As you may recall, we asked Alderman Michele Smith to allocate a portion of her annual aldermanic menu funds to install "Stop for Pedestrian" signs at unsignallized crosswalks, to help drivers remember that it's the law to stop for people crossing the street. She committed to installing 19 of them, listed on Alderman Smith's 2012 menu request document, which you can find here. You'll see them soon on Stockton, Lincoln, Clark, Diversey and Belden.
The first sign appeared today! (At least, it's the first one we've seen. Tell us if you've spotted any others.) It's on Stockton Drive, at about 1700 North, near the surface parking lot owned by the Chicago History Museum.
The signs are permanently mounted into the street. I didn't think to pull on it to test its flexibility, but I'm sure it "gives" if struck.
Some bicyclists and pedestrians still hesitated to enter the crosswalk until all motorized traffic had cleared, conditioned by years of past driver behavior.
But most drivers slowed down when approaching the signs, even when there were no pedestrians present, and they stopped at a MUCH higher rate than they did without the signs. Sorry it's not more scientific than that!
This is a great step forward for people walking in the 43rd ward! Thank you to Alderman Smith for agreeing to allocate some of our ward's discretionary funds; we believe it's money very well spent. We look forward to seeing the next 18 installed, and you can be sure we'll keep you posted!
Future updates might be on Twitter before on the blog, so don't miss out! We're @BikeWalkLP