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Countdown To Safer Crosswalks

By Joanna Miller in News on Mar 20, 2006 4:20PM

crosswalk1.JPGIf you’re like Chicagoist, the longer you live in the city, the more of an expert you become on calculating traffic lights. We now know exactly how much time it takes us to cross each street in our daily commute and at which point we’ll have to run to make it across before the light turns. And the people who don’t know these things and hesitate unnecessarily? Well, they just get in our way.

But sometimes we come across an unfamiliar intersection and then we become one of those confused people, getting in everyone else’s way. It’s the pedestrian circle of life.

The city is making an effort to make crossing the street less of a mystery by doubling the number of countdown signals at busy intersections downtown. Chicagoist likes the countdown signals. They take the guesswork out of crossing a busy street. The city currently has countdown signals at 23 locations. Michigan Ave., Illinois St. And Grand have the most countdown signals with six each. The new signals are scheduled for Clark and Congress, Michigan and Van Buren, and 79th and Stony Island, among others.

As much as we appreciate the countdown signals, we’re a little shocked at the cost – $10,000 per intersection. But with 61 pedestrian fatalities in Chicago last year, it’s probably money well spent.

Streetwalk in Sight via Serge Arsenie