The Arlington Heights Park District announced this weekend that it will make a few interim changes at Lake Arlington in light of the recent death of a pedestrian who was struck by a bicyclist last month.
As part of the interim action plan for Lake Arlington, the park district will restrict bicycle and other wheeled use to the outside lane of the path and require people to only travel one-way -- counter clockwise -- every day. The inside lane of the path will be designated for walkers only, including strollers and wheelchairs, traveling only clockwise, according to a news release.
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There will be painted arrows on the path to visually show people which way to walk or bike on the path because of the changes.
The park district also will install additional, high visibility signage to show walking and biking directions and speed limits.
While these interim plans are put in place, park officials will continue to study the issue.
The changes come a few weeks after Barbara Pagano, 74, died after being hit by an 11-year-old cyclist while she walked around the lakefront path. Since her death, many residents have demanded changes to increase safety on the trail.
"Barbara Pagano's death was a tragic accident. Since 2003, there have been an average of four incidents per year, which includes non-path related incidents such as fishing without a license or swimming. None of the incidents, prior to Mrs. Pagano's death, involved serious injuries." the release stated.
The park district also will work with the park district and local organizations to raise awareness, in addition to launching an informational campaign about the changes and safety tips.
More permanent changes to Lake Arlington could be coming later this year.
"The district will subsequently move forward with exploring more permanent modification options as it approaches its capital budget planning process in the fall," the release stated, including possibly revisiting the addition of a soft-surface or gravel path for walking and running.
A plan for such a path was included in two larger referendum plans that were rejected by voters in 2012. The estimated cost for such a path is about $875,000, officials said.
The current 1.8 mile pathway around Lake Arlington was funded by three separate bike grants totaling $425,000, according to the release, and will be preserved for bikers.
According to a survey done before either referendum, Lake Arlington was the most used facility in the park district.
The park district is also planning a public meeting in October for residents to review potential changes to the path and give input on the interim modifications to Lake Arlington.