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Biking Goes Social, Lakefront Gets Hastag #CHILFT

Critical Mass second birthday
Cyclo commuters get social media traffic updates in Chicago now. Image by m.aquila via Flickr

As the post-Labor Day weather becomes more unpredictable, Chicago’s growing contingent of bike commuters can check a unique “traffic report” to ensure they’re prepared to hit the Chicago Park District’s Lakefront Trail on their way to and from work.

The Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans) offers a crowdsourced Lakefront Trail update system at The system allows trail users to post their own trail updates for others, providing more timely information on the conditions of the 18-mile trail.

Whether it’s high waves crashing over a segment of the trail, strong headwinds or heavy trail traffic on a beautiful day, commuters can be ready by checking the Lakefront Trail updates. The Chicago Lakefront Trail serves as one of the most popular bike commuting routes in the region. A recent trail count that Active Trans conducted for the Chicago Park District found that at the busiest points on the trail, nearly 30,000 people were passing by daily.

“When you step out of the door, it’s great to have current information about what’s happening on the trail,” said Johanna Thompson, a year-round bike commuter who works at The Field Museum. “Knowing that there’s ice at Fullerton or that the sand has been swept up near 31st makes bike commutes a lot smoother.”

The Active Trans Lakefront Trail webpage displays the latest trail condition updates posted by trail users and Active Trans staff. Trail users can also follow the @activetransLFT Twitter feed ( Twitter users can join the crowdsourcing effort by posting trail updates using the hashtag #CHILFT.

Trail users are encouraged to report detours and other conditions such as snow, debris and high waves so that everyone can safely enjoy the Lakefront Trail. Active Trans and the Chicago Park District will continue to work together in responding to issues in an efficient and timely manner.

“Active Trans has always been on the ground connecting Lakefront Trail users and the Chicago Park District,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “Our reporting system ensures that trail users have instant access to conditions that could affect their commute.”

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