The Chicago Department of Transportation’s Walk To Transit project will bring “quick fixes” to ten Chicago Transit Authority rail stations next year, including several long-needed improvements to the sidewalks and crosswalks around the Division Blue Line station. Currently, people walking to and from the transit line, or to the numerous shops and residences around the Polish Triangle, face some dismal walking conditions. CDOT will make these improvements as part of Walk To Transit’s first phase:
- CDOT will “improve [a] sidewalk in poor condition” along Milwaukee, at the northeast corner with Ashland. Over 250 people board or disembark the 56-Milwaukee bus each day onto that broken-up and uneven sidewalk, and many more walk past on their way to shops along this stretch.
- The project will paint new, zebra-style crosswalks to replace the faded lines at Milwaukee Avenue and Division Street, making it easier for motorists to see where pedestrians are expected to cross.
- A pedestrian island will be built on Division at Greenview Avenue’s east leg, one block east of Milwaukee, so people can cross the street one travel direction at a time. Division is seven lanes wide at that location, including two parking lanes, four travel lanes, and a painted median.
- Missing curb ramps and a crosswalk will be constructed on the west leg of Greenview Avenue at Division Street.
Not everything will be changed at this intersection. No bulb-outs will be built, even at locations like the southwest corner of Milwaukee and Division, where the relaxed angle invites drivers to make fast turns from the inner lane instead of slower turns from the curbside lane.
Another part of the intersection that could be improved is across the north leg of the Milwaukee and Division intersection. There, as illustrated in the photo above, pedestrians on the east leg get a “walk” signal at the same time that the left-turn signal ends for vehicles going from southbound Milwaukee to eastbound Division. This often means that stragglers completing their left turns conflict with one or more people crossing the street.