Safety tops residents' concerns about forthcoming Bloomingdale Trail

September 25, 2012

Anthony Martinez

(Steve Vance/Flickr)
The more than 100 year old railroad embankment will soon be converted into a multi-use recreational trail.

In a meeting Monday at the Humboldt Park fieldhouse, Chicago residents offered feedback on the latest design of the Bloomingdale Trail. The nearly three-mile elevated linear park will run through four Chicago neighborhoods: Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square and Humboldt Park.

Steven Jensen, a resident of Bucktown, voiced a concern for safety on the trail. Bucktown and the surrounding areas have seen a 23% increase in all crimes over the past nine months.

“With it being elevated, the sightlines are blocked from police on the street, and with the amount of crime we’ve had on the entire border of the trail itself on the ground level, that crime could migrate upstairs and I’m worried about the ability of responders to get up there,” said Jensen.

The Trust for Public Land, the national nonprofit behind the creation of the trail, said they're working closely with the Chicago Police Department during the design process to address some of these concerns. Beth White, the Chicago Area Office Director for The Trust for Public Land, thinks the trail will have a positive influence on communities.  

"My own philosophy is that it’s going to be safer all together because now it’s kind of a no-mans-land up there and once it’s a park, it can be designed and monitored in a way that'll be safer... These are concerns we work on everyday. We’re at 60% design so some of those details we’ll work out on our way to 100% design," said White.

Construction of the Bloomingdale Trail is slated to begin in late spring of 2013. The expected date of completion is fall of 2014. 

Statistics on criminal activity by community area (including those along the Bloomingdale Trail) can be found on the Chicago Police Department's CLEARMAP Crime Summary