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Montrose-To-Lawrence Riverfront Bike Path Connector Targeted For Late 2017

By Patty Wetli | February 7, 2017 5:19am
 The proposed Manor Greenway would provide the missing link between Horner and Ronan parks.
Manor Greenway Bike Path Connector
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RAVENSWOOD MANOR — Construction on the Manor Greenway, a key connector in creating a continuous riverfront bike path, could begin by the end of 2017, officials said.

The greenway would solve a puzzle that's long plagued transportation planners: How to work around the lack of public riverfront land in Ravenswood Manor?

The greenway would use Manor Avenue to link existing paths in Horner Park to the south and Ronan Park to the north. A number of "traffic calming" measures would be installed to make Manor Avenue more comfortable for pedestrians and cyclists to share with motorists, and create safer crossings at Montrose and Lawrence avenues.

Not to be confused with the controversial Manor diverter pilot, which was killed by Ald. Deb Mell (33rd), the greenway is moving forward. An updated timeline for the greenway was presented at a recent meeting of the 33rd Ward's Transportation Action Committee.

The construction's start date will depend on the completion of pending People's Gas and water main projects, Mell said.

The greenway's cost is pegged at $400,000-$450,000, the majority of which will be paid for with federal grant dollars, along with $70,000 from the alderman's infrastructure budget.

The grant won't be affected by the recent change in presidential administrations in Washington, said Luann Hamilton, deputy commissioner with the Chicago Department of Transportation.

"The funds are secured," Hamilton said. "CDOT has the funds."

The greenway will not create a separate bike lane on Manor, officials stressed.

Rather, shared bike lane markings will be painted to "formalize the route" and "alert motorists" to the presence of cyclists, said Dave Smith, a project manager consulting with the city on the greenway.

The most significant infrastructure alterations will be made on Montrose and Lawrence avenues, where "refuge islands" will be built to create a midway point for cyclists and pedestrians as they cross in and out of Ravenswood Manor. Raised crosswalks will be added as a signal to motorists that they're entering or exiting the greenway.

At Montrose, the bike path in Horner Park will be configured to align with Manor Avenue.

At Lawrence, the link between the greenway and Ronan Park will require the creation of a short stretch of parkway east of Manor.

Engineering of the greenway is still being finalized. Attendees at the transportation committee meeting provided feedback regarding the need for additional raised crosswalks and concerns about a proposed curb extension at Eastwood and Francisco, which is a common drop-off point for students of a nearby ballet studio.

Comments about the greenway can be sent to manorgreenway@gmail.com.

The greenway builds on previously announced projects that extend the riverfront bike path from Belmont Avenue to Horner Park, including the Riverview Bridge, which will soar above the Chicago River as it connects Clark Park to California Park; and an underbridge at Irving Park Road that will link California Park and Horner Park.

The greenway would connect Horner Park to the south with Ronan Park to the north. [All photos DNAinfo/Patty Wetli]

To accommodate a refuge island on Montrose, motorists won't be able to turn left from Manor onto Montrose.

The connection between the greenway and Ronan Park will require the creation of a new parkway on Lawrence Avenue, east of Manor.