Both cycling and outdoor advocates alike are pushing for an already partially-finished greenway trail to move on to the final stages of completion. Original plans for the Marquette Greenway trail date all the way back to 2003. Now nearly 20 years later cyclists across Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan hope to make this dream become a reality.
Of the project Marcy Hamilton, deputy executive director for the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission told Block Club Chicago,
It’s very common for Southwest Michigan folks to take a day trip in Chicago. Being able to do it by bike would definitely be advantageous
Similarly, Hamilton says, "It’s known that people from Chicago love to vacation in harbor country in southwest Michigan." Chicagoans like to visit Michigan, and we Michiganders like to visit Chicago. It's a two-way street, literally.
Marquette Greenway Trail
Once completed the new trail will allow both pedestrians and cyclists a safe, paved, motor vehicle-free space to enjoy Michigan's scenic lakeshore. Starting in New Buffalo, MI the 58-mile trail will run through the Indiana Dunes National Park and follow the lakeshore before ending at Calumet Park in Chicago.
What's the Status?
So far approximately 22 miles of the Marquette Greenway trail have already been built, mostly in the Chicago area. Of the remaining 38 miles of trailway, 32 miles in Indiana are fully-funded leaving several miles in Michigan partially funded.
When finished not only will the trail create a great alternative route for commuters, but the paved trail will also make the scenic lakeshore more accessible than ever to wheelchairs, strollers, and those with mobility issues.
I can't wait to see the finished project-- I hope that happens sooner rather than later. More details on the Marquette Greenway project can be found here.