It’s always gratifying when a street that formerly sucked to ride on suddenly becomes bike-friendly with the addition of thoughtful infrastructure. Such is the case with Lawrence, between Ashland and Western in Lincoln Square, where a long-awaited streetscape and “road diet” project is wrapping up. The street remix coincides with the construction of the massive new Ravenswood Metra station, plus the arrival of a Mariano’s and an apartment complex across the street. This stretch was formerly a drag strip, the only section of Lawrence in the city with four travel lanes, and one of the few without bike lanes. Now this stretch of street has two travel lanes, a turn lane, bike lanes, wider sidewalks and pedestrian islands. As a result, car speeds have mellowed, walking is safer, and pedaling has become a pleasure instead of a chore.
Lawrence Avenue between Ashland and Western
Audience Choice: Damen, Milwaukee (TIE)
Best of Chicago 2014