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Why does the Illinois DOT control Chicago streets?

| May 11, 2021 | Pedestrian Safety

Residents in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago have launched an effort to get the city or state to make their location safer for pedestrians. After a recent accident in which a vehicle struck a person crossing the street, residents say they want stop signs installed at the main intersection. The Illinois Department of Transportation maintains that this is not possible, and residents remain at risk.

The recent campaign for stop signs began after a vehicle hit a man who was trying to cross the street. The vehicle then dragged him down the street, after which a neighborhood store owner saw him lying on the ground. After this individual called for emergency assistance, paramedics took the victim to the hospital where he was in critical condition. This recent Logan Square accident is one of many that have taken place there over the years.

A neighborhood effort

After this accident, residents of this neighborhood circulated a petition to install stop signs for the protection of those who live and work in this area. In less than 24 hours after the launch of the petition, around 250 people had signed it. One resident reached out to local law enforcement about making the intersection a three-way stop, a step that she believes would reduce crashes and make the area safer for those on foot.

At this time, the busy intersection only has one stop sign. Neighbors believe additional stop signs would slow drivers down as speed is a major contributing factor in many of the accidents in this specific area. The Illinois DOT says it is not possible to add stop signs because it is an arterial roadway, and it would go against government policy to add stops there. Some see this decision as a state agency compromising the safety of a local neighborhood with legitimate traffic concerns.

What can residents do?

It is a complicated and often difficult process to challenge a government policy decision. The residents of this neighborhood may find it beneficial to learn about the specific legal options that may be available as they seek to make their area safer for everyone. Victims of accidents in Logan Square also have the right to fight back by taking legal action against those who cause injuries because of their negligence or reckless decisions.