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Study Shows True Dangers Of Chicago's Pedestrian Crossings

By Chuck Sudo in News on Sep 11, 2014 1:30PM

Photo credit: Eileen Dougharty/Facebook

The Active Transportation Alliance recently conducted a recent survey tracking dangerous pedestrian crossings across the Chicago area and the results are sobering. Turns out that image above is truly what it’s like crossing a street in Chicago.

The survey, which observed 52 crosswalks in Chicago and neighboring suburbs, found only 18 percent of drivers stopped at traditional painted pedestrian crossings when people attempted to cross the street. Worse, only 5 percent of drivers stopped at “unmarked crosswalks”—meaning a crosswalk is present whenever a sidewalk leads into the street, regardless of if there are markings present. At crosswalks with added features such as yield to pedestrian signs, brick or stone crosswalks, beacons, or raised crosswalks, the stop rate for drivers rose to 61 percent.

Active Trans Alliance executive Director Ron Burke told Tribune transportation reporter John Hilkevitch the survey results indicate motorists are unaware of Illinois’ “Must Stop” law.

”From what we can tell, most people driving in Illinois don’t realize it’s the law, and that’s not surprising, just because the law has not been very well publicized,” Burke said.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2012 84 percent of the crashes and 69 percent of pedestrian fatalities in Illinois occurred in metro Chicago. Pedestrian fatalities accounted for one-third of all traffic fatalities in 2012. Burke added that it wouldn’t be realistic to have added safety features installed at every crosswalk in Chicago, so raising awareness of the “Must Stop” law is paramount and asked for the state to launch a statewide campaign similar to the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt campaign.

Transit Advocacy Group To Address Dangerous Street Crossings