Putting aside that this op-ed is really, really stupid, the news is that bikes (and horses) are now banned from the portion of the Des Plaines River Trail between Madison St. and North Ave. on the River Forest side of the river.
I can't believe anyone would pay someone to write that article.
The entirety of information searchable online about this seems to be this discussion.
Douglas Iverson said:
It's a small stretch but that makes it hard to transfer to the Illinois Prairie Path and the Grand Illinois Trail. What is the reason for this omnipotant and profound decision?
Is that one of those news aggregation sites where someone on the other side of the world writes the articles? I've gone out of my way to hire English and Journalism students because they tend to be more detail oriented.
I live less than a mile from where the trail crosses North Ave. The trail was closed to entry going in both directions a couple of years ago. There were two floods (August 2010 and July or so 2011) that caused a huge mess throughout the trail, including this section. The trail entry on North Ave was closed in both directions for a while. It didn't take long for people to ignore this and continue riding North from here. I still see people riding this section regularly, but I almost never see anyone entering or leaving the North Ave to Madison section mentioned in the article. In fact, I have often seen them exiting from the north and then moving over to Thatcher Rd (100 ft away) to continue riding south. I haven't been over there myself, so I can't comment on the conditions.
That is a terrifyingly poorly written article.
I live a few miles away, and did a little riding there in the summer. I saw one other biker, but we were north of North Ave. I also saw horse manure, so that confirms that horses do walk on the trail.
That really is just a small stretch of of the whole trail
The signs were put up less than 2 months ago to remind trail users of FPDCC policy: you can bike only on designated paths. The path where this sign was put up is not designated for biking. (This comes from FPDCC spokesperson in an email to me. She also said this path, near the river, floods easily/often and is harder to maintain.)
Yikes. That article is truly awful. This is definitely some high school journalism, for sure. Isn't Oak Park supposed to be a savvy, educated town?