After Driver Injures Senior at Devon/Greenview, City May Fix Intersection

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Devon and Greenview, looking east. Image: Google Street View

On Wednesday at around 4 p.m. a motorist struck and injured an elderly woman at the intersection of Devon and Greenview, on the border between Edgewater and Rogers Park.

The woman who was struck is 70 years old and she was taken to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition, according to Officer Kevin Quaid from Police News Affairs. As of Saturday afternoon, the woman was in intensive care. The driver, a 43-year-old man, was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in the roadway and driving without a license.

Local resident Alana Hanson saw the crash occur as she was walking to pick up her young son from a daycare center near the intersection. “It was horrifying to witness, but I can’t say it was surprising given how much harassment I face crossing that street with my son twice a day,” she said.

Hanson added that drivers on Devon, the main street, routinely ignore the intersection’s four-way stop signs and fail to yield to pedestrians crossing north-south. “I’ve had drivers lay on their horn, rev their engines at me, and zoom around me as I’m in the crosswalk with a stroller,” she said. She added that the Chicago Department of Transportation previously installed “Stop for Pedestrians” signs at the intersection, but they were both flattened within two weeks.

Devon is the border of the 48th and 49th Ward, and Hanson says she has contacted both offices to ask if other pedestrian safety improvements could be made at the intersection, such as restriping of the crosswalks, or the construction of curb bump-outs, a pedestrian island or raised crosswalks – which have proved effective in reducing speeding by Palmer Square park.

Hanson hopes the city will make robust changes to the dangerous intersection. “I feel like the only way to get anyone to drive considerately is to force the behavior with physical barriers,” she said. “Making drivers worry about damaging their cars is the only thing I’ve ever seen have a real effect on dangerous driving.”

Greenview jogs west north of Devon, which makes for poor sightlines. There are also curb cuts for a gas station at the northwest corner, and the parking lot of the Devon Market grocery store on the northeast corner, which present a hazard for pedestrians.

49th Ward assistant Wayne Frazier, who handles infrastructure issues, told me the ward has asked CDOT to survey the intersection and provide recommendations for improving safety. He expects the department will provide a report on their findings within six weeks.

If infrastructure changes are recommended, a funding source will need to be identified, possibly menu money. However, it’s too late to include the improvements in the ward’s upcoming participatory budgeting election.

“This is a neighborhood where a lot of families walk and bike,” Hanson concluded. “It’s one of the main things that I love about Rogers Park. We should be able to do these things safely.”

  • tooter turtle

    I often drive on Devon in this area. I am terrified by the behavior of other drivers. They try to intimidate pedestrians so that they don’t even attempt to cross the street.

  • Tom

    “The driver, a 43-year-old man, was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in the roadway and driving without a license.”

    The police should have checked his citizenship as well. Sounds like another illegal immigrant running amok.

  • BlueFairlane

    Your ability to deduce citizenship from a person’s age and gender is astounding.

  • Tom

    Do you actually think I deduced his citizenship by his age and gender? Did it occur to you that I might be referring to his lack of a driver’s license? My guess is that he didn’t have insurance as well. Stop trying to be so politically correct and face reality.

  • Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL).

    Citizenship is not required to get a license to drive in Illinois. You can also find many citizens without insurance.

    I assume you are a racist socially mal-adjusted j**k, pardon my French. I just say that so you can know that I am not a politically correct fantasist.

  • I cross that corner often. I usually cross diagonally from the northeast corner to the southwest corner, crossing both streets at once. The jog in Greenview is so great that it is almost straight across Devon that way. I treat it as a pedestrian scramble. It is a four way stop. But maybe that maneuver is actually safer as a lot of pedestrians get struck by turning cars and many cars turn off of Greenview onto Devon. Besides being the shortest way across Devon I spend less time in the street. I am actually likely more visible to all drivers than if I took the diagonal. It is certainly less dangerous than the crossing I use at the unlighted and un-stop-signed Magnolia and Ridge crossing where while in the crosswalk I will often stiff arm the Ridge traffic into stopping.

    A speed table might work well at Devon and Greenview. And maybe an official scramble crosswalk as well. At least in the short direction, NE ot SW, that I use.

  • Lots of people born here drive without a license, too.

  • BlueFairlane

    So only undocumented immigrants drive without drivers licenses? I’d love to see where you came up with that. This city’s full of people driving without licenses. Most of them are US citizens.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Per the Streetsblog comment moderation policy, future posts along these lines will be deleted and repeat offenders will be blacklisted:

  • duppie

    Is there any crash data available that shows that this intersection is less safe than other 4-way stop signs? It seems that you give a lot of credibility to Mrs. Hanson’s opinions, instead of presenting the reader with facts

    I cross through this intersection multiple times a week (usually by bike) and i don’t find it any more challenging than may other 4-way intersections with all stop signs

  • johnaustingreenfield

    We may be able to provide some crash data about the intersection soon, but Hanson opinions about the intersection being dangerous aren’t necessarily the reason CDOT is taking action on this — the recent, near-fatal crash is.

  • Added this intersection to the map.

  • I can give you crash data for specific intersections, but it’s nigh impossible for me to compare this intersection to other 4-way intersections.

    From 2009-2014 there were 47 crashes within 150 feet of the intersection! (Intersections have effects on driving that go a little beyond just the interior of the crosswalks, and it doesn’t help that there’s a gas station here with two driveways.)

    From my memory of doing single-intersection crash analyses, this seems inordinately high.


  • Roger

    Probably needs a traffic light.
    Not cheap, but a better solution than stop signs on a busy street like Devon.


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