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Lakefront bike plan rolling again

After hitting a bump in the road two weeks ago, plans for rebuilding Evanston’s lakefront bike path got back into gear this week.

The plan to spend $143,706 to hire consultants to design the new pedestrian and bicycle path system that would run from Lee Street to Clark Street was held up temporarily by objections from Alderman Edmund Moran, 6th Ward.

Moran said the design of the paths would also tend to lock the city into an expensive design for new lakefront restroom facilities.

But other aldermen denied that the paths would commit the city to the restroom project.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said, "We have money from the state" for the bike path. "Let’s just get this done."

Alderman Elizabeth Tisdahl, 7th Ward, said she agreed with Moran that given the slumping economy "million-dollar bathrooms are no longer appropriate." But she said that decision was separate from the bike path project, which she said she supports.

Two members of the city’s recreation board also spoke in favor of approving the bike path project.

The aldermen voted 8-1 to approve the design contract. More than two-thirds of the money will come from the state grant, with the rest provided by the city’s capital improvement fund.

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