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Edgewater-Rogers Park Boardwalk Plan Still Alive

By Benjamin Woodard | August 12, 2014 5:30am
 Artist Paul Noah created conceptual drawings of a promenade along Edgewater's lakefront.
Edgewater Beachwalk Concept
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EDGEWATER — The bold proposal to link Edgewater and Rogers Park with a lakefront boardwalk is alive.

Morry Matson, the founder and organizer of the Edgewater Beachwalk proposal, announced a public meeting on the matter at 10 a.m. Friday at the Edgewater Library, 6000 North Broadway.

Matson's plan is to build the pathway in four sections over about a mile, beginning with a short promenade from the Kathy Osterman Beach House to the end of the lakefront bike path at Ardmore Avenue. Then it would stretch across the sand to Lane Beach Park at Thorndale Avenue.

Ben Woodard outlines the likelihood this project gets off the ground:

That much has been proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) — and has met mixed reviews from protective condo dwellers, even though the city already has set aside $1.5 million for the $4 million project.

But Matson's idea goes beyond that of the city's.

The lighted pathway — split by a median of small shrubs, one side for pedestrians and the other for bicycles — would continue as a raised boardwalk from Thorndale to Berger Park, then to Devon Avenue Park and the "Jesus Statue" on Loyola University's campus.

At the meeting Friday, Matson said he will give a presentation to update residents on the cost, layout and benefits of the boardwalk, which has been opposed by some.

Matson aims to submit 1,485 petition signatures to the city's Board of Election Commissioners on Aug. 22 to include a question for Edgewater precincts on the Nov. 4 general election ballot that would ask whether voters support the project.

A rally for the boardwalk is also planned for 11 a.m. Aug. 22 outside the 48th Ward Office, 5533 N. Broadway.

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