Dangerous Chicago Intersection Finally To Receive Renovation

The intersection located at Lincoln, Ashland and Belmont Avenues will receive an overhaul, according to online blog DNA Info Chicago.  This intersection, often referred to as “Six Corners” is considered to be one of the most dangerous and congested intersections in the city. An average of 35 car crashes occur each year with daily traffic around 62,000 vehicles. The intersection with the highest traffic crash rate — Stony Island, South Chicago and 79th in South Shore — had an average 63 car crashes with about the same traffic volume.

The changes proposed by the Chicago Department of Transportation will receive local, state of federal funding. These changes will include:

  • Extending curbs at all six corners, which shortens and straightens crosswalks. The Lincoln Avenue bump outs would be specially designed to straighten the street for a more “intuitive” crossing.
  • Eliminating four turns, including the left turns from northbound Lincoln to Belmont and from southbound Ashland to Lincoln. Right turns from northbound Ashland to Belmont and from southbound Lincoln to Ashland would also be restricted.
  • Moving bus stops to the far sides of the intersection — southbound Ashland buses, for example, would stop at the southwest corner in front of Central Savings bank.
  • Adding bicycle lanes with dedicated, dotted crossings along Lincoln Avenue. Bicycle boxed spaces painted green would also put bicyclists ahead of vehicles at the cross.

These are changes that are long awaited and should make the area safer for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists with the dedicated bike lane on Lincoln. I’ve said this before, but the city is standing by its’ statements from five years ago that they want to be a front runner for bicycle accessibility and safety. The city is proving again that they care about bicyclist safety.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago bike accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Chicago Continues To Install New Curb Protected Bike Lanes

The Chicago Tribune reported recently that the city of Chicago unveiled another new curb protected bicycle lanes. The lanes have a raised concrete median that protects bicyclists from motorists in the adjacent lane. The newest bike lane was constructed at 31st Street from LaSalle to Michigan Avenue. Previous curb protected bike lanes were installed last May on Sacramento Drive in Douglas Park, followed by one in November on Clybourn Avenue in Old Town There are plans in the works another similar lane in the downtown loop on Randolph from Michigan Avenue heading to Clinton Street in the West Loop.

“Curb-protected bike lanes provide better separation between people riding their bikes and people driving, provide better guidance for motorists as to where to park and or drive, prevent illegal parking in or near bike lanes, and are more aesthetically pleasing,” said Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Chicago’s Mayor and the City Council catch a lot of flak for their handling of different issues like traffic cameras and the ride-sharing companies like Uber.  Regardless, I have to take my hat off to city officials for following through on their promise to make Chicago a world class bicycling city and to improve safety. These curb protected bicycle lanes are another step in that direction. Especially with amount of traffic congestion we see. It can obviously be dangerous at time for bicyclists to struggle for room on the roads. These curb protected lanes make life safer for everyone on the road.

If you or someone you love has been seriously been injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation.

Chicago Again Ranked In Top 10 In U.S. Traffic Congestion

I’ve written about traffic congestion in Chicago in the past and our city is perennially in the top 10 of most congested U.S. cities. This year’s ranking is no different as analytic company INRIX ranked Chicago the eighth most congested U.S. city. The study states that Chicago commuters waste about 60 hours a year sitting in traffic. On the bright side, Chicago has been ranked as high as third in recent years, so this is somewhat of an improvement. Los Angeles was ranked first in the U.S. and London was ranked at the top worldwide.

I mentioned a few weeks ago about increased traffic fatalities (specifically pedestrian) in 2015. Experts concluded that one of the causes could be attributed in the improved economy and lower gas prices. There are more people on the road driving to more jobs, which leads to more auto accidents. It is kind of a catch 22 for Chicagoans. We want a booming economy with low unemployment, but as a result we face more traffic congestion and potentially more traffic accidents and traffic fatalities. As I have said many times before, with this much traffic on the road, put your phones down and focus on what is in front of you while driving.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Changes Coming to Dangerous Lake County Intersection

According to the Lake County News-Sun, the intersection of Grand Avenue and Hunt Club Road could be seeing changes, as it is viewed as one of the most dangerous intersections in the county. The Lake County Board approved a $370,173 contract with Chicago-based Stanley Consultants to conduct a preliminary engineering study to identify potential safety improvements at the intersection.

Car accident statistics  show 127 vehicle collisions at Grand and Hunt Club between 2011 and 2013. Of those, 75 were of the rear-end variety, while the next most frequent type was 33 collisions during turns. The remainder included 11 sideswipes, four collisions with fixed objects like roadside signs, two collisions at angles and one rollover accident. The consulting engineers “will review the crash data and summarize crashes by year and major type to define trends and roadway deficiencies at each of the above intersections. Areas experiencing significant crash rates will be investigated so that countermeasures can be recommended.”

The report stated that the most likely change will involve a designated left turn signal for north and south bound drivers turning from Grand onto Hunt Club. There will likely be construction in the area, but there is plenty of vacant land in the area, which can accommodate an expansion of lanes.

If you someone you love has been seriously injured in an Illinois car crash or Illinois truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Pedestrian Deaths By Auto Up In 2015

Various news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, reported this week that pedestrian deaths from motor vehicles were up in 2015. There were 2,368 pedestrians killed in the first six months of 2015, compared to 2,232 during the same period in 2014 — a 6 percent increase. Researchers arrived at a 10 percent increase for the entire year by factoring in that fatalities for the first half of the year are typically underreported, and that for at least the last five years an average of 25 percent more pedestrian deaths were recorded in the second half of the year, which includes warmer summer months.Total traffic deaths, which had been trending downward for the past decade, were also up an estimated 8 percent last year. But pedestrian fatalities have been rising since 2005, and now account for 15 percent of total traffic deaths.

What is the cause of this recent uptick in traffic fatalities? According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, the proliferation of cell phone use by drivers has caused people to be more distracted. Also, the improved economy reveals that more drivers are on the road than in recent years.

I unfortunately do not have numbers for Illinois or Chicago, but I would imagine they follow the national trend. This is a disturbing trend especially since Mayor Rahm Emanuel has focused on improving safety for pedestrians and drivers with red light and speeder cameras. As I stated yesterday in my blog and several times before, these cameras do not show a net safety improvement, and in my opinion, these programs should end. Regardless, the city and state will have to take a long look at improving safety for pedestrians. One way, which I have mentioned before, is to increase the penalty for cell phone use while driving. Especially if someone is injured in a car accident while someone is using their phone.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

 

 

Chicago Red Light Camera Class Action Lawsuit Moves Forward

According the Cook County Record and other news outlets, plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed against the city of Chicago for improper red light camera violations has survived a motion to dismiss by the city. The lawsuit, which alleged that the city failed to send a second notice of violation, as required by its ordinances, to give those receiving the tickets sufficient chance to contest them in court, before the city began assessing additional fees and fines for the unpaid tickets. In other words, the suit states that failing to provide the second notice was a violation of offender’s due process.

The city moved to dismiss this lawsuit and the circuit court judge, Kathleen Kennedy, not only denied this motion bet held the following in her ruling:

““The ordinance makes it clear that the city was required to send a second notice before determining liability,” the judge wrote. “The city argues that notices received by plaintiffs satisfied due process because ‘due process only requires notice and an opportunity to be heard’ … Here, plaintiffs’ receipt of a single violation notice does not mean that due process was satisfied when the ordinance mandates that two notices be sent to a non-responder before a determination of liability.”

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit are seeking class action status and this is another step forward in that pursuit. If plaintiffs do reach class action status and are able to prevail at trial, then the city could be facing hundreds of millions of dollars in fees that they must refund to drivers who paid these tickets without receiving the second notice.

It’s worth pointing out that weeks after this lawsuit was filed, the city immediately changed its’ procedure when issuing these tickets. They immediately began requiring they issue the second notice to violators. It will be unclear whether this action would be admissible into evidence if the case makes it to trial. Typically, subsequent remedial behavior by a tortfeasor is not admissible into evidence.

I have been writing in this blog for years now that red light and speed camera programs should end. Studies have shown that they do not provide a net safety benefit to the city as the number of traffic accidents have not decreased since the implementation of these cameras. I will be following this lawsuit closely in the news in the coming months.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car crash or a Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.