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Photos taken at Clark and Olive by Kevin Zolkiewicz. 

Kevin Zolkiewicz posted photos this morning of Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) workers installing new signs at Clark Street and Olive Avenue, and Clark Street and Summerdale Avenue, that inform drivers that they must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. He adds:

These signs were added to this year’s list of menu items that alderman can select as part of their discretionary budget. Expect more to pop up around Chicago very soon.

This means that any alderman can use their annual $1.3 million “menu” fund to install these in the ward, alongside benches, bike lanes, street resurfacing, and a variety of other capital projects. Zolkiewicz went on to say why the signs are being installed:

State law was changed in July 2010 to require drivers to stop, and not just yield, to pedestrians in unsignalized crosswalks. But most drivers in Chicago haven’t gotten the message. These signs have been shown to increase compliance with the law.

The law applies to people in marked crosswalks and “in” unmarked crosswalks. We explained the difference in an earlier post.

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The first of 19 signs in the 43rd ward (Michelle Smith) was installed on Thursday, June 28, at 1700 N Stockton Drive, according to Bike Walk Lincoln Park. Other streets in the ward to receive them will be Lincoln Avenue, Clark Street, Diversey Avenue and Belden Avenue (see exact locations).

Two intersections in the 47th ward (Ameya Pawar) will be installed this year, at Addison Avenue and Hoyne Avenue, and Addison Avenue at Hermitage Avenue. View a list of other projects in the ward that will funded by the alderman’s discretionary “menu” funds (.pdf).

Updated June 28, 2012, at 21:12, to add news of this sign being installed in other wards. 

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  • madopal

    I wish they’d put some along Ashland just west of those locations. The amount of scared pedestrians (including myself) I see at Ashland & Catalpa, Olive, Edgewater, Berwyn, and Summerdale is pretty bad. Traffic on Clark does a pretty good job of stopping at the crosswalks. Ashland is another story entirely. If they don’t want people crossing there, they should remove the crosswalks at those non-light streets.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      If marked crosswalks were removed, “unmarked” crosswalks would legally still exist as long as the sidewalks extended to the curb and essentially pointed at each other.
      It’s up to the alderman to decide how to use the funds. You could ask.
      The alderman for all of those streets is different than the one for Clark Street. It’s Patrick O’Connor, 40th ward.

  • Scott Sanderson

    How much do these cost to install? Last weekend my wife and I were trying to cross Belmont at Hoyne, and it was just an endless stream of cars ignoring the crosswalk.

    • http://zolk.com Kevin Zolkiewicz

      $800 per intersection. It’s one of the cheapest items on the menu. Contact your alderman to encourage him or her to request them. It might be too late for this year, but they can at least include it in the 2013 menu requests.

      • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

        That’s cheap. Maybe 100 of these per ward for $80,000 is a key part of changing driver culture in Chicago.

  • John

    This is great. Beats the crap out of an unwarranted all-way stop sign. Can we replace the unwarranted all-way stops on major streets with these?

  • Maxime Paquin

    Sweet, now I want a real bike lane on Clark !

  • C L

    Cool. The signs are a good reminder to drivers, and they make it easier to see the crosswalks. In a place like Andersonville, where it feels like there is a crosswalk every 20 feet, it’s easy to be confused about where they are — especially since people jaywalk despite the numerous crosswalks. You also have to watch people and figure out what they’re going to do by the time you’re at the crosswalk, since the sidewalks always have a lot of people on them. The signs allow drivers to see the crosswalks from further away, which helps them to figure out whether they need to stop as they approach. I also feel like the signs make the drivers behind me less angry when I stop at a crosswalk (And less likely to swerve around me).

    The only drawback is that I have seen confused drivers stop for these signs when there is nobody in the crosswalk or anywhere near it (this happens in Evanston).

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      a) I hadn’t thought that it makes the sidewalk more apparent from a distance. Good advantage of the signs.
      b) the signs have a miniature stop sign on them so I’m not surprised this happens.

  • Carter

    I hope they are respected, and enforced. We have extra-wide crosswalks (with stripes throughout) and the hot yellow signage on the Museum campus, and almost no motorists ever stop for pedestrians.

  • wiskey_tango_foxtrot

    I want one of these on Division at the Paulina Street intersection. People exit off the freeway and head west. At first, Division is two lanes in each direction. At Ashland, it starts to narrow to one lane in each direction. All the motorists want to be at the front of the line. And you’d think they absolutely HAVE to catch that green light at Wood, or they will literally die – hence the urgency to zoom down that residential stretch at maximum speed.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      That’s the 1st Ward, Alderman Moreno. Ask him.

  • http://www.bikewalklincolnpark.com Michelle Stenzel

    Bike Walk Lincoln Park asked Alderman Michele Smith to commit menu funds to install these all over our ward, and she agreed to about 15 locations, so look for them (hopefully) soon, mostly on Clark Street, Lincoln Avenue, and Stockton Drive.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      I’d also ask for them on Armitage, although Armitage is not as wide as the streets you mention.
      Clark, between Cannon and North, will need more than these signs to be traffic calmed.

      • http://www.bikewalklincolnpark.com Michelle Stenzel

        We didn’t ask for these signs on Clark between Armitage and North, as they work best when there are only two lanes of moving traffic. You may have heard we’re advocating for bigger changes on that stretch.

        • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

          Yes, I have ;) You may have heard I did a radar gun-speed analysis (which I need to write up!).

        • Ben

          You may be getting bigger changes on that stretch.

    • http://www.bikewalklincolnpark.com Michelle Stenzel

      Follow up: The first sign went up today on Stockton! Here’s my post, with pics:
      http://www.bikewalklincolnpark.com/2012/06/first-stop-for-pedestrian-sign-appears.html

      • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

        I’m going to guess the 47th Ward signs will show up this week. Addison/Hoyne, and Addison/Hermitage. Just two scheduled for 2012.

  • duppie

    A brief and completely unscientific observation of the intersection tonight made it clear that even in Andersonville drivers are unsure of the law in Illinois. A few drivers came to a complete stop with no pedestrians nearby.
    Any idea what will happen with these in the winter?

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      I don’t think winter destroys these as much as errant drivers. The ones at UIC on Harrison Street have been replaced at least once, I believe. Although I don’t go through there often enough to give better information.

  • WPBT

    I think I saw a couple riding down Damen in the 32nd last night. Maybe at Charleston?

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  • duppie

    Alderman Osterman’s newsletter touted the installation of these signs on Clark. Too bad he called them “Yield to Pedestrian” signs and that “These signs remind drivers that it is law to yield to pedestrians”
    I think it is painfully clear that this law requires a better education effort, so that drivers and elected officials actually know what the law says.

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  • duppie

    It’s been almost a week now since the signs were installed and I have had various chances to test out and observe it’s effectiveness.
    Conclusion: They work as intended. Drivers are much more inclined to stop for pedestrians trying to cross the intersection. And I feel a lot safer crossing at intersections with the signs installed.
    Some drivers are confused whether they need to stop when there are no pedestrians present, and as a result cars might stop even if they don’t have to, but overall I consider this a big improvement

    It may be a little selfish (since it impacts me almost every day), and it might still be a little early, but I think we have a candidate for best safety improvement in Chicago for 2012

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