Neighborhood Projects

Milwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor

What is the Milwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor?

In 2012, residents and business owners along Milwaukee Avenue between Kimball and California will be eligible to apply for funding to support property improvements that reduce neighborhood flooding, protect Chicago’s waterways, and make Milwaukee Avenue one of the most environmentally friendly blocks in Chicago. The Illinois Environment Protection Agency has awarded a $200,000 Green Infrastructure Grant to help finance green, water-saving projects along the entire corridor, such as green roofs, permeable pavers, rain barrels, and rain gardens. Click here for public workshop and learn how the grant program works.

35th Ward is Awarded Illinois EPA Green Infrastructure Grant for Stormwater Management Program

In December of 2010, I partnered with the Metropolitan Planning Council on a grant application to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to improve stormwater management practices along North Milwaukee Avenue in the 35th Ward. Today in Springfield, IL, the EPA's Interim Director Lisa Bonnett announced the award of nearly $5 million in Green Infrastructure Grants designed to reduce the amount of pollution running into Illinois waterways from stormwater sources. For the City of Chicago, the 35th Ward was awarded $200,000 to implement a Green Development Corridor Program for Milwaukee Avenue. Governor Pat Quinn said today: "Our waterways are some of our most valuable natural resources, and we must protect them. This funding will help us keep Illinois' waterways safe and free from contamination." Click here to view a list of all the selected applicants.

The 35th Ward has busy neighborhoods and I can't think of a better, more visible place for the Illinois EPA to support innovate green practices. I would like to personally thank all the community residents, business owners and stakeholders who provided letters of support on short notice. When the rain hits the ground it picks up litter, oil, grease, metals, rubber, dirt, fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste, and other things left behind by people, automobiles and animals depositing them into the Chicago River. This has significant negative impacts on downstream water quality. Stormwater flooding and combined sewer overflow (CSO) pollution problems affect our livability, cause property damage and hinder business. Now with assistance from the Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant program, we will be able to combat flooding problems locally with green infrastructure. The 35th Ward is already setting an example by making significant public investments in green alleys that use permeable paving; and constructing innovative public plazas along Milwaukee Avenue designed to divert a significant amount of rain water. This program enhances these efforts by providing private businesses and home owners with funding for projects on their own properties.

I will be investing in a public awareness campaign with Milwaukee Avenue businesses to incorporate educational messages about the benefits of green infrastructure into signage, marketing materials, and web sites. Research shows that local Green Infrastructure projects are very effective at reducing flooding and pollution. The 35 Ward has a great opportunity to pave the way in demonstrating this for the City of Chicago.

Bloomingdale Trail

Imagine a 3-mile-long elevated linear park running through the heart of Chicago, connecting neighborhoods, the river, and our great park system. Built from a former rail line, the Bloomingdale Trail will make us healthier, get us to school and work faster, and provide us with great chances to play and mingle. That is the vision for the Bloomingdale Trail. On June 30, 2011 A meeting was held to discuss the Phase 1 Framework Plan for Bloomingdale Trail. To find out more Click Here

Aspira Charter School

I also wanted to give you advance information and notice about a proposal to construct a new Charter High School in the Avondale neighborhood on the corner of 2985-95 N. Milwaukee and Central Park next to the newly constructed MB Financial. Currently, there are no High Schools within the 35th Ward. This project is being proposed by the organization Aspira with Illinois funding through the leadership of our State Senator Iris Martinez. A zoning change will be required to make this proposal a reality. I have included some sample images and ask those of you that are interested to attend the community meeting which will be announced next week.
Click here to view sample images. (Updated March 2011)

Woodard Plaza

I remain committed to involving the public in planning for the future of our neighborhoods. Over the next few months you will have the opportunity to review exciting proposals which transform blighted corners in the 35th Ward into
sustainable public plazas. These increased open spaces will honor our historic districts, beautify unsightly areas and create opportunities for meaningful community interaction.

You are invited to review a variety of community driven concepts that would permanently vacate Woodard Street on the intersection of 2801 N. Milwaukee, Kimball and Diversey and transform that corner into an innovative public plaza featuring a rain garden, multi-purpose art space and free Wi-Fi.
Click here to download Woodard Plaza Concepts
Click here to download the three options for Woodard Plaza

Capital Improvements to the 35th Ward

Through out the year Alderman Rey Colón makes constant repairs to streets, sidewalks, street lighting, sewers and improvements to schools, parks and other open spaces. Click here for the list of capital improvements that Alderman Rey Colón has made to the 35th Ward from 2003 through 2010. Updated February 2011

SBIF Recipients and Projects

The Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) helps make improvements to small business properties in selected Chicago neighborhoods.

The program uses local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues to help owners of commercial and industrial properties and/or tenants within specific TIF districts to repair or remodel their facilities. Program participants can receive reimbursing grants to cover 25%, 50%, or 75% of the cost of remodeling work, with a maximum grant amount of $ 150,000. The grant does not have to be repaid.

Click here for the pdf list of recipients & projects in 35th Ward. Updated February 2011

Protect Chicago's Water

The Pledge to Protect Chicago's Water.
Access to safe and affordable water is necessary for the survival of our families, businesses, and our community. Chicago has a huge stake in water as a resource for economic recovery, quality of life, and making the transition to more sustainable ways of living. We have a collective responsibility to manage water in the public interest and to conserve water for future generations as well as for the survival of ecosystems and other species. Water is a part of the global commons, and is recognized by the United Nations as a human right. Thus our municipal water systems should remain publicly owned and operated. I pledge to oppose the privatization of Chicago's water system. I will vote against any sale, lease, or private outsourcing of Chicago's water.

Their website is:
Updated February 2011

Albany Home Zone

The Albany Home Zone Project is a volunteer effort led up by Albany Ave resident Julie Dworkin. Many other residents have jumped on board to help out. 35th Ward Alderman Rey Colón has been a supporter of the project's ideas since inception. The Active Transportation Alliance (formerly: The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation) has lent some visioning support as any change will likely make the street safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. The Albany Home Zone is a Break The Gridlock member. For information on the project visit

The Share the Road Campaign 2010

With more cyclists riding in Chicago than ever, educating motorists, cyclists and pedestrians on how to share the road and avoid crashes is critical.
The 14th District is working with Alderman Colon and Mayor Daley’s Bicycling Ambassadors to create safer streets for bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians by raising awareness about traffic laws and road safety.

Police officers and the Bicycling Ambassadors will be stationed at intersections at a series of enforcement events to stop cyclists and motorists exhibiting illegal and dangerous behaviors and educating them on safety. At bike light enforcement events, bicycle front headlights will be distributed to those biking without them for free.

Targeted Behaviors:

Motorist Behaviors
1. Parking in bike lanes
2. Opening car doors in front of cyclists
3. Passing cyclists with less than 3 feet of
4. Distracted driving
5. Failure to yield to cyclists
6. Speeding
Bicyclist Behaviors
7. Disobeying traffic signals
8. Biking at night without headlights
9. Biking on the sidewalk
10. Biking against traffic
At Logan and Kedzie:
June 8: Bike Light Enforcement 6:30 - 10pm
June 10: General Enforcement 3-6pm
At Logan and Kedzie:
July 27: Bike Light Enforcement 6:30-10pm
July 28: General Enforcement 3-6pm
At Kimball, Diversey and Milwaukee:
September 7: Bike Light Enforcement 6:30-10pm
September 8: General Enforcement 3-6pm

Bikeway Installation on California Ave.

CDOT plans to install a bikeway on California Ave. from Bloomingdale Ave. to Milwaukee Ave. The bikeway will connect to an existing bikeway on Milwaukee Ave. and proposed bikeways on California. The bikeway will provide safe access for bicyclists to Humboldt Park, the CTA Blue Line, and surrounding communities.

Because there is not enough roadway width to establish dedicated bike lanes, shared lane markings are proposed. Shared lane marking are used to identify wide curb lanes shared by both bicyclists and motorized vehicles.

No parking will be removed as part of this project. CDOT expects this project to improve safety and not significantly impact vehicular traffic operations. Shared Lane Sample Bikeway Route

Proposed Bike Lane on Kedzie

Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is planning to install a bike lane on Kedzie from Milwaukee to Barry. In order to install this lane, CDOT proposes to remove one travel lane in the northbound direction from Milwaukee to Schubert. By removing this lane, the number of travel lanes at this location will match the number of travel lanes to the north of this location. No significant impacts to traffic flow are expected from thsi enhancement. CDOT expect this modification will help improve traffic safety. If you have any questions, please contact Grant Davis, Bikewaus Project Manager, 312.744.0513. CDOT has offered the option to hold a public meeting regarding this project.

The Logan Square Open Space Plan

Continued Improvement and Additional Open Space in your Neighborhood!

Projects from The Logan Square Open Space Plan that that will take place in the 35th Ward include Bloomingdale Trail, Orchard and Market Plaza, Artesian-Western park, Skate park at Logan and Western, Brentano Campus Park, Mozart Campus Park, Palmer Square and the Community Managed Open Space (namely the community garden at Whipple).


"The Logan Square Open Space Plan provides a blueprint for increasing the amount and improving the quality of open space in the Logan Square community on Chicago's Northwest Side.

As one of Chicago's most densely developed areas, Logan Square has the least amount of open space per capita of any Chicago community area except South Lawndale. The majority of its open space is along wide, tree-lined boulevards and acreage for traditional open spaces, such as parks and ball fields, is well below minimum standards.

To improve the quantity and quality of open space in the community, the Logan Square Open Space Plan identifies 11 opportunities, including the development of a linear park on the abandoned Bloomingdale rail line, creative use of open space near the Kennedy Expressway, and improvements that restore the historic integrity and usability of both Logan and Palmer Squares.

The implementation of these recommendations would result in the creation of over fifteen acres of new open space, as well as facility enhancements at existing locations, to provide residents with increased recreational opportunities and also improve the aesthetics of the Logan Square community..."

Click here to download a full set of plans and renderings regarding the orchard.

35th Ward Community Service Office | 2710 N. Sawyer Ave. | Chicago, IL 60647
Email: | Phone: 773-365-3535 | Fax: 773-365-7391

Office Hours: Monday 10:00 am - 7:45 pm (Ward Night 5:30 pm - 7:45 pm) | Tuesday to Friday 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Ward office is closed on holidays.
© 2014 Alderman Rey Colon ~ for more information please call us at (773) 365-3535 or email