Chicago Transit

Protected bike lanes, slowed speed limits come to street in Ukrainian Village

The stretch of Augusta Boulevard between Western and Milwaukee also runs through the West Town neighborhood

A man in a gray shirt and blue jeans rides a black and silver bicycle along a protected bike lane, with curbs on the sides and green paint in the middle, in Ukrainian Village.
Chicago Department of Transportation

Officials with the Chicago Department of Transportation, along with elected officials including Ald. Daniel La Spata, were on hand Wednesday to cut the ribbon on a traffic safety improvement project that added protected bike lanes and other features to a stretch of Augusta Boulevard.

That stretch, which runs through parts of the Ukrainian Village and West Town neighborhoods, will also include enhanced-visibility measures to protect pedestrians, along with shortened crosswalks and lowered-speed limits, according to a CDOT press release.

“Investing in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure not only increases safety, but also improves quality of life by connecting neighborhoods and promoting healthy living,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement. “I’m grateful for the partnership with CDOT to implement improvements along this key corridor, and I look forward to continuing to expand safe mobility options in every Chicago community.”

According to city officials, the redesign was part of CDOT’s Complete Streets initiative. The newly-protected lanes run from Western to Milwaukee, and provide access to several schools in the area, including the Wells Community Academy, Christopher Columbus School and Rowe Middle School.

“Improving infrastructure is the only way to ensure that we can eliminate traffic deaths and reduce crashes, and installing complete street improvements along Augusta provides a much-needed connection for bicyclists across the 1st Ward and adjacent neighborhoods,” Ald. Daniel La Spata said.

The project is in steps with CDOT’s “Chicago Cycling Strategy,” which was released earlier this year, according to its website. The project aims to make the city’s bike network “more equitable, safe and inviting” for cyclists.

As part of that project, bike infrastructure will be improved and built, including protected lanes and other approaches to improving experiences.

Other projects will include adding bike lanes on Milwaukee Avenue between North and Campbell, on Belmont Avenue between Kimball and Western/Clybourn, and Central Park from Madison to Franklin.

All three will also see “pedestrian refuge space,” and will connect to other bike lane routes.

“Neighborhood Greenways” are being built in South Lawndale this year, and in Brighton Park, Gage Park and McKinley Park beginning next year.

According to ActiveTrans, a group encouraging the construction of bike and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, a Neighborhood Greenway occurs when “residential streets are optimized for walking and biking” with tools to calm traffic, like curb bump-outs, pavement markings and signage.

Roundabouts and in-road speed bumps can also be used to slow down traffic on those streets.

As of June 2023, there were 40 miles of protected bike lanes in Chicago and 44 miles of Neighborhood Greenways.

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