complete Streets projects are those that are informed by the people who use the street every day. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to contribute to better walking, biking and transit in Chicago.