Friday, August 27, 2021
Friday, August 20, 2021
Friday, August 13, 2021
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
UPDATE: Since this was first published in August of 2017, I've seen a marked difference on 97th and Longwood and at 99th and Walden. Drivers are stopping and yielding much more often, at a rate I never would have imagined 10 years ago. It's still not perfect, but it's a huge improvement.
Another thing that's changed in that time is the addition of Nicky's at 105th and Western. They've been busy, and limited parking often hurts them. This is another reason to consider adding a pedestrian refuge island on the north side of the intersection.
The challenge of safely crossing our major streets continues, with minimal assistance from our alderman. The addition of signs by the crosswalks at 97th and Longwood and the restriping of the crosswalks has helped a little. Now a few drivers are stopping and yielding to pedestrians crossing to/from Ridge Park instead of none at all. Many people need to cross here - folks with young children going to the playground, people walking their dogs, or anyone else using or passing through the park. For some, difficulty in being able to cross safely means that they drive to the park instead of walking. This makes the problem worse.
|97th and Longwood, adjacent to Ridge Park|
Under current conditions, when a class is in session at Boot Camp Fitness, Horse Thief Hollow often loses potential business because nearby parking is maxed out. This happens every single week. We could create a safer crossing at 105th and Western to make it easier for people to walk or bike from the east side of Western.
|105th and Western - with visualization|
of concrete median
|95th at Hoyne with visualization of yield sign|
When I stopped to take the photo below, the parking lot was nearly full, and there was a line of several cars waiting for someone to back out of a space. The backup extended a few cars into the righthand westbound lane of 95th. There was enough traffic that a bus was trapped behind the line of waiting cars, and all the people on that bus ended up having to sit and wait for the parking lot jam to clear up. I had to wait several minutes for a break in traffic to be able to cross to the middle of the street to take the photo, and a few more minutes to get back to the curb. No one would even slow down.
95th St. fits the definition of a stroad - a wide street with higher travel speeds designed to funnel traffic. Stroads kill - not just pedestrians and cyclists, but people in cars, as mentioned in the linked article.
|95th at Oakley with visualization of yield sign|
|95th at Longwood with visualization of yield sign|
Of course, all the infrastructure tweaks in the world won't make a significant dent in the problem unless we get some enforcement on the speeding that is such a major problem on 95th, Western, 99th, 111th and other streets in the ward. We need ticket writing blitzes - in random places at random times - with no exceptions for off-duty first responders and special people. I appreciate those few drivers who do stop. The rest need an incentive.