Friday, July 21, 2017

simple ways to prevent crashes - part 3

Yesterday I was walking home from the train and I saw yet another example of a problem I see every day. One driver was eastbound on 96th and approached the intersection of 96th & Longwood. He came to a full stop at the 4-way stop. He was starting to roll when another driver flew past Ridge Park, going at least 30 mph on Longwood and didn't even slow down at the intersection.

I've often had similar experiences as a pedestrian, when a driver slows down somewhat but doesn't stop, or flies through a 4-way stop intersection going at least the speed limit, nearly hitting me or other people in the crosswalk.

While I understand that police manpower is stretched at times, the lack of enforcement is creating a serious safety problem. Drivers do what they think they can get away with - running red lights or stop signs, failing to yield to pedestrians, etc. I see fewer people walking or riding bikes in some locations because they feel threatened by reckless drivers. Even worse, when this happens, many of those people will drive instead, and some of them become part of the problem.

I would be grateful if our 22nd district police would do some random enforcement stings, especially at morning and evening rush hours, and in areas where baseball and other sports events are happening. Watch locations like 96th & Longwood, 96th & Damen, 100th & Longwood and other spots where reckless drivers regularly create hazardous conditions for people walking or biking.

Write LOTS of tickets, regardless of who the drivers are. Do NOT make exceptions for the "do you know who I am" people. Unfortunately off-duty first responders are some of the worst offenders. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of crash statistics to document how bad the problem can be. We have a lot of scary near misses.

I appeal to the commander of the 22nd district to provide an incentive for safer, more responsible driving so that our neighborhood becomes a safer, more pleasant place for walking and biking again.

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