Sunday, July 17, 2016

traffic calming and signage - which version works better?

In recent years, traffic circles have been plunked into existing intersections in many locations in the 19th ward and across the city and suburbs. They do slow down traffic. However, if signage is confusing or missing, it limits the effectiveness of these installations and can cause crashes.

I'd like to test your visual memory. Which version of signage do we have on circles here in the city, version 1 or version 2?

Version 1
Version 2
Similarly, which version of pre-intersection signage do we have here in the city to indicate how traffic should navigate the circle, 1 or 2?

Version 1
Version 2
If you said version 1, you'd be correct for both sets of pictures.

This afternoon I was nearly hit head on by a driver as I was passing straight through a Beverly intersection on my bike and she turned left, passing to the left of the island instead of going around it. She slowed down approaching the intersection. Sight lines were clear, yet she barely missed me as she went the wrong way around the island. I was saved by my brakes. A driver entering the intersection after her also went the wrong way around.

In the years since these circles were first introduced in Chicago, I've seen way too many close calls at these intersections. I've always been further from the intersection so those close calls didn't directly involve me.  In some of these locations, the pre-intersection signage is missing, which doesn't help.

Confusing signage does NOT improve traffic safety.  If we want the neighborhood greenway concept to succeed here in Chicago and improve pedestrian and bike safey, we need signage that eliminates confusion.

If you would be willing to take a 2-question anonymous survey to indicate which signage you feel is more effective, please click here.

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