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Report Shows Lakefront Trail Hella Packed

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 17, 2011 7:00PM

This photo by Steven Vance shows the hazards encountered at certain points along the lakefront trail on an average day.

From the "No Shit" department: The Park District and Active Transportation Alliance released the results of a report (PDF) that shows a lot of people use the trail.

Here are some numbers for you to masticate;

  • On an average summer weekend day, 70,000 people use the lakefront trail. (That number drops to 60,000 during a summer weekday.)
  • 70 percent of people who accessed the trail were pedestrians.
  • The Lakefront Trail is used as a primary route for workforce bicycle commuters. Of the access points counted, Ardmore Avenue, Fullerton Avenue and the North Avenue underpass see the highest volume of cyclists on weekday mornings. The highest volume of cyclists on weekday evenings occurs at 11th Street, Fullerton Avenue and Monroe Street.
  • More bicyclists use the trail during the week than on the weekends, which we find to be an indicator bicyclists are aware of the clusterfuck the trail can become on summer weekends.

For the first time the report gives the Park District concrete numbers to which they can refer when making improvements along the path. Some of these improvements include making connecting to the trail on the south side, particularly between 35th and 67th Streets, easier; easing conflict points along the trail (in our experience, that would be anywhere between the Waveland Avenue totem pole and Museum Campus); expanded bike parking along the path and making intersections near the trail safer.

Some folks we know may also advocate for wannabe Tour de France domestiques take their act to the Old Green Bay Road trail along the North Shore and the implementation of a "one family, one child" rule for the trail. But this report makes a wonderful resource moving forward.