WEST LOOP — The 27th Ward has $2.9 million available for local improvement projects, and officials are asking residents to weigh in on how to use the money.
The money is left over from the 27th Ward’s local impact funds under the city’s Neighborhood Bonus Fund system, which allows developers to build taller and denser buildings in exchange for paying into a city fund. The money can be spent on parks and green space, pedestrian and streetscape improvements, bicycle networks, transit improvements, restoration of landmark buildings and improvements to public facilities.
To date, $4.7 million in local impact funds have been collected for the 27th Ward. About $1.4 million was used for the construction of the West Loop library, $606,115 is committed to the Skinner Park field house and $291,361 was committed to a Lake Street lighting project, city officials said.
There are five projects under consideration for the leftover money. Residents can vote for their preference in a survey created by the city’s Department of Planning and Development. The survey will be open until midnight June 6.
Based on public input, the city will work with Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) and other impacted alderpeople to decide which projects will receive funding.
Take the survey here.
Here are the five projects on the ballot:
Note: All images are illustrative only. Once a project is chosen, a consultant will be hired to create formal designs and renderings, according to city officials.
Madison Street Improvements
Stretching from North Ogden Avenue to North Halsted Street, the Madison streetscape project would add pedestrian safety and landscaping to Madison Street in accordance to the West Loop Design Guidelines.
Pedestrian safety improvements include raised intersections, pedestrian refuge islands, corner and mid-block bumpouts. Additional features includes sidewalk seating, landscape planters and improved lighting.
Randolph Street Improvements
Randolph Street upgrades would stretch from North Ogden Avenue to North Halsted Street, and they would include improved bicycle network, landscaping, pedestrian safety and streetscape.
Because Randolph is so wide, there are several possibilities for improvements, city officials said. Those include protected bike lanes, widened sidewalks, enlarged landscape parkway with stormwater infiltration, corner bumpouts, outdoor cafes, public art installations and consolidated loading and ride share pick up locations.
Hubbard Street Improvements
Improvements along Hubbard Street would stretch from North Ogden Avenue ending several blocks west of North Morgan Street over the Kennedy Expressway.
Street improvements include pedestrian safety changes, improved bicycle network, landscaping and lighting. Similar to the Randolph Street improvements, there is a possibility for protected bike lanes, widened sidewalks, enlarged landscape parkway with stormwater infiltration, corner bumpouts, outdoor cafes, public art installations and consolidated loading and ride share pick up locations.
Separate from the Local Impact Funds, there is $4 million already set aside for Kinzie Industrial Corridor viaduct improvements, which borders Hubbard Street.
Adams And Monroe Street Improvements Around Skinner Park And Skinner West Elementary
This project focuses on pedestrian safety and would include crosswalk visibility enhancements, refuge islands, and a consolidation of lanes to include bike and turn lanes.
Public Green Spaces
There is no specified location for funding of public green spaces in West Loop, but some areas that would qualify would be Mary Bartelme Park and Skinner Park, according to the Department of Planning and Development.
Additionally, there have been discussions about creating a green space in a triangle between West Kinzie Street and Racine Avenue.
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