Monday, May 30, 2016

Come give feedback on the Lincoln Avenue corridor!

by Michelle Stenzel

Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park: Love it? Hate it? Meh? Now's your chance to share your opinions about what's working and what's not, and to provide ideas for improving that street.
Artwork like this mosaic adds an element of interest to Lincoln Avenue sidewalks. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
The Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce is working on crafting a plan to guide improvements to Lincoln Avenue from Webster to Diversey. This important Lincoln Park corridor will be undergoing significant changes in the next few years, given the upcoming redevelopment at the Children's Memorial site and other large construction projects, so it's a good time to assess the street's assets and liabilities. They're seeking feedback about the public way conditions, transportation options, mix of businesses, the state of the buildings, and more. (continues -->)

The part of Lincoln Avenue that's being examined stretches from Webster Avenue to Diversey.
(Provided by Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce/Lincoln Avenue SSA)
To gather input, the LPCC is hosting a public open house at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, to gather community feedback from anyone who lives or works nearby, or visits the area. This is a "drop in" event, so you don't have to commit to a full two hours on a beautiful summer evening, and we strongly encourage you to attend. You can come for an hour, or just ten minutes, if that's all you've got.

LPCC is working with urban planning consultants Lakota Group and Sam Schwartz Engineering on this initiative, and they will have a number of maps and activities to help you share your input (typically, it consists of things like writing comments on maps, "voting" with stickers to indicate which features are most important to add to the mix, etc.). 

Conditions for people on foot and on bikes at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Fullerton Avenue and Halsted Street need to be improved, for certain.  (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
The planning is being paid for by the Lincoln Avenue SSA, and obviously the overall goal is to improve conditions for the businesses in the corridor. The nice thing is that creating a streetscape that's friendly to people walking, riding bikes and using public transit goes hand in hand with providing a robust commercial area as well: If you create a lively, accessible street environment that invites people to come often to stroll, shop, dine and drink, then businesses thrive.

Special note: Lincoln Avenue is an important bicycling route from northside neighborhoods to the central business district. Even if you "only" pass through this area and almost never stop at the businesses, we encourage you to attend the open house anyway, because you can provide information about why you don't stop, and what would make you more likely to do so. Lack of bike racks? Not enough sidewalk cafes? No stores that provide what you want to shop for? Too many sports bars? Not enough handlebar mustaches and Malort?

Details on the event are immediately below. Keep scrolling for more photos I took of the current conditions, to help get your community feedback juices going. 

WHAT:   Lincoln Avenue Corridor Plan Community Open House #1
WHEN:  Wednesday, June 1st from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WHERE: Victory Gardens Biography Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago 60614
OR SEND YOUR INPUT VIA E-MAIL TO: martin at lincolnparkchamber dot com  (Martin Sorge)

The block between Webster and Belden has a large number of casual pubs. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
When sidewalks are too narrow for seating, some businesses make use of side street options like here at Belden.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)

Demolition is scheduled to begin in the near future at the Children's Memorial site. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Crossing Lincoln Avenue at Fullerton. Banks and empty storefronts don't create lively streetscapes.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Julia Porter Park at Lincoln and Halsted is somewhat hidden from view, but provides much-needed greenery on Lincoln Avenue. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Everyone loves eating outdoors in nice weather. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)

There is a traditional-style bike lane for much of the stretch of the Lincoln Avenue Corridor.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park) 
In-street Stop for Pedestrian signs help to slow down drivers and encourage them to abide by the law requiring them to stop for people using a crosswalk. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Due to Lincoln's angled orientation on the street grid, it has a number of five-way intersections, like this one at Wrighwood and Sheffield. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
North of Wrightwood, there's a very different feel to Lincoln Avenue. Is it the mix of businesses? Less greenery? What would make it more inviting?  (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
There are well-marked crosswalks and a relatively rare continuous bike lane at the confluence of Lincoln, Schubert and Seminary. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Big Gulp fans who love to drive are well-served by two 7 Eleven stores with wide-open parking lots within three blocks of each other on Lincoln Avenue. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
At the northern end of the corridor near Diversey, the mix of historic and newer buildings adds some charm
to the streetscape. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Any comments for us? Leave them in the comments section below; we love to hear from you, or e-mail us at bikewalklincolnpark at gmail dot com.  Follow us on Twitter @BikeWalkLP


  1. Thanks for sharing about the event! We hope to see you there. If you can't make it you can always reach out to us via email or social media.

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