The Chainlink

As a daily bike commuter on the lakefront path on and off for years, I've often felt insulted by how long serious life-threatening surface condition problems are allowed to persist.  It feels like despite tens of thousands of daily users, we're just those little cyclist people.  Meanwhile just a fence-width away on lakeshore drive such dangers would never be left to fester so.

This year in particular though the problems are so egregious and dangerous, some now months old, I felt something had to be said.

I've tried the 311 app for several problems such as a specific huge pothole, and a boulder on the path (too large for one person to move, a construction crew left it there), and gotten "the problem has been resolved" messages back a few days later, with nothing actually done.  The boulder one I even resubmitted, and got the same reply again, though it's still there.

I figured next step is contact the appropriate agency directly, but not sure who that is.

Can perhaps an Active Trans rep followup and pester the city on behalf of this lifetime members?

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Following up two weeks later, results are poor.

1. The streetlight was removed, a week to the day after it landed on the path.

2. The pothole at LFT and Goethe is still there, big and mean and growing.  However the 311 system reports it was patched in a week.  >:

3. The report of the gaping missing patches of asphalt at LFT Oak St bend appears to have simply been deleted.  Meanwhile further erosion is revealing older under pavement. The lanes closer to the lake are fine, mainly just this layer is flaking.

Well, what exactly do you think the city could/should do currently regarding this patch of path??

I think that they should grind and mill down that old concrete sub-surface like they do in street resurfacing. Then if they apply whatever amount of asphalt or concrete, it has a slightly better chance to survive the wrath of Lake Michigan storm surges.

"Slightly better chance"?? vs. cost?  I think one would need a lot more information and understanding of various paving solutions before making the financial commitment. In any case, you can't lay asphalt in the current weather environment -- there is a need for a string of 60+ degree days. 

How about concrete poured over rebar. That should do it. Yeah, i'm waiting for the string of 60 degree weather days too !

Not so sure about that, there's a few places where concrete has been damaged.  The waves pack a lot of punch and when combined with water freezing and expanding in cracks...

There was a plan to have a cantilevered trail jutting out from LSD when it gets rebuilt.  Not sure if that is still in the works, but that would elevate the trail above the waves.

Like Rio?

Need to have a seawall between the bicycle path and the lake.

It'd have to be pretty massive.  The stretch from the curve south to the oak street beach has a seawall on the north and east sides and is pretty protected but still has some pretty heavy wave action.  

Sure that asphalt all torn up looks like crap, but you can ride around it either to the lake side, or the wall side, or do like me and treat is as an entertaining diversion on the ride to and from work. Seriously though, I seem to remember some discussion about this a few years ago where someone pointed out that this is technically *not* something the Park District can easily fix. Any major construction along this part of the path is apparently something to do with US Army Corps of Engineers or something. They'd probably have to raise the entire path up 15 feet in order to get it above the height of wave action. This city can barely keep up with resurfacing regular streets even following the mildest winters - a recreational trail is probably pretty low on list of priorities. What is *really* shameful, is how deteriorated the entire stretch of pavement paralleling the shoreline from the Museum Campus all the way north to the Yacht Club. That area is a HUGE tourist attraction, and yet its a crazed and cracked mess of unbelievably dilapidated pavement.

Well then, we will just have to call in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They will clear the way.

U.S.C.E. Motto - "We clear the way."

But then where will I get my 30 seconds of rock garden riding fun going to and from work? :(


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