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Article updated: 8/2/2013 5:32 AM

Lake Arlington increases path patrols, splits path

By Melissa Silverberg

Visitors to Lake Arlington will see increased patrols, new signage and pathway markings indicating interim changes that were implemented starting Thursday in response to the death of a woman struck by a bicyclist on the path earlier this summer.

The Share the Path Interim Action Plan includes changes at Lake Arlington and an education plan to help residents stay safe, according to Arlington Heights Park District officials.

"The district knows that simply upgrading signage and pathway markings will not be enough to successfully promote a mutual respect among all path users," officials said in a release Thursday. "As such, the park district is committed to making progress in the areas of education, encouragement, evaluation and planning to strengthen the use, design and safety at the Lake Arlington path."

Barbara Pagano, 74, was walking around the path near her home June 18 when she was hit by an 11-year-old bicyclist on a trip with a park district program from Buffalo Grove. Pagano hit her head and died at Northwest Community Hospital a few weeks later.

After her death, many other residents began speaking out about safety concerns on the crowded Lake Arlington path.

Starting Thursday, the park district staff began patrolling the path on bikes. According to the release, the staff will be more visible on the path from Monday through Sunday during normal operating hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The path is now divided, with bicycles and in-line skaters directed to the outside lane traveling counterclockwise, while walkers, runners, strollers and wheelchairs will use the inner lane and travel clockwise.

An educational program, funded by the Arlington Heights Park Foundation, is helping distribute literature, and new signs tell patrons about the changes and an 8 mph speed limit.

The park district staff also will be at Lake Arlington at 7 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, and 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, answering questions and handing out free "I Share the Path" T-shirts to the first 250 path users. The park district is seeking feedback from all path users through the end of September. People can give feedback at http://www.ahpd.org/about/lakearlingtoninterimpathimprovements/. Officials will hold a public meeting in October to talk about more permanent path modifications, Executive Director Steve Scholten said.

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