A Megabus is seen turning in 2007 at the intersection (Adams and Canal Streets, next to Union Station) of a deadly pedestrian crash last week. Photo by Thunderchild7.
2012 Chicago fatality stats*:
Pedestrian: 10 (6 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 4 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Donna Halstead was crossing Adams Street along Canal Street on last Tuesday, August 7, when she was struck by the passenger side mirror of a double-decker Megabus driven by Shemeka Hudson, fell to the ground, and later died. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the driver “was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian” while state and city law require drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks (where Halstead was crossing). Continue reading Fatality Tracker: Woman killed after Megabus hits her crossing downtown street
Maya Hirsch with her father, courtesy of the Stop for Maya foundation.
On Wednesday Chicago City Council approved a $3.25 million settlement with the family of Maya Hirsch, a four-year-old girl who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Lincoln Park, possibly due to poorly placed signs and faded crosswalks. Under the Emanuel administration the city has ramped up its efforts to improve pedestrian safety, but the settlement highlights the need to continue these efforts, which will help prevent similar tragedies.
On the afternoon of May 20, 2006, after visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, Maya and her mother and older brother were crossing the intersection of Belden Avenue and Lincoln Park West to catch a cab when Michael Roth, 57, driving northbound, ran the stop sign. Roth, who had worked as a driving instructor in the early 1980s, but had his driver’s license revoked for several years after two DUI convictions, had a valid license at the time of the crash.
Continue reading The Maya Hirsch settlement will help save the lives of other Chicago children
Photo of the reconstructed Halsted Street bridge at Chicago Avenue (looking north) by Ian Freimuth.
John’s interview with Lorena Cupcake on Monday generated some new chatter about open grate bridges on Twitter. We’ve written about the dangerous bridges several times before and called for them to be fixed, even offering to trade 25 miles of Mayor Emanuel’s 100 miles of protected bike lanes for 25 safe bridges. Since then I’ve heard nothing but support for the idea from people who want truly safe connections across the Chicago River even if it meant fewer cycle tracks and buffered bike lane – the sentiment is based largely on the desire to maintain and fix what exists, rather than build anew.
You can now continuously ride (in the street, no sidewalk jumping necessary) on Halsted Street from Chicago Avenue to Division Street, over Goose Island. The bridge at Division Street was replaced and opened in December 2011, while the bridge at Chicago Avenue had its deck replaced (among other changes). On the edges, a concrete surface was made in a new bike lane to make the bridge more comfortable for cycling.
The pavement marking design on Halsted Street going northbound approaching Division Street uses the centered bike lane design we panned in the article, How Danes make right turns. The bike lane is in between a 10 feet and 11 feet wide travel lane, for about 500 feet, so cyclists will be passed by buses and trucks on both sides. For over 300 feet of the 500 feet section, the bike lane has only dashed lines, possibly reducing its overall visibility. This situation is found on several other streets around Chicago. Dan Ciskey told us, “I hate getting passed by people going 40 MPH on both sides of me on Roosevelt Road”. Roosevelt Road between State Street and Canal Street has a collection of different bike lane designs: There’s a centered bike lane in each direction for hundreds of feet, then the bike lane is shared (again in each direction) with an ambiguously marked bus lane for hundreds more feet. Continue reading Bridges update: Halsted now fully open, Chicago Avenue to be reconstructed, one lawsuit settled so far