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Wicker Park/Bucktown master plan to improve area for pedestrians, cyclists

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The five-year document also outlines a new dog park and public art

WPB Master Plan
A rendering of a renovated Cortland/Ashland underpass.
WPB Master Plan

As Wicker Park and Bucktown continue to grow and solidify their positions as some of Chicago’s most desirable neighborhoods, a local group has released a newly-commissioned plan aimed at further improving the area for residents, shoppers, and commuters. The Wicker Park/Bucktown Special Service Area #33 has announced an updated document that builds on a 2009 master plan. Since that time, the neighborhood has continued to evolve and has seen the opening of the 606 elevated rail-to-trail project.

Prepared by Teska Associates, Sam Schwartz Engineering, and McElroy Associates, the study outlines a safer, renovated Milwaukee/North/Damen intersection, widened sidewalks, improved connections between the neighborhood and the 606, and streetscape enhancement including new lighting and public art elements below the Cortland/Ashland underpass. A plan to create a new dog park on the vacant land along the south side of North Avenue by the Damen ‘L’ stop is also part of the initiative.

Rendering of the new dog park.
WPB Master Plan

According to the document, Wicker Park/Bucktown has one of the most expansive transportation networks in Chicago with an increasing number of people choosing to travel by transit, bike, and foot. Recognizing this, the master plan hopes to provide more space for bike parking, extending bike lanes along Milwaukee Avenue, improving the Polish Triangle, and creating a number of new mini “parklets.”

“Talk is already underway to implement major improvements to our three six-corner intersections to make them more approachable to everyone,” said WPB SSA #33 Commission Chair Brent Norsman via news release. Like all of the city’s Special Service Areas, the Wicker Park Bucktown example is supported by tax dollars collected from area businesses. The master plan can be viewed in its entirety here.

WPB Master Plan
WPB Master Plan