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Ald. Martin: Broadway/Winona Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety Improvements will start construction later this week

The project is one of several innovative walk/bike/transit safety infrastructure initiatives planned or happening in the 47th Ward.

9:15 PM CDT on October 16, 2023

The crosswalk at the north leg of Winona/Broadway, where a speeding hit-and-run driver struck and killed Soyfa Athamanah, 69, on July 25. A new pedestrian island and curb extensions will be added to this crossing. Photo: John Greenfield

This post is sponsored by Ride Illinois.

Nowadays the 47th Ward, represented by Ald. Matt Martin, is one of Chicago's leading districts for innovative walk/bike/transit safety infrastructure. Here are some of the projects currently underway or planned, partly or fully within the ward.

Leavitt Neighborhood Greenway: A partially-completed low-stress two-way side-street bike route that will eventually run on Leland (2200 W.) between Diversey Parkway (2800 N.) and Berwyn Avenue (5300 N.)

Clark Street protected bike lane: This will run from Irving Park Road (4000 W.) to Montrose Avenue (4400 N.), including car parking conversions and bus boarding islands, with construction slated to start this week.

Current conditions on Clark between Irving Park and Montrose. Photo: John Greenfield

Irving Park Rd Pedestrian Safety Improvements: A distracted driver struck and killed 47th Ward volunteer Peter Paquette, 75, in June 2022 at Irving Park Road (4000 N.) at Hoyne Avenue (2100 W.) Now Chicago Department of Transportation crews are installing pedestrian islands, curb extensions, new crosswalks, and/or Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at six intersections along Irving Park in the ward.

Lincoln, Damen, and Irving Park Intersection Traffic Safety Improvement: As Streetsblog discussed on Friday, CDOT and Ald. Martin have floated the idea of removing north- and southbound left-turn lanes on Damen to prevent turning car crashes, and make room for sidewalk extensions and protected bike lanes.

Soyfa Amanya. Image via GoFundMe

Recently the 47th Ward announced another upcoming safety project that, like the Irving Park improvements, is happening after a tragic pedestrian crash. Last July a hit-and-run driver fatally struck Soyfa Athamanah, 69, as she crossed Broadway in the Uptown neighborhood, using a crosswalk at the road's complex, unsignalized intersection with Winona Avenue (5100 N.) Two days later, on Thursday evening, a protest called #ChiCrosswalkAction was held at the intersection to "demand safety improvements at the crosswalk."

Ald. Martin recently announced in his newsletter that the Broadway/Winona Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety Improvements will start construction later this week. The project is in partnership with recently elected Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (48th), whose district also borders the intersection.

Rendering of the new design. Image: CDOT

"The improvements will include a new refuge island in Broadway on the north leg of the intersection, curb extensions on the west side of the street, and a raised crosswalk across Winona west of Broadway," Martin stated. "The bike lane on the west side will be raised up to sidewalk level for a stretch as well. I am thankful to Ald. Manaa-Hoppenworth for her office’s collaboration on this safety project that straddles the boundary between our wards."

A Streetsblog reader tweeted shortly after Athamanah's death that he had previously warned the authorities that, given the layout of this intersection, it was inevitable someone would be killed there. In response to this latest news, he posted the following.

"But I'm still endlessly frustrated," they added. "It's terrible that CDOT wouldn't act until someone was killed, even though I told them for nearly two years that that would eventually happen. Soyfa Athamanah should be alive today. I hope her family knows peace."

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