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The Lakefront Path: A Cautionary Tale

By Hanna Aronovich in News on Sep 6, 2006 4:14PM

Chicagoist spends many a morning jogging along the lakefront path, and we’ve seen plenty of moves that would qualify for This Week In Stupid. It’s not uncommon to see spaced-out joggers, top-speed rollerbladers and full-tilt cyclists, not to mention wandering kids and dogs. Especially during the warmer months, the lake path is a hazardous free-for-all. yieldpeds.jpg

Not surprisingly, now there’s a lawsuit. In 2004, one cyclist collided with a rollerblader’s dog, and now he’s pressing charges, CBS reports. James Ford filed a suit last week against Chicago resident Mark Campbell. The suit claims Ford was riding southbound near Belmont Harbor when Campbell’s dog strayed into the oncoming path and the two collided. The defendant is accused of violating the Animal Control Act, and Ford wants more than $30,000 for the damages.

It’s unfortunate that accidents happen along the lake path, but we think a little common sense goes a long way to avoid such collisions. Certain activities need to stay off the path altogether or only during low-usage hours.

Like, the rollerskier guys – swinging sharp poles and taking up lots of room. Maybe don’t do that at 2 p.m. on a sunny Saturday. Parents, why would you put your kids in one of those bicycle trailers? Maybe we’re channeling our overprotective mother again, but what if a careless cyclist crashes into the trailer? That can’t be good for the kids. Marathon training groups? Great, keep up the good work. But, don’t take up the whole path while you’re at it. And everyone, can we all just stay on the right and pass nicely – and not skim by us so closely we brush elbows. No offense, but we don’t want to touch you.