Chicago doesn't have a lot of money to devote to new park construction these days, but that hasn't prevented planners for laying out the groundwork for some major new greenways. Two of those planned parks — the Bloomingdale Trail and the extension of the downtown Riverwalk — share some common features. They are both long, narrow parks that would make use of previously undeveloped real estate, drawing people above and below the existing urban space. Both would serve as alternative transportation routes for cyclists and pedestrians. The Bloomingdale Trail has been compared to New York's High Line, but the Riverwalk, located in the canyon of Wacker Drive skyscrapers, might actually be a better comparison. The main holdup for both projects is funding. The Bloomingdale Trail will cost an estimated $75 million to build, and extending the Riverwalk from State Street to Lake Street will cost at least $60 million — and that's money the city doesn't currently have.
In a perfect world, both the Bloomingdale Trail and the Riverwalk extension would be finished in just a couple of years. But if forced to choose, which project would you like to see completed first?