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70,000 people use Lake Shore path daily

Joggers bicyclists pedestrians use pathways along  Lake Michigan hot hazy Sunday afternoon. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Joggers, bicyclists and pedestrians use the pathways along Lake Michigan on a hot and hazy Sunday afternoon. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 2, 2011 7:37PM

More than 70,000 people use the lakefront path during a typical summer day, according to city park officials and a biking advocacy group.

“It’s almost like emptying out a Cubs game and sending [everyone] down here,” said Joseph Bornstein, project manager for the Chicago Park District.

On weekends, more than 60,000 people use the trail, according to the report released Tuesday by the Chicago Park District and Active Transportation Alliance.

By looking at 26 of the path’s 50 access points, the research team also found that nearly 30,000 people use the trail daily along its busiest points — Oak Street, the North Avenue pedestrian bridge, the Ohio Street underpass and Fullerton Avenue.

Overall, 70 percent of people who use the trail are pedestrians, according to the report, while 29 percent are on bikes and 1 percent are classified as “other.”

The study found that during peak bicycling hours, the path is used as a primary route for people who ride to work — the number of bikes on the trail rises 10 percent on weekdays.

The lakefront path “is one of the more unique trails in the world really, it’s pretty amazing,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance.

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