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Yeesh! Drivers crashed into Ainslie Art Plaza (again!) and Manor Greenway island

8:16 PM CST on January 2, 2023

The aftermath of the latest crash at the Ainslie Art Plaza: a toppled Jersey wall and a piece of car body. Photo: John Greenfield

Update 1/2/23, 10:45 PM: After the publication of this piece, Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) provided the following statement. "The Ainslie Arts Plaza has always been a temporary design as the Lincoln Avenue Streetscape will completely change the infrastructure there. We want to ensure that it’s designed in a way that leads to less collisions and a safer environment for our neighbors. The streetscape is envisioned to be completed by the end of 2024. As for the pedestrian island on Lawrence, we want to follow up with CDOT to see how it can be addressed."

In the words of the Angry Bicyclist from "Portlandia," "Ugh, cars man. Why?!"

When the city of Chicago installs nice things for bike riders and pedestrians, reckless drivers often destroy them. That happened twice within the last couple of days in two different locations in the 40th Ward, in or near the Lincoln Square community.

Yet another Ainslie Arts Plaza crash

On Saturday evening, Streetsblog reader John Fallon alerted me that a driver had once again crashed into the Ainslie Arts Plaza, located at the spot where where diagonal Lincoln Avenue bends meets Ainslie Street (4900 N.), just west of Western Avenue (2400 W.)

Aerial view of the Ainslie Arts Plaza. Image: Google Maps
Aerial view of the Ainslie Arts Plaza. Image: Google Maps

SBC readers will recall that last August another motorist largely wrecked the plaza, which featured a street mural, picnic tables, and painted planters, created by artist Andrea Jablonski. The initiative involved pedestrianizing city-owned parking spaces next to a McDonald's. During that incident, a woman driving southeast on Lincoln north of the plaza jumped the curb, crashed into the facility’s street furniture and destroyed it. Luckily no one was in the plaza at the time, and the motorist only suffered minor injuries. Frustratingly, there were no legal consequences for the offender.

Ah, car culture. Is there anything it can't ruin?

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