Wicker Park adds bike racks, street art

Bicycle racks and public murals are popping up along Division Street and Ashland and Milwaukee avenues, funded by the WPB Special Service Area #33, a tax district closely aligned with the Wicker Park and Bucktown Chamber of Commerce.

Adam Burck, the chamber's executive director, will speak on the groups' street-improvement efforts at Monday's East Village Association meeting.

Burck will field questions on issues such as improvements at the Polish Triangle park where Division, Ashland and Milwaukee meet. Neither the chamber nor WPB have weighed in on new development plans for 1601 W. Division. EVA has been reviewing proposals for the former Pizza Hut property, and has invited developers to present them Monday at the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott.

The chamber supported EVA's 2007 proposal for a development geared to pedestrians and transit users. A WPB-funded Master Plan adopted in 2009 called for a 4- to 10-story mixed-use building there.

The bike racks and murals are current WPB projects. The agency donated 20 of the orange "WPB Rides" iron racks in July to the Chicago Department of Transportation for sidewalk installation, and arranged for bicycle street parking in front of the Flat Iron building at 1591 N. Milwaukee.

A jury awarded six artists $5,000 each to produce murals on privately owned buildings. The Orange Walls project, named for its watch-this-space scaffold tarps, wraps up Oct. 21.

The district also sponsored the weekly farmers' markets at the Polish Triangle, which ended this week, and Friday rush-hour street theater performances that continue through October.

Native Foods Cafe, a new Wicker Park restaurant at 1484 N. Milwaukee, gives a short presentation to open Monday's meeting at 7 p.m.
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