Friday, April 10, 2009

Our ward has the city's worst intersection

According to this report by WBBM-TV:
The worst intersection in Chicago for pedestrian accidents is King Drive and 79th Street, with 13 accidents over a two-year period ending in 2005. That's followed by 79th and Ashland (11); North and California (10), and Madison and Cicero (9).
Well how is that?
Chicago motorists who barrel through intersections and fail to yield for pedestrians had better be prepared to pay up. They might get stopped by an undercover police officer posing as a pedestrian -- and playing for keeps.
Last year, there were more than 3,000 pedestrian-related accidents on Chicago streets. More than 50 of them resulted in pedestrian fatalities, an average of one a week.
"A motorist driving a two-ton auto is a lot more dangerous than a pedestrian crossing the street" while texting, talking on a cell-phone or listening to an iPod, Steele said.
How is this being resolved?
The first two-hour sting will take place April 20, with at least two a week through the end of this year.

Transportation Department spokesman Brian Steele refused to reveal the locations, but said they would be publicized in advance to give motorists fair warning. Most, if not all, will be at intersections with no traffic signal or stop sign.

Each of the city's 25 police districts will get at least two stings at crosswalks near schools, senior housing and commercial districts. Most if not all of the locations will be "at or within a few blocks" of the site of a pedestrian crash in 2006 or 2007.

It's all part of a nearly three-year-old campaign known as "Safe Streets for Chicago," designed to improve pedestrian and traffic safety through: technology, such as countdown signals; infrastructure investment, such as marked crosswalks, and education.
So what's going on at 79th and King Drive? Why is it the worst intersection in the city?

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