Experts may give advice on improving Milwaukee Ave.
by BRIAN NADIG
A panel of development experts would give advice on how to improve the Milwaukee Avenue corridor in Jefferson Park and Gladstone Park under a funding proposal submitted to the Regional Transportation Agency by Alderman Jim Gardiner (45th).
The proposed half-day discussion panel is one of nine community planning program proposals which the RTA will be seeking public comment through Saturday, Feb. 8.
The agency received 14 applications before recently narrowing the list to nine, and it will announce which proposals are being funded at the RTA Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20.
Eligible projects include the coordination of transit-oriented development studies and transit neighborhood mobility plans. Gardiner’s proposal is the only one for the Far Northwest Side under consideration for 2020 funding by the agency.
In 2018 the RTA provided a grant for a Jefferson Park Station Area Master Plan that examined possible improvements around the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal, 4917 N. Milwaukee Ave., and the proposed panel would be considered an "implementation activity" of the master plan, according to the agency.
The empty storefronts in the 4500 to 5300 blocks of Milwaukee would be a focus of the panel’s discussion, although the overall proposal calls for an examination of the corridor from Montrose Avenue on the south to Ardmore Avenue on the north. The Milwaukee-Lawrence commercial district has several storefronts that have been vacant for decades.
"This stretch of Milwaukee Avenue has several empty storefronts, and we are hoping to receive assistance with a long-term vision for the area and are hoping you can provide the framework to help revitalize the area. If retail isn’t the answer anymore, maybe we can receive some guidance to help identify the most appropriate land use," a project description states.
Descriptions of the nine projects are listed at www.rtachicago.org/cp, and comments can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.