WICKER PARK — A side street that runs past the elevated 2.7-mile long Bloomingdale Trail — part of The 606's network of parks connecting four neighborhoods — might be getting a bike lane, a boon that will likely lessen northbound bike traffic on Damen Avenue.
On Wednesday, CDOT spokesman Michael Claffey said the Wood Street project will "provide a low-stress alternative for people riding north/south through Wicker Park/Bucktown that connects to the neighborhoods' retail districts, the 606, and the popular Cortland Street east/west bike route."
"There will be opportunities for public input in the coming months," Claffey said.
If approved, construction is estimated to start in 2017.
Called the "Wood Street Neighborhood Greenway, between Milwaukee Avenue and Cortland Street," the 0.7-mile long stretch would extend a bike lane that currently ends at the Milwaukee Avenue and Wood Street intersection near Walgreens, 1372 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Claffey said the bike lane will consist of "minimal pavement markings, signage, and traffic calming devices to ensure people walking, biking, and living along the street can travel on and across the corridor comfortably and safely."
Claffey said CDOT met with representatives from 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins' office in December and members of Ald. Scott Waguespack's 32nd Ward Task Force in November to discuss the project, which he cautioned is still in the preliminary planning/design phase.
"It will ultimately extend the existing Wood Street Neighborhood Greenway that currently exists between Augusta and Milwaukee Avenue," Claffey said.
No cost of the extension is available but Claffey said the bike lane will be funded primarily through a Federal Congestion Air Mitigation Quality or CMAQ grant. A local match covering one-fifth of the project cost would be needed, he said.
The fund structure outlined by Claffey is similar to the $95 million Bloomingdale Trail/606 project, which was funded in large part by a CMAQ grant.
CMAQ commuting dollars are intended to "support surface transportation projects and other related efforts that contribute air quality improvements and provide congestion relief," according to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
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