Driver Who Fatally Struck Pedestrian in Grant Park Was Not Cited

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The 1100 block of South Columbus, looking north. Image: Google Street View

A female motorist who struck and killed a 37-year old man in Grant Park has not been cited with any violations, according to Officer Janel Sedevic from News Affairs.

At around 12:40 p.m., Richard Hill “stepped into oncoming traffic” while walking eastbound across the 1100 block of Columbus Drive in Grant Park, near the Museum Campus, Sedevic said. The driver, who was traveling south when she struck him, stayed on the scene, according to Sedevic.

Hill, of the 3000 block of Monroe Street in south-suburban Bellwood, was transported to Northwestern Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He was pronounced dead at 1:07 p.m.

Columbus is a six-lane street with relatively few stoplights, which encourages speeding. It appears that the drive may have too much capacity for the amount of car traffic it carries. If that is the case, the city should consider removing the excess travel lanes and possibly using the right-of-way to widen the sidewalks or add protected bike lanes.

Major Accidents is investigating the crash.

Fatality Tracker: 2015 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 17 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 2 (both were hit-and-run crashes)

  • skelter weeks

    I like riding down Columbus. It’s fun. There’s no one in my way.
    I don’t speed (I’m a tad slow on my bike). But I don’t run into any interference, which I like.

  • HJ

    Columbus Drive is completely redundant between Congress and Roosevelt. Rip up that entire section and replace it with a park level plaza lined with mature trees. North of Congress all the way to Randolph could easily be narrowed to 4 lanes while expanding green space and sidewalks.

  • I think a measure of the redundancy of Columbus Drive is that is it frequently pedestrianized for street festivals, with few complaints from drivers about traffic problems.

  • It’s good for parades and Taste of Chicago. But your proposed solution is complementary to using the space as a festival area. It just doesn’t need to be a road when there aren’t festivals.

  • Andrew Petersen

    Columbus serves a purpose as an alternative to LSD and Michigan Ave during high traffic periods and during Northerly Island /Museum Campus Events. The fact that the driver wasn’t cited only means their rate of speed was (most likely) not above the limit for that street. As I recall there is this program the city implemented…speed cameras. Columbus from Roosevelt to Madison screams as a “stick a couple up for both directions” area. The problem here as I see it, is that pedestrians in this city seem to not think twice about Jaywalking.

    Having said the above….I feel sorry for the family of the victim as well as the driver who hit the vic.

  • HJ

    Exactly. Return the space to the park, yet still provide hardscape for gathering. Remove the conflict of pedestrian versus auto, resulting in improved circulation between corners of the park.

    The traffic count for Columbus is already extremely low South of Congress, let what little vehicles use the current massive roadway to divert to Michigan or LSD.

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