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46th Ward Residents to Vote on How to Spend $1 Million on Public Projects

 Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said on Facebook that he was the first person in line for participatory budgeting voting last week.
Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said on Facebook that he was the first person in line for participatory budgeting voting last week.
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Facebook/James Cappleman

UPTOWN — Voters in the 46th Ward, have until Saturday to let Ald. James Cappleman know how they want him to spend $1 million in infrastructure money.

Every year in Chicago, aldermen get to decide how to spend a certain amount of money on neighborhood improvements. Cappleman is one of a handful of ward bosses who let constituents design and then vote on the projects that will get funded.

Early voting started last week. There are nine projects on the ballot, and every voter is asked to choose six. Here are some of the options they can pick between now and Saturday, the final day to cast a ballot:

The Music of the People Mural

Estimated Cost: $60,000

A mural "depicting Uptown as an entertainment destination," would be installed on the underpass at the Lawrence Red Line station, which has had a reputation as a major pigeon hangout. The project would seek input from local artists and the greater community, and be managed by archi-treasures, an arts-focused community development organization and economic development organization Uptown United.

Leland Greenway Video
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Bike Corral Sculptures

Estimated Cost: $48,500

Local artists would design three public sculptures that can also be used as bicycle parking if this arts proposal gets the green light. Potential locations include North Broadway and West Lawrence avenues, Broadway and West Buena Avenue, and North Sheridan Road and Broadway.

SherMon Plaza

Estimated Cost: $79,000

Residents can vote for an initiative to "paint, re-stripe and use bollards, planters, barriers and
fencing to close Sheridan from Broadway to Montrose," for the creation of "a new pedestrian space and future mini-park," called SherMon Plaza, according to the ballot.

The Leland Greenway

Estimated Cost: $142,000

The Leland Greenway is a one-mile "greenway" along West Leland Avenue that would span from the lakefront to North Clark Street and include shared bike lanes "and beautiful planters with storm water control" according to the ballot. The proposal also includes traffic-calming measures.

Other projects

One proposal on the ballot calls for two police video cameras to be placed in the Sunnyside Mall, a two-block pedestrian area at 1100-1300 W. Sunnyside Ave. Another would create new bike lanes on Leland, Broadway, Irving Park, Winthrop and Kenmore.

Another proposal aims to make the ward more walkable by putting more crosswalks and count-down timers in the area.

Rain gardens would be installed at various locations, and left-turn signals would be installed at the Sheridan/Irving Park intersection under other proposals.

Votes can be cast at the ward office, 4544 N. Broadway, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday; and 9 a.m. to noon Friday. The final chance to vote will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Uplift Community High School, 900 W. Wison Ave.

"The projects that win the most votes, up to $1 million, will be submitted to the City of Chicago and its sister agencies for implementation," according to the ballot, which also notes that most the projects might still require the city's approval and aren't guaranteed to become reality.

For more information about voting and a full list of projects, click here.