BLOOMINGDALE TRAIL — A recent study conducted on usage of the Bloomingdale 606 Trail noticed an alarming trend. According to the study’s findings, traffic on the popular pedestrian walkway could be 100% dog by 2030.
“Since the opening of the trail in 2015, we’ve seen a healthy ecosystem of users,” said William Neuwson, 43, a civil engineer who conducted the study for the upcoming trail expansion into Lincoln Yards. “Runners, bikers, people on very low-effort dates, etc. There’s always been a lot of dog walkers, but we were disturbed to see a nearly 400% annual rise in dogs on the trail.”
Neuwson’s study found that if current trends continue, people could be driven off the trail entirely, leaving the miles of elevated greenway just for dogs to walk around on. Bikers, runners and teens looking for a place to vape would find the trail unusable, a “river of dogs” as described in the study’s final report.
“I walk the trail a lot,” said Georgia Lang, 27, a barista at a Wicker Park coffee shop near the 606. “I used to stop and pet every dog I’d see because I’m just that quirky, but I had to stop because there’s so many dogs I’d never have time for anything else. I’d probably starved to death! That’s how quirked up I am!”
“Chicagoans love to have big, rowdy dogs so they can have a ready-made excuse to move to the suburbs,” said Owen Noel, 36, a dog trainer, “having a public space like the 606 is practically a magnet for dogs. When it was being built I suggested installing high-frequency alarms to periodically drive away dogs, but they apparently also made kids under 6’s ears bleed.”
To combat the effects of “dogification” in the area — which is like gentrification, but much cuter — the experts behind the report have suggested ways residents can help keep the 606 to appropriate dog levels.
“We find that one of the easiest ways to keep dog walkers moving on the 606 is to ask them annoying questions about their dog,” said Neuwson. “Stuff like ‘are you walking that dog or is that dog walking you?’ is always good, if it’s a big dog ask ‘is that a horse?’ and if it’s a small dog ask ‘is that a horse?’ but wink.