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Governor Quinn signed legislation, public act SB965, on Monday morning to allow any municipality in Illinois with greater than 1 million inhabitants to construct and operate an “automated speed enforcement system”. There’s already a lot of misinformation and I intend to correct the record. I also present information gathered from multiple research studies on the impacts of speed cameras.
A car crash on North Avenue at Kedzie Avenue, in the new safety zone around Humboldt Park. There’s not a red light camera here but there could be a speed camera in the near future. From 2005-2010, there have been 22 injuries to pedestrians and pedalcyclists at this intersection, inflicted in automobile crashes.
The law is an amendment to the red light camera law. It is not the first time speed cameras have been allowed in Illinois. In 2004, Illinois passed the Automated Traffic Control Systems in Highway Construction or Maintenance Zones Act (view it), enabling speed cameras to be used in work zones on highways. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) quickly deployed mobile speed camera vans – I discuss the study of this pilot project in the section, “Do they really make a difference?”. Continue reading What speed camera legislation means for Chicago (updated)
The Illinois Prairie Path as it passes through Elmhurst, Illinois. Photo by Clark Maxwell.
New research from two University of Cincinnati professors suggest that people are willing to pay more for a house near a multi-use trail. But research on this topic is hardly conclusive. There are studies that suggest the same, and others that suggest the opposite. Research is based on stated preferences (what people say they want; perception) or revealed preferences (using data that shows people’s choices; voting with your dollar). Continue reading People will pay more to live near a bike trail
John wrote about the City of Chicago’s pedestrian plan and public meetings in June. On Sunday, the Chicago Tribune wrote about a study released by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the 2011 Pedestrian Crash Analysis.
Skip over the “Key Findings” section on pages 7 and 8 (PDF). You’ll find useless factoids that, when you read them twice, tell nothing. For example, “The Chicago Transit Authority rail stations with high numbers of nearby pedestrian crashes were along the Green Line, Red Line – Dan Ryan branch, and Blue Line – O’Hare branch.” That statement is as precise and informative as telling a pizza delivery driver you live within two miles of Western and Diversey Avenues.
In the news
- Chicago Tribune – Posted online yesterday with today’s date (to coincide with a Monday press release from CDOT), the Tribune “exclusively” analyzed some of the findings. The actual report is better than this article (some paragraphs are lifted straight from the report), but the article adds some juicy bits about taxis and their drivers.
- The Architect’s Newspaper – Its metaphorical headline could be slightly misleading – “City of broadening sidewalks” – as sidewalks in Chicago have generally been narrowed instead of widened. But I get the relationship to the Sandburg poem and the Pedestrian Plan vision.
- Let’s Go Ride A Bike – After reading the Tribune article, Dottie said, “Improving the safety of pedestrians by working to change the culture of speeding and recklessness will naturally improve the safety of bicyclists.”
Resources and related items
- Pedestrian Crash Analysis technical report – You won’t find the raw data here, but it is more detailed than what you read in the summary report.
- 3D pavement markings on Clark Street – CDOT in partnership with Western Michigan University and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration applied markings to the roadways in an experiment to see if their color and 3D effect would make that intersection safer for pedestrians to cross.
It’s raining as I write this which means many bicyclists in Chicago who want to travel over one of the 25 open metal grate bridges without a bike-friendly deck treatment have to decide: risk the slippery conditions on the bridge that cause your bike to feel wobbly and possibly fishtail, or ride on the sidewalk across the river.
A photo I took last night showing the new anti-slip metal plates over the bike lane on the Kinzie Street bridge. These plates cover the metal grates that make bicycling dangerous, especially when wet.
Riders no longer have to make that choice today if they bicycle through the Kinzie Street protected bike lane as the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) installed a metal deck over the bike lane portion of the bridge. This is the third bridge in two years that CDOT has treated to make bicycle friendly. (The ribbon cutting ceremony is Monday, July 25, at 11 AM, on the southeast corner of Kinzie and Jefferson.) The other two bridges treated recently are Harrison Street bridge in 2009, and Randolph Street bridge in 2011.
But we still have 25 more dangerous bridges. And CDOT knows this. Continue reading On open metal grate bridges