Meeting on Tuesday to discuss new segment and bridge on North Branch Trail


The dark green lines on the map above show two independent segments of the North Branch Trail that the Chicago Park District and Chicago Department of Transportation want to connect. Starting in Clark Park, a new path would go under Addision Street, along the east embankment of the Chicago River, and then over a new pedestrian bridge to California Park.

Open house details

Tuesday, December 4
6 – 9 PM
Revere Park Fieldhouse Auditorium
2509 W. Irving Park Road
Chicago, Illinois 60618

From the meeting notice:

CDOT and the Chicago Park District cordially invite you to attend this public meeting, which will include an open house, project presentation, and an opportunity for questions and feedback. CDOT is currently designing a new segment of the North Branch Trail, which would link existing segments in Clark Park to the south and California Park (and onward to Horner Park) to the north. The new trail segment would run under the Addison Street Bridge for safe crossing, along the east embankment of the North Branch of the Chicago River, and cross the river on a multi-use pedestrian bridge. The creation of this publicly accessible open space will link major existing parks, create pedestrian and bicycle access that would otherwise be difficult and dangerous, and fulfill objectives of the Chicago Trails Plan and the Chicago River Corridor Development Plan.

What the new trail segment would look like, from Addison Street to Irving Park Road.

The map above is from the Chicago Bike Map app’s custom designed map.

12 thoughts on “Meeting on Tuesday to discuss new segment and bridge on North Branch Trail”

  1. Definitely more expensive to do an all-on-bridges elevated thing like that than to put paths flat on the dirt; I presume the properties on the east shore of the river there go right up to the edge and leave no room? Plus, there will be maintainance issues in 10-15 years to be paid for.

  2. It’s interesting that with the consideration of an underbridge connector at Irving Park, this uninterrupted path will be equal in length to the section from Lawrence to Lincoln.

  3. When cycling downtown via north branch trail/Elston, the stretch of California between montrose and Elston is the most dangerous one. Having a dedicated path would be amazing!

    1. I ride this segment occasionally from my house at California/Elston to Andersonville and Edgewater. Traffic between Addison and Montrose is usually very slow. The door zone presents an ever-present hazard. The bike lane, however, between Addison and Roscoe (2 blocks!) isn’t great: the wide street here (parking is banned) means fast moving cars.

      1. I never had a problem with this stretch. The only part of California I don’t like is by the Kennedy although that is mainly due to the pavement quality or lack thereof.

  4. I’m glad to see the North Branch Trail getting some attention. I think it’s a very unique and underrated bicycle trail in the city that people should definitely ride on more.

    What really bugs me, though, is the lack of a unified bridge connection at Lincoln and Kedzie. It would link the two trails into one ~7 mile dedicated bicycle route that connects Evanston, Skokie, Lincolnwood, and Chicago together. It’s a shame that Bernie Stone nixed the project when it had the funding.

    1. Presumably the new Alderman Silverstein is working on getting the “Stone Bridge” funded again and eventually rebuilt. These things can take an extraordinarily l-o-n-g time tho.

      1. Here’s what I heard about this project last summer:

        “The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) planned to build a bike bridge that would safely take riders to the west side of the channel,
        where the trail resumes. But feisty 50th Ward Alderman Berny Stone
        vetoed the span under mysterious circumstances. Last year Stone lost
        reelection to Debra Silverstein, who wants to build the bridge. Once
        CDOT completes a preliminary design, there will be a public meeting to
        discuss the proposal, says spokesman Pete Scales.”

        1. At the time I seem to recall Stone claiming that the bridge would cause parking problems in the neighborhood across the river from Lincoln Village, considering he used the What’s Cooking Restaurant as his defacto office, it’s understandable how he could have overestimated the amount of traffic the half empty shopping complex generates. Let’s all hope there is some movement in the near future.

  5. This does open a missing segment, but leave remaining an equally long missing segment between Montrose, north to Lawrence. Could an off street path be put along the river there as well to complete the path?

  6. I should point out, the plan presented at the previous meeting was somewhat different from the ‘artist’s conception’ above. The plan was to have an under-bridge connector below the Addison bridge, then, the path would be along the east bank of the river, possibly on some landfill, before reaching the ped bridge across the river, which would lead directly into California Park. I don’t recall an under-bridge connection at Irving Park. According to the presenter, the riverbanks belong to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

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