Fatality Tracker: Crossing from between cars

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 21 (9 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 4 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 7

Please, please, please do not cross from between cars. The Chicago Tribune reports on a fatal pedestrian crash on Thursday, September 27, 2012:

A 59-year-old West Side woman died after she was hit by a car as she crossed the street near the intersection of 79th Street and St. Lawrence Avenue, authorities said.

Rose Harris, of the 1100 block of North Leclaire Avenue, was pronounced dead at 7:06 p.m. at Holy Cross Hospital, a spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

She was crossing from between two cars when struck by a car whose driver apparently didn’t have time to react, according to police.

Harris was hit about 6:50 p.m. and police said the driver did not flee the scene after hitting her.

The driver, Diedre G. Scott-Johnson, 66, was cited for driving without insurance and without a license, Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Robert Perez said. She lives in the 10700 block of South Lafayette Street and is scheduled to appear in traffic court on Oct. 19.

If fatal pedestrian crashes continue at the current rate, we’ll have fewer in 2012 than 2011, a marked difference than New York City’s experience this year.

View 7900 S St. Lawrence in a larger Map. The news story reports the crash happened near this intersection.

7 thoughts on “Fatality Tracker: Crossing from between cars”

  1. Terrible. It’s especially said that the pedestrian was near an intersection where she could have crossed safely. So many people jaywalk through traffic when they are something like 20 feet from an intersection. I’ve been guilty of being lazy and jaywalking instead of walking to the intersection too, although I’m not as fearless as others when there are cars coming.

    Hard to say if the driver could have done anything differently without seeing it happen. Many people have stepped out in front of me unexpectedly over the years, and I haven’t hit any of them, but if the car was right there when she stepped out, I can see it being unavoidable for the driver.

    1. When cycling in dense traffic, I make it a point to slow down when buses and large trucks (think UPS and beer delivery) are stopped or parked. I feel that people more often will cross in front of these vehicles than smaller and shorter ones. It’s really dumb and annoying. They cannot be seen behind these vehicles.

      1. It may be that most pedestrians are hit in crosswalks because most pedestrians enter the street at crosswalks. Most accidents occur at home, but that doesn’t mean that home is less safe than anywhere else. It’s just that we spend most of our time at home.

        Intuitively, it seems like crosswalks are the safest place to cross a street, certainly safer than stepping out between parked cars. On the other hand, if you’re crossing mid-block you don’t have to worry about getting hit by turning vehicles.

  2. How pathetic is the striping on 79th St on that Google view? People walking don’t even get two solid skinny lines to mark the crosswalk, and the puny stop bar is half faded as well. The image was taken in April 2009, and I hope it’s been repainted since then, but sadly, this is the norm currently all over the city.

    1. This is the biggest problem with this city. We don’t have it in us to paint a line. We can spend $45 million to build a special bridge for the lakefront path and I don’t know how much on pieces of plastic to isolate a bike lane a mile or two at a time, but the common, simple things like paint for a crosswalk? Not a chance.

      1. I may or may not write about this soon, but here’s a neat story:

        In June or July (would have to check my photograph’s dates), the crosswalks at Western Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue were restriped, but in the old style (parallel stripes). This was before the public release of the Pedestrian Plan. I recalled CDOT saying that international style (or zebra or continental) was the new standard – so why was the crosswalk installed this way?
        I asked CDOT’s spokesperson, Pete Scales, twice, once via email and once in person. I still haven’t received an answer to my two questions: when did it become policy to install international style crosswalks, and why wasn’t this one installed that way.
        But I received an answer to a question I didn’t ask this month. The international style crosswalk was installed in September, between the two parallel stripes. On all legs of the intersection. Excellent!
        A commenter on a different post said that the city published a revised standards guide in February that made the international crosswalk style a standard in Chicago. And the same commenter provided some reasons why a contractor (not the city) may not install the international style. So he kind of answered my two questions to CDOT’s spokesperson.

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