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Added Apr 29 2012

Well, in one of the City's sneakiest moves in a while, it just came out (per Bill Donahue, head of the Clark Park Advisory Council) that the shoehorning of a monstrous boat storage facility will prevent the construction of a river bridge at Roscoe, which is included in the Addison Corridor TIF and part of the City's ongoing bike planning process.

Background here, although at the time the bridge aspect was not made known:

Contact Alderman Pawar if you feel a bridge that would serve the public is more important than a private boat facility the neighborhood neither asked for nor wants.

  • Carter O'Brien Diversey to Belmont lifer

    More info from Bill Donahue:

    "Construction of a rowing complex/boat warehouse will block the long awaited bridge ped/bike way at Roscoe in Clark Park

    In the early 2000’s the Clark Park Advisory Council proposed that a pedway/bikeway bridge be made a part of Clark Park. It would serve several ends and enjoyed up an enthusiastic response from the Alderman of the 47th Ward, amongst other elected officials. The plan was endorsed by Friends of the Chicago River and the Friends of the Parks. It would be an integral part of the river trail;,our vision is that it would bring many people from the residences west of the river to Clark Park , especially for the enhanced playground we hope to install.; and it should serve as a safe alternative for miles along Roscoe Street for bikes and pedestrians. The bridge would bring the many employees from west of the River to the park during the day. The bridge was included in all of the City of Chicago planning documents for the underbridge connections being funded now by the City of Chicago. The drawings were in the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission report and detailed plans for the river trail. I have attached the TIF plan LINK for the area as funded by the TIF commission ($65M available within this TIF), seen below:

    Please contact Alderman Pawar, your alderman and the other officials, especially Mayor Emmanuel and tell them that you would like to see the Ped/bike bridge at Roscoe retained as part of the plan for Clark Park and the north river front development. Also tell them, that besides its practical benefits, it will add a tremendous aesthetic appeal and classic design to the riverfront!

  • Carter O'Brien Diversey to Belmont lifer


    "Also, please tell them that you would like them to pursue an alternative site for the 2 acre boathouse/rowing complex, which in its current configuration, would block the bridge from being built. Its too big, too much, for such a small slice of urban green space. The river has a very sharp bend just south of Clark Park, making it what rowers call – a blind corner – a very unwise location for a rowing center."

  • TGS

    Where is the link for the TIF project so we can see that the bridge was actually in the fully funded, designed and signed off on stage.

    While I agree the City has perhaps overstepped a little with the here's a boat house. I found the half truths, lack of supporting documents and overall tone of those against the boat house to be a big detraction to any support I could give to them.

  • I recall seeing the bridge in the plan and it is totally needed... there are so many exciting things happening on both sides of the river, WMS new river campus, Devry expanion, Mariano's etc. and there is a need to allow beautiful over the river access.... perhaps the solution here is to invest in the bridge and that will allow expansion over to the West side of the river of Clark park activities.... an amazing design would be a merging of a boathouse and bridge into one... I need some paper to draw it...
    In any case, I see zero activity on the TIFF for the Addsion Industrial Corridor... who know where the allocated money has been going... the corridor needs to be developed as the most important investment in our ward... the river is our waterfront people!

  • years of neighbors working on that site trying to clean it and design something for all to enjoy. In one fell swoop Rahm decides a boathouse for rowing clubs better serves the population than all the work put in by neighbors working on Clark Park. half truths and big detractions indeed.

  • Carter O'Brien Diversey to Belmont lifer

    Where is the TIF planner who will actually go on the record & answer questions about why the bridge plans seem to have been removed. That's my question, as I also saw the plans and they have been revised without alerting the public, which I believe is legally mandated in a TIF.

    "Where is the link for the TIF project so we can see that the bridge was actually in the fully funded, designed and signed off on stage."

  • All the evidence I have ever seen has indicated that the pedestrian/bike bridge would be north of Addison - no where near Roscoe. My understanding comes from discussions with people who were at the Oct 2008 Addison TIF planning meeting held at WGN and subsequent meetings. The underbridge connector would go under Addison's eastern bank. The path would be extended up the eastern bank before bridging over into California Park somewhere south of Irving Park Road. You can see an official looking artist's rendering here:

    Concrete (sorry;) plans for an Irving Park Road underbridge connector that would join Horner Park and California Park already exist, with construction expected next year as part of rebuilding the bridge.

  • Carter O'Brien Diversey to Belmont lifer

    There's no argument the bridges have been swapped, the question is still when this happened, and how it connects with the City ceding the stretch of Roscoe between the river and California- quoting anonymous people doesn't trump the head of CPAC, who shared a different, much older architectural rendering that does show the bridge at Roscoe. And what about the bridge at George St.? What happened to that plan?

  • Carter O'Brien Diversey to Belmont lifer

    Also, I picked up trash in the bmx park yesterday morning as part of CPAC's river clean up. They have this boathouse marked off and it is massive and completely dominate what was pristine open space. It apparently also is putting the kayak rental operation out of business.

  • Carter O'Brien Diversey to Belmont lifer

    Btw, I am totally in support of the Addison underbridge connecting the parks, that's great. But that doesn't change the fact that nobody involved with Clark Park was ever told this was a swapping out. We need both of these bridges, ome addresses the demand for people riding along the river, the other would allow those of us west of the river in Avondale and Logan Sq to have a safe route east.

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