Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mannequins occupy Wacker Drive

Chicago has unveiled a new installation to bring attention to the number of pedestrian deaths last year within city limits, and to launch a pedestrian safety campaign. Thirty-two mannequins representing the 32 pedestrians killed in Chicago in 2010 by motor vehicles have been placed on the sidewalk along Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Wells Street. The mannequins wear black T-shirts that say on the front "One of 32 pedestrians killed last year in Chicago", and on the back, "It's up to you. Be alert. Be safe. We're all pedestrians." 
Each mannequin on Wacker Drive symbolizes "One of 32 pedestrians killed last year in Chicago."
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
The backs of the T-shirts say "It's up to  you. Be alert. Be safe. We're all pedestrians."
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
The mannequins' t-shirts also direct people to the website chicagopedsafety.org, which promises a year-long campaign urging both pedestrians and drivers to "pay attention on Chicago's roads". Signs are already installed on some structures in the Loop.

This campaign is much needed to raise awareness about pedestrian safety, which has a long way to go in Chicago. 
The pedestrian safety campaign "It's up to you" includes public service announcements about pedestrian crashes.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
CDOT released a comprehensive report on pedestrian fatalities and injuries from 2005 to 2009 called the City of Chicago Pedestrian Crash Analysis, which you can read here. Since you may not have read all 106 pages of it, we’ve done it for you. Here are some of the sad highlights:
  • In 2009, there were 3,277 crashes involving pedestrians in the city limits, with 34 of them resulting in death for the pedestrian, and 503 resulting in serious, incapacitating injury. That averages to 10 pedestrians a week killed or seriously debilitated after being struck by a motor vehicle.
  • In the central business district, 60% of the pedestrians struck by vehicles were crossing at an intersection, with the signal.
  • In Chicago, drivers who hit a pedestrian hard enough to cause fatal injuries speed away without stopping 40% of the time. This hit and run rate for fatal collisions is twice the 20% national rate. (What does that say about Chicagoans?)

Sixty percent of pedestrians hit by vehicles in the central district of Chicago were crossing at an intersection, with the signal, like the one at Michigan and Wacker. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
There are many indications that Chicago is heading in the right direction to make the streets safe for pedestrians. In addition to this "It's up to you" campaign, CDOT staffers are working on Chicago’s very first comprehensive Pedestrian Plan, which will be the overarching document used going forward to make a number of safety improvements throughout the city. The stated goal is to reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities to zero.

It would be wonderful if there were fewer and fewer mannequins in black T-shirts on Wacker Drive each year, until there were none at all.


  1. This is really something good for the people so that they would be aware. Thanks.

  2. This is a good cause to support, since there is an increase of pedestrians being killed. Thank you very much for sharing.

  3. Great job on posting this one. I must say that this is a great campaign for safety

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