Stretching nearly 3 miles along a former elevated train track in Chicago, the Bloomingdale Trail draws pedestrians and cyclists down its paved path — the centerpiece of a park system often cited as a model urban green space that integrates access, recreation and transportation.
As part of a plan to bring more open space to Chicago’s northwest side, the city converted the underused Bloomingdale Rail embankment into a 2.7-mile elevated trail linking a series of grade-level parks.
When active rail service ceased in the 1990s the embankment was reclaimed by community members as an impromptu trail. In the early 2000s the idea gained traction through several community-based visions and in 2004 as part of the Logan Square Open Space Plan. The linear park had widespread community support and input from the beginning, helping to develop the park’s design, function, and aesthetics. The 606—named for Chicago’s zip code prefix—opened in 2015, connecting four diverse neighborhoods, and bringing together arts, history, and design. The park and trail system includes the elevated Bloomingdale Trail for bikers, runners, and walkers, which connects four existing and 2 planned access parks at the ground level; alternative transportation avenues; and green, open space for Chicago. The 606 network is a public-private partnership between the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, the Trust for Public Land and Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail.
|Status||Open / Ongoing|
|Size||20 acres, 2.7 miles|
|Design Team||Collins Engineering, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Frances Whitehead|
Managed and operated by the Chicago Park District in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail and the City of Chicago
|Project Leader||Caroline O'Boyle & Ben Helphand|
Latest News / The 606
In an effort to slow the displacement of lower-income residents, two aldermen whose wards include parts of the elevated trail are proposing rules that would put a 14-month moratorium on building and demolition permits and zoning changes.
Huge affordable housing complex planned near 606 could help longtime residents stay in their neighborhoods,
The Trust for Public Land will sell 4.5 acres of land at the westernmost end of the 606 to the City of Chicago to build an 100% affordable housing project and a public park.