This photo of a car elevated in a brick wall North Avenue and Kedzie Avenue by Katherine Hodges is not related to the story below.
A comment was left on EveryBlock, in response to a crash at Lincoln and Fullerton, “What a shock, alcohol was involved” (here’s a newspaper’s report). I presume that many other people think alcohol is typically a cause or factor in automobile crashes. I looked at the data to know if it’s true.
From 2007 to 2010, there were 394,651 reported crashes. Of those, responding police officers marked on the crash reports (SR-1050) that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs was a primary or second cause in only 3,647 crashes, or 0.924%. However, this does not tell the full story. That “cause code” (#8) is to be used when an arrest is made. When an arrest is not made, officers are to use “had been drinking” (#19), from which the data shows 1,030 crashes. Adding them together, you have 4,677 crashes. In other words, alcohol is a contributing primary or secondary cause in 1.185% of crashes. Continue reading How often is alcohol a part of crashes in Chicago?
Transportation commissioner Gabe Klein gives a thumbs up to stricter taxicab regulations. This photo was taken on a bike ride with John Greenfield for this article. Okay, he actually wasn’t giving a thumbs up to that, but I can only imagine that he would.
There are six stories in this edition of Grid Bits.
In October, we linked you to the Chicago Tribune’s coverage on unsafe taxi drivers and how it’s sometimes hard to revoke or suspend their driver’s or chauffeur’s licenses. Monday, Mayor Emanuel and Alderman Beale announced proposed changes to the taxi ordinance to deal with this and other issues: Continue reading Grid Bits: Taxi reforms, bike sharing update, crash analyses
Queen’s Landing won’t look like this on Friday: there’ll be a crosswalk and signal here.
As you consider how you’ll walk to the store tomorrow for some gifts from our guide, know that several people are trying to make street crossings safer. This post is a roundup of different news about how street crossings are changing (for the better) in Chicago.
1. Queen’s Landing
I briefly reported on this two Sundays ago in Grid Shots: Pedestrian access edition. The new crosswalk opened today.
2. Crossing Western Avenue in the 47th Ward
In Alderman Pawar’s email newsletter on Wednesday, he mentioned that he requested CDOT to improve pedestrian signal timings at Western and Sunnywide, Western and Irving Park, and Western and Waveland. “Over the summer I learned that families, school children and senior citizens in our ward have experienced trouble crossing [these intersections]”. Continue reading Grid Bits: Street crossings
Let’s be thankful that federal funding for safety programs like Safe Routes To School and bicycle and pedestrian enhancements haven’t been entirely cut and there are politicians who defend these programs (aside from Representative Earl Blumenauer from Oregon, I can’t name any others).
This map, first published by The Guardian, a British newspaper, shows a point for every traffic-related fatality in the United States between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2009. The map was created by ITO World, a transportation data company, using information from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Yes, that’s Chicago underneath all of those markers representing people who’ve died in traffic crashes. View traffic fatality map in fullscreen. Continue reading Traffic fatality map: Chicago, we have a problem
32 ghostly-white figures line the north side of Wacker between Wabash and Clark, but they’re not Halloween decorations. These mannequins, male and female, wear black t-shirts reading “One of 32 pedestrians killed last year in Chicago.” On the back the shirts read “It’s up to you. Be Alert. Be Safe. We’re all pedestrians.” These dummies are part of the city’s new shock-and-awe campaign to raise awareness of pedestrian safety issues and reduce crashes. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is spearheading the initiative with the help of the Chicago Police Department, funded by a grant of almost $550,000 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Continue reading Mannequins remind drivers and pedestrians to travel safely
Photo of attention-grabbing mannequins on Wacker Drive represent the 32 people in 2010 who, while walking, were killed by drivers and automobiles in Chicago. Photo by Kevin Zolkiewicz.
Grid Chicago reader Kevin Zolkiewicz has written about the City of Chicago’s campaign to reduce pedestrian fatalities to zero by 2020.
Among the most visible of the initiatives are 32 mannequins that have been installed along Wacker Drive between Wells Street and Michigan Avenue. Each mannequin represents a pedestrian killed in Chicago last year. Klein hopes that the mannequins, combined with other campaign ads that will be plastered on buses, street furniture, and trash bins throughout the city, will encourage drivers to stay alert for pedestrians.
CDOT’s pedestrian safety campaign will involve 15 different initiatives — ranging from awareness campaigns to enforcement — that the agency hopes will change driver behavior and make the city a safer place for pedestrians. Read the full article.
Grid Chicago’s John Greenfield also attended the press conference this morning at 10 AM at Wacker and Wabash and will be writing about it for tomorrow’s feature.
By my count, using data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 3,064 reported crashes in which at least one person labeled a “pedestrian” was involved. There were several crashes where more than one pedestrian was involved, but I selected unique case numbers from the dataset. I was able to agree that there were 32 pedestrian fatalities in 2010. No crash had more than one pedestrian fatality.
There were no pedestrian fatalities in crashes where the “cause code” was “distracted by phone or electronic communication device” or “distracted by other electronic device (including DVD and GPS)”. Only 8 crashes had one of those cause codes.
According to the Chicago Department of Transportation on Twitter, the mannequins will be visiting other neighborhoods.