Ah, the lakefront path. It’s one of Chicago’s greatest assets. It provides mini-vacations for its residents, and is one of the lures for tourists. It’s a workout for cyclists, inline-skaters, runners and walkers. It’s a stroll for beach-goers, families and friends. It’s crowded. To avoid collisions and fights and preserve the happy feelings instilled by the path, here are a few rules of the road:
- Remember that traffic goes both ways, just like on the streets.
- Stay in the right lane. In most stretches there’s a sand path to the right of the paved section. That’s for runners and walkers and other slower traffic.
- If you’re in a large group of people, do not stretch across the entire path. It’s dangerous, and frankly, rude! Go 2 x 2.
- If you hear “on your left,” MOVE. The person saying it is most likely on wheels and moving faster than you. If you don’t move, that person will plow into you, fall to avoid plowing into you, or plow into someone coming the opposite direction.
- If you’re on wheels, slow down when approaching a large group of pedestrians and be aware of congested areas. Especially crowded is the entrance from Lakeshore Drive to the Fullerton Promontory. Everything south of there until Oak Street Beach is an obstacle course of sunbathers and volleyball players (when the season opens).
- Finally: please don’t smoke on the path! You could burn someone, and many people passing you are inhaling deeply. If you need to smoke, please step off the path and do it in one of the grassy areas.
If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment! Oh – and if you’re wondering what all that construction is on the path, it’s part of the Chicago Shoreline Protection Project. The Army Corps of Engineers is doing “shoreline protection revetment work”.