Plazas could reduce risk of Chicago pedestrian accidents

The idea of creating pedestrian plazas is back in vogue as a way to create appealing greenspace and reduce the risk of serious and fatal Chicago pedestrian accidents.

Our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog reported recently that one-third of the city’s fatal accidents in 2008 — 52 of 156 — involved pedestrians being struck by a vehicle in Chicago. And city planners recently cited reducing serious and fatal pedestrian accidents as among the most pressing goals for traffic safety within the city.A recent piece in the Chicago Tribune questioned why street closures for events like Taste of Chicago don’t occur more often. It cites New York City’s bold decision to permanently close several blocks of Broadway to create permanent plazas in Times and Herald Squares.

A recent request for opinions about possible closures in downtown Chicago brought forth a number of proposals: Monroe between Michigan Avenue and Columbus, Rush Street, Taylor Street between Racine and Ashland and East 53rd Street east of Blackstone.

While permanently closing sections of downtown streets would require unprecedented cooperation among traffic planners, city leaders, business owners and residents, the idea has its early supporters.

The Chicagoist quickly jumped on the bandwagon. As Street Fest season enters full season, pedestrians are already bemoaning the season’s end. “Who doesn’t love the respite from traffic parking and noise when the fest is in your hood,” The Chicagoist wrote. “Why not make those happy feelings permanent in places throughout the city.”

One thing seems certain: With one-third of the city’s traffic fatalities resulting from pedestrian accidents, such dynamic proposals are at least worthy of consideration.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Chicago pedestrian accident, contact Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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