Epstein was selected by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to prepare the Northern Lakeshore Trail Connectivity Plan. The objective of the project is to improve walking, bicycling, and access to transit between and among the five northern lakeshore communities of Winthrop Harbor, Zion, Beach Park, Waukegan, and North Chicago along Lake Michigan. These five communities worked to improve connections between commuter rail stations and Illinois Beach State Park, a key regional destination managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The project included network planning, conceptual plan and design guidelines, cost estimates, stakeholder engagement, and an implementation strategy to include key stakeholders such as residents, economic development agencies, and departments of transportation. The consultant team includes The Lakota Group, who provided assistance in branding, community engagement, and wayfinding, and the Active Transportation Alliance, specializing in geographic information systems (GIS) analysis, engagement, and transportation recommendations.