March 6, 2012
I. Alderman Pawar gave a 15 minute update:
A. Greenway on Berteau
- The idea came as a response to complaints about garage break-ins and speeding. When there are more people riding bikes and walking, traffic slows. There is a spectrum of things to do to slow cars, you can block them with signs, turnarounds and speed bumps, make wider sidewalks, a bike lane. Ultimately increasing property values.
- Berteau has been a problem and the city was looking for a place to put an east-west bike lane between Clark and Western and Wilson and Addison.
- The final Greenway will be determined by neighbors as it was initiated by a block club. The Alderman’s office wants our input. It’s not going to be a top-down decision making process. There will be further meetings.
- Because things are still getting sorted out, they didn’t want to break the story to the press, but CDOT was very excited to announce the prospect of this project and other greenways in the city so the information has yet to be put on the website but will be there soon.
B. Local School Council Elections
1. April 10 there will be a forum meet and greet of candidates sponsored by the Center Square Journal at Dank House.
2. Please join if you can, the Alderman is looking for ways to scale up efforts to act as one community on schools, especially because selective enrollment in high schools is becoming even more selective.
C. STEM High Schools
- Last week Mayor Emmanuel announced that Lakeview High School is going to be a STEM school.
- STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
- Any student enrolled in 2012 will be automatically enrolled in this program.
- It will give students the opportunity to take college courses in high school
- Microsoft is going to help develop the curriculum.
- There are 400 spots, first spots will go to students from feeder schools in the area and then the network.
- To know more Lakeview High School will be having meetings throughout the rest of the year. Please contact the Alderman’s office for more details.
- Things are moving ahead as planned and they have coordinated with the Lawrence Streetscape project to move forward.
- Learn more about the project at Chicago47.org
E. Bill Higgins (47th Ward Staff) elaborates on Greenway project.
- Handed out timeline that will a lot of time for the project. Waiting for everyone’s input and are looking forward to receiving it.
- Why this street?
- 2020 bike planning it was brought up
- Berteau looks good because of all the complaints
- There is no recommended bike route between Wilson and Addison that connects several different bike routes.
- Will it be concrete or asphalt? There is construction going on with the water management right now. That decision might be determined by their project. It has yet to be determined.
- Will it continue to be a 2-way street? Yes, they are plannin on keeping it that way. They are looking forward to public meetings to get more solutions.
- There are a lot of options on the table right now and a lot of room for discussion. If you are interested in being involved, please visit Chicago47.org for information regarding the next meeting.
- They are looking for a system that make sense and will connect the neighborhood, not a piece meal way that will effect other neighborhoods in the ward negatively.
- Seattle and Portland is the example for this sort of project and it has worked very successfully there.
II. Ward Council Discussion of Progress of Neighborhood Associations:
A. Dara Salk, Ward Council Liason in Ward Office spoke:
- The goal of what we’re doing is to create a voice for the neighbors
- Block Parties are a big part of that – it is an excellent way to get to know your neighbors and the community.
- The Alderman’s office wants more involvement
- Break up into small groups to discuss what’s working and not working in your areas. What progress have you made in organizing?
- For block parties, there is no deadline. You can contact the office at anytime to start setting it up for this summer.
B. My comments:
- I feel very lucky to have inherited such a dedicated group of neighbors.
- East Ravenswood Neighbors is one of the most organized areas with one of the longest residencies. Thank you all for your commitment to making our neighborhood one of the best!
- I told them about the blog and our successful canvassing campaigns.
C. Other’s comments/questions from the discussion:
- Center 47, another neighborhood association, uses groupspaces.com for their communication efforts.
- Winnemac neighbors hold regular meetings with speakers from the community.
- Different people want different amounts of communication, how do you please everyone?
- What about forming a 501C3? The Alderman said that they would assist in the formation of that if we wanted. They are working with the Friends of Ravenswood and Friends of Bell to learn more about the process so that fundraising efforts are more easily managed.
- If we want to put a meeting or other information in the weekly newsletter, please email jim@Chicago47 2 weeks prior to the event.
IV. Final Remarks
1. Chicago’s Citywide Clean & Green
Volunteer Clean up day April 21, 2012. If you’d like to participate in cleaning and greening a part of our Neighborhood please register by April 13 at 311 or the Alderman’s office. The City will work with you to provide brooms, rakes, shovels and bags to help get the job done.
2. Next Ward Council meeting is April 11th. The Alderman’s office is asking for all the Block Audits to be in by then. If you haven’t completed this for your block yet, you can download here and return it to the Alderman’s office.
3. If you have any tips about incidents in our area, please don’t hesitate to let me know so I can post them on our blog. The more we know, the more we can help watch out for one another. Thanks for helping to make our neighborhood one of the best in the Ward!