Milwaukee Avenue In Wicker Park Really Needs Bike Lanes. Sign This Petition To Help It Happen.

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jun 22, 2017 4:45PM

The Milwaukee Avenue corridor is one of the most heavily biked in the entire country, but—as many cyclists know all too well—a stretch through Wicker Park can feel like a gauntlet run due to the lack of bike lanes.

Adding those lanes has long been a part of North Side cyclists' wish list. Now, the city's most prominent cycling advocacy group is leading the push to make them a reality.

Active Transportation Alliance released a petition on Tuesday to urge city officials to support the call to expand bike-lane installation along Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park and Bucktown. Citing Chicago Department of Transportation stats, the Alliance notes that, between 2011 and 2015, there were 195 crashes in which cyclists were hurt, plus 74 reported dooring crashes along the stretch.

CDOT and local officials are right now looking at a series of "low-cost, quick-hit" fixes to make safer the neighborhood's main intersection of Damen, Milwaukee and North, plus some surrounding areas. Those recommendations include paint/post curb outs, additional crosswalks and a reduced speed limit—all smart ideas, which ATA supports as well. They're just hoping, as are we, that we can get those much-need bikeways, too. The narrow lay of the land makes big changes tricky, but given the facts of how the corridor is used, a prioritization for cyclists and pedestrians feels overdue.

The city earlier this month released its long-awaited Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries within the next nine years.

Sign the Milwaukee Avenue petition here.