Bridging across roads from one block to the next, the Bloomingdale Trail has provided Chicago an excuse to revamp derelict train tracks and turn neglected space (sometimes used informally by joggers) into green areas. It also makes a useful cross-city connector for walkers and bikers heading too and from downtown and Lake Michigan, tying together parks and paths in between. For more information and additional images, it is well worth looking at the framework plan PDF for the project.
The QueensWay Project in New York City
Not to be outdone, New York is working to stay ahead in the race to convert deserted rails to lush parks, pushing forward with the QueensWay.
From the project homepage: “The QueensWay is a community-led effort to transform a blighted, 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railway in Central Queens (Rego Park, Forest Hills, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, and Ozone Park) into a new linear park and cultural greenway. At this time, a team of consultants are conducting a feasibility study and planning process, to identify options for converting the abandoned railway into a pedestrian and bike path, incorporate cultural and community programs, and connect the adjacent neighborhoods to each other and to Forest Park.”