EDGEWATER — Bicyclists who ride on the sidewalk instead of busy Sheridan Road between Devon Avenue and the end of the lakefront bike path at Ardmore Avenue could face a hefty fine if a North Side alderman gets his way.
Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) introduced an ordinance Wednesday to the City Council that would hike fines from $50 to $250 for anyone 18 or older riding on the sidewalk along the stretch of Sheridan.
The proposal would actually renew fines that were put into effect in 2000, but that expired last year, a city spokesman said. At the time the fines were renewed in 2007, they were pricier than the penalty for driving on the sidewalk, the Sun-Times reported.
Osterman said in a message to constituents that "thousands of residents ... are daily impacted by cyclists unsafely riding on the sidewalks.
"These residents deserve safe, open sidewalks," he said.
The steeper fines would deter cyclists from riding on the sidewalks and from riding along Sheridan Road, he said.
In May, Osterman detailed a proposal to extend the lakefront bike path from Ardmore Avenue to Thorndale Avenue.
The proposal calls for either a surface-level path or a boardwalk, with an estimated price tag of $4 million.
But some lakefront dwellers expressed concern about the path extending onto their beaches.
Sheli Lulkin, the president of an association of condo owners along Sheridan Road, said although people are sick of bicyclists on sidewalks, the bike path extension probably won't happen.