Wednesday, August 4, 2010

OK to bike on the Lakefront Trail after 11 pm?

[Image courtesy of]

By John Greenfield

[This piece also runs in Time Out Chicago,]

Q: If Chicago’s parks and beaches are public property, then why can police kick people out at 11pm? Is there some sort of loophole that will let me use the parks after closing time?

A: The Chicago Park District’s legal code says beaches and parks are off-limits from 11 pm to 6 am, with exceptions made for events like the vampire-friendly L.A.T.E. Ride. “Those hours are set for the safety of patrons,” explains park district spokeswoman Marta Juaniza. To prevent drug dealing, prostitution and violent crime? “Whatever can happen in the dark,” Juaniza says.

Friends of the Parks’ Erma Tranter supports the curfew, noting New York has similar rules. “If there’s a basketball game going on after midnight, that’s a problem for people who need to sleep.” But if you want to use the Lakefront Trail for a late-night jog or to pedal home after last call, you’re in luck. Tranter says cops generally don’t ticket trail users. “They use common sense and don’t bother people who are recreating,” she says.

“Responsible users are not being hassled,” agrees Active Transportation Alliance’s Adolfo Hernandez, adding his group wants to see this de facto policy made official. “People rely on the Lakefront Trail for their commute during all hours of the day.”


Anonymous said...

Who cares what Erma Tranter thinks? Isn't she the kook who wants valuable land destroyed so she can extend the north side of park east of LSD (thus increasing her home value)?

Anonymous said...

Tranter says "If there’s a basketball game going on after midnight, that’s a problem for people who need to sleep.” But then she says, don't worry bikers, cops “use common sense and don’t bother people who are recreating.”

Erma, people playing basketball in the park are recreating too!

Here is the FOTP spokeswoman's worldview in a nutshell, as far as I have ever been able to make out from her public statements: People like me culturally = 'good' park users. Other people = unsavory, stop them!

ben said...

so basically she is saying they will go after people playing basketball because it is easy to stop them as they are all together, but they are not going to spend all night chasing individuals 'recreating'.

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