Active Transportation Alliance Announces Launch of pedestrian-focused ‘Safe Crossings’ Campaign

The Chicago Pedestrian Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of a promising new campaign developed for the purpose of promoting awareness, as well as pushing for increased funding, to improve intersection safety for pedestrians in the Chicagoland Area. The campaign is based upon a compilation of recent crash data, including factors such as location, time-of-day, age of victim, and types of injuries sustained in pedestrian crossing-related incidents. As injury lawyers, we support campaign efforts, and hope that residents of our communities will do the same.

Perhaps most noteworthy is the campaign’s identification of Chicagoland’s most dangerous intersections, and focus on implementing changes to enhance safety in these areas. As provided on the Active Transportation Alliance ‘Safe Crossings Fact Sheet,’ the top ten intersections deemed to be most dangerous in the City of Chicago are:

• N. MILWAUKEE AVE/W. NORTH AVE/N. DAMEN AVE • N. CICERO AVE AND W. CHICAGO AVE • N. HALSTED ST/N. LINCOLN AVE/W. FULLERTON AVE • S. COTTAGE GROVE AVE AND E. 79TH ST • N. DEARBORN ST AND W. ONTARIO ST • S. ASHLAND AVE AND W. 63RD ST • N. CICERO AVE AND W. MADISON ST • N. ASHLAND AVE AND W. CORTLAND ST • S. MARTIN LUTHER KING DR AND E. 63RD ST • N. ELSTON AVE/N. WESTERN AVE/W. DIVERSEY AVE

As discussed by the Chicago Tribune, between 2006 and 2012, more crashes, involving either a bicyclist or pedestrian, occurred at the Milwaukee/North/Damen intersection, than in any other intersection in Chicago-making this junction the city’s most dangerous. In addition to Chicago-specific areas, the Safe Crossings campaign also examined intersections in suburban Cook County areas, concluding the most dangerous to be:

• N. MCCORMICK BLVD AND W. TOUHY AVE (SKOKIE)
• S. CICERO AVE AND W. CERMAK RD (CICERO)
• U.S. ROUTE 12 (MANNHEIM RD/LA GRANGE RD) & W. CERMAK RD (WESTCHESTER)
• SHERMER RD AND DEMPSTER ST (MORTON GROVE)
• N. LA GRANGE RD AND W. OGDEN AVE (LA GRANGE)
• HARMS RD AND GLENVIEW ROAD (GLENVIEW)
• 1ST AVE AND MADISON ST (MAYWOOD)
• N. HARLEM AVE AND MADISON ST (FOREST PARK/OAK PARK)
• HARLEM AVE AND 79TH ST (BURBANK)
• E. 147TH ST AND HALSTED ST (HARVEY)

As stated by the Active Transportation Alliance, the list of intersections are “based upon analysis of crash data, staff input and more than 800 suggestions from community members,” and “will serve as focus areas for our outreach team as they mobilize supporters to advocate for pedestrian improvements and increased enforcement of existing traffic laws region-wide.” The Alliance also discussed age-based and pedestrian-type safety statistics, finding that “these crossings are particularly perilous for our most vulnerable users such as children, people with disabilities and seniors.” The time of day in which pedestrian accidents occurred most often was assessed as well, and according to the Alliance, 3 pm to 6 pm was found to be the highest crash time period, with 6 pm to 9 pm noted as the second highest.

While the Safe Crossings campaign hopes to reduce the incidence rate of all pedestrian crossing accidents, a chief goal is to address the issue of pedestrian fatalities, a problem that that is particularly problematic in Chicago, given its fatality rate that more than doubles the nationwide average. In conjunction with other pedestrian safety efforts, such as promoting awareness of the ‘Must Stop for Pedestrians Law,’ as set forth in 2010 amendments to the Illinois Vehicle Code, Safe Crossings aims to put an end to motorist-inflicted pedestrian deaths.

Additional safety efforts, supported by the Alliance’s Safe Crossing campaign, include the CDOT’s “Zero in Ten” goal, a plan appearing first in the city’s 2012 Pedestrian Plan, which is aimed at eliminating all pedestrian fatalities in Chicago within the next ten years. As provided in plan documents:

“The Zero in Ten program will identify locations that are in the most need of pedestrian improvements and implement aggressive measures to improve pedestrian safety. The program will include design improvements, enforcement initiatives, and education campaigns along two corridors and four separate intersections in Chicago on an annual basis.”

Although, for many, the city’s goal to completely eliminate all pedestrian fatalities by 2022, may appear to be an insurmountable endeavor, it is not altogether impossible. In the interim, a perhaps more realistic goal may be to achieve, in the very least, a significant reduction in pedestrian fatalities each year-and with 29 deaths in 2013, and more than 20 reported in 2014 so far-we certainly have a long way to go.

Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys encourage residents to support safety initiatives such as the Alliance’s campaign. By Signing the Safe Crossings Petition, residents can show their support of more funding dedicated to improving pedestrian safety.

If you or a loved were the victim of a bicycling or pedestrian-related accident, contact Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. by calling 773-516-4100, or by using the online form provided on this page.