Yes! Thanks to bike advocacy with organizations like Active Trans, the city wants to split the lakefront path. Super important in high traffic areas where the path is overcrowded.
Some stretches of Chicago's often-packed lakefront trail would get split into separate lanes for bikers and joggers under a plan Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to announce Tuesday as he tries to make the case for his stewardship of the city's parks.
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.
Emanuel will talk about the widening Tuesday during a speech on his second-term plans for parks.
I must admit, I have hoped for this for many years. While on my rollerblades (it was the 90s) I got hit from behind by a bike, I had a pretty nasty crash - nerve damage, bad scrapes, trip to the ER, etc. I think the path is pretty overcrowded in the downtown area and could use the separation in high-traffic areas.
So true. The Divvys and quadracycles create a lot of congestion. I wonder if it wouldn't be better to create one path for commuting and the other for local traffic, but I don't know how that would work either. Does anyone know how other cities have handled this problem?
Honestly, I'd prefer they first ban those god-awful quadracycles before worrying about separating the paths. Those things are the most awful thing on the entire lakefront!
Agreed. Those thing block a full lane of traffic.
This is why I limit my visits to the path when I am feeling more charitable/patient and less self-righteous. ;-)
Suzy and I were on the LFP on Easter Sunday and noticed that at least half the walkers/runners were on the paved section instead of the gravel along the sides. We rode from North Ave. up to Bryn Mawr and this was consistent, regardless of the availability of soft surface.
I was disappointed that nobody even noticed the cute puppy with a helmet and a blue bow in my (Easter) basket.
It's easier to walk on the pavement for most people. I like to run on the softer surface on the site but most runners also prefer the pavement.
Where will the rollerbladers go?
I posted a review of the new Fullerton shoreline project on Bike Walk Lincoln .... As a result of that project, there are two new paths that lakefront visitors can use: A short elevated gravel path suitable for walking or running, and a long, continuous concrete path directly on the shoreline, stretching all the way from Fullerton to Diversey. I think over time, regular lakefront visitors will take the shoreline path more often because it's quieter and scenic. However, the Lakefront Trail is definitely still the main artery.
I doubt that this segregation will actually change the obstacles/challenges/competition for space that we cyclists face on the LFT.
I'm really excited about this. I was based in NYC for 8 months for work and they have separate paths along the Hudson River Trail for pedestrians and bikes. Even though they have a ton of tourists and a popular city bike program, the separate paths made a HUGE difference. Riding 15 miles or so up the Hudson from lower Manhattan was a great ride and you really only had to slow down in a few spots.