Illinois traffic fatalities are up this year: What to do about it?

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Can you find anything “bad” or “could use improvement” about the design of this intersection between Ogden Avenue and an on-ramp to northbound Kennedy Expressway? There are clues in Notes below. 

Two weeks ago, a commenter asked about the LED signs on Illinois highways. This article from the Chicago Tribune tells what they’re showing:

When travel times and Amber alerts aren’t being shown on electronic message boards, a running tally of traffic deaths in Illinois is often displayed along highways across the state to remind motorists about the consequences of dangerous driving.

What are the other factors at play in this increase? Does dangerous design have a role? Or economic factors?

On Saturday, August 11, I went with a friend on the CTA Blue Line to Forest Park with our bikes; we got on the Illinois Prairie Path just a few hundred feet away from the train terminal, inside a cemetery. The bike ride was a reminder to me of the persistent road and trail design inconsistencies, within cities, within states, and across the country. I went on a road trip to Richmond, Virginia, during which I drove on the highways and local roads of 5 states. It seemed to me that the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), a federal document that every road, path, and bike lane builder in the country must follow (or obtain exemptions from), was lost or deleted. Continue reading Illinois traffic fatalities are up this year: What to do about it?

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Book club update #1: More crashes close to home

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This is the first “book club” update. Read the introduction

I only read up to page 102 in Tom Vanderbilt’s “Traffic: Why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us)” before I had to return it to the Chicago Public Library. And since it was overdue I didn’t have the chance to renew it. I liked the book so much and I was underlining and making notes in a public book so I decided to buy it.

My used book arrived from Amazon and I wanted to tell you about one of the (hundreds of) interesting facts and findings: Continue reading Book club update #1: More crashes close to home

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Switching gears: Two transportation books have arrived on my reading shelf

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The Logan Square Library has a bike rack within 10 feet of the door. If there was an Oscars for bike parking, it’d win the equivalent of Best Picture. 

My normal reading fare consists of spy novels and non-fiction, and science fiction by Isaac Asimov, William Dietz, and William Gibson. But this year I’m changing that up. Join me in my reading of transportation books!

Yesterday I got an email from the Chicago Public Library notifying me that two books I put on hold had come in. I went to the Logan Square branch to pick them up, excited to dive in. You can join my impromptu, unofficial book club, by checking out and discussing with me: Continue reading Switching gears: Two transportation books have arrived on my reading shelf

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