The Chainlink

Call the Park District to get Saftey Cones/ Painted Cross walks on the LFT

I ride the LFT most of the year. After last summer's "re-surfacing, I had hoped that the Park District would follow up and paint the crosswalks and put up cones ( with he state law sign to stop for pedestrians) at the Park's vehicular entrances to notify the drivers. We as riders have responsibility for sure but the locations of the stop signs relative to the LFT and lack of cross walk markings and/or cones are confusing to the vehicular traffic.

Years ago, there were cones and painted cross walks but no longer. Every year ( I am not exaggerating) , I see some biker who has been hit by a car passing through the entrances to the park. Last year, it was a brutal hit-bike parts everywhere.  I almost got hit myself a few weeks ago. I had slowed down considerably but the driver was not looking for someone to cross.. The entrances are inherently confusing.

Last year, I contacted the transportation writer at the Trib but she could not find that CPD keeps records of injuries and didn't pursue it. A few weeks ago I called CPD Dir of Operations, Patrick Lever to try and discuss this. They took my number but no one's surprise, I didnt get a call back. 

The paint and cones cost almost nothing and I feel certain that they will make drivers much more aware of the bike and pedestrian traffic crossing the entrances. 

So , I am asking my fellow bikers to call Patrick Lever at (312) 742-4300.

Ask to speak to Patrick and if you dont get him, leave a message that the CPD needs to  paint the cross walks and put in cones. The cones with the State Law Message are essential.  If we can make this happen, we will likely spare someone a major hit.

Patrick Lever at (312) 742-4300.

 (http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/departments/leadership/chief-ope...)

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All the intersections from Belmont Harbor to Foster are tough if you don't slow down for them.  Sometimes even if you do, but at least you have a better chance to be seen or see if the driver's looking desperate. In the mornings off duty buses in particular seem good at pulling in front of trail traffic, while during rush hour there are some very impatient drivers that get stuck at those stop signs. The last time warning signs were placed in the crossings they were run over so many times they fell apart and that's why they're gone today. I don't know if more of them is a good idea. Maybe larger stop signs and more prominent paint for the crosswalks would help. Anything other than the terrible joke Evanston inflicted on Sheridan Road.

That said I'd like to see better managing of the traffic light at LaSalle. Lots of cars trying to get out of the parking lot are trapped by bikes and walkers that don't see the special green light that traffic gets for only about eight seconds every cycle.

Agreed. They re-routed the path about 10 years to cross the entrance. The trail used to around the lot. 
This crossing is avoidable but maybe not preferable. 

I think better light timing and signaling would help, but I could say that about a lot of intersections in the city.

If you have a moment call the CPD. It will take 1 minute to leave the message. We get 10 callers and they just might do something.

While the signs are good to alert drivers, I actually thought of them as a physical hazard for trail users.  If the signs are replaced, they should somehow be farther away from the LFT cross walk or installed on sign posts on the edges of the street.

Great that you remembered that. Placement could be outside the crosswalk but i just want the cars to have something to slow them down. Please give them a ring if you can. I'm calling every day. This is such a cheap solution to save someone.  

I just spoke to the CPD Project Manager for the LFT separation project. He believes that the entrances are teh city's responsibilities ans is checking into it.  In the conversation, he told me that the separation runners from bikers project will begin this summer and will essentially shut down the trail from Berry to LaSalle rerouting bike traffic to the west side of LSD. they are still getting the plan together and will publish schedules and routes in the coming weeks. Tough news after last summer's incremental closing for re-surfacing. Ill cross post to another thread

I'd add to this wish list the removal of the Yield signs on the path at a couple of those intersections.  Drivers have interpreted those signs to mean that once they've come to a stop on the other side of a broad intersection that they can continue through the intersection even if there is traffic on the path because the traffic on the path has a Yield sign.  I was nearly run over, berated and then physically threatened one morning by a driver in these circumstances.

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