Mayor outlines Chicago parks and rec improvement plan

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel outlined his vision to improve Chicago's parks and the lakefront.

It's an idea that he says would create more access to the city's green spaces and beachfronts.

Even on a Tuesday afternoon in March, the lakefront path attracts quite a few joggers, bikers and walkers. On a typical summer weekend day, the path is packed, which is why Mayor Emanuel said he believes splitting the trail into separate lanes for bikers and joggers is the way to go.

The mayor announced the path will be spilt form Fullerton to Ohio Street on the North Side and 31st Street to 51st Street on the South Side. It's all part of his park district vision called Building on Burnham.

Some lakefront regulars support the separate path idea; others don't think it's worth it.

"It's a great idea, long overdue. During summer time, they path gets so dangerous with all the bikers," said Tonya Walters.

I use the path every day," said Sarah Ramsay. "I don't it's think worth the investment."

Lakefront changes, including a new pool on the South Side, are just part of a bigger plan to improve access to Chicago's two bodies of water through new boathouses, walking paths and bridges. The mayor wants to make several improvements to the river.

Of course, this all cones with a cost. Emanuel nor park district Superintendent Michael Kelly would talk about a price tag, except to say it will get done and paid for with public and private money.
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