Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.
The idea of a river trail is not a new one. At least as far back as Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan for Chicago, concepts for riverfront promenades and other public spaces have been a part of the public discourse in Chicago.
But thanks to recent initiatives, like the City of Chicago's Our Great Rivers vision, buzz about a continuous Chicago River Trail has emerged once again.
Urban waterfronts provide cities with unique possibilities for recreation, open space and transportation.
Many world class cities have invested in developing waterfront parks and trails to connect residents with the myriad quality of life benefits they can bring, such as improved health, cleaner environments, and economic opportunity.
While Chicago’s lakefront park and trail system is second to none, the Chicago River has not yet reached its full potential as a community recreation and alternative transportation asset.
A continuous Chicago River Trail system would help meet this potential by transforming a neglected asset into a vibrant open space and active transportation corridor that will connect Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods to the river and to each other in a way they have never been before.
Why we need a Chicago River Trail
Growing evidence from Chicago and other cities shows that safe and accessible trails are smart public policy. A continuous Chicago River Trail would bring many benefits:
Our immediate campaign goals include:
Take Action: Endorse the Chicago River Trail campaign
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Do you have questions and ideas about the Chicago River Trail? We’d love to hear from you. Please contact Steve Simmons, Active Trans, at 312-216-0472 or [email protected]
The Chicago River Trail coalition
The Chicago River Trail coalition is a diverse group of organizations working towards a continuous trail along the Chicago River.
Launched by Active Trans in 2017, the coalition will build broad public support for and engage relevant stakeholders to create new trail segments along the river’s north and south branches. Organizations interested in joining the coalition can contact Steve Simmons at 312-216-0472, [email protected]
Chicago River Trail coalition members include: