Tribune reported recently that the Chicago Department of
Transportation introduced a ‘pedestrian scramble’ at State and Jackson in the
downtown loop. The test involves stopping
all vehicles — heading east on Jackson and north and south on State — for about
14 seconds every other light cycle to give pedestrians a jump on traffic to
cross in all directions, including diagonally, according to Bill McCaffrey, a
spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation. The goal is to
give pedestrians a head start crossing streets and therefore reducing conflicts
between pedestrians and turning vehicles, officials said.
course, the over-arching goal is to reduce the risk of vehicle – pedestrian accidents, which are prevalent in downtown Chicago, especially during rush
hour. About 3,000 vehicle crashes involving pedestrians — causing several
dozen pedestrian deaths — occur in Chicago each year, according to the Illinois
Department of Transportation. The city’s pedestrian plan calls for reducing
crash-related pedestrian injuries by 50 percent.
and live downtown and I have yet to notice this change at State and Jackson,
thought I will keep an eye out for it. For some reason, I do not see this as
something that would decrease pedestrian accidents because you are increasing
the number of pedestrians walking in every possible direction at a busy
intersection. I would like to see what the results will be of any studies and
if there a plans to expand this to other intersections.
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