Griffin has agreed to donate $12 million to the Chicago Park District to complete the lakefront trail separation project in 2018.
In March, Emanuel announced plans to separate the lakefront trail from Fullerton to Ohio and 31st Street to 51st. It was part of “Building on Burnham,” the mayor’s comprehensive plan to improve Chicago parks and create more open space in a city that needs more of it.
At the time, the plan called for 7 miles of the 18-mile lakefront path to be repaved “with a clear north and south divider” to improve safety.
2018 is also when the Navy Pier flyover is planned for completion. That, plus Griffin's generous donation, and we're talking about 72 million dollars in improvements!
This is great news. That being said, I am tired of hearing in the press releases how a cyclist plowed into the female runner. The full story is that the crash happened as the runner made a u-turn at the Diversey Bridge without adequately looking. In an interview last year, she admitted she saw the first cyclist but not the second. (The cyclist that did hit her did not stop - not good.) My point is even with the separate paths, there will still be points of conflict where all trail users will need to look out for each other. There needs to be an educational campaign to get runners to look and cyclists to signal before making any turns on the LFT.
I'm hopeful that there will be a separate pedestrian bridge built at Diversey, since that is one of the worst places for conflicts on the north side of the trail. But I don't think anyone has seen the plans yet, so we may have to lobby for it.
Ugh. I actually dropped my membership in Active Trans due to their promotion of that story. There are enough ways to point out conflict on the path without demonizing one group of users. And I agree, education and public awareness are key; so many users, for example, wear headphones and can't hear other users, so should be paying greater attention.
Cheryl, there's a law banning riding on the sidewalk; would you propose banning headphones as well?
I feel depressed by this, even though I welcome the new infra. Because...instead of the public recognizing a good thing and doing it, we are at the mercy of a rich person. This is not freedom.
About time! Pedestrians and cyclists sharing the same trail is dangerous.