The pedway makes life easier for the Loop's new residents

Life is pretty sweet for people living at the new downtown highrise The Heritage at Millennium Park. First of all they have a neighborhood full of great cultural attractions. But they can also access Chicago’s underground walkway, the pedway, from the basement of their building.

On a cold winter’s day they can nip through the pedway to the basement of Marshall Field’s for a spot of shopping. In the basement of Field’s alone, is the gourmet food and wine market, and a sports bar called In Field’s. It’s an easy way for them to get down to the Theater District, too.

The pedway covers the area bounded by Wacker Drive, Monroe Street, LaSalle Street and Columbus Drive. It’s not a continuous route, but a collection of walkways that sometimes hook up to each other, and at other times simply dead-end.

You can access the pedway at numerous points of the city and walk through it to get to the basements of about 50 buildings, where you can shop, eat, and run errands.

New Loop residents might be interested to know that some of the downtown pedway routes will connect them up to the basements of the places like the James R. Thompson Center, the County Building and City Hall. In the cold of winter, it’s a nice way to get to all the government agencies located deep in the bowels of these buildings. You could get to the Secretary of State’s office to update your drivers’ license photo, or pay your auto insurance at AAA.

Some of the pedway systems also wind up in the basmements of buildings which contain useful things like a post office, optometrist, drycleaners, barbers, newstands and even car rental companies, as we mentioned before.

The Loop is starting to look like a pretty civilized neighborhood to live in. Now we just have to lobby the city to open it on weekends.

Heck, the residents at The Heritage can literally use the pedway to get them to just about anywhere in the world.

People living at The Heritage could feasibly walk down to their basements, follow the pedway to Wabash Avenue, then through to the basement of Marshall Field’s. From there they could continue walking through the State Street el station, under Block 37 and over to the Washington/Randolph blue line train. Then they could take the train to Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

(They’ll have to wait a little while, though, to access the last stretch of the pedway, because the section that runs under Block 37 is closed while the 108 North State Street mixed-use development is under construction.)

Sounds nice. I can’t think of any other Chicago neighborhood that allows you to do that.

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