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Recent Death After Lake Arlington Pathway Accident Reminds Users to Beware

An elderly woman is dead after a June 18 accident at Lake Arlington when she was hit by a biker while walking the pathway. The incident is causing some to call for more safety regulations.

Arlington Heights Patch file photo
Arlington Heights Patch file photo

On June 18, 74-year-old Barbara Pagano of Arlington Heights was involved in an accident where she was struck by a bicycle while walking on the pathway at Lake Arlington, 1400 E. Valley Lane.

Pagano sustained serious injuries in the accident, and ultimately died on July 3.

Arlington Heights Police say the incident occurred at 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, and Pagano sustained a head injury after being hit by the bicycle ridden by an 11-year-old Buffalo Grove resident.

The young person was reportedly riding in a single file line with other bikes when the rider in front of him swerved. Police say he did not see Pagano in enough time to stop and struck her from behind with the bicycle.

Emergency services were called, and Pagano was transported to the hospital by the Arlington Heights Fire Department.

A friend and neighbor of Pagano’s reached out to Arlington Heights Patch and stated that although there is an ‘8 mph speed limit’ and ‘stay to the right’ directives on the path, those are typically ignored by users and no one is enforcing the safety measures.

“Bikers speed around the lake and weave in and out of walkers,” said Pam Greenberg, an Arlington Heights resident who regularly walks the pathway. “There must be some sort of regulation or we'll continue to hear of these incidents. In fact, while at Barbara’s wake, I learned another one of our neighbors was also hit by a biker.”

Among the pathway rules and guidelines set forth by the Arlington Heights Park District, bikers and skaters are required to yield to walkers. Users also are advised to stay to the right and inform the people in front of them if they are trying to pass on the left.  

The Arlington Heights Park District released a statement on its website Monday that read in part, "This is a very tragic incident and our hearts go out to Ms. Pagano’s family and friends on their loss.” said Steve Scholten, Executive Director of the Arlington Heights Park District.

The statement went on to say, "Lake Arlington’s path is used for both wheeled and non-wheeled activities and the Arlington Heights Park District’s pathway usage rules have established speed limits for bikers and skaters in addition to asking that walkers receive the right of way."

The park district stated that local police are relied on for assistance on enforcement of the usage ordinances, as well as users to understand and abide by the posted rules. 

Click here to view the statement in its entirety

Marge July 09, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Reg, let's try again. The Park District plans were nice, but expensive. Two referenda failed to pass. The majority of people don't think we should be spending large amounts of taxpayer money to build extensive facilities for leisure activities. People can walk anywhere. If there isn't a walking path at Arlington Lakes or there isn't an indoor track somewhere, they will walk elsewhere. They can walk in their neighborhoods, the Senior Center or join a health club or the Wellness Center. That's the situation as it stands currently. There was a terrible accident, bringing to the issue of cyclist/walker interactions to the forefront. Axe-grinding: "The fact is if the referendum was approved by voters there would be a separate walking path at the Lake and this might not have happened." Problem solving: "It is not possible for walkers and cyclists to share a single path safely. I think this is a really important issue and starting today, I'm going to begin working to bring together those who share my desire to bring a dedicated walking path to Arlington Lakes. I'm looking for residents and businesses to partner with the Park District to make this happen via private efforts. Together, we can make it happen." See the difference?
Reg July 09, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Hi lilstuff and Marge....... I made an observation that if the referendum would of passed there'd be a wlaking path there now AFTER saying how tragic this accident is. My heart goes out to both families involved. .........But I couldn't help but think that if the vote had passed this accident probably wouldn't happen. No malice or blame about it. Just making the observation. .....Now after this horrible but predictable accident people are complaining about the bicycles being on a bike path. Completely preventable accident. But based on what I remember I don't think we can demand to have bicycles banned. Maybe we can have the park district ban walking. ............And yes I went to some of the referendum meetings they had. I try to stay up on the news about my hometown. People said they didn't want a walking path there because some trees might get cut down to fit the walking path. (I also went to the mayor debate. That doesn't mean I'm the mayor!) .............Marge. I love your idea of having residents and businesses partner together to build a walking path around the Lake. There are lots of runners shops in town that would probably chip in. Let's pull together to make it happen!!
Tobytoes July 10, 2013 at 10:47 AM
I see lots of discussion about this matter.....apparently someone had to die to reopen the discussion....but, as usual with Arlington Hts, this will fade away without resolution. Why don't the cyclists go play in traffic?
Reg July 10, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Hi Tobytoes...... That is a bike path. Why are you trying to ban bikes from one of the few bike paths in town?
darin M Pondel July 12, 2013 at 11:47 AM
there are two lanes at the lake. why not consider having everyone go only clockwise around the lake. One lane for wheels and one lane for feet. I am sorry for both families dealing with this accident.

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