MPC in Springfield: Make streets safe for all - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC in Springfield: Make streets safe for all

By Joe Gonzalez

In 2009, the Pedestrian Safety Bill (HB43) passed through the Illinois House and Senate Transportation Committee, but came a few votes short being approved by the Illinois Senate and becoming law.  This year, to help ensure it has enough support, MPC is teaming up with the Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans) to promote this important bill.  If passed, the Pedestrian Safety Bill would require cars to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, not just yield as is currently required.  This small but significant change would clarify the responsibilities of drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists, leading to fewer accidents on our streets.

As a new MPC Board member and co-chair of the Placemaking Chicago committee, I am happy to support the Pedestrian Safety Bill.  MPC, through projects like Placemaking Chicago, supports walkable streets that contribute to healthy economies, promote public health by providing a safe place for people to walk, and create valuable public spaces for neighbors to interact.

The Pedestrian Safety Bill hits close to home for me.  Last year, my son was hit by a car while walking in a crosswalk.  One knee surgery and many painful months later, he is on the road to recovery.  My family is still in shock, though, over how easily his accident could have been prevented.  Please join MPC and Active Trans in supporting the Pedestrian Safety Bill by reaching out to your state senator. 

For more information, contact Karin Sommer, MPC Associate, at ksommer@metroplanning.org or 312-863-6044, or Dan Persky, Counsel, Active Trans at dan@activetrans.org or 312-427-3325.

Joe Gonzalez is Principal at DeStefano + Partners, an active member of MPC’s Board of Governors, and co-chair of the Placemaking Chicago Committee.

Comments

  1. 1. Terri Scales on February 4, 2010

    I strongly agree with Joe's support for the Pedestrian Safety Bill. I live across the street from a grade school, at a three-way stop with clearly marked crosswalks. It is a regular occurance for vehicles to fail to completely stop or often even slow down at all. The crossing guard posted on our corner recently told me it's not unusual for drivers to ignore her as she enters the intersection to guide children across the street. But even when school is not in session there is a lot of pedestrian activity in our community -- we are two blocks from the Lill Street Art Center and other shops and restaurants, and the CTA's Montrose EL stop is just three blocks away. When the new Target at Wilson Yards opens this spring less than a mile away, the volume of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic is going to significantly increase. Fortunately no one has been seriously injured at our intersection, but there have been far too many close calls. Pedestrian safety needs to become a priority in Chicago, and HB43 is an excellent start. Only when there are real consequences for drivers who put pedestrians at risk will it become safer for all residents to get around the city.

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