2nd pedestrian in less than four years killed on stretch of Devon that lacks sidewalks

The 6100 block of Devon, where yesterday's victim was killed, lacks sidewalks. Image: Google Maps
The 6100 block of Devon, where yesterday's victim was killed, lacks sidewalks. Image: Google Maps

Update 1/22/20: The Cook County medical examiner’s office has identified the victim as Maximo R. Portuondo, 51, of the 1300 block of W. Bryn Mawr Ave. This post has been updated.

Maximo R. Portuondo, 51, struck and killed by a driver while walking in the roadway on Devon Street by the Caldwell Woods forest preserve, was the first pedestrian killed in Chicago this year. He was also the second person on foot killed on this high-speed stretch of Devon, which lacks sidewalks, since 2016.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, at about 7:50 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14, police said Portuondo was walking east in the roadway on the 6100 block of West Devon Avenue in Norwood Park, a location with no sidewalks. The one-mile stretch of Devon that runs through the forest preserves between Milwaukee and Caldwell avenues is a four-lane road with a 40 mph speed limit and no stoplights, which encourages speeding, and much of this segment lacks sidewalks.

The 36-year-old female driver who struck Portuondo was heading west, police said. That indicates that the victim was walking on the north side of Devon, against traffic, which is the safest way to walk on roadways with no sidewalks. While the trail offers an alternative to walking on the street here, that route is very indirect, increasing the one-mile walk to 1.8 miles. Therefore sidewalks should be installed here to improve pedestrian safety and access.

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Portuondo, who lived on the 1300 block of W. Bryn Mawr Ave., was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The motorist was cited for driving without a license or insurance, and not exercising due care for a pedestrian in the roadway according to police.

In August 2016 56-year-old Cynthia Tatman was fatally struck while jogging on this stretch of Devon in location that lacks sidewalks. Like yesterday’s victim, she was heading east in the roadway when she was hit by a westbound driver.

Fatality Tracker: 2020 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets
Pedestrian: 1
Bicyclist: 0

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago surface streets, based on media reports and/or preliminary Chicago Police Department data released by the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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