Sun-Times Finds Chicago A Dangerous Place For Pedestrians, Bikers
Chicago can be a dangerous place to ride a bike or walk down the street according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Sun-Times takes a long, hard and comprehensive look at pedestrian and biking safety in a three part series that debuted on Monday.
In Monday’s segment, focusing on bike safety, shows a sobering 38% increase in bike crashes between 2001 and 2011, with over 1000 crashes and 43 fatalities over that time period with seven bike related deaths just last year.
Some transportation experts believe the increase in bike accidents correspond to the growing number of Chicagoans using bikes to get to work or for their general transportation.
The newspaper asks GRID Chicago writer and avid bike rider Steven Vance about improving safety for bikers and he believes yellow light durations at many intersections are too short, preventing many bike riders to clear these intersections safely–a critique leveled by many motor vehicle traffic safety advocates as well.
Downtown pedestrian safety is spotlighted in the series’ second segment. According to the Sun-Times, taxi cabs are the culprits with one out of every four pedestrian crashes involves a taxi.
In general, pedestrian accidents have been declining since 2006, but there have been 31 pedestrian deaths so far in 2012 (11 just last month) a pace that may surpass a record level set in 2008. Over 3,100 pedestrians have been injured in crashes since 2005.
The newspaper’s third and final piece on these issues zeroes in on a two mile portion of 79th on the South Side where four of the city’s 20 most dangerous intersections for pedestrians exist. But, as the newspaper notes, that general area of the South Side is peppered with pedestrian danger zones punctuating these findings with some disturbing personal stories.
Make sure you read the entire three-part series–it’s an eye opener.