Chicago is really, really into converting its defunct railways into cool, elevated biking and running trails. Fresh off the success of the 606, a 2.7-mile elevated trail stretching between Bucktown and Humboldt park that opened last June, the city announced a new "rails to trails" project on Sunday that will connect Pilsen and Little Village.
The four-mile trail will be called "Paseo," and will be built on a largely abandoned BNSF Railway on the Southwest Side. Its end points will be Sangamon and 16th Streets to the northeast, and an off-street location at Central Park Avenue and 32nd Street to the southwest. Final designs for the project are still pending, but if the 606 is any measure, you can expect Paseo to be goddamn gorgeous.
Funding for the trail's construction will come from a mix of federal and local sources, according to the city (the 606 got a good chunk of its funding from private and corporate philanthropy, so it wouldn't be surprising if Paseo found some similar benefactors).
"This is one piece of Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel's comprehensive strategy of investments in the City’s parks system in neighborhoods for residents across Chicago," the mayor's office said in a press release.
Emanuel will be unveiling a new plan to expand Chicago's park system in a speech on Tuesday, but the announcement of Paseo is a pretty good start.