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Bad Optics: The 606 Bike Trail Closed for an Upscale, Private Dinner

Chicago's 606 has proven popular among pedestrians, but the rise in property values near the amentity has made some feel unwelcome near the trail. Closing a stretch of the trail for a $200-a-plate dinner only makes that worse.
September 28, 2017, 11am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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It's not uncommon for parks to close for a charity event, but closing the 606 during rush hour for a ritzy dinner, even for charity, seems tone deaf.

Residents living near Chicago's 606 trail have voiced concerns that they will be displaced by rising property values tied to the city amenity. A recent study seems to confirm those fears. "If the city is going to gain local support for trail projects in these and other gentrifying or lower-income communities, residents need some guarantees that they’ll be able to stay in communities, so that they can enjoy the benefits of the trails in the future," John Greenfield writes in Streetsblog.

The $200-a-plate dinner hosted by Rick Bayless was hosted on a stretch on the 606 that passes through the Bucktown Neighborhood, funds from the dinner went to support Chicago Parks Foundation and the Frontera Family Farmer Foundation. "The trail closure for the event, which was supposed to last from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday, but actually started at 4 p.m., according to a report from DNAinfo’s Alisa Hauser, represented a minor headache for trail users," Greenfield, writes the bigger issue is message sent to those who fear being replaced by richer residents. 

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Published on Monday, September 25, 2017 in Streetsblog Chicago
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