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Six Corners Businesses Welcome More Bikes, Fewer Drive-Throughs

1:35 PM CDT on October 3, 2014

City Newsstand and their sidewalk café will be getting an on-street bike parking corral if $10,000 is raised.
City Newsstand is slated to gain an on-street bike parking corral -- if local businesses can raise $10,000.
City Newsstand and their sidewalk café will be getting an on-street bike parking corral if $10,000 is raised.

Six Corners businesses are hosting a bike ride this evening to raise money for three bike parking corrals, which will provide 36 bike parking spaces in place of three car parking spaces. The Six Corners Bike Committee formed this summer to improve conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians around the business district surrounding the three-way intersection of Cicero Avenue, Irving Park Road, and Milwaukee Avenue. Wisconsin bike rack manufacturer Saris has said that, if the group can raise $10,000 before November 1, they'll donate a fourth corral, increasing the number of bike parking spaces to 48.

Six Corners Association program manager Kelli Wefenstette said that more than 20 businesses have opened or will open this year around the corners. "As shopping increases," she said in an email, "we want to increase safety for those of all ages and abilities traveling to our pedestrian shopping destination." Six Corners may be taking a cue from its Milwaukee Avenue neighbors in Logan Square and Wicker Park, where bike parking corrals have proven popular.

The corrals would be installed at City Newsstand (4018 N. Cicero Avenue), the mixed-use Klee Plaza building (4015 N. Milwaukee Avenue), and the Slingshots teen center (4839 W. Irving Park Road). The fourth bike corral's location hasn't been determined.

Wefenstette said 45th Ward Alderman John Arena has sent a letter of support to the Chicago Department of Transportation, which must approve permits for each corral. Arena has also advanced one key measure that will improve pedestrian safety and help create a better environment for business around Six Corners: he's working with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development to implement Pedestrian Street zoning overlays on Milwaukee Avenue and Lawrence Avenue. The new zoning will ensure that new and renovated developments maintain and improve walkability by preventing car-oriented businesses and new driveways or drive-throughs. The P-street legislation was introduced in June, but hasn't been approved. He also issued a stop work order to Bank of America, which was building a non-compliant driveway at 4671 W. Irving Park Road.

Friday's "Crusin' For Corrals" events starts at 6 p.m. at The Grayland Pub (3734 N. Milwaukee Avenue), which is offering $5 PBR pitchers and $3 Guinness drafts. The bike ride rolls at 7 p.m., stopping at three other local businesses which offer specials for riders. The Six Corners Association suggests a $5 donation towards the corrals, and have raised nearly $4,600 so far. If you can't attend, you can also donate online.

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