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Added Oct 20 2011

The Chicago-Pipeline is looking for neighbor opinions on the Bloomingdale Trail conversion project. If you live immediately next to the line, we are looking for your thoughts about the present-day problems and future of the area. Please respond here or email with your concerns or ideas.

  • Steven Vance Urban planner

    What is the Chicago-Pipeline project?

  • Beatnikdika 11-year Bucktown resident

    We are not a project, but we are a weekly e-newsletter about the Wicker Park, Bucktown and Logan Square neighborhoods. We are putting together our second print magazine issue. We are writing a story about the history and future of the Bloomingdale trail and in addition to our research and attendance of the design charrette, would love more neighbor feedback - especially from those who share property lines with the trail.

  • I live near here and think it will be great for this area. People are already starting to enjoy the grassy area on Milwaukee Avenue. I worry about the congestion it will cause but if that parking lot opens up on Milwaukee and Oakley, I think that will help.

  • Steven Vance Urban planner

    I hope that people will take transit and their bicycles to visit the Bloomingdale Trail, instead of driving there.

    @Kate: Are you referring to this parking garage?

  • That would be the parking garage. If the Bloomingdale trail is going to be anything like the High Line in NY, I hope people will bike/walk/train there too.

    Otherwise I think this trail will be great for the area and definitely increase home values.

  • I live on Bloomingdale Ave - the tracks/trail are on the opposite of the street as my building. We've been waiting for trail to be created for years and I think it'll be great for the city.

    My main concern, and also that of my neighbors, is about safety. It's a given that the trail needs to be safe for those on the trail. However, significant thought also needs to be put into keeping the people who walk, drive and live NEAR the trail safe as well.

    Last year, someone on the trail threw a brick through the window of my neighbor's sliding glass door. Their window had to be replaced and the wood floors refinished. Luckily no one was injure. It is very important that the trail be properly enclosed to prevent items such as bricks from being launched off the trail in order to protect those around the trail.

  • Buster

    I live near the trail and they're not going to "enclose" the trail so people can't throw bricks. If people want to throw bricks, they're going to throw bricks...whether they are on a trail or on the sidewalk.

    Once it's developed it will be a lot safer, well-traveled, lit up, etc.

    Right now, the trail is a magnet for drunks and homeless. Once they sink some money into it, your only complaint is going to be that it's too crowded....because it's going to be very popular. Which will keep the riff-raff off. I personally can't wait. The highline in new york is beyond a success. And that used to be a rusty/weedy old train line...that people threw bricks off of.

  • Steven Vance Urban planner

    Some parts could be "enclosed" with dense landscaping (shrubbery and trees). So far, though, nothing has been designed. The staff are working on a framework plan and will present that before the new year.

  • Buster

    My bad Steven. Thanks for clarifying that some portions will be "enclosed" with landscaping. That should help with some homeowners' concerns. Think it will happen as Rahm promised in his first term?

  • Steven Vance Urban planner

    The key phrase in what I said is "could be". It could not be enclosed, also. Show up to planning meetings to discuss your ideas and concerns so that the staff understand the needs of those who live nearby, and those who plan to use the facility.

    I think major construction will be underway before Mayor Emanuel's first term is over.

  • Buster

    Unfortunately, most of those meetings are at times that might work for, say, a city employee...but not for those in the real world with two jobs. I trust they'll make a nice trail. Seems like enough generous people are supplying their opinions.

  • Steven Vance Urban planner

    The last four public meetings were either on the weekend or at 6-8 PM.

  • Buster

    Exactly. Great for someone with a 9-5 city job...that doesn't work weekends.

  • I think Brian's right. The key to making the trail safer is to get it opened up. Right now,everyone on the trail is breaking the law (at the very least, trespassing) but once it opens that will improve things.

    Right now, there seems to be a homeless encampment on the trail, near the end at Walsh Park.

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