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Chicago announces West Side traffic safety plan

The West Side plan was crafted with input from residents of communities that have long suffered from disproportionate numbers of traffic crashes and injuries.

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The plan includes a total of 15 recommendations on ways to improve safety
The plan includes a total of 15 recommendations on ways to improve safety

Chicago has unveiled a $6m traffic safety initiative to improve high crash areas in the city’s South and West Sides.

 

The West Side plan comes after the initial Vision Zero Chicago Action Plan, released in 2017, used crash data to identify 43 high crash corridors and eight high crash areas in Chicago, with seven of the eight being on the West and South Side of the city.

 

Health and equity issue

 

The West Side Vision Zero Traffic Safety Plan is the city’s first effort in a push to increase traffic safety on the South and West Sides. The programme also seeks to address traffic safety as a public health and equity issue.

 

“Studies show residents who live in communities that experience economic hardship are three times more likely to die as a result of a traffic crash, which is why our vision zero plan and investments are as much about equity as they are about safety,” said Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chigaco.

 

“We must change how we design and use streets, as any traffic-related death is unacceptable when we, as a city, have the tools and strategies to prevent the conditions that lead to these tragedies.”

 

The plan includes a total of 15 recommendations on ways to improve traffic and pedestrian safety in East and West Garfield Park, North Lawndale and Austin.

“We must change how we design and use streets, as any traffic-related death is unacceptable when we, as a city, have the tools and strategies to prevent the conditions that lead to these tragedies”

The recommendations include: targeted safety improvements around transit stations; efforts to encourage safe and active transportation to and from schools; increased investments in infrastructure improvements such as pedestrian refuge islands and sidewalk bump outs; and a street transformation project to reconfigure the “five corners” intersection of Ogden, Pulaski and Cermak.

 

The West Side plan was crafted with input from residents of communities that have long suffered from disproportionate numbers of traffic crashes and injuries. Its contributors include the Garfield Park Community Council, the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council, Lawndale Christian Health Centre, Build and Austin Coming Together.

 

“The safety of Chicago’s streets is Chicago Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) top priority, and we are pleased that we’ve been able to work with community stakeholders on the West Side to create a vision zero plan that reflects the needs of local residents,” added Tom Carney, acting commissioner, CDOT.

 

“We look forward to implementing the safety improvements that are outlined in the West Side Plan.”

 

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