In January 2019, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) initiated the preliminary engineering and environmental studies (Phase I) for the proposed El Paseo Trail starting at 21st Street to the terminus in Little Village. The Sangamon portion is led by DPD separately and will likely be the first phase of completion. The Phase I Study will identify potential cultural, historic, environmental, and physical impacts of the proposed El Paseo Trail. The Phase I Study will take approximately 18 months to complete. The study is being administered by the Chicago Department of Transportation. They have hired a consultant team lead by Christopher B. Burke Engineering (engineering lead) and includes subconsultants: Blue Daring (public involvement), Altamanu (landscape architecture), and Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants (framework masterplan). The completion of the Phase I Study will allow DPD and CDOT to apply for federal funding.
As part of the Phase I Study, a robust public involvement process will be necessary to gather community input. El Paseo Community Garden, NeighborSpace, the 25th ward Alderman, Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, and community partners will assist in the community involvement along the Sangamon portion. The public involvement process will include local residents, property owners, business owners, and representatives from local organizations that will ensure the public’s needs are addressed during the Phase I Study and beyond.