Did You Know?

Although people of color make up about one third of the population, they make up 46.1 percent of pedestrian deaths.

Improve Riverwalk safety without banning biking

Active Transportation Alliance agrees with Alderman Reilly that bikes should be walked when the Riverwalk is crowded. However, we don’t support a complete ban on biking because there are many hours and times of the year when it’s safe for people biking and walking to share the path.

We’re eager to work with Ald. Reilly and other city leaders to identify strategies that improve safety and ease congestion for everyone who wants to enjoy the Riverwalk and the lakefront.

Unlike a typical sidewalk, the Riverwalk was conceived from the beginning as a multi-use path for both bicycling and walking. It’s important that biking remain an option because the majority of people aren’t comfortable riding on city streets, and the Riverwalk is a popular connection between the lakefront and downtown jobs, retail and entertainment.

The path’s popularity reveals the need for another low-stress, protected bike facility connecting downtown and the lakefront that would ease congestion on the Riverwalk, and this is especially true given the rapid growth in cycling. Wacker Drive is an obvious option. Wacker parallels the river and has excess roadway capacity. Adding a protected bike facility would improve safety for everyone using the streets and sidewalks by narrowing Wacker Drive and slowing down cars that drive way too fast today.