Chicago pedestrian and bike safety project opens

Credit: City of Chicago

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson on Monday announced his cities newly installed pedestrian and bike safety improvements in Garfield Park were open.

During a ribbon cutting ceremony, Johnson joined the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), Aldermen Jason Ervin and Walter Burnett, and other community leaders to unveil the project on Central Park Avenue from Madison Street to Franklin Boulevard. The new safety improvements include protected bike lanes and raised crosswalks with improves safety and accessibility for those traveling in and around the area.

“With the completion of this infrastructure improvement project, neighbors and visitors will now be able to get to the Conservatory and other Park destinations in a safer, more comfortable manner and access all that the West Side has to offer,” Johnson said. “My administration recognizes that traffic safety is public safety, and that creating safer streets is part of creating a better, stronger, safer Chicago.”

Acting CDOT Commissioner Tom Carney said the project will make it safer and easier for people to travel through Garfield Park as well as expand the city’s low-stress bike network. The project’s raised crosswalks will encourage drivers to slow down and yield to people crossing the street, officials said, as well as improve pedestrian visibility. Increased pedestrian space and protected bike lanes will help provide added separation between pedestrians and bicyclists and motorists.

“This project will help reduce dangerous speeding and traffic crashes on Central Park Avenue and improve accessibility to some of Garfield Park’s most popular destinations,” Ervin said. “These enhancements are a great addition to Garfield Park and the 28th Ward.”

Initial data collected by CDOT shows a nearly 60 percent decrease in people driving over 30 miles per hour, which will likely influence the likelihood and severity of crashes.