(Above) Curb extension installed at intersection of West Erie Street & North Kingsbury Street in River North.
20-Dec-18 Cars speeding along West Erie Street have been a problem, particularly between North Kingsbury Street and North Sedgwick Street, but the city says new curb extensions and speed humps recently installed by Chicago Department of Transportation should help calm the traffic.
Curb extensions narrow the roadway and help slow vehicular traffic. They also bring stop signs closer to drivers, reduce crossing distance for pedestrians, and improve visibility between drivers and pedestrians.
The extensions have been installed along Erie Street at its intersections with Kingsbury, Hudson, and Sedgwick.
CDOT also installed speed humps that force drivers to slow down so they can traverse the humps. Two have been installed on Erie Street, one on Superior Street, and another will be installed on Huron Street.
The survey of Erie Street and development of the traffic calming design was done by CDOT at the request of 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, who used money allotted for infrastructure improvements in the ward to pay for it.
River North is home to a large and growing number of families, as well as several daycares and a popular park with robust childrens and dog amenities, said Reilly. All of these factors contribute to significant pedestrian traffic along Erie Street in River North.
Once the curb extensions were built, it was time to plant tulips.
Alderman Reilly hosted an event on November 10, inviting River North Residents Association to help plant tulips in each of the curb extensions on Erie Street.
1,300 Jumbo Darwin Mix tulip bulbs, purchased by Reilly himself, were planted during the event. The bulbs will blossom into purple, red, and yellow tulips. In the spring, CDOT will further landscape the curb extensions.