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Sidewalk Safety Urged By Cyclists On The Lakefront Trail

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A push to make a sidewalk south of Navy Pier safer.

A specific section of the Lakefront Trail can be dangerous with cyclists and walkers often sharing a crowded skinny slab of concrete.

Two bicyclists collided on that sidewalk recently with one of them landing in traffic.

Aaron Duncan remembers the crash that left him laying on Lake Shore Drive.

"My head is down into the road and I'm looking at a car coming at me at probably 30 mph," said Duncan. "He was able to swerve into the other lane to avoid hitting me, or otherwise it could've been a much worse story."

Duncan bikes 15 miles from his home in Brookfield to his job at Navy Pier. Here's what he said about the less than half mile stretch from the Chicago River to Grand Avenue.

"I honestly think this is the most dangerous part," said Duncan.

While the city has separated cyclists and walkers along the lakefront elsewhere, here they share a sidewalk with people going in both directions.

Rush hour and weekends are the most crowded, especially when tourists and super-size bikes are part of the mix.

"I possibly have permanent tendon damage in my ring finger," said Duncan.

A few weeks back, he suffered a puncture wound and his skin was ripped off in the collision with a cycle that holds four people. Duncan needed medical treatment, but the crowds on the sidewalk forced him to ride another mile.

"I was actually blocking this path so the cyclists and pedestrians were upset," he said.

Kyle Whitehead and the Active Transportation Alliance advocate for cyclists.

"We're saying the situation is unacceptable right now," said Whitehead.

Part of the Navy Pier Flyover is scheduled to open at the end of the year.

In the wake of Duncan's crash, the group wants the eastern most lane of car traffic turned into a bike lane. Walkers would then use the sidewalk.

"That conversion should happen as soon as possible," said Whitehead. "We're going to continue to raise the issue."

"Every day is a danger out here," added Duncan.

The city told CBS 2 that safety for everyone on the Lakefront Trail is a priority. But it would not be practical to close down a lane of the street now.

Work has resumed on the Navy Pier Flyover project. The entire project is to to be completed by the end of next year.

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