The 606 Framework Plan

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Program: Framework Development Plan for an Elevated Park
Status: Complete, 2015
Collaborative Partners: Arup, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Chicago Public Art Group
Photography: © Kate Joyce Studios and Ross Barney Architects
More Information: Framework Plan

The 606 (Bloomingdale Trail) is a 2.7 mile long park and bicycle route that utilizes an abandoned elevated railroad right-of-way. The design team analyzed the trail, including potential connections to transportation networks, commercial strips, parks, and schools.The elevated 606  will, literally and metaphorically, bridge neighborhoods now separated by trafficked streets. The original construction eliminated almost 40 grade crossings and will now provide safe passage. .One of the advantages of the reuse of the embankment is that it isolates pedestrians and bicyclists from the congestion of the city streets and it creates a safe passage for circulation from the adjacent neighborhoods to parks and nearby schools. The trail will be among the first of its kind and a model for the conversion of other unused infrastructure, both for its design and high level of community involvement. The design team worked with community members for four days during a design charrette, developing ideas. Reflecting and building upon the public’s desires and working with partners, the development of a unified vision for the 606 was a result. That vision, and the guidelines to achieve it, are now being used to transform a piece of unused infrastructure into a valued social space The trail will be the second longest path without any street crossings in Chicago behind only the lakefront paths.