Poll Results! Cortland/Ashland Underpass: Art, Safety and Clean-Up

With over 2,200 responses to the Cortland/Ashland Underpass poll, it’s becoming clear what the neighborhood is looking for. Poll-goers see the potential for safe, clean, and attractive connectivity for the large amount of people who use the underpass every day.

As part of an update to the Wicker Park Bucktown SSA #33 Master Plan, a visual preference poll was distributed online. With a plug through DNAinfo’s article on the poll, many people got involved and shared their thoughts. The major themes of the results revolved around aesthetics, maintenance, and safety for the large amount of people that use the underpass – whether on foot, bike, car, or bus each day.  Scroll down to view results, but first…

WPB Think Tank Event August 9th! 

Join us August 9th for a WPB Think Tank Event (6:30-8:30pm at Wicker Park Field House | Registration and refreshments start at 6:30 with the presentation and open house beginning at 7pm) to add input on potential projects including the underpass, new development, and how to further celebrate the area’s rich history, one-of-a-kind businesses, events and adventures. Do you have ideas on partners to make WPB dreams come true — please share! Our big ideas are grounded by the realities of funding and local partnerships. Come and speak up!


Underpass Poll Results
Nearly everyone who voted said that improvements were needed (only 1% thought that the underpass was okay as-is). When asked about what type of improvements people would like to see at the underpass, the most popular votes were: Less Pigeons/Clean-Up/Maintenance (29%), Festive Lighting (23%), and Art/Murals by Local Artists (23%). Other options included “Wayfinding Signage” (13%) and Gateway “Welcome Signage” (6%).


A variety of photos showing underpass designs allowed everyone to rate their favorites. The favorite photo with 237 votes and a 4.5 out of 5-star rating is shown below, incorporating both lighting and murals.

Lastly, folks could comment about what they felt was needed most at the underpass. Many hoped for fun and functional lighting for safety. Others liked the idea of getting locals involved with murals as long as they could be long-lasting and well-maintained. Furthermore, as highlighted by the poll results, the desire for a clean, structurally sound passage with better wayfinding signage was noted many times over via the comments received.

“This is an important connecting point for 2 very vital neighborhoods. Most important to me: improve infrastructure and aesthetics of this intersection with special emphasis on improving the pedestrian and biking experience.”

“I believe that their should be more signage to help everyone recognize that this is an interchange for all types of traffic; bikes, pedestrians, cars etc.”

“I like the idea of having a more ‘classic’ design for the area. There area a number of existing older structures on Cortland, and knowing that this design will stand for a very long time with little updating and maintenance, I think it is very important to use a design that will require little upkeep, and will not become dated or deteriorate quickly over time.Anything is better than current state. Lighting alone would improve safety for bikes and pedestrians.”

A high priority was the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Many insisted a bike lane be put in, the roads be better maintained with repaving and repainted crosswalks, and ramps be added.

Some saw the underpass as an opportunity site for food stands, parking, and a better route to connect 606, Metra, and over to the Clybourn Corridor to the east.

Next Steps — We are generating ideas and refining projects for Wicker Park Bucktown.  Add your comments, ideas and feedback to the mix:



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