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Wicker Park Bucktown: Old and New, a Bicycle and Pedestrian Friendly Neighborhood in a Historic Commercial District

Milwaukee Avenue in the Wicker Park Bucktown neighborhoods is an eclectic mix of old and new. Now known for its artistic and independent spirit, this landmark district is one of the most intact commercial streets from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries in Chicago. What began as a trade route is now often referred to as the “hipster highway” due in large part to the high volume of bicycle traffic. As one of the few diagonal streets in Chicago’s predominantly grid-like map, it poses a unique set of planning challenges and opportunities for innovation. On this tour, we will walk up Milwaukee Avenue to Damen Ave up to the 606, an old rail line turned public park. We will visit two historic but now under-utilized plazas and discuss efforts to revitalize them. We will also stop at two intersections where the diagonal street has created challenging conditions and discuss the steps we have taken to improve the conditions for all users, especially people walking and biking. Along the way, we will see other initiatives to keep the neighborhood bicycle and pedestrian friendly while continuing to enhance the artistic vision of our district.

Modes: “L” Train, Walking