Submit Ideas to Improve the Neighborhood in Ward 47
Ald. Ameya Pawar is asking for input on how to spend $1.3 million in infrastructure improvements to the ward.
What would you do with $1.3 million to improve your neighborhood? Each year, wards in Chicago receive “menu” funds for improvements and Ward 47 wants your input.
The money can only be spent on maintenance and infrastructure, not hiring more police officers or recurring costs, Ward 47’s Community Specialist Jim Poole said.
The goal is to have a survey for every block in the ward by Dec. 1.
Once all of the audits are in, the office will combine the information with city data and 311 requests. The ward will compile a list of projects based on that data and submit it local neighborhood groups.
In early 2013, group leaders will get together with residents during neighborhood meetings and rank the projects in order of importance, Poole said.
The office hopes to have all of the projects submitted to the city by March.
Projects can range from street resurfacing to alley and sidewalk repairs. With this year’s menu funds, Poole said the ward put up pedestrian signs and installed drinking fountains. Funds can also be used for public art.
The money comes from city-issued bonds; each ward receives the same amount. The aldermen work with the Chicago Department of Transportation to coordinate projects and avoid redundancy.
Poole said the deciding process for next year's menu funds changed from this year to get an earlier start on improvements.
The ward went with a participatory process for 2012's money, taking about 50 responses to a survey and asking neighbors to vote on the projects. The longer process led to a later start as most projects are finishing up this month.
“With the new process, we hope to get to as many projects as possible," Poole said."We’re encouraging people to do the audit with their neighbors."
Here’s a list of the 2012 menu projects, from the ward office:
- 12 alleys resurfaced or reconstructed based on resident complaints
- About eight blocks of streets resurfaced or repaired based on resident complaints
- About four blocks of sidewalk repairs to support the commercial districts
- Five blocks of curb and gutter reconstruction and 10 other locations had spot repairs
- A new driveway for the Damen and Grace firehouse
- Over a dozen "State Law Stop for Pedestrians" signs and crosswalk improvements (some yet to be installed)
- Replacement of the drinking fountain in Giddings Plaza (was broken for four years)
- Additional funding for the new playgrounds designed for Filbert and Merryman parks (to match their local fundraising)
- Buffered bike lanes on Roscoe & Campbell (in coordination with the 32nd Ward who also installed these further down Roscoe)
- Funding for the Berteau Neighborhood Greenway (construction to be started in the spring)
- Funding for the Bike Share program in order to expand four additional stations in our ward. (Click Here to suggest a location)
- 46 trees to replace dead/missing ones mostly along the Western & Lincoln Avenues parkways (the Complete Streets program that allowed us to do this didn't cover residential areas, however we are looking for ways to help contributes funds to the Bureau of Forestry to allow for additional residential plantings in 2013)
- Other miscellaneous infrastructure repairs