Chicago Pedestrian Deaths Have Been Down in 2019 Compared to Previous Four Years

Workers install a "Stop for Pedestrians" sign. Photo: Steven Vance
Workers install a "Stop for Pedestrians" sign. Photo: Steven Vance

So far in 2019 there have been fewer media-reported pedestrian and bike fatalities than usual in Chicago, with only five pedestrian deaths reported in the news as of today, and no bike fatalities. All of those deaths occurred from January through March — there have been no media reports of pedestrian or bike deaths in April or May.

At yesterday’s Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Council meeting, Chicago Department of Transportation commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld confirmed that pedestrian deaths were down as March 31, the latest date for which the Chicago Police Department has released data.

2019 has seen fewer pedestrians deaths from January through March than the previous four years.
2019 has seen fewer pedestrians deaths from January through March than the previous four years.

While CDOT’s count for the first months of 2019 was seven pedestrian fatalities, including two cases that weren’t reported in the news, that’s lower than January-through-March totals for 2015 through 2018, based on CPD and Illinois Department of Transportation crash data. It’s also lower than the 2012-2016 average of nine pedestrian deaths from January to March.

CDOT did not immediately provide information about the two pedestrian fatality cases that weren’t reported in the media. Here are the five media-reported cases from 2019.

  • On January 3, a van driver fatally struck 53-year-old Roy Faust Jr. at Montrose and Central avenues in the Jefferson Park neighborhood and was cited for failure to exercise due care.
  • On January 21, a car driver struck and killed Robert Boarde Green, 82, the founder of a local chamber symphony orchestra, in the 8500 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue and was not cited.
  • On February 2, Ana Fernandez, 77, died from injuries sustained on January 2, when a car driver struck her in the 7600 block of Addison Avenue in Belmont Heights. The driver was cited for failure to reduce speed and exercise due care.
  • On March 5, a right-turning semi-truck driver fatally struck Anthony Macedo, 14, at 51st and Western in the Gage Park neighborhood. Although the trucker left the scene, he was not immediately charged with hit-and-run.
  • On March 7, a Volkswagen Beetle driver fatally struck 50-year-old Solomon Gutierrez on the 3000 block of North Cicero in the Belmont-Craigin neighborhood Thursday and fled the scene. According to Police News Affair, as of today the driver has not been apprehended.

 

  • 2013 was the low in that group and likely was an “outlier”. So until we are that low again everything is just normal.

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More people were killed while walking in Chicago in the first seven months of this year, compared to the same time period last year. Chicago transportation commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld pointed out to the Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Council last week that “this is the first increase since 2009.” 21 people on foot died in car crashes […]