The Bloomingdale Trail is an idea for an elevated park running parallel to Bloomingdale Avenue in in Chicago utilizing abandoned rail tracks.

Currently the lead of the effort is the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail.


The Friends believe that the trail will cost $25 Million dollars. This estimate is from 2006 and it is unclear where is comes from. More current estimates are below.

Wikia estimated cost is $7 million. This is a number base on the uneducated numbers below. Please discuss these items and improve the estimates.

  • Landscaping = 1 million
Work on landscaping has begun despite unclear ownership.
Current needs are:
    • Removal of current plants --> done by Street Groups
    • Purchasing of grass seed and mulch --> $$??
    • Spreading of mulch and seed --> done by Street Groups
    • Cutting of grass --> done by park district
Much of the future landscaping will be installed by Bloomingdale Street Groups. It is hoped that the rail ties currently on the sight will be incorporated into future landscaping.
  • Engineering = $3 million
The primary engineering need is bridge stability.
  • Construction = $100,000 - $500,000
The primary construction needs are fences and grading.
Primary construction needs
    • Removal of current rail tracks --> done by Street Groups
    • regrading of land --> done by Street Groups
  • Architecture = $2 million
The primary architecture need is access points.
  • Infrastructure Improvements


  • Government
    • City
The trail is endorsed by local leaders such as
   * Mayor Richard M. Daley
   * State Senator Iris Martinez
   * Ald. Rey Colón (35th Ward)
   * Ald. Manuel Flores (1st Ward)
   * Ald Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward)
   * Ald. Billy Ocasio (26th Ward)
They have secured ??? funding for the trail.
    • Chicago Park District
City wide Acquisition and Development Budget - $46M 2008, $49M 2009, $85M 2010
City wide Site Improvements - $22M 2008, $12M 2009, $11M 2010

(source 2008-12 Chicago Park District Capital Improvement Plan)

    • Federal
The trail is endorsed by federal leaders such as
   * U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (4th District)
He has secured ??? funding for the trail.

In July 2007 the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning recommended the project for a total of | $2.64 million in federal funding over the next two years.

  • Local
Bloomingdale Street Groups will make up the remainder of the funding for the trail. Each street will sponsor the section of the trail closest to their street will free labor and funding. The 45 street groups will each have a goal to raise 1/45 of the cost not met by the government. Using FOTBT numbers with no government funding this would be half a million dollars each group. There are approximately 100 residents in the average street groups. This is $5,000 per household - before government funding. Property values will go up approximately $XXXX each once the park is complete.
  • Private
  • Other
    • Sale of rail tracks


The trail will not be built without the help of active volunteers. These will be coordinated by the Bloomingdale Street Groups.


The trail is owned by Canadian Pacific Railroad. It is also believed that the railroad would willingly donate this land to the city.

Access Points[]

The trail is currently used today by local residents as a walking a jogging trail. While it would be difficult to restrict access, the trail is currently dangerous due to broken glass, uneven running surfaces, and difficult entry/exits.

The Plan[]


This website is intended to be an open sounding board for the communities ideas.

The 606