The Chainlink

The island now boasts a five-acre lagoon, as well as a pedestrian and BIKE trail.

I can't wait to see it !

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I'm really looking forward to seeing this.

Is it blocked off now or would someone be able to ride it before Friday? Any word on what time it opens on Friday? I'd like to add it back to my morning commute.

JeffB, sorry, I guess you've got to be a U.S.. senator to get in early. I can't find any opening time schedule in a search. l'm curious, how can you use this trail for your commute? It's a circular route inside the island.

Just to add a couple miles in a pleasant environment.

But I checked it out tonight and there's a wire fence at the big event tent.

Somewhat conflicting info on NI's facebook page, they note activities from 10 - 1 and a ribbon cutting at 10:30.  A bunch of FM staff got a tour from one of the US Army Corp ecologists earlier this summer, it's just magnificent. The other positive of not having an airport downtown primarily used by politicians is that now the politicians have to use the same airports that the public does - this is a good thing for all kinds of reasons.

Join us tomorrow as we celebrate the opening of the southern 40 acres of Northerly Island Park! The ribbon cutting ceremony kicks off at 10:30am with Chicago Park District Superintendent Mike Kelly and elected officials. Can't make the ribbon cutting? We're hosting some fun activities from 10am - 1pm that include:

*Fishing (at the harbor)
*Kite Making (along the trail)
*Kite Flying (along the trail, too)
*Bird Hike (you might spot a Great Blue Heron!)
*REI Biking Station

Bring your own bike and be the first few folks to bike the trail tomorrow! Hope you can join us!

The lagoon's neat. I just hope it's designed to survive storms like the one we had last Halloween. In the winter some groomed ski trails would be nice, too, since they do rentals from the old terminal building.

I love that this is coming together. I was at a political fundraiser years ago an ran into one of the Streets and San guys whose job it was to go out and dig the Xs in the Midway runway. 

It's funny to think about, but not that long ago Northerly Island was a runway for the elites, Millenium Park was old rail line terminals and The 606 was abandoned rail tracks. Now they are sources of pride for the whole city, Millenium Park in particular is an internationally known spot. 

Strongly agree.  I remember going to 12th St. beach as a small child and thinking, "What's with the giant fence and barbed wire keeping me from walking down this part of the lakefront when the rest of it is pretty much wide open"?  My kids can walk and ride their bikes there now.


I'm no fan of Daley but LOL any time I hear somebody complain that he closed Meigs, which was essentially a private haven for rich people and government elites.

And do you still feel that way when they close down the expressway to escort those excrescences from O'Hare to the Loop? 

Thanx for posting Tom!  I was about to do similarly. (may require "registration")

Note that Redmoon's "Great Chicago Fire" thing will be held there in just a few weeks:

I biked around it and hit the rocky beach just a few months ago and somehow noticed no construction nor obstacles to passage, but that could now be different.

Friday,the Northerly Island southern 40 acres opens up.  It will be nice but definitely not great, at least not for a while.  The Gang gang designed some of the features. Quote from Tribune," Building on the precedent of Gang's acclaimed Nature Board Walk in Lincoln Park, the pond has an undulating "soft edge" that celebrates nature instead of corralling it."  

 That is the plan.  The current reality is there is metal fencing immediately on both side of the path.  The concrete path is 12 feet wide, over a mile long and metal fenced on both side.   I attach a picture of two Schwinns combined age of 80 yrs on the 12.5 foot wide fenced section of the Lakefront Trail.  The cyclist pictured on this short section near Ohio Street Beach is not exactly expressing the joy of cycling.    I saw numerous segway tours on the 2008-2012 version of Northerly Island.  Imagine riding with them on a one mile 12 foot fenced path where nature might not be coralled but the cyclists sure are.

  There are some good points; One - the Northerly Island fences are shorter and more open than the fencing by Ohio Street pictured.  They are planned to come down in fall 2017 when the 12,000 shrubs and 400 trees are established.  Two - there are no quad-cycle rentals within 3 miles of  Northerly Island (currently.)    



I wouldn't obsess over the fencing in either case.  It's needed at NI as they need to protect the plantings while they're getting established, that's a fairly brutal site in that it is completely exposed to the lake winds.  Various published materials suggest that should be about a year, I don't expect we'll see the fencing up after that.

Regarding the temporary fencing/stretch of the LFT shown,  I'm not seeing what the height of the fence has to do with anything, you should be passing through that spot in a minute flat even on foot.  Parking one's bike IN this stretch is the only problem here.  Anyway, this fence is required due to the Navy Pier Flyover work as a safety precaution, I'm not seeing much relevance to NI outside of the fact large scale construction projects downtown are a big hot mess by definition.  

I do agree 100% that those quad-cycles are aggravating, and don't even get me started on the Segways, short-term revenue considerations trumping respect for the Commons.

For those that lived & cycled through the North Avenue work in the late 90s, you know the results will be worth the short term hassle.  For those that aren't familiar, we used to have a lakefront trail that essentially merged into the parking lot and then a skinny sidewalk full of parking meters behind the boat themed beach house at North Ave.  It was a godawful blemish that put cyclists in direct conflict with people fishing through their pockets for change, and I'd deal with months of fighting with traffic as we were temporarily routed to inner LSD again in a heartbeat.  Active Trans (nee Chicago Bicycle Federation) deserves our eternal thanks for helping make that happen.


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