WICKER PARK — Members of a grassroots coalition who are hoping to revitalize the pigeon-plagued intersection of Ashland, Milwaukee, and Division known as the Polish Triangle are soliciting feedback on how to improve the transit-friendly patch that serves as a gateway to four neighborhoods.
Inaddition to polling residents about what they’d like to see on the triangle, such as food trucks and seating, the short online survey released Wednesday asks, “If possible, should the existing fountain be removed?” and “If possible, should the pigeons be relocated?”
The long talked about pigeon relocation plan, which would require financing and city permits, would involve building a structure just east of the triangle where pigeons can nest, as their eggs are replaced with fake eggs to reduce the population.
“We can’t get rid of the pigeon feeders — the people that want to feed the birds will do that. But we want to get [the birds] off the triangle and somewhere else,” said Kapra Fleming, who owns the House of Two Urns, a bed and breakfast at 1239 N. Greenview Ave., around the corner from the triangle.
Fleming is one of 12 core members of the Polish Triangle Coalition, a group of leaders from local businesses and community groups who want to improve the small but significant spot that serves as Wicker Park’s southern gateway and a bridge to West Town enclaves East Village, Pulaski Park and Noble Square.
In addition to offering an entrance to the underground CTA Division Blue Line “L” station, the transit-oriented triangle has a stop for the CTA’s No. 70 Division bus.
The neighborhood’s only cab stand is located along the Milwaukee Avenue side of the triangle.
The most pressing question in the survey involves the uncovered stairway leading to the underground “L” station. The CTA is planning to add a canopy over the entrance as part of “Your New Blue,” a $492 million project that will modernize several stations.
“There is nothing protecting the steps from wind, snow and ice. Installing canopies has been on our wish list. The CTA said they would listen to community input. They are looking to see if people prefer a more contemporary or traditional look for the canopies,” Fleming said.
Fleming said some of coalition’s members met with CTA representatives in September to discuss the canopies and are scheduled to discuss the topic again in November.
The survey also polls residents on whether they would like to see the Polish Triangle’s fountain removed or replaced.
“Some people like the fountain; some want to get rid of it and redevelop the entire space. We want to get broader feedback,” Fleming said.
The survey will remain online through Oct. 24. The results of the survey will be posted on the coalition’s website in November.
Early Thursday, Greg Garrod, a worker at Sweet Cakes Bakery, 1223 N. Milwaukee Ave., which overlooks the triangle, said he would like to see the area improved.
“Every time I walk by it, I think it’s a focal point, they should do something more [with it], make it more community-oriented. Yesterday was a nice day and I would like to see places to sit. I sit on the fountain edge and get bombarded by pigeons,” Garrod said.
Take the Polish Triangle Coalition’s survey here.
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