If you’ve run in Chicago for the past three days, surely you’ll join my lament that the weather took an uptick from last week and returned to several 90+ temperature days in a row. Ugh. Just when we were getting used to the fall-like weather…
As I was running home from work on Monday afternoon, and then again mid-day on Tuesday, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me because I saw more mile-marker signs than usual on the lakefront. Cool! I thought. We haven’t had a mile marker sign here for the past 4 years! It’s about time! As I schlepped along in the heat, though, I quickly noticed that, in some places, the old-school LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon signs were still in place… in addition to some brand-spankin’ new signs that were now clad with Nike swooshes.
Huh? What gives?
Perhaps the oddest thing about this, besides the fact that in some places, the old and new signs were both still in place, was that the new and old signs weren’t side-by-side to each other…even though they both still had the same mileage marker. For example, I noticed that the 6.0 mile marker (by the North Avenue chess pavilion) was in its usual spot, but a few paces before (or after, depending on your direction of travel) lied the new Nike sign. How could two signs, that were measuring the same distance, come up at different locations?
Turns out that the Chicago Park District, with support from the Active Transportation Alliance and Nike, are studying usage among the lakefront path in an effort to apply for federal monies to help improve the trail. They’ll be studying the lakefront path for the next two weeks, and volunteers will be out assessing the lakefront’s usage by runners, bikers, cyclists, walkers… the whole gamut of folks who use it. Doing the study over the next two weeks will cost about $25k, and the Park District will be using the analytical and quantitative expertise of Active Trans to help make sense of their findings. They’re also going to be studying the intersections of the lakefront into each neighborhood that borders the path and possibly make some recommendations on how to alleviate congestion on some of the busier sections of the path.
Based on what I’ve read, it is a bit unclear as to whether the new Nike signs will be replacing the old lakefront signs. (and if I had a picture of the new signs, I’d post it here… sorry, I generally don’t take pictures while I run!)
For now, anyway, don’t worry if you’re seeing double on certain spots on the lakefront path. Chances are, you actually are 🙂