79th and King Chicago's most dangerous intersection

CDOT ranks city's 48 most dangerous intersections
CHICAGO The numbers are disturbing. In an average year, 71 pedestrians are killed on Chicago streets, according to a recent study commissioned by the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The intersection of 79th and Martin Luther King Drive topped CDOT's list of the city's 48 most dangerous. The intersection has seen 13 pedestrian accidents in the last year.

The Chicago Department of Transportation has identified 48 dangerous intersections in Chicago. A recent study commissioned by the city shows that over a four-year period there was a yearly average of close to 60 fatalities and over 800 injuries in the city.

"Motorists are driving more aggressively, our cars are higher performance, we're busier, we're multi-tasking; pedestrians are often the big loser of that. This new study shows that clearly," said Professor Joe Schwieterman, transportation expert.

The dangerous intersections with a total of five or more pedestrian collisions include:

  • 11 at Ashland and 79th,

  • 10 at California and North,

  • 9 at Cicero and Madison,

  • and 8 at Pulaski and Irving Park.

  • The most was 13 at 79th and Martin Luther King Drive.

"We are looking at all of the intersections that were listed in that study to see if there are any type of engineering changes that we might be able to make, even something as simple as new pavement markings, new signage, a change to the traffic signal timing. Those can sometimes have a big impact on pedestrian safety," said Brian Steele, Chicago Department of Transportation.

The Department of Transportation cautions pedestrians and bicyclists not to use cell phones, follow the laws and wear reflective colors at night. They are concentrating their education efforts on attempting to change motorists' behavior.

"We are looking at strategies and ideas and methods to change motorist behavior, to get everyone aware of all the other uses of the public way and see if we can start bringing those accident numbers down," said Steele.

"We are going to need more aggressive enforcement. The starting point can be the remote cameras we see at intersections," said Schwieterma. "Clearly, motorists need to know there are penalties to be paid for risky behavior before these accidents happen."

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