Audible pedestrian signals installed at Lake Shore Drive and Roscoe

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A couple of projects are now complete along Lake Shore Drive on Chicago's North Side.

Following the pedestrian signals when crossing the street is something many take for granted. But in Chicago's 44th Ward, it's more challenging for residents who are visually impaired.

"I know that a number of people who are blind or visually impaired have talked about Belmont and other sections along the inner drive. Because of all the ambient noise that goes on, it's very difficult to cross these streets," said Greg Polman, of The Chicago Lighthouse.

New audible signals are just part of recent infrastructure improvements along Inner Lake Shore Drive.

"Not all pedestrians are created equally. Those with physical impairments, especially hearing- and sight-impaired individuals, face a special challenge when crossing the roadways every day," Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said.

In addition to improved signals, the inner drive at West Roscoe Street has been resurfaced, five water mains have been repaired, and a new neighborhood greenway project is making it easier for bikers and walkers to get from Ashland Avenue to the lakefront.

The entire project, which took a few years, was not without some headaches.

"For the community to be interrupted - not just Outer Lake Shore Drive, but Inner Lake Shore Drive - has been a real impediment for just getting around town," Alderman Tom Tunney (44th Ward).

The projects are now complete. It's helping make streets a lot safer for residents that use them each day.

"A lot of people have been advocating for them nationally, and locally, for many years. Now we're seeing some progress," Polman said.

Roscoe and Inner Lake Shore Drive is the eleventh intersection with audible pedestrian signals in Chicago.
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