Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Worst Pedestrian Intersection In Chicago

One of our most popular posts on the site was one that I wrote about the "worst intersection in Chicago" (for cars) which is the 3 way intersection of Fullerton, Damen and Elston. I added another post about a terrible down town Chicago intersection (where I have seen major accidents) at Wacker and Randolph.

Recently I was walking back from Lou Malnati's, the famous pizza place on Wells. I was walking on the West side of the street, heading north towards Grand Avenue. A pedestrian was walking across Wells going West on the South side of the street, right with the light. He had his headphones on and walked nonchalantly. A car turning south on Wells from the East side of Grand avenue was following a cab, the driver being a woman on her cell phone. The cab started out driving to the far side of the street and was able to clear the pedestrian, but the car following (with the distracted driver) pushed the guy right up on her hood and almost ran him completely over (stopped at absolutely the last second). I saw the whole thing because, sadly, I have seen things like this at the intersection before, and was ready to throw my pizza down and run south to get her license number and call the police if it was a hit-and-run.

I stayed and talked to the guy for a while because he was pretty freaked out - he almost had been stone run over. By the time he looked up the light was flashing don't walk but I told him that it wasn't his fault it was completely "walk" when he crossed the street - that driver just almost ran him down.
The intersection is completely dangerous for pedestrians attempting to cross Wells on the South side of Grand avenue. Cars cross the intersection from both side, with 2 lanes. The cars are already often confused because they face each other and then if you put pedestrians in the mix it is even worse.

If you watch the movie you can get the full flavor of this disfunctional intersection from above. The graphic above is orientated south to north so it is facing the same direction as the movie.

I really think that the city ought to do something about this before someone is seriously hurt or killed. I am not a traffic engineer so I don't know the best answer but I'd highly recommend crossing Wells on the north side of the street.


Dan from Madison said...

That is INSANE. Where do you live, Bangladesh?

Elton at Large said...

And second only to crosswalk mishaps are the number of tourists from Debuque I personlly witness continuing east on Grand against one-way traffic!

The 42nd Ward Alderman who represents our neighborhood is Brendan Reilly:

311 West Superior, Suite 212
Chicago, IL 60610

312-642-4242 phone
312-642-0420 fax

Readers: Send him this link and let's see if we can save Carl and his fellow hapless pedestrians.