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Next week a framework plan for the abandoned elevated rail embankment known as the Bloomingdale Trail will be released. Curbed Chicago has posted some preliminary images from the Chicago Department of Transportation that were shown in public meetings last fall. While advocates have stressed that the project is not a copy of New York’s High Line, these very preliminary study images look a lot like the High Line, minus the bells and whistles like the bleachers for traffic viewing.
Conceived as both the linear park and a transportation corridor–rather than a path for promenading–the pathway looks very narrow, again like the High Line, which can lead to pinch points and crowding. What sets the Bloomingdale Trail apart, however, is its context, which includes a number of residential neighborhoods. The embankment will likely be linked to neighborhood pocket parks by ramps.
More refined plans from the design team, which includes Arup and Ross Barney Architects, might resolve these issues. The public, and AN readers, will see more on March 8.