The Chainlink

Clark Park is a pristine river front park which contains acres of green space and a half mile river front trail, soccer fields, native gardens and a state-of-the-art BMX trail. Also, it has a public canoe/kayak launch and is a recognized butterfly sanctuary and bird watching habitat.

We oppose constructing a 2 acre sized boat warehouse/crewing facility which will negatively impact the park - it will be too large for Clark Park and introduce a 3 story building, surrounded by concrete, increased vehicle traffic, and will interrupt existing activities at the park. The public demands a period of public review to investigate moving the facility to a larger park or a different location.

A much smaller boathouse facility could be constructed at Clark Park, containing canoes/kayak, badly needed washrooms and a public water source, concessios and possible bike rental. Green Space is the most valuable resource in the parks, especially in this one-of-a-kind riverfront park - it must be protected for future generations. 

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I just did a search for Clark Park in Chicago to confirm it is near Roscoe Village and in the 47th ward which is my ward.

I've never been here but heard its beautiful and awesome for BMX bikes. Found a blog post on Dottie's Let's Go Ride A Bikehere.

I don't have any more details on the proposed construction.  I just saw this posted on the CAMBR site today and thought I should share it.  

It is in Roscoe Village and is an awesome bike park, competing with some of the most progressive BMX friendly cities in the country with public bike parks.  The park is maintained by volunteers and riders, who have put in literally thousands of hours of work to get it to where it is today.

The park contains a big section for experts as well as a "roller track" for youth just getting into BMX and those with mountain bikes that want to play around a bit.  I think its very special to have this kind of thing in our city and would hate to see it go away.

I have seen some of the proposal and it is no where near as dire (IMHO) as they make it out to be. We were at the park for a FFR and all i could think was "What a great place for a boat house."

Please note THE BMX TRAIL WILL NOT BE REMOVED. Looks like a great addition to the park to me. There was a poster on another site pushing the ban and it took me a month to get this picture.

There was a fairly lengthy discussion of the proposed boathouse on Yelp about a month ago.  As far as I can tell, the two community objections to the boathouse were: it was going to obliterate a native prairie planting that some folks in the neighborhood had spent a considerable amount of time and money on creating; and that a large portion of the boathouse would be an indoor rowing tank, off-limits to anyone not belonging to a sculling team, turning a big chunk of the property from public space to private space.

I'd recommend reviewing the Clark Park facebook page.  You can find links to recent newspaper articles, drawing of the proposed boat warehouse, suggested alternative location and an on-line petition. 

Not all bicyclists at Clark Park are riding the BMX trails.  Many people enjoy riding their bikes along the river on the paved path, from Addison to Belmont.  People enjoy riding along the river because of the woods, green space and gardens.  All of this would be lost if we allow a private crewing club to build a private facility and boat warehouse in the heart of Clark Park.  Many members of the crewing club don't even live in Chicago. 


It's a big river, they should consider another location.  It's great the public is having an opportunity to weigh in on this discussion.


Should Clark Park be for the public to enjoy, or should we let a private club take it over?


I thought I would create an overlay of the proposed Boat House on a Google Map of Clark Park to give the people a better feel for the size and scope of the project as it has not been made available by either side of the argument. 

I am not seeing how this is going to ruin the feel of the park. As you can see it is on the southern end of the park and not taking up 2 acres. Personally it's open design 2 story structure with a roof top deck looks great. While it is not a bed of wild flowers it is hardly a horrible addition to the park. You can see they are not adding any parking spaces to the area and putting it up on the southern end up near the tree line (where the bitching BMX trails are and will remain) 

Having folks from outside of the city come to use the Boat House is a good thing right? Any time you can build infrastructure that encourages dollars from outside the community/city limits is a win for the immediate area. My opinion, which is mine alone, is that the benefit of job creation (construction, possible jobs for locals at the boat house, and monies spent at local restaurants and shops) is a good thing for the area surrounding the park... Isn't it? 

I have to add Casey that I find the title of this thread very misleading as it claims something that it completely false. Using false titles and statements to bolster a cause undermines the quality of the argument.

It looks pretty disruptive and using a good portion of the green space to me.

More car trips from the burbiess and back is somehow a good thing?  

There isn't a Metra station anywhere near there or an easy transfer to quick/reliable CTA anywhere in sight.  Somehow I don't think these rich rowing burbies are going to be taking the CTA bus.  (and to anyone who thinks I'm anti-rowing I've got a Concept 2 rowing machine in my living room.  Maybe I'm anti-elitist)

Looking at that monstrosity plopped right into the middle of a green space I wonder what ever happened to the plan of crossing the river with a bike bridge here at Roscoe?  I guess that plan is out the window now too so elite burbies can come play in an expensive indoor swimming pool at taxpayer expense.

Alright Tim; we get it, you like skulling.  All the information was pulled from the CAMBR website and the link I posted.  I'm sorry if you think its misleading, but we all know that plans and what comes of them can change when construction time begins.

The fact is there are bike/ walking trails and Chicago Kayak Rental there that will be displaced.  Both things that I and others in my neighborhood use.

I'm not opposed to the facility itself, but people actually use that area for picnics, soccer, frisbee, you name it.  I think the wooded areas near the river in Horner Park or California park (or some of the run down private land on the river) would make a far better location for this without taking away green space that the public actually uses.

+1 to building this on private land!  

There is a TON of it along the river that they could buy and use -and in the middle of a commercial real estate crisis that dwarfs the residential crisis and which the news is trying so hard to pretend doesn't exist it shouldn't be hard to find deals on former industrial/commercial land that would better suit this project  .  

Stop the corporate-crony privatization of our so-called public lands.   The tragedy of the commons is all that much more tragic when rich corporate interests and elite hot-shots can ride rough-shod over city planners and entice them into corporate cronyism by selling off public assets.  Remember LAZ?

And again I ask -whatever happened to the plan to cross the river at Roscoe as part of the bike boulevards cycle tracks plan?  Is this now off the table?  It doesn't seem they are going to make the crossing at Belmont any safer any time soon.  I suppose us bikes will be stuck walking our bikes through this area to get over the river while the rich crew dudes get a special boathouse...

While I would love to see the Roscoe bike bridge come to fruition, I really don't find crossing at Belmont all that bad.  It's on my commute to work and I have crossed twice a day (taking the right lane) for the last 2 years without incident.

I really don't understand why Belmont is 4 lanes over the river and 2 after the stop sign on the West, or why Addison was resurfaced and striped as a 4 lane, when it could have been 2 lanes with a center turn lane and bike lanes, but I probably should be going to more planning meetings than complaining...

My apologies Casey for suggesting it was your claim when it was someone else who made the false connection. Re my like of sculling - Closest I have come to rowing was watching the varsity team from my university crush other schools and rowing a dinghy to my parents boat when I was a kid. I really have no horse in the race, it just bothers me that this is the second thread on sites that I frequent with misleading statements in order to get a rise out of the posting public. 

Is Chicago Kayak Rental going to be displaced? If not it seems that it would be an upgrade to their current situation.

Rich Rowing burbies. I love that anything that has to do with water is assumed to be a rich mans sport. One could argue that Cycling is a rich mans sport as there are bikes that run well over 15k, plus all the extra kit to outfit the bike and rider but we all know that you can by a perfectly fine bike for under a $100 bucks and wear your street clothes.

I race sailboats, does this make me a 1%'r? Nope, I have the best boat ever... not mine. We need to get away from the "class warfare" that seems to be the talking point du'jour. 


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