Did You Know?

A bicycle commuter who rides four miles to work, five days a week, avoids 2,000 miles of driving and about 2,000 pounds of CO2 emissions each year.

Support walking and biking along Chicago River

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The Lakefront Trail is often considered one of Chicago’s crown jewels, but the same can’t be said about its network of rivers.

The city and the Metropolitan Planning Council are working together to change this reality with the Great Rivers Chicago project.

In partnership with Friends of the Chicago River and others, they are on a mission to change the way we view Chicago’s rivers and riverfronts. With a focus on community and economic development, they are looking for input from local business owners, community leaders and residents to generate a cohesive vision for improvements on shipping, water quality and use of public space.

If you’re interested in participating, take the Great Rivers Chicago survey to share your experience with the rivers and what kind of improvements you would like to see in the future.

Transportation, of course, is one of the many topics brought up in the survey. It asks participants how they commute, how long it takes them to get to their destinations and what obstacles prevent them from accessing certain areas.

It’s important for us to speak up about building new trails along the rivers and making the existing trails and bridges more walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly because they link us to our jobs, schools and other communities, adding significantly to our quality of life, thus making Chicago a better place to live.

Here are a couple of new Chicago River projects that we're excited about. 

Addison Underbridge Connection – North Riverfront Trail

Wheels are in motion for the Addison Underbridge Connection. According to the ReyEye, the Chicago Parks District Board of Commissioners approved a lease agreement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which owns the property where the trail will be developed. 

The planned two-mile long trail will connect existing pathways from Clark Park to California Park, stretching north from Montrose and south to Belmont avenues. Construction is slated to begin in spring of next year and be completed by fall of 2017.

The Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk is a 1.25-mile path that will run continuously along the Chicago River from the Lake Street Bridge to the Lakefront Trail, spanning six blocks with each block having a designed theme, according to the city. Still under construction, it currently runs from State Street to LaSalle Drive.

Already existing themes are The Marina, The River Theater, and The Cove, where it’ll serve as a dock for human-powered watercrafts and where people are able to rent kayaks. Upcoming ones like The Jetty, for example, will focus on ecology and feature floating gardens and areas for fishing.

The project breathes new life and more walkability to the long-closed-off downtown riverfront. 

Help make Chicago’s river network better for everyone; please take the Great Rivers Chicago survey.