In Chicago's Northwest side there is a stretch of train tracks that spans three miles, across several neighborhoods, adjacent to many parks. Over 15 years ago all train activity ceased on the 100+ year old Bloomingdale Tracks, and now the railway line might be converted into an elevated linear park…
In early 2003 a group of community members, planners and activists formed the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail to bring the concept closer to reality. Similar to urban parks such as the High Line in New York, Promenade Plantée in Paris, the group hopes to turn the future greenway into an elevated, multi-purpose, linear park, bikepath and walking trail.
Views of Existing Railway
Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail has spread its vision through organized trail cleanups, a children's coloring contest, and public lectures about the trail.
Sketch of Proposed Trail Design
Last year the Trust for Public Land acquired vacant lots for new parks and trail access points along the Bloomingdale Avenue railroad line. Shortly afterward the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning awarded CDOT federal transportation funding for design and engineering work for the proposed trail. The cost of the entire project to transform the abandoned railroad into a legitimate trail is estimated to be $41.8 million and it is expected to take several years to even begin construction.
To find out more information and find out ways to help contribute, visit the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail website.
(Images via bloomingdaletrail.org)