Today’s Headlines

  • Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras Endorses Chuy, 5 Aldermanic Candidates (DNA)
  • Transportation Is a Factor in Why Minneapolis Is Growing Almost 5X as Fast as Chicago (MPC)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Cyclist Michael Joseph, 59, in Englewood (Tribune)
  • 2 Cops, 2 Civilians Injured When Officer Crashes SUV While Responding to a Call (Tribune)
  • 4 Officers Injured in Crash While Pursuing a Driver in South Chicago (Sun-Times)
  • Waukegan Is Removing a Pedestrian Bridge, Adding a Sidewalk (Tribune)
  • Is It a Problem That the Bloomingdale Trail Won’t Have Bathroooms? (DNA)
  • Teens Brainstorm Ideas for Improving Their Neighborhoods Via Placemaking (MPC)
  • Newcity Checks in With Wrigleyville’s Parking Entrepreneurs

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

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  • Deni

    I’m so tired of the claim that red light cameras or too-short yellow lights cause rear-end collisions. Tailgating causes rear-end collisions.

  • JacobEPeters

    it looks like that pedestrian bridge in Waukegan exists because of a bus stop & a school being on opposite sides of the street. Both are more than 400 ft south of the nearest light, since kids & parents will look at the choice as an 800’+ detour or jaywalking at an intersection with no crosswalk or signal. This seems like a bad idea unless they remove the bus stop at Blanchard & only keep the one at Ballantine.

  • But it’s one of those old-fashioned, non-ADA-compliant ped bridges, so it may not even be helping the people who would need it most.

  • JacobEPeters

    Agreed, it’s more that the article didn’t clearly explain what function the bridge currently served, or how the DOT would facilitate pedestrian crossings, or change service to encourage another crossing point…other than suggesting the 800ft detour.

  • CL

    That’s no comfort if you’re the one getting hit from behind, though. It’s a lot easier to change the yellow lights than it is to change the behavior of everyone else in Chicago — and there is no downside to a longer yellow that gives everyone more notice about light changes. It’s good for safety, good for everything except revenue.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Admittedly I don’t have any data to back this up, but it feels like the majority of ped/cyclist deaths reported here on SB are POCs and/or senior citizens.

    It’s perhaps the most wildly frustrating aspect of any attempt at bike advocacy, road diets, etc…being met with the stale “this is only something young, rich, ablie bodied, white hipsters want!! Real Chicagoans drive!” resistance.

  • Deni

    Enforcing the traffic laws would be a better thing to do. Give tickets out for tailgating. I’m tired of drivers demanding that everything be tailored to the way they want to drive instead of them being required to follow the rules.

  • CL

    Tickets for tailgating is never going to happen, though, at least not on the scale that makes a difference. We don’t even have enough traffic cops to ticket the more serious infractions that everyone in Chicago sees constantly (speeding, not stopping for pedestrians, etc). There is no realistic way to stop the rear-end collisions except longer yellow lights. Saying “Well, nobody should be tailgating” makes no difference in the amount of people actually doing it.

  • Deni

    There is not even any evidence that yellow/red light changes is the main reason for rear-end collisions, so any idea that longer yellows would “stop” them is just plain wild speculation. We have enough cops in this city to enforce our laws, what we don’t have is leadership that will make the cops enforce the law. If we’ve got enough cops in this city to put groups of 4 or 5 of them on every intersection on Michigan Ave – standing around looking at their iPhones while major traffic violations happen every few seconds right in front of them – then we’ve got enough to enforce the laws that are there to ensure public safety.

    I’m also tired of this attitude that Americans seem to have about “can’t” or “won’t” make a difference. Amsterdam was once a car-centric city with terrible drivers and high accident rates. Look at it now.

  • ohsweetnothing

    The argument behind rear end collisions increasing has nothing to do with yellow light times, it’s because of the presence of a camera.
    You could also argue that longer yellows won’t do nearly as much for reducing rear end collisions as it would do for increasing speeding.

  • Anecdotally, from scanning the dailies for Today’s Headlines, my impression is that the majority of serious and fatal crashes take place in low-income neighborhoods on the South and West Sides, although we need to crunch the numbers on this. We know that the worst intersections for pedestrian crashes involving children are in these neighborhoods. This undermines the argument that automated enforcement is harmful, rather than beneficial to low-income communities. Meanwhile, despite the commonly held misconception that the cams are concentrated on the South and West Sides, there’s actually a higher density of cams on the North Side: http://www.chicagotraffictracker.com/

  • We don’t have enough cops to ticket for MISSING HEADLIGHTS, even. That’s new in the past 10 years or so, I remember in 1998 — when I was living in a fairly sketchy neighborhood with a lot of beat-up cars — a broken headlight/taillight or cracked windshield would only stick around for a week at the most. Now I can see cars parked that are clearly noncompliant with road safety and they stay that way for months, despite being regularly driven.