Giving context to ideas to address safety, access, public space

28 Nov

BikeWalk Logan Square has some ideas to address the issues of safety, access and public space at the Logan Square Hub.  We combined our ideas into two conceptual views of the public space–as plaza and as park–in order to give them context, but most of the ideas are interchangeable between the two concepts.

Before delving into the details, do you have a preference, a way you would like to see the public space?

As plaza? for example:

As park? for example:

At issue: Public space

14 Nov

Another issue recognized by BikeWalk Logan Square is the state of the public space at the Logan Square Blue Line station/bus terminal and on the surrounding streets, which could be described as a concrete wasteland.

As previously mentioned, the station recently benefitted from a Renew Crew sprucing up.  As a whole the spruce-up made a profound impact on the station.  The plaza area received just some enhanced landscaping around the existing trees, and it remains to be seen whether the landscaping lasts through the winter.  It doesn’t do a lot to invite people to use the space.

While Kedzie Avenue recently received some pavement markings for bike lanes and an enlarged median area, the sea of concrete has not yet been tamed.

Access issue: by bike

10 Nov

Logan Square has a historic connection to bicycling and an avid cycling population presently, but if one of your modes of transportation at this multi-modal Logan Square Blue Line station/bus terminal is bicycling, you may be hindered on any given day by the inability to park your bike.

While there are bike racks upstairs and downstairs and on both sides of Milwaukee Avenue, they are frequently full.  Cyclists resort to locking their bikes to anything stationary, but stationary does not always mean secure.

Access issue: from parking lot

7 Nov

Because of the proximity to the city-owned Emmett Street parking lot just north of the Logan Square Blue Line station/bus terminal, the vehicle is one mode of transportation at the multi-modal hub.  At the current monthly parking rate with daily bus or train fare, parking at the Emmett Street lot is still a good deal for many who commute downtown.

Unfortunately, the connection between the parking lot and the station is inadequate.  For pedestrians, there is the option to exit in the drive where car traffic exits on Emmett Street and then connecting with the Emmett Street sidewalk.  There is also the option to exit in the drive where there are fence openings on the alley side of the parking lot, connecting to the alley, garbage and some car traffic.  The option most likely to be chosen is the fence opening for pedestrians on the south side of the lot closest to the station.  It’s a fairly narrow passageway that also leads pedestrians past the CTA garbage dumpsters into the alley.  At this end of the alley there is no car traffic, but a guard rail prohibiting through traffic to or from the CTA station.  The guard rail position, however, makes this pedestrian approach non-compliant with the standards for access from the Americans with Disabilities Act.  In the winter, no one shovels snow from this point in the alley, hindering access for all.

At issue: Access

2 Nov

BikeWalk Logan Square recognizes another issue, that of access to the CTA Blue Line station/bus terminal.

Of course, the safety issues previously discussed are also issues related to pedestrian access to the station.

For those who use other travel modes like biking or driving before arriving at the station for a bus or train, there are different access problems.

Haiku

1 Nov

BikeWalk Logan Square
Safety, access, better place,
multi-modal space

Greater Greater Washington, a D.C.-based blog, traced the #transpohaiku hashtag on Twitter back to the #vaiku hashtag from Washington state and encourages others to Enhance the commute with haikus, a call that has also evolved to include limericks in response.

Of course we’ll play along!

What’s your version of haiku or limerick about walking and biking in Logan Square?

Safety issue: mid-block Kedzie Ave. crossing

26 Oct

With problems at the Kedzie Avenue crosswalks north and south of the Logan Square Blue Line station/bus terminal and with the tendency for people to choose the shortest distance between two points (in both time and space in this case) or their own desire paths, pedestrians usually cross Kedzie Avenue mid-block where there is no crosswalk and no pedestrian crossing signal.  They are vulnerable targets as they dodge bus, car and bicycle traffic from two directions.