JEFFERSON PARK — Austin Avenue bicycle lanes, sidewalks and new trees are among the projects set for the 45th Ward's Participatory Budgeting ballot this year.
Residents can learn more about the projects on the ballot at three project expos scheduled for the coming weeks by Ald. John Arena (45th). This is the fourth year Arena has allowed voters to spend his $1 million discretionary budget on a variety of projects.
In addition to choosing four projects, voters will decide what percentage of the budget should be used to resurface streets, Arena said.
Reporter Heather Cherone explains how the voting process works.
The expos will take place:
• 4-6 p.m. Wednesday during report card pick up at Hitch Elementary School
• Noon-3 p.m. Saturday at Fischman Liquors, 4780 N. Milwaukee Ave.
• 6-8 p.m. April 18 at Las Tablas Restaurant, 4920 W. Irving Park Road.
All residents of the 45th Ward older than 14 are eligible to vote. The ward includes Jefferson Park and parts of Portage Park, Forest Glen, Gladstone Park and Old Irving Park.
The projects up for a vote are:
• $81,000 for 150 trees; $162,000 for 300 trees or $243,000 for 450 trees. Fifteen trees each will be earmarked for Farnsworth Elementary School, Independence Park, Robert Square Park and on Milwaukee Avenue north of Foster Avenue.
• $390,000 for ornamental lighting on Lawrence Avenue between Avondale and Milwaukee avenues.
• $335,000 to repave Avondale Avenue between Lawrence Avenue and Ainslie Street and build a sidewalk and install streetlights.
• $230,000 for a new sidewalk and curb along the south side of Jefferson Memorial Park, and two benches near the field house.
• $200,000 for curbs and sidewalks in various locations.
• $150,000 for for curb extensions on Bryn Mawr Avenue at Austin Avenue. Also known as pedestrian bump-outs, the project would be designed to make it safer for people to get around on foot. The plan must be approved by city transportation officials.
• $80,000 for new crosswalks at Milwaukee Avenue and Windsor, Wilson and Leland avenues.
• $70,000 for lighting and fencing improvements on the sidewalk between the Gladstone Park Metra station and the pedestrian bridge over the Kennedy Expressway.
• $60,000 for a pedestrian refuge island on Lawrence Avenue at Lavergne Avenue.
• $60,000 for bicycle lanes on Austin Avenue from Elston Avenue to Northwest Highway.
• $32,200 for 14 decorative trash cans in nine locations.
• $30,000 for new lighting in the viaduct on Milwaukee Avenue under the Metra tracks.
Arena hosted five neighborhood assemblies in the fall to develop the list of infrastructure projects to be put up for a vote.
Early voting is scheduled to take place from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. May 2-6 at the 45th Ward office, 4754 N. Milwaukee Ave. Voting will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 7 at the Wilson Park Field House, 4630 N. Milwaukee Ave.
For more information, call the 45th Ward office at 773-286-4545 or email email@example.com.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: