“My administration is committed to making our streets safer for pedestrians.” This is the pledge Rham Emanuel made recently when discussing the new ordinance that would provide stricter enforcement of pedestrian cross walks.
If you work in the Loop or live in one of Chicago’s dozens of neighborhoods, you know that many of the main streets and boulevards have designated cross walks for pedestrians. The purpose of these cross walks is to allow the free flow of walkers without having walk to a stop light or to j walk. They are also designed for protection. Unfortunately many drivers to not recognize these cross walks by not stopping or slowing down when pedestrians attempt to cross.
Emanuel further stated “The ordinance … will clarify our safety laws to better protect pedestrians and support a vigorous, creative, public awareness campaign to help educate all who use our roads about pedestrian safety.”
Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein is also suggesting narrower streets, slower speed limits and intersections where vehicular traffic is stopped for 14 seconds every other light cycle to give pedestrians a chance to cross in every direction, including diagonally. Further, the ordinance would would require drivers to come to a full stop when a pedestrian is crossing at an “uncontrolled crosswalk” — an intersection with no traffic signal or stop sign. The ordinance also would authorize Klein’s department to maintain “temporary awareness signs” on the public way to promote pedestrian safety. The signs would include temporary safety messages “stenciled on the sidewalk” or “crossing flags” at key intersections.
This is a positive step for the for the Emanuel adminstration, who also recently made a pledge to make Chicago one the most bicycle friendly cities in the united states. Click here to read the entire article about the proposed ordinance in the Chicago Sun Times.
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