The planned bike path route has many sharp turns and detours closer to the lake. This doesn't seem very realistic. If this is enforced, I may take streets south to Montrose and pick up the LFT there. I don't think this is what the public had in mind for the trail separation project.
I've been taking Argyle to the path. Southbound down Winthrop and north on Kenmore. Nice relaxed street with a tunnel under LSD to get to the path.
I do take the new path from there. I like it.
Looking forward to the completion of the path from up to Ardmore.
The relocated bike lane from Ardmore to Montrose is dangerous. Even if you ignore the sharp, sometimes blind turns, the gravel and dirt on the pavement and the fact that it is too narrow, the primary danger is that it puts pedestrians and bicyclists in danger by locating the trail between car parking and recreational locations. Going north from Montrose it comes between parking and 1. the turf field, 2. cricket hill, 3. the skate park; 4 baseball fields, 5. a playground, 6. soccer fields, and 7. the Foster Ave. beach. The chance of collisions between cyclists and children and families is extremely high. I cannot believe that ATA signed off on this plan and now refuses to address the problem.
The solution is simple. Relocate the bike path to its old location close to LSD. True, it is less scenic and the intersections with Foster, Lawrence, Wilson and Montrose require care, but it is much safer for all concerned.
The Park District has show a distinct disregard for the actual users of these facilities. They don't seem to care one bit. I find it interesting that they refer to us as "Patrons" rather than as "users." They seem to see themselves as offering a product or service, and if we want it we can "buy" it but they don't care to hear about how we use it or what would make it better for us.
The design at 31st street beach when the redid that years ago presents the exact same problems. They built a long parking lot along the LFT and absolutely no sidewalks to direct people leaving their cars toward the beach and beachhouse. In other words, people leaving their cars have the option of walking down through the parking lot, where of course other cars are likely to be driving, or walking over the grass to the LFT and walking down it to get to the beach. They should have built some pedestrian pathways to encourage people to walk on them to get to the beach instead of walking on the LFT. They didn't because they don't care.
And now with the new "bike path" running south from 31st street, it runs along past the skate park and a basketball court, forcing users of those facilities to walk along it to access them. It also buts up against several park benches which were already there. They benches are so close to the edge of the path that anybody sitting on one of them has no choice but to block the path with legs and feet, EVEN IF they scrunch up and keep their feet as close to the bench as possible. Who wants to sit on a bench like that? People want to be comfortable, so their legs and indeed even their torsos stick out into the path.
The Park District doesn't care about you!
The biggest problem with this design is they replaced pedestrian sidewalks with what is supposed to be a dedicated bike path between Montrose and Foster. Yet they made no accommodations for where people are now supposed to walk from their cars to the baseball fields, to the playgrounds, to picnic areas, and to the Foster Beach and beach house. They should have considered this before they made an executive decision to swap the planned ped and bike paths from what was originally shown in the public open houses. They took the cheap way out by trying to sell something as "new and improved" without adding any additional paths, just paint.
That's what most commuters will do when it's all finished, anyway. Hopefully Ardmore to Foster will be finished next week.
And the 'bike' trail runs along the foul line of a baseball field. That's got fun written all over it.
It's all paved and I would think painting should be done this week. Other than the long loop around Montrose and what I hope is a temporary nasty narrow chicane at Foster it's the same trail as always.
The path around Montrose is pretty narrow and has some scary intersections on both sides of the underpass so it's not perfect but people will get used to it. And it's too far north for most tourists.
I took this route home from downtown yesterday, 8/2, and followed the "new and improved" bike path. It's a major blunder. There was a temporary barrier at Montrose. At least I hope it's temporary. I wouldn't take the long and extended route just to use the underpass under Montrose.
There were more cyclists on the pedestrian path than pedestrians or joggers.
This is going to go down as the most under-used route along the lake. The path is used more for transportation that pleasure riding.
Well, the portion of LFT that was closed from Ardmore down to...Foster, was it??....is now open. On the way to work, I found that ANOTHER PORTION WAS TORN UP starting around Montrose, with ZERO warning heading south until you get to the detour signs, which take you to the eastern border of the golf course, on a path that's paved with loose rock, essentially acting as ball bearings. I did notice that on the way north (turned my head), there are tiny signs saying "trial closed due to construction" or something.
Did the park district give any kind of warning about this??
Noticed that as well on Wednesday on my return home. It was a bit confusing becaus eone part had the signs and others didn't. Good thing got a cyclocross bike.
besides the tiny little signs? not that i have seen.
i noticed some half-assed detour signs on sunday morning heading south, starting at the tunnel under montrose. i surmised that the detour was on that stone path and i tried it on my road bike; my conclusion from that experiment was (from my FB post):
"bad news is the Park District has the detour signs out for the next phase of construction, and if there was any question before it is quite obvious now that there isn’t one cyclist involved with the planning and execution of this circus.
Going south the detour starts at the Montrose Ave underpass, goes east to the crushed stone path between the lake and golf course, and continues to at least Waveland. I say at least because I bailed once I got past the golf course – the Miyata on 23c tires at 120psi was not happy to be on that crap-tastic surface. I didn’t see any detour signs past that point, but the Park District isn’t exactly very good about providing and clearly marking detours, so…
The Park District did fill in some of the larger depressions with dirt? sand? or something, but it doesn’t look like they compacted it, so you get some nice little mounds in the middle of the path. I wasn’t about to put a wheel in one of those mounds to find out how good or poor the surface was. The Park District also didn’t compact the surface in general to try and crush the larger loose stones into the surface – I shot a couple of those stones off the seawall and am glad there weren’t any pedestrians nearby to get hit."
i wasn't exactly surprised on yestarday morning to find that there were no warnings of the trail being closed headed northbound. i literally came around a bend and saw the barricade, an excavator and the torn up trail
I did see at least one detour sign that had literally been knocked over and ergo not really visible.
I'm now taking streets south to Irving Park then going through the parking lot until this phase of this mess is over with. Absolutely poor planning and execution by the Park District. Like I've said before, a year from now, all trail users will be back using the original path.