Mayor Emanuel Wants to Open More of the Chicago River to the Public

Plans to double the length of publicly accessible riverfront will be included in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's State of the City address tonight.

1 minute read

April 16, 2018, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Riverfront Open Space

North Branch Framework Plan and Design Guidelines / City of Chicago

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will propose another expansion of the city's publically accessible riverfront as part of his State of the City address later tonight.

Fran Spielman reports that Mayor Emanuel intends to build on the success of the Chicago Riverwalk and four new boat houses and "bolster Chicago’s unique standing as a 'two-waterfront' city."

The mayor’s plan includes a host of improvements to the downtown Riverwalk east of State Street to bolster a wildly-popular — and, the mayor claims, money-making — attraction that former Mayor Richard M. Daley envisioned, but Emanuel carried over the finish line.

Emanuel is also talking about building a new trail from Chinatown’s Ping Tom Park to the west end of the Riverwalk at Lake Street.

The proposal included in the mayor's address is also notable for what it does not include: "the ambitious and costly plan championed by two North Side aldermen to carve a 24-acre public riverfront park out of the North Branch Industrial Corridor." Mayor Emanuel will instead stick to the direction provided by the North Branch Plan, which opens more of that land to development.

The article includes a lot more detail about Mayor Emanuel's park and open space agenda.

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