Saw another bike/ped collision just north of Fullerton last night (both were ok). I've also had a couple of close calls with joggers entering/leaving the water fountains at Fullerton without looking.
This got me thinking: would it make sense to put some sort of barrier between the paths where they converge so pedestrians aren't tempted to stray into the bike path just anywhere and cyclists have a better idea where pedestrians will be crossing?
It's been said here before, but clearly there is a need for better pavement markings as well.
Prime spots: Oak to North, Fullerton bump, Belmont Harbor.
Grand to Oak is out due to the high lake level, but since it isn't getting lower anytime soon, the City should reconfigure that stretch as well.
Stop lines, stop signs? Yield they would not even slow down. And bollards present their own hazzards.
I got into a crash earlier this week between Oak and North when a pedestrian ran across the bike path. This section is tricky since it gets very crowded during peak times. The pedestrian I ran into may have been attempting to access a water fountain on the other side of the bike path; removing/relocating any fountains or benches currently to the west of the bike path would be one way to reduce the need for pedestrians to cross the path. A low barrier or even a tactile edging (like those used at sidewalk ramps) could be helpful here—something that perhaps bikes can still ride over if needed but also serve as a better warning to pedestrians that they’re entering an active bike path.
I hope you're ok and that they are ok too. I use my bell A LOT in these sections. Though it seems like it's too much, except when it is not enough.
Your case reminds us when there is a collision with a pedestrian and a car, or a car and a cyclist, it isn't sensible to pile on and say car drivers are somehow bad people. Same/same here when we have a cyclist/pedestrian collision, it's worth looking at what's going on too, and throw out the reflex rule that is something like "car hit's someone, car's fault - cyclist hit's someone, pedestrian's fault. Sometimes there's a lot more to it as I think we're seeing of late on the LFT and elsewhere, so it's helpful that you and others are helping to recount these incidents so we can get to a fix for everyone, near Oak, at Fullerton, and even some spots on the south side.
IMO, a "cross here" section all striped and such can make sense, although we then have to have the who yields to whom all worked out. Right now, there's just an awkward free-for-all, although some engineers contend that a concentrated choke point itself creates crossing density and thus it's own risk. (as with roadway collisions, a high proportion of them happens at intersections, so there's an argument not to create such an intersection)
Another risk factor is that there is a lot of speed variation. Some pedestrians do have a handle on bikes rolling through at a certain speed, and then get caught off guard with another one at a higher speed. The park district was mulling over a speed limit, but I don't know where that is these days.
Moving the drinking fountains as you point out will eliminate a lot of crossings meanwhile.