Design for Chicago's Bloomingdale Trail Takes Shape

As it wraps up the first stage of a community planning progress, Alan G. Brake checks in on the latest designs for Chicago's answer to the High Line.

At three miles, the High Line's midwestern cousin is nearly double its length. That's not all that will set apart the Bloomingdale Trail, Chicago's elevated rail line, as it transitions into a public park and recreational path. "The project is much more earth-bound than its New York predecessor with direct connections to the city's sidewalks and neighborhood parks system," writes Brake.

Furthermore, because the project is being funded largely through federal transportation funds, it must accommodate cyclists as well as pedestrians. The planning team, which includes ARUP, Ross Barney Architects, and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, have worked to adress the bicycle/pedestrian interface, and other challenges in this first phase of design, which will result in a "framework plan."

According to Brake, with the first phase of the Trail scheduled to open in 2014, "a new team will take over the final design for the Parks District, with only MVVA continuing on."

Full Story: Bike on By

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