This Sunday’s Chicago Tribune had a huge feature on the 606 Trail and the effects it is having on the neighborhoods it will be running through. For those of you not familiar with the “606“, this is a city project much like the famed High Line in New York City’s meatpacking district. Chicago will be repurposing a former elevated train track stretching for 3 miles between Ridgeway and Ashland Avenue, along Bloomington Avenue and transforming it into an elevated park with walking/jogging paths, lush greenery, and access points throughout the route. It will be called the 606 because all of Chicago’s zip codes begin with those three numbers.
Why do we care? Well, our new house will be just five houses down from the 606 and extremely close to the access point at Western Avenue. This was a major selling point to us because it was a powerful indicator of the change and growth it would bring to the Wow (West of Western) District neighborhood – and it will be very pretty and fun to use. The neighborhood was once owner of a stigma that advised pedestrians not to travel “west of western” for safety reasons (often unfound), but this jolt in development will be encouraging Chicagoans to now travel much further west of Western and will surely bring new business and a stimulated economy to the area.
The project was originally scheduled to be completed this Fall, but due to last winter’s Polar Vortex and the inability for any of the plantings to take root, it is looking to next Spring for its completion date – ie it will be ready upon our arrival!
To learn more about the 606 and follow its construction status, check out the 606 Facebook page.