It’s arguably better than New York’s High Line
Nationally known urbanist and ex-Chicagoan Aaron Renn pooh-poohed our beloved new linear park with a blog post titled “How Chicago’s 606 Trail Fell Short of Expectations.” He argued that the Bloomingdale doesn’t hold a candle to the High Line, the glamorous rails-to-trails conversion on the west side of Manhattan. Sure, the Bloomingdale’s galvanized fencing and the awkward arched bridge over Milwaukee Avenue are nothing to write home about, but Chicago’s trail wins on three counts. At 2.7 miles, it’s almost twice as long. You can bike on it. And it’s more democratic. The High Line runs through some of the nation’s priciest real estate and attracts a fairly homogenous crowd. But the Bloomingdale connects neighborhoods that are—at least for now—economically and ethnically diverse, so it benefits a much wider demographic. On a summer evening, it’s good to see entire working-class families, including grandparents and little kids, out strolling on The 606. That’s a sight you probably won’t see in Chelsea.
Bloomingdale between Ridgeway and Marshfield Avenues
Best of Chicago 2015