Participants at Tuesday evening’s access parks charrette. Most photos by John.
In 2015, when the Bloomingdale Trail and parks are complete, no one should be able to say that a feature or two isn’t supposed to be there. In a public planning process that continues to impress, with unprecedented, widespread community involvement, a new step was completed on Monday and Tuesday with the release of the framework plan and a trail access and park charrette, respectively. The residents of Chicago have designed this trail and its accompanying access parks by providing feedback probably totaling several million words. This is a process where votes are cast by showing up and participating; homeowners concerned about privacy met directly with members of the design team, and meeting participants stressing their concerns over people bicycling too fast were among the voters.
The design team, which consists of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), Trust for Public Land (TPL), the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, and TPL and the Park District’s many contractors, held an access park charrette on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at the Humboldt Park Fieldhouse. Continue reading Design and features of six Bloomingdale Trail access parks are formulated in a single night
One the perks of co-writing this blog is attending events that I probably wouldn’t get to go to otherwise. Case in point was last week’s swanky benefit party, “The Bloomingdale: An Ideas Salon,” at the Hotel Allegro, 171 W. Randolph. According to Beth White, Chicago director for the Trust for Public Land (TPL), the nonprofit which is assisting with the community input process and private fundraising campaign for the 2.65-mile elevated park and trail, about 150 people attended. She’s yet not sure how much will have been raised after expenses, but the $100 ticket price means the event grossed about $15,000.
Continue reading The Bloomingdale rails-to-trails conversion is chugging along
Rahm Emanuel at yesterday’s press conference
Monday morning when Steven read the awesome news on the Sun-Times website (apparently the Mayor’s Office offered them the scoop on this) that the city has raised the last $9 million needed to start construction on the Bloomingdale Trail, his first reaction was annoyance. You can find more details about the exciting plans for the trail in most of the other local news outlets, so if you don’t mind today I’ll focus on this somewhat nitpicky issue.
Why was Steven irritated? Because of what he heard at last Thursday’s community meeting at Yates Elementary in Humboldt Park, where citizens were invited to provide input on the preliminary design ideas for the 2.7-mile trail and “linear park.”
Continue reading Clearing up some confusion about the Bloomingdale Trail fundraising process
A view of the Bloomingdale Trail at Spaulding Avenue. At least one person in the audience asked for a rail car or two remain in the new park. Photo by Colin Clinard.
On the evening of Tuesday, October 4, 2011, I attended the final presentation from the Bloomingdale “charrette weekend” at the McCormick Tribune YMCA, 1834 N Lawndale. The charrette weekend hosted invited stakeholders and members of the public who gathered with the design team to learn about the Bloomingdale Trail history, devise the topics they cared about, and express ideas and concerns about the project. For 16 hours on Monday and Tuesday, the design team synthesized all of the conversations, contribution, and ideas into a final presentation that took about 90 minutes to examine.
What follows is a detailed description of who said what about the project. I’ve divided the article into many sections with bold text headings for easier reading. I imagine that this article will evolve as people ask me questions. Continue reading Bloomingdale Trail public involvement process reached a milestone this week