Did You Know?
Take action now for intersections designed for people, not trucks
New legislation now being considered by the Illinois Senate would give local communities the ability to build intersections that are safer for people walking and biking.
Now is your opportunity to let state lawmakers know that we have too many dangerous oversized intersections that often act as a barrier — and a danger — for people getting around without a car.
Currently, local communities are required to build intersections that will accommodate the turning of a 65-foot truck, which means there’s no space left for people-friendly design features at the intersection.
SB 2278 will address this shortcoming in Illinois law by allowing cities and towns to protect their residents by building safer intersections.
Take action to ask your Illinois State Senator to become as sponsor of SB 2278.
ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL
When intersections must allow for the turning of 65-foot trucks, proven safety features like pedestrian islands, curb extensions, and protected bike lanes aren’t even considered. This results in wide intersections that are a danger to anyone who’s outside of a vehicle.
And all that extra space means that drivers often travel through the intersection and take the turns far too fast.
The danger of faster moving traffic is compounded by the fact that pedestrians have a longer distance to cross.
Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may simply find they are unable to access needed destinations if crossing one of these big intersections is required.
When we trim down the oversized intersections and make them more people-friendly, this is why it makes the street safer:
- We can add infrastructure proven to save lives: Pedestrian islands, curb extensions, and protected bike lanes.
- People walking and rolling are granted shorter crossing distances, which is especially important for children, older adults, and people with disabilities.
- People on the street experience a calmer, more inviting intersection and street environment.
Another drawback of oversized intersections is that they require more pavement, more storm water detention, and more consumption of green space (such as parkways and yards), even on streets where truck traffic is only an occasional need.
A REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE WITH FATAL CONSEQUENCES
A pedestrian refuge island like the one above was proposed and rejected on Irving Park Rd. in Chicago (an IDOT-controlled road) to accommodate trucks turning off of a local, one-way street, N. Bell Ave.
If that refuge island was built, it might have saved the life of Peter Paquette, who was killed by a motorist while trying to cross the street in June 2022.
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