Did You Know?

While the Chicago region’s population grew by 18 percent since 1980, the traffic increased by 66 percent in the same period.

New CDOT campaign aims to make Chicago safer for pedestrians

Three thousand pedestrians are hit by motor vehicles in Chicago annually, resulting in around 30 deaths a year. Seven to eight Chicago pedestrians suffer a traffic-related injury every day.

These are the grim statistics that the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is hoping to change with a new pedestrian safety campaign. The new campaign is part of CDOT’s “Zero in Ten” goal, a plan to eliminate all pedestrian fatalities in the city within 10 years.

Zero in Ten first appeared in the city’s 2012 Pedestrian Plan.

Active Trans helped develop the campaign images (pictured here) that will appear on CTA buses, bus shelters and elsewhere on city streets reminding people driving and biking to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

Another part of the campaign is a sting operation by the Chicago Police Department.

The first pedestrian safety enforcement sting took place July 1 and is profiled in this piece from the Chicago Tribune and this one from Streetsblog Chicago.

Off-duty, undercover police officers posed as pedestrians and attempted to cross Clark Street at Germania Place on the Near North Side, close to the Latin School of Chicago. Drivers who did not stop for the pedestrians received tickets.

State law mandates that drivers must stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks. The law, which Active Trans played a key role in passing in 2010, carries penalties from $50 to $500 for failure to stop. 

The Chicago Police Department will carry out 60 similar stings this year close to schools, senior housing facilities and retail areas, many of which are also locations where pedestrian crashes recently occurred.

At a press conference on July 1 at the site of the Clark Street sting operation, CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld and Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke both spoke about the need to protect pedestrians in Chicago.

“Every life lost is one too many, and we must make every effort to reduce pedestrian fatalities,” Scheinfeld said.