Driving on Chicago Avenue can feel like a life-or-death activity. One of the most common and dangerous traffic violations on this roadway is speeding. Though the state of Illinois has a statutory speed limit of 30 miles per hour, far too many drivers choose to violate this limit.
To curb this reckless and dangerous speeding, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is rolling out a new plan for Chicago Avenue—and also revealed some alarming safety statistics.
Alarming statistics on speeding
Through extensive research, CDOT has gathered comprehensive data on the rate of speeding on Chicago Avenue. It discovered that:
- Nearly 75% of drivers exceed the speed limit
- Approximately 27% drive slower than the speed limit
- About 33% drive up to five miles over the speed limit
- Nearly 23% drive five to 10 miles over the speed limit
- And nearly 17% drive more than 10 miles over the limit
CDOT also examined the rate of crashes and injuries on Chicago Avenue from 2014 to 2018:
- There were 1,487 total crashes
- One hundred and one crashes involved a pedestrian
- Twenty-four involved a cyclist
- These accidents resulted in 49 injuries and 5 deaths
As one representative of CDOT stated, “That is not acceptable.”
A plan to protect residents
Various residents, city officials and local business owners have proposed building a commercial corridor along Chicago Avenue. A mixture of storefronts, public facilities and commercial office buildings could bring much-desired economic prosperity. However, CDOT officials feel that the high rate of speeding is too dangerous to risk the construction of such a corridor.
Fortunately, CDOT introduced a plan that could cut speeding and protect residents:
- Install crossing signals at every traffic light
- Add curb bump-outs at intersections
- Convert some four-lane stretches to two-lane stretches
- Insert pedestrian islands at intersections
- Add middle lanes that would serve as left-turn lanes
Of course, none of these measures could deter a driver who is determined to drive recklessly. It remains to be seen whether the city will implement any of CDOT’s initiatives, and, if so, when. But drivers and city officials alike must do something to prevent speeding-related accidents along Chicago Avenue.