Chicago Sun-Times

Bad corners for pedestrians

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A study commissioned by the City of Chicago found that 48 intersections had 5 or more pedestrian crashes in two years. The years studied were 2003 and 2005, because that's when the University of North Carolina Research Center could get information for intersection crashes. So the data's a little dated, but still interesting. Here's the complete list:

Worst intersections for pedestrians (total crashes 2003 and 2005)
13: M L King & 79th
11: ASHLAND & 79TH
10: CALIFORNIA & NORTH
9: CICERO & MADISON
8: Pulaski & Irving Park
8: KEDZIE & NORTH
8: HALSTED & 95TH
8: MICHIGAN & MONROE
7: CLARK & WASHINGTON
7: DEARBORN & RANDOLPH
6: CENTRAL & BELMONT
6: PULASKI & LAKE
6: PULASKI & ROOSEVELT
6: CALIFORNIA & 63RD
6: WESTERN & ADDISON
6: WESTERN & 63RD
6: WESTERN & 71ST
6: Paulina & 79th
6: ASHLAND & 69TH
6: Wacker & Madison
6: CLARK & DIVISION
6: DEARBORN & WASHINGTON
6: WABASH & JACKSON
6: STATE & 79TH
5: AUSTIN & BELMONT
5: AUSTIN & CHICAGO
5: LARAMIE & CHICAGO
5: PULASKI & 26TH
5: KIMBALL & BELMONT
5: Kimball & 16th
5: CALIFORNIA & 55TH
5: CALIFORNIA & 71ST
5: WESTERN & DEVON
5: WESTERN & NORTH
5: SOUTHPORT & ADDISON
5: SHEFFIELD & WEBSTER

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8 Comments

I think that the intersection at North Ave. and Cicero should be added also. I was trying to cross North Ave. when a semi turned right in front of me. The thing that I couldn't understand was why he did that, I had the walk signal and he also saw me, but it didn't make any difference to him. This type of thing almost constantly happens at this intersection even though there are cameras there, it just doesn't seem to matter to some drivers. I really think that a traffic officer needs to be put there to issue tickets or something.

Sara,
Go back and look at a map and then count just how many of those intersections are downtown. I counted 6.
The studies are also 3-5 yrs old. Much has happened in Chicago in terms of traffic control, cameras at these intersections, etc.

Where did you get the idea that the driver has the right of way in London. The entire UK has very strong traffic laws in favor of the pedestrian. There are stiff fines for not yielding in a crosswalk or zebra crossing. You can lose your license for repeated offenses. While it is not correct for pedestrians to jaywalk or cross against a traffic signal, it is ludicrous to give right of way and no accountability to the person driving what could be a deadly machine.

Sara, you must be kidding! You are that ignorant or stupid to
say that 2,000lb vehicles should have the right of way over
100-200lb humans? Get real! It seems as if you are one of those
drivers that are not patient enough to wait for the pedestrians
to clear the street. What if your 80yr old grandmother were
crossing one of those dangerous corners and Vehicles had the
right of way? Oh, well! Sorry grandma; You'll taking too much
time... I gotta hit cha??? This is not London and you must obey the traffic lights and also have respect for human life.

enjoy paying your tickets!

I hate to say it, but most of these intersections are dangerous because of the pedestrians not because of the cars. A lot of these intersections are located downtown and workers and tourists do not adhere to the signs and lights. They walk wherever they want and whenever they choose sometimes boldly crossing when they know the light has changed and oncoming traffic is coming. Everyone is in such a hurry to get to their trains/buses that they think they do not have to abide by the traffic laws. I don't think a car that has already been waiting forever to make a turn should have to wait even longer while pedestrians ignore the signs/lights and do what they want. You shouldn't need a traffic cop to enforce the laws so that more than one car can turn per light!! Pedestrians: pay attention and adhere to the law!!
Chicago should change the laws to "driver has the right of way" instead of "pedestrian right of way", such as in London. It would make people think twice before ignoring traffic laws and doing what they please.

I'm most scared at North and LaSalle, where some SB drivers turning West on North (sometimes creating "two" turn lanes) leave me feeling at risk every time I cross with my dogs. There is a lot of park and beach pedestrian traffic at this intersection.

Having said that, being both a driver and a workday pedestrian in the Loop and Michigan Ave, I marvel at all my fellow walkers who outright disobey the "don't walk" signals. How is a car ever going to make a turn in downtown Chicago?

While some police have told me the mayor doesn't want pedestrians ticketed for fear of discouraging visitors it is time that pedestrians as well as drivers are held to a safety standard.

How many of those intersections have Photo Enforcement? If they are dangerous, wouldn't that be a criteria for where the city places new camera's?

Remember: a simple count of the number of crashes at an intersection doesn't necessarily mean that a particular intersection is necessarily more dangerous than another intersection, even if the number of crashes is higher. Why? You need to know the RISK of crossing a particular intersection compared to another. And to know that (i.e. the risk, the 'chance' of getting hit) you need to know how many pedestrians are crossing (i.e. EXPOSURE). I don't believe anyone one has that information -- i.e. reliable counts of pedestrians at all intersections around the City.

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This page contains a single entry by Mary Wisniewski published on August 4, 2008 1:01 AM.

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