Chicago Department Of Transportation Releases Detailed Car Crash Information

Last month the Chicago Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) released to the public detailed car accident data from September 2017 through July 2018. According to CDOT, the information was released as “a move toward transparency and part of push for more analysis that could help the city make headway in its ‘Vision Zero’ initiative aiming at ultimately reducing the number of traffic deaths to zero.”

The data revealed that since September of last year there have been 101,760 car crashes on Chicago streets. Below is some of the more detailed data that was disclosed:

The police department counted 18,885 injuries resulting from the crashes, 100 of them fatal.

• About 4 percent of crashes involved a vehicle hitting a cyclist or a pedestrian.

• Cellphone use — including texting — was found to be responsible in 188 crashes. More broadly, “distraction from inside the vehicle” as well as from other types of electronic devices was the cause of 817 car crashes.

• The police were unable to determine a primary contributor to a crash about 34.6 percent of the time. “Failing to yield right-of-way” was the top known cause of crashes, accounting for 12.1 percent of them. The second-leading cause of crashes was “following too closely,” which accounted for 11 percent.

This release of information was incredibly forthcoming and I believe will be helpful towards the city’s “Vision Zero” plan. I wonder, though, how accurate the distracted driver (texting) information is. If they are merely looking at Illinois Traffic Crash Report data and causes that are checked off, I do not think those numbers would be completely accurate. For example, a driver could have been ticketed for “failure to yield” or “driving too closely” but the crash reports may not show that the driver may have failed to yield because they were looking at their phone. I think a more detailed analysis of these numbers is needed.

If you or a loved one has been seriously 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 To Add Five New Speeder Cameras This Summer

The Chicago Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) announced last week that they would be adding five (5) new speeder cameras around the city by the end of the summer. Two (2) of the cameras will be placed at Hiawatha and Kosciuszko parks on the Northwest Side. The other three (3) cameras will be placed near Major Hector P. Garcia MD High School on the Southwest Side, Near North Montessori School on the Near Northwest Side and Gary Comer College Prep High School on the South Side.

CDOT told the Chicago Tribune that ““Automated speed enforcement is a proven deterrent to speeding, and one of the most effective tools in our toolbox for reducing speeding and saving lives.” They further pointed out that this was another step in Mayor Emanuel’s “Vision Zero” plan, which is aimed at eliminating all traffic accident deaths by the year 2026.

I have written on the site multiple times about red light and speed cameras. Based on multiple studies (and a bribery scandal), the red light cameras have come under a lot of scrutiny for any safety value added to the community. On the other hand, speeder cameras, have not undergone as much scrutiny. For one, they are newer to Chicago and we don’t know the actual net impact they are providing for motorists and pedestrian safety. According to CDOT, safety cameras are actually making streets and walkways safer throughout the city. According to the Department the number of speeding violations has been trending down in areas with speed cameras since they were deployed in 2014, and average traffic speed has dropped from 26 mph to 22.5 mph. Crash data also show that the number of car crashes in areas with speed cameras was down 4 percent in 2015 compared to 2013, while for the rest of the city crashes were up 13 percent.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago pedestrian accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Traffic Light Funding Approved For Deadly Stretch Of Devon Ave

NBC 5 reported last month that funding for a new traffic light has finally been approved on Devon Avenue near Le Mai Street in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood. This stretch of Devon has dubbed “Devon Speedway” by local residents as drivers are known to zoom by at rates of 60 mph despite a speed limit of 30. The funding finally came to fruition after a young man was rear-ended on his motorcycle and killed last month. This was one of multiple deadly traffic accidents in this area over the last several years. 39th Ward Alderman Margaret Laurino informed news outlets after this last car crash that funding had been had finally been approved for a new traffic light.

It’s a shame that it has taken the city this long to approve a traffic light that was obviously needed years ago. According to this report, a study was supposed to have been performed by the city’s department of transportation (CDOT) back in 2013. The family of deceased motorcycle driver will more than likely file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who rear-ended him. I think there is also potential to name the city of Chicago in this lawsuit. Government entities typically have immunity to lawsuits involving negligence unless the entity had notice of the issue (here lack of traffic light) and failed to address the issue. Here the deceased’s family could argue that the city knew as far back as 2013 that this stretch of Devon Avenue was incredibly dangerous and there had been requests for a traffic light, yet they waited five (5) years and after the most recent car accident death to provide the appropriate funding.

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

Chicago’s Lakefront Trail Construction To Be Completed By End Of Year

The Chicago Sun Times reported last week about the construction developments for the lakefront trail. According to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), all efforts to revamp the trail will be completed by the end of 2018.

The purpose for all of the construction that has taken place the last several years has been to create separate lanes for cyclists and runners/walkers. Their goal is to make a safer path, which would reduce the number of collisions between bikers and runners.

The remaining construction includes the Navy Pier flyover, which included a ramp that will carry users over two busy intersections and connect to the Lake Shore Drive underpass. Currently, pedestrians and cyclists have to use the sidewalk underneath Lakeshore Drive, which is often congested and dangerous.

Much of the construction is complete, which covers an eighteen (18) mile stretch from Ardmore on the North side to 71st street on the South side. There are pockets where construction is set to start in August, but is said to be complete by the end of the year.

I have praised this construction project since it was announced over a year ago. Separate lanes for cyclists and runners was a bold project, but it seems to be working. The areas where the construction is complete has made the lakefront much less congested, which will hopefully  lead to less accidents.

Should you or a loved one be injured in a Chicago bicycle accident, or Chicago car accident, please call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

City of Chicago To Use Data And Analytics To Reduce Car Crashes

The City of Chicago Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) issued a press release this week regarding their “Vision Zero” plan, which is an effort to eliminate all pedestrian traffic deaths in the city by the year 2026. The plan was introduced one year ago.

As part of their  release, CDOT announced it has entered a data partnership with Arity, a subsidiary of The Allstate Insurance. Arity is a connected car technology company that collects nearly one billion miles of driving and connected car data per month from more than one million mobile phone and in-car devices. Arity has a unique, user centric view of a city’s mobility patterns and ability to identify driving behaviors that carry the most risk and cause severe traffic accidents.  CDOT stated that it will be using the data and predictive analytics to better understand the risk factors of specific segments of roadways and intersections throughout Chicago.

From the release: “partnership will be used help the City identify the risk factors on specific roadways and help determine where to best prioritize and focus investments in infrastructure and traffic safety resources, as well as how to tailor interventions to improve road safety in Chicago.”

I think this is an incredibly important investment by the city.  I imagine that the use of this advanced data will  city will be able to determine where to put additional cross-walk and pedestrian signs, where to add four-way stops, where widen roads and I’m sure other safety measures.

It’s interesting that this was just announced. As I wrote within the last few weeks, pedestrian deaths in Chicago are outpacing the number of fatalities over the last several years. “Vision Zero” is off to a slow start, but hopefully this partnership with Arity will help curb that trend.

If you or a loved on has been seriously injured in a Chicago pedestrian accident or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

New Bicycle Lanes Are Under Construction On Chicago’s Clybourn Ave

 

Multiple news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, reported last month that the city began construction on a new stretch of dedicated bicycle lanes along Clybourn Avenue. The lanes will stretch from North Avenue to Division Street and from Division to Orleans. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) hopes the project will be completed by early August.

This is a welcome addition to Chicago bicycle enthusiasts as the number of bike commuters continues to grow. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) estimated recently that 38% of all morning commuters are bicyclists.

I think a tip of the hat needs to go to Mayor Emanuel and his staff as they continue to expand and promote bicycling in Chicago. The mayor vowed when he took office that Chicago would continue to grow and become one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world. Part of this vow has been his commitment to safety. By adding these dedicated bicycle lanes allows a separate and (hopefully) safe space for bicyclists. Drivers must honor that space and stay in their own lane. Although I haven’t seen any statistics on bicycle accidents recently, I believe the city is safer and healthier with all of these new bike lanes. There are now fewer vehicles on the road during rush hour commutes (which is good for everyone) and bicyclists can safely commute to their jobs knowing they have their own dedicated lane. I look forward to see where the mayor continues to expand these lanes.

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

Chicago Launches First Pedestrian Safety Plan

Per the Chicago
Tribune
, the city will be launching its first city-wide pedestrian safety
plan. I have written about this subject numerous times on this site, and about
the effort Rahm Emanuel has taken to make the streets safer for pedestrians.
Earlier the city implemented the controversial speeding cameras located in
school zones. The city also recently installed stop signs at many pedestrian
crossings on busy streets. Last year the city enacted stiffer penalties for
drivers who ignore pedestrian cameras. 

According to the Chicago
Department of Transportation (CDOT), the goal of this initiative is to improve safety for children and seniors
around schools and parks, improving access to transit, safer
crossings at intersections and increasing space for pedestrians.

The hundreds of
recommendations include better-marked crosswalks, the establishment of
pedestrian islands in the middle of multilane streets, better signals and beacons,
and pedestrian countdown timers at crossings. Other long-term improvements
discussed in the plan include staggered midblock bump-outs on residential
streets to slow traffic.

Continental-style
crosswalks were among the first changes, CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein said,
largely because the department began to weave in the new pedestrian plan in time for
already-scheduled construction projects.

The crosswalks have big
rungs across the walkway for higher visibility and are made of a reflective
material, Klein said. More than 100 such crosswalks were installed in 2012,
Klein said.

Pavement markings — on
crosswalks and stop lines for vehicles — are faded across Chicago,
and Klein said millions would be spent this year repainting such markings so
they are visible to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The overall goal by the
city is to decrease the number of pedestrian deaths to zero within ten years.
This is a lofty goal, but I take my hat off to Mayor Emanuel and to the city
for taking these initial steps to make our streets safer for pedestrians. 

If you or someone you
love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago pedestrian accident,
then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com. 

CDOT Teams With CPD To Make Crosswalks Safer

This summer The Chicago Department of Transportation teamed  up with the Chicago Police Department on an undercover sting operation to protect pedestrians at crosswalks. Off-duty police officers are going undercover at busy intersections around the city of Chicago and are stopping drivers who do not stop for pedestrians and crosswalks. The fines for failure to yield run anywhere from $50 up to $500.  The effort is to help prevent auto and pedestrian accidents

“Providing a safe pedestrian environment is our No. 1 goal,” said CDOT Acting Commissioner Thomas Powers. “This initiative is designed to increase awareness among motorists about the importance of stopping for pedestrians. People should be able to safely cross the street in their neighborhoods.”

Remember to always be aware of pedestrians, especially at night, at the different busy crosswalks around the city. Not only is it safe practice, but you could avoid a hefty fine. To read the complete story from the CDOT website, clike here.

If you, or someone you know has been involved in an auto or trucking accident, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.