Saturday, July 7, 2012

More crosswalk signs installed!

by Michelle Stenzel

Why yes, we are excited about these signs. This month marks the two-year anniversary that it's been state law that drivers must STOP for pedestrians in crosswalks, not just swerve around them. These signs are helping to finally educate drivers, and make life easier for people walking!
In-street "Stop for Pedestrians" signs are appearing all over Lincoln Park. (Photo: BikeWalkLincolnPark)
In addition to the first in-street stop for pedestrian sign that we reported about in this post, we've now spotted five more locations.

More after the jump -->
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Drivers stop for people crossing Stockton Drive at 1800 North. (Photo: BikeWalkLincolnPark)
The crosswalk at 1800 N. Stockton is a very busy spot where people cross from the Green City Market area to the Nature Boardwalk. Now that there's a sign in the crosswalk, drivers are driving slower, and most of them stop when anyone approaches the crosswalk. What a change from two weeks ago!
Green City Market pedestrian traffic makes for a very busy crosswalk at this Stockton Drive location.
(Photo: BikeWalkLincolnPark)
Around 50 yards to the north, there's a sign near the red barn of the Farm in the Zoo. It's less busy than the crossings to the south.
"Stop for Pedestrians" sign near the Lincoln Park Farm in the Zoo. (Photo: BikeWalkLincolnPark)
One thing I noticed was that the outdated "Yield Here to Pedestrians" signs are still up on Stockton, and this seems to send a mixed message to drivers: Should I yield or stop? 
Yield or stop? Yield or stop? Hmmm. (Photo: BikeWalkLincolnPark)
I'm going to suggest to CDOT that they retrofit the old signs with a new "Stop" sticker covering the "Yield" portion, to keep the message consistent. Then, just straighten up each sign, and we're good to go!

On Cannon Drive, just north of Fullerton, there's a new sign in, on the crosswalk that leads from the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to the affiliated parking lot across the street. 
New "Stop for Pedestrian" sign in the crosswalk on Cannon Drive near the Nature Museum.
(Photo: BikeWalkLincolnPark)
Cannon is a wider street than Stockton, and there aren't cars parked on either side near the crosswalk to reduce the width visually, so people drive a lot faster, and I noticed they're much less willing to stop for people who are obviously intending to cross on the crosswalk. I even saw two cars swerve around this mother as she crossed, holding hands with two little children. 
On a 50-foot-wide stretch of Cannon Drive, the new sign helps somewhat, but it's not yet enough.
(Photo: BikeWalkLincolnPark)
Streets as wide as Cannon will need more than one little sign to make the street more balanced in favor of people on foot or on bikes, but the sign is at least a start.

On Diversey, there's a sign placed at Hampden Court, by the popular Market Place grocery store. Drivers seemed to be very diligent about stopping for pedestrians here. (Although it's hard to know if their behavior is affected by the sight of someone with a large camera pointed in their general direction.)

People carry groceries as they cross Diversey Avenue at Hampden Court. (Photo: BikeWalkLincolnPark)
Further west on Diversey, signs are now up at Wilton, just east of the Diversey Brown Line stop. 
"Stop for Pedestrians" crosswalk sign on Diversey Avenue at Wilton. (Photo: BikeWalkLincolnPark)
This location actually has a double-whammy sign placement, to really drive the point home.
(Photo: BikeWalkLincolnPark)
A press conference was held at this Diversey/Wilton location last week to celebrate these new "Stop for Pedestrians" signs, and sustainable transportation blog Grid Chicago had nice coverage of the speeches given by Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein and our own 43rd ward alderman, Michele Smith. 

Here's the map of all the planned locations for the pedestrian signs (they're the red markers). Let us know if you see more appear!
Map courtesy of Alderman Smith's office.
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REMINDER: Our next Bike Walk Lincoln Park meeting will be on Tuesday, July 10th at 7:00 pm at Performance Bicycles at Halsted and Diversey. Look for our e-mail in your in box tomorrow! Anyone who wants to support bicycling and walking in Lincoln Park is invited: That means you!

Drop me a line to get onto our e-mail list (very infrequent e-mails): bikewalklincolnpark@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter @BikeWalkLP

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