Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Park District Cut the Ribbon on the Lakefront Trail Separation Project on the North Side
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 26, 2017
Mayor’s Press Office
MAYOR EMANUEL, CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT CUT THE RIBBON ON THE LAKEFRONT TRAIL SEPARATION PROJECT ON THE NORTH SIDE
Separate trails for bikes and pedestrians now open from Fullerton to North Avenues
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael P. Kelly today celebrated the completed section of the lakefront trail separation project from Fullerton Avenue to North Avenue. Chicago’s entire 18-mile Lakefront Trail, which runs from Ardmore Avenue on the north to 71st Street on the south, will be separated for cyclists and pedestrians, and is expected to be complete in 2018.
“Opening the trail from Fullerton to North Avenues greatly improves access to Chicago’s lakefront for the thousands of Chicagoans and visitors that travel the path each day,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Trail separation does more than address issues of overcrowding; it builds a better future for one of the city’s greatest assets by ensuring Chicagoans and visitors are able to experience what the lakefront has to offer.”
Initial funding was provided by the Chicago Park District. Completion of the project was made possible by a generous donation from Ken Griffin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citadel.
“I’m thrilled that another section of the Lakefront trail separation is complete,” said Ken Griffin. “This progress reflects Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent Kelly’s great commitment to ensuring that everyone can safely enjoy their interests on Chicago’s majestic lakefront.”
The project is designed to alleviate areas of congestion by separating the Lakefront Trail into two distinct paths. The bike trail, made of asphalt, will measure 12 feet in width and will be located closest to Lake Shore Drive. The pedestrian trail measures 20 feet in width with 14 feet of asphalt and 6 feet of soft surface mix on either side.
“We are well on our way to enjoying 18-miles of continuous separate trails for bikers and runners,” said Chicago Park District CEO & Superintendent Michael P. Kelly. “The completion of the stretch from Fullerton Avenue to North Avenue is a wonderful addition to our Chicago park system and Lakefront, and will lead to safe and improved recreational and leisure opportunities for all.”
The separate paths are part of continued investments to improve access to the lakefront on the city’s North Side. Recently Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent Kelly reopened the Theater on the Lake (TOTL), which was transformed from a summer programming site to a year-round performance and special events venue. The historic aesthetics of the 1920 structure were maintained, and the 19,000 square foot lakefront venue that now includes a performance area for theater and music, a restaurant, two private event spaces and an outdoor patio.
The renovation project is one of many public and private investments that support Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Building on Burnham plan to invest in parks, the Lakefront, the Chicago River and other natural areas in neighborhoods across the city. This plan follows the Mayor’s successful expansion of Chicago’s park system and more than $800 million in capital investment from neighborhoods and private sources.
Chicago’s Lakefront Trail is one of the busiest in the United States. Used by cyclists, joggers and people enjoying the scenery, it is estimated that more than 100,000 people per day use the trail during summer weekends according to a recent study by the Active Transportation Alliance (ATA).