As many are aware, Chicago’s Lakefront Path receives high volumes of path users, especially during peak times during the nice weather.
The December 16, 2014 post titled “Accidents On Chicago’s Lakefront Path” discusses various aspects of the path and its usage, and why there is (high) potential for accidents on the path.
One aspect of the path that is especially problematical is that path users include bicyclists, runners, walkers, and rollerbladers. All of these groups move at different speeds, with some traveling at relatively high speeds. As well, at any given time there are many people who may be trying to walk across the path, thereby “crossing” traffic, to access or leave the beach areas.
Given this situation, especially during popular times such as the weekends, the overall situation lends itself to the possibility of collisions and other types of accidents. Over the years there have been numerous accidents, as well as lawsuits over some of the accompanying accident injuries.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to announce future plans so that bicyclists and joggers would have different lanes in two different areas of the path. These plans would likely increase safety for path users.
An excerpt from the Chicago Tribune article of March 19, 2016 concerning the plans, titled “Emanuel wants to split lakefront trail for bikers, joggers“:
The widening, which would happen from about Fullerton Avenue to Ohio Street on the North Side and from 31st Street to 51st Street on the South Side, doesn’t yet have a price tag. And officials were vague about how it would be paid for, other than out of the Chicago Park District’s budget the next three years.
The trail, which becomes perilously packed with zooming riders, inline skaters and runners on summer weekends, wouldn’t be separated at some of the most heavily used areas near downtown and the museum campus because there isn’t room.
Additional details and possible updates can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Chicago Tribune article mentioned above, as well as the March 21 dnainfo.com article titled “Runners, Bikers Would Have Separate Lakefront Trail Paths Under City Plan.”
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