The Chicago Riverpark is poised to be an amenity for the City of Chicago; expanding on what exists, making connections, and bridging barriers. When it finished its final phase in 2016, the Chicago Riverwalk connected Chicagoans to the well-loved lakefront at river level. However, street level, where much of the life and activity of Chicago’s Central Business District takes place is ~20 feet above river level; a legacy of the 1909 Plan of Chicago.
Wacker Drive, which runs along the main and south branches of the Chicago River, serves as the primary thorough-fare for traffic but has seen volumes decline over the past decade. By removing one or two lanes from the roadway, an expand recreational and pedestrian zone next to the Riverwalk is created while maintaining needed-volume and access on the existing roadway.
The Riverpark proposal includes a bicycle path, relieving congestion along the river’s edge and providing a more comfortable place to ride. Perhaps most importantly for the cyclist, the Riverpark include a path that connects Upper Wacker Drive to Columbus Drive, the Chicago River, and the Lake.