After meeting with City experts, conducting inspections, careful research, and reviewing cost estimates, the 5 committees have managed to narrow down the long lists of suggested improvement projects resulting from the Neighborhood Assemblies late last year (Arts & Other Committee received close to 50 suggestions!) to those listed below. Please note that the committees will continue examining these various projects to present to you a more concise list at the 2nd round of Neighborhood Assemblies in April, so come back as we continue to update the list below. The following projects are currently being considered:


1. Streets Vote – A separate question will appear on the ballot asking voters to vote on a specific percentage of the 2012 aldermanic menu budget that should be devoted exclusively to street resurfacing. The votes on this separate question will be tallied and an average calculated.  That average will determine the percentage of the 2012 aldermanic menu budget that will be devoted exclusively to street resurfacing. The cost of resurfacing this year is $36,ooo for the first 5 blocks, and $58,000 per block after that to cover half the cost of installing the handicapped curb cuts. The following streets and alleys are being considered for resurfacing this year (listed in alphabetical order):

  1. 1200 W Birchwood Av – Lake to Eastlake Tr
  2. 1300 W Birchwood Av – Eastlake Tr to Sheridan Rd
  3. 7600 N Bosworth Av – Howard St to Jonquil Tr
  4. 7500 N Claremont Av – Birchwood Av to Howard St
  5. 7400 N Damen Av – Jarvis Av to Fargo Av
  6. 7450 N Damen Av – Fargo Av to Birchwood Av
  7. 1800 W Estes Av – Ravenswood Av to Wolcott Av
  8. 7050 N Glenwood Av – Greenleaf Av to Estes Av
  9. 7100 N Glenwood Av – Estes Av to Touhy Av
  10. 1600 W Greenleaf Av – Ashland Av to Paulina Av
  11. 7051 N Clark St (Alley north of Greenleaf Av)
  12. 2000 W Jarvis Av – Damen Av to Seeley Av
  13. 2050 W Jarvis Av – Seeley Av to Hoyne Av
  14. 2100 W Jarvis Av – Hoyne Av to Ridge Av
  15. 7700 N Marshfield Av – Jonquil Tr to Juneway Tr
  16. 1750 W Morse Av – Clark St to Ravenswood Av
  17. 1700 North Shore Av – Clark St to Hermitage Av
  18. 1734 North Shore Av – Hermitage Av to Ravenswood Av
  19. 7050 N Paulina Av – Greenleaf Av to Estes Av
  20. 7100 N Paulina Av – Estes Av to Touhy Av
  21. 7600 N Marshfield Av (Alley north of Howard St)
  22. 1000 W Pratt Bl – Lake to Sheridan Rd
  23. 6800 N Ravenswood Av (west) – Pratt Bl to Farwell Av
  24. 6900 N Ravenswood Av (west) – Farwell Av to Morse Av
  25. 7400 N Seeley Av – Jarvis Av to Fargo Av
  26. 1700 W Wallen Av – Clark St to Metra

Arts and Innovation

2. Underpass Murals – twenty-two murals are being proposed, at a cost of $5,500 each, for a total of $121,000, at the CTA and Metra locations below.

  • 1400 W Estes (south wall) – replaces an older, worn down mural
  • 1800 W Estes (north wall)
  • 1800 W Estes (south wall)
  • 1400 W Chase (north wall)
  • 1400 W Chase (south wall)
  • 1800 W Birchwood (north wall)
  • 1800 W Birchwood (south wall)
  • 1800 W Touhy (north wall)
  • 1800 W Touhy (south wall)
  • 7300 N Greenview (southeast wall)
  • 7300 N Greenview (northwest wall)
  • 1400 W Morse (south wall)
  • 1800 W Morse (north wall)
  • 7400 N Rogers (north wall)
  • 7400 N Rogers (south wall)
  • 1800 W Pratt (north wall)
  • 1500 W Sherwin (north wall)
  • 1440 W Sherwin
  • 1100 W Sheridan (north wall)
  • 1100 W Sheridan (south wall)
  • 1800 W Farwell (south wall)
  • Dubkin Park – cost of large wall mural lessened to $5,500 by contracting with Alternatives Youth Group

3. Leaf Out the 49th Ward – 100+ trees will be planted in parkways, in-filling areas where trees are missing or have never been planted, to achieve a 20% tree canopy coverage by 2020 ($75,000).

4. You Are Here Information Sites – visitor information sites will be installed at each CTA and Metra station entrance in the 49th Ward ($175,000).

Parks and Environment

5. Touhy Park Playground Completion – an additional $125,000 will cover the remaining costs for the installation of a $450,000 playground.

6. Pottawatomie Park Water Feature – above ground ($75,000).

7. Albion/Hartigan Parcel Improvement – create contemplative garden at Albion and the Lake ($150,000).

8. New Drinking Fountains – Loyola Park and Paschen Park ($8,000 each; $24,000).

Traffic and Public Safety

Five residential light replacement projects are being proposed: new aluminum poles with 250-watt main fixture and 50-watt ornamental sidewalk fixture at an estimated cost of $65,000 per block, and 250-watt fixtures directed to areas of concern at $500 per unit.  In addition, four traffic safety projects with varying costs.

9. 1400-1600 W Juneway Tr – Sheridan Rd to Ashland Av (2 blocks; $130,000).

10. 1400-1600 W Estes – Glenwood Av to Ashland Av (2 blocks; $130,000).

11. 6950-7200 N Glenwood Av – Lunt Av to Touhy Av (2 blocks; $128,000).

12. 1200-1250 W Sherwin – Sheridan Rd to the Lake (1 block; $65,000).

13. Flood Lights at 2000 W Birchwood & Chase Av (8 units; $4,000).

14. Parking Reconfiguration Eastbound on Jarvis Av from Clark Av ($16,000).

15. Pedestrian Safety at Ridge Av – four intersections ($70,000).

16. Pedestrian Safety at Howard St CTA Station – pedestrian signage and restriping ($17,000).

17. Pedestrian Safety at Pottawatomie Park – additional signage and restriping at Wolcott Av, Rogers Av and Honore St, and an ADA pedestrial ramp ($22,000).


18. Rogers Park Bike Network, Phase 3 – Add striped bike lanes on Clark St from Howard St to Albion Av ($60,000).

19. Bus Stop Benches – Locations at 16 bus stops in the 49th Ward at a cost of $2,450 each ($39,200).

20. Metra Stop Enhancements – New three-sided structure for southbound riders ($125,000).

21. Sidewalk Repairs – Repair the sidewalks in the 49th Ward that are in need of attention–priority given to those leftover projects from 2010-2011 ($150,000).


Given the complexity of several of the winning projects voted on April 10, 2010, a few of our projects remain pending. Some were relatively straightforward infrastructure projects, and others are taking longer to complete. But, we are making progress! Check back for further updates.

  • Bike Lanes on Touhy, Ashland & Rogers (Phase I). COMPLETED. Initially delayed due to a shortage of striping materials (light-reflective paint), but the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) completed the work in Summer 2011.
  • Bike Racks (Artistic). PENDING. CDOT has approved specifications as to size, materials, etc., and investigation is underway as to fabrication costs. The process will include an RFP (similar to the murals project), a community vote on the design, manufacture and installation.
  • Community Garden at Dubkin Park. COMPLETED. Built by Department of Environment (DOE) GreenCorps in late Summer 2011. Planting scheduled for Spring 2012.
  • Convenience Shower at Loyola Park. COMPLETED. Situated outside near the Loyola Field House. Completed in Summer 2011.
  • CTA Heating Shelters with Benches. COMPLETED. Installed at the Jarvis, Morse and Loyola Stations in Spring 2011.
  • Dog-Friendly Area (Dog Park) at Pottawatomie Park. COMPLETED. Lengthy initiative included planning committee, architects, etc., involvement. Completed in Fall 2011.
  • Path Completion in Touhy Park. COMPLETED. Partial path in the park was extended in Fall 2010.
  • Sidewalk Repairs. PARTIALLY COMPLETED. Fifteen sites were repaired, but the City significantly increased scope and cost of repairs, so the final cost was well beyond the funding originally approved by the community. The remaining sites were added to the 2011 ballot, but did not receive enough votes to receive new funding. Per PB49’s Transportation Committee, several of these sites will now reappear on the 2012 ballot.
  • Traffic/Pedestrian Signal on Clark at Chase. PENDING. Final estimate from the City was significantly higher than the original. As the crossing is by a school, funding is being sought from both City and State agencies.
  • Solar-Powered Garbage Containers on Sheridan. ON ORDER. Final costs from the City exceeded the original City estimate by about 10%. The original plan was for 10 containers; there will now be 8, all on Sheridan Road. All locations have been recently approved by the Department of Streets and Sanitation.
  • Street Resurfacing – Lunt, Ashland to Ravenswood. TO BE FUNDED BY DEPARTMENT OF WATER MANAGEMENT! The repaving has been on hold since 2010 due to water-main replacement under sections of Lunt. Work has already been completed from Ravenswood to Ridge. Now, this month, DWM informed us that these new mains will be installed under the entire length of Lunt, with complete repaving following, paid for by DWM. Therefore, menu money will not be needed to repave this street and can be reallocated to overruns of other projects.
  • Historical Signs for Rogers Park. PENDING. CDOT/Streetscape Division has informed us as to the approved design for these signs (similar to historical markers found downtown in the Loop). Awaiting cost estimates and process from CDOT.
  • Street Lights on Morse. COMPLETED. The project was originally for residential lights (two-bulb upper and lower lights), but was changed to ornamental lights to complete the Morse Avenue Streetscape lights from Wayne to Morse. Lights were installed in Fall 2011.
  • Underpass Murals. 12 out of 13 COMPLETED. Project started with a published RFP, resulting in 160 entries from local artists. Reduced to 24 finalists by an expert panel, and 13 designs chosen by popular vote at the 2010 Glenwood Sunday Market. Completed murals grace both Union Pacific/Metra and CTA underpasses. Completed in Fall 2011.

Note that many street-related projects are on hold due to extensive ward-wide gas-line replacement by People’s Gas. That project, which began in 2011, will not be completed in some areas of the Ward until August 2013. Given it is counter-productive to repave a street or paint new bike lanes, when subsequently the pavement will be torn up by utilities, the work will have to be on hold until the gas-line installation is completed.

  • Bike Lanes on Albion, Eastlake & Pratt (Phase II). PENDING. Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) project.  Waiting on gas-line work. (See note, above). Expected completion: Fall 2013.
  • Bike Racks. PENDING. Twenty racks will be purchased, with CDOT matching with an additional 20 racks.  The site locations are under discussion. Expected completion: Summer 2012.
  • Improvements to Ridge, Touhy, Rogers Intersection. PENDING. Final cost estimate given by CDOT and awaiting scheduling. Expected completion: Summer 2012.
  • Improvements to Metra Underpasses at Birchwood, Estes & Touhy. PENDING. Joint effort by CDOT and Union Pacific. Project to include washing, lighting, repainting, and pigeon abatement. Expected completion: Summer 2012.
  • New Playground at Touhy Park. PENDING. Partial funding in place from PB 2011 vote plus agreement from the Chicago Park District to fund 1/3 of final cost. An additional $125,000 is being sought on the PB 2012 ballot to complete the funding package.
  • Path Extension at Jarvis, Leone & Loyola Parks. PENDING. Funding in place to order two of the three extensions. Expected completion: Summer 2012.
  • Street Resurfacing. Completion dates vary with location of streets. (See note, above):
    • 1200-1500 Pratt – Late Summer 2013
    • 6800-7000 Wolcott – Summer 2012
    • 7400-7600 Wolcott – Late Summer 2013
    • 1400 Jarvis – Late Summer 2013
    • 1200-1300 Columbia – Summer 2012

Community representatives, self-selected volunteers from our Neighborhood Assemblies held late last year, have been working diligently since December 2011 to research and develop the proposed projects their neighbors suggested for inclusion on the 2012 Participatory Budgeting Ballot.  Check back for a list of each of the 5 committees’ projects to be presented at the 2nd round of Neighborhood Assemblies in March.

CDOT representatives meet with PB49 Committees
PB 2012 Committees held a series of “Meeting with the Experts” earlier this month with representatives from the City of Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), Office of Tourism and Culture (COTC), and the Chicago Park District (CPD), to discuss the feasibility of various projects proposed during the Neighborhood Assemblies.  CDOT Deputy Commissioner Bob Myers, Assistant Commissioner Mike Volini, and Field Service Specialist Keith Weaver (who took time from his vacation to be with us!) were on hand to explain the procedures involved in going forward with projects, as well as to provide cost estimates, staying until past 9:00 p.m. to answer all questions and meet with the individual Committees on Streets, Traffic & Public Safety, and Transportation as they reviewed their lists of projects.  Similary, COTC Curator of Public Art Allyson Coglianese met with the Committee on Arts & Other, and CPD Senior Project Manager Bob Foster and John Gay, Legislative Liaison, met with the Committee on Parks & Environment.  Thank you for going above and beyond!

Keith Weaver and Bob Myers meet with Committee on Traffic & Public Safety

Throughout January and February, Committees will continue to research their proposed projects in preparation for the 2nd round of Neighborhood Assemblies to be held in February.

PB 2012 is off to a roaring start!  At the conclusion of our Neighborhood Assemblies last month, we had 111 volunteers agreeing to serve as Community Representatives!  The first Community Representatives meeting, held at CMSA this past Tuesday, was well attended.  Reps divided themselves up, based on their interests, into five committees: Arts & Other, Parks & Environment, Streets, Traffic & Public Safety, and Transportation.   Reps will meet throughout December and January to research the proposed projects from the Neighborhood Assemblies (feasibility and cost of each project) and prepare for the 2nd round of Neighborhood Assemblies.

The 49th Ward’s Participatory Budgeting, in its third year, is off to a great start!

Residents of the 49th Ward have the power to decide how to spend my 2012 Aldermanic “menu money”–a $1.3 million discretionary fund I receive annually for infrastructure improvements in the ward.  The 2012 Participatory Budgeting process, which began in October 2011 with a series of “Neighborhood Assemblies” that have been held throughout the ward, will conclude on November 17th.

The ward is organized into eight sections or areas, with a Neighborhood Assembly held in each area. In addition, a Spanish language Assembly will be held for the entire ward on November 15th. The Neighborhood Assemblies, open to any 49th Ward resident, provide attendees with a brief description of the aldermanic infrastructure menu program and the Participatory Budgeting process. Assembly attendees are then asked to brainstorm ideas for possible uses of the infrastructure menu money.

At the conclusion of the meeting, we ask for volunteers to serve as “community representatives,” who are charged with developing specific spending proposals for a ward-wide vote in March 2012.

We have held six Neighborhood Assemblies so far and the turn-out has been terrific! The number of residents becoming involved in the process has grown substantially, and the proposed projects promise to make this upcoming election exciting.  Already the number of community representatives is over 70, and we have three more Assemblies to go!

All meetings begin promptly at 7:00 PM but join us early at 6:30 PM for free pizza, courtesy of JB Alberto’s.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 19th, St. Margaret Mary Church Activity Center, 7331 N. Claremont Ave. (Area B)
  • Thursday, Oct. 20th, Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers Ave. (Area C)
  • Monday, Oct. 24th, Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf Ave. (Area F)
  • Thursday, Oct. 27th, New Field School, 1707 W. Morse Ave. (Area E)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1st, Loyola University, Centennial Forum Student Union, 1125 W. Loyola Ave. (Area H)
  • Thursday, Nov. 3rd, United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse Ave. (Area G)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15th, Iglesia San Jerónimo, 1709 W. Lunt Ave. (Spanish language)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16th, Alden Village North, 7464 N. Sheridan Rd. (Area D)
  • Thursday, Nov. 17th, Willye White Park, 1610 W. Howard St. (Area A)

If  you missed the Neighborhood Assembly in your area, make sure you attend one of the last three scheduled Assemblies.  I don’t want anyone to miss out on the chance to have a say in the infrastructure projects to be funded in the ward.