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The Economic Case for a New Chicago Area Trail

Steve Buchtel pitched the 26-mile Cal-Sag Trail, which will stitch together disparate suburbs of Chicago, as offering benefits beyond recreation.
relates to The Economic Case for a New Chicago Area Trail
Matthew G. Dicker/Shutterstock

To the founder of Trails for Illinois, the worst kind of sign is one that reads PATH CLOSED. But in June—on National Trails Day, no less—Steve Buchtel beamed upon seeing just such a sign in Chicago's south suburbs, "because before that there had been no path."

After almost a decade of planning, the largest trails project in the Midwest was finally becoming a reality.