New plan promises safer streets for pedestrians

September 6, 2012

Tricia Bobeda

Tricia Bobeda/WBEZ
Pedestrian Safety Manager Suzanne Carlson and CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein add a safety sign to the sidewalk at the intersection of Madison and Dearborn.
The Chicago Department of Transportation released a comprehensive plan on Thursday to make the city’s streets safer for pedestrians.

About 3,000 traffic accidents injure pedestrians in Chicago each year.

The plan calls for more crosswalk striping, neighborhood traffic circles and safety zones near schools and parks.

The 114-page document is the result of seven public meetings over the last year.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein said drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all need to take responsibilty to prevent accidents.

"It's not just distracted drivers that we're worried about," Klein said. "People on their cell phones are walking out into intersections getting hit by cars."

The plan will rely on mostly federal funds to make the walkablity improvements.

Some low-cost projects like adding crosswalk stripes and posting signs are already in progress at intersections with the highest accident rates.