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New Bike Path Design Has Neighbors, Riders Concerned

CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago will soon have a new bike path that is different from most and has some people concerned about safety.

Though it is not open yet, the new Edgewater path will run in the opposite direction of traffic. CBS 2's Jeremy Ross has the story.

The path runs roughly a mile. CDOT said the cost is about $65,000, adding it came in $10,000 under budget.

But the real issue now is about selling it to the people who live nearby.

With construction and traffic along a stretch of Glenwood Avenue, workers are about to kick start a different flow, for bikes on the go.

"It's a little odd," said Kelly D'Angelo, who rides her bike to school. "It seems a little more dangerous to me."

Workers are in the process of installing a new lane for bikers between Ridge and Carmen. One for riders to head southbound, as car traffic and other bikes head northbound one way.

"I don't like riding against traffic," D'Angelo said.

CDOT calls these contraflow lanes, saying they are effective in providing a low-stress alternative for bicyclists compared to nearby busier streets like Clark and Broadway.

"We're going to see a lot more traffic now that it's going in," said neighbor Bill Pinalto.

He said he sees both the safety reasons on why the new lane is being added and safety concerns that the lane could cause.

Pinalto is worried drivers used to pulling out of alleys onto a one-way street will not remember to look both ways.

It is changing gears for traffic and a change neighbors hope will be for the better.

"It's going in. I will have to try it out," D'Angelo said.

The alderman for the area said riders have been biking against traffic for years. The effort simply makes it safer, predictable and legal.

CDOT said depending on the weather, it should be complete by the end of next week.

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