The Bloomingdale Trail and the High Line

It seems like every article about Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail contains a mandatory reference to New York’s High Line.

Last Saturday I made my second visit to the High Line. I visited the initial phase two years ago, and this was my first look at the second phase. I’ve been along the path of the Bloomingdale Trail numerous times, but never on it.

Beyond noting that both projects are elevated linear parks on former rail lines, it’s difficult to see what else they’ll have in common.

The Bloomingdale Trail will never match the High Line as a tourist draw, as a spur for development, as a vantage point for great urban vistas, as a venue for performance and dining spaces or as a step-out park for adjacent residents. Bikes are forbidden on the High Line, so it will never match the Bloomingdale Trail as a transportation corridor or a destination for dangerous clashes with ill-mannered bikers.

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