We’re sharing here a link to the full way finding plan developed for us by Brook Architecture and funded by The Chicago Community Trust with a Great Rivers grant in 2018. The city and county implemented one part of the plan, the half mile markers. We are deeply grateful and thankful for this implementation and we look forward to implementing more of the plan in future.
The purpose of this community planning effort, as expressed by [Major Taylor Trailkeepers] , is to improve the experience along the Major Taylor Trail and to increase traffic at the riverfront destination. Brook Architecture was tasked with the following goals:
- Coordinate with CCFP, CDOT and CPD to brand the MTT
- Engage with an art planning association to develop creative place making strategies utilizing functional artwork and coordinate with CCFP, CDOT and CPD
- Identify best practices for monitoring increased traffic
In order to accomplish these goals, the work was broken up into the following three phases:
- Investigation – What are we working with?
- Information gathering – What do the people want?
- Planning and design – What can this look like?
As the first step in the planning process, Brook Architecture surveyed the trail to identify its defining characteristics and opportunities for potential scope. This information was used to create a base map of the study area (Exhibit A).
Next, Brook identified community stake holders and researched existing documentation on place making opportunities for the identified areas of interest. This research was used to create an inspirational map of potential development along the trail (Exhibit B).
The two maps of the trail were presented in a community charrette organized to gather input from residents, municipal agencies and additional stake holders. Participants were asked to share their thoughts, ideas and concerns about the trail through various exercises.
With all of the information gathered, a final trail map was created to identify opportunities for branding and place making. Brook Architecture collaborated with a graphic designer to create an overall sign strategy and thematic options for the Major Taylor Trail. Brook also researched the best practices for monitoring the increased pedestrian and cyclist traffic.