A raceway at Millennium Park? You bet!
But not a full-sized one, by any stretch of the imagination – this raceway will be 12 feet by 12 feet, designed for kids to get their race on near the playground in the city's most iconic recreation venue.
In his report to council on the subject, city director of Transportation and Civic Works Chris Barlow told mayor and councillors that Trowelex Rentals not only proposed the idea, but also offered to pay for the whole thing.
“Trowelex is proposing to provide all the volunteer labour and materials to construct the park,” Barlow said. “The addition of the raceway will complement the existing playground set and other Millennium Park attractions.”
Council agreed, voting unanimously to move forward with the raceway.
Trowelex owner Kevin Chernoff (who is also a sitting member of council, and thus recused himself from the vote) said he and the Trowelex staff wanted a project for which they could all volunteer together, and agreed that the raceway would be a nice addition to the kids' play area.
“We'll drop off some toy trucks and cares to get the ball rolling,” he said. “It's be in a figure-eight style – we think we'll pour it out of dyed-black concrete, then paint on the lines. There'll be nothing that juts out of the ground, so city crews can just mow right over it.
“This way, kids can use their imaginations – put down the iPhone and the iPad and play the way kids were meant to play.”
He said it will likely cost around $2,000, providing, “a lot of impact for not a huge dollar”, adding it's an idea way to give back to the community.
He largely credits his staff for both the idea and it's forthcoming implementation.
“They were the driving force behind it.”
The project should be complete some time this summer.