Wednesday, March 25, 2009
A long-abandoned rail viaduct in Englewood is getting some serious attention as another link in Chicago's growing network of biking and hiking trails. The elevated rail line runs east and west a half-block south of 59th Street, between Wallace and Hoyne Avenues. That's almost two miles of traffic-free passage that runs past Hermitage Park and the Growing Home urban farm, with three other parks within a couple of blocks.
If it sounds a lot like the Bloomingdale Trail, that's exactly right. That North Side rail spur is well along on conversion to a linear park, with land acquisition underway to provide access parks and ramps connecting to adjacent Logan Square and Humboldt Park.
Pushing the South Side effort is the Englewood Rails to Trails Commission, a loose coalition of local groups – Imagine Englewood If, the Greater Englewood Community and Family Task Force, Stay Environmentally Focused, Rowan Trees, Teamwork Englewood, Greater Englewood Garden Assn. and others – plus a few heavyweights: Friends of the Parks, Openlands Project and Active Transportation Alliance.
In other words, it could happen. A couple of meetings have taken place already and a survey is underway (download it). A report on the trail is expected mid-year. Stay tuned.
Photo above by Eric Young Smith, Chicago Neighborhood News Bureau.
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