Community initiative to determine North Branch Trail extension impact of business climate




by BRIAN NADIG

A new community initiative is being held to determine how the North Branch Trail extension through Edgebrook, Indian Woods, Forest Glen and North Mayfair can improve the local business climate.

"New bike trails have been an economic stimulus when done correctly," Edgebrook Community Association vice president Jac Charlier said. "It’s leveraging the bike trails to grow business in these four neighborhoods."

The 3-mile extension, which has been under construction since late last year, is expected to bring thousands of bicyclists to thpse neighborhoods, Charlier said. The extension, which includes construction of two bridges, runs from the Devon and Caldwell avenues through Edgebrook Woods, Indian Woods, Forest Glen Woods and La Bagh Woods.

One possibility would be to open of a brew pub that would include a place for bike repairs, as trail users are looking for one-stop destinations which allows them to have to park and lock their bikes only once, Charlier said.

Charlier said that the community association, the Edgebrook Chamber of Commerce and Everyday Edgebrook have agreed to participate in the initiative, which is called "Bikes, Business and Building Community: Economic Development for Our Neighborhoods." Representatives of other area organizations have been contacted, and some suburban groups will be invited to join the initiative, he said.

A community meeting on the initiative will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Edgebrook Library, 5331 W. Devon Ave. For more information, call Charlier at 773-266-1420.

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