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Recent Upgrades Aim to Make Chicago’s Street, Bike Lanes Safer

Posted By Legal Team | August 11 2023 | Bicycle Accidents

In a significant step towards improving pedestrian and cyclist safety, a three-month-long project has culminated in a noteworthy transformation of the bicycle lanes and pedestrian crossings on Augusta Boulevard, in the Chicago neighborhoods of West Town and Ukrainian Village. The primary aim was to create a safer corridor for all road users.

One of the most striking changes is the relocation of bike lanes from a position adjacent to traffic lanes to a more secure position between parking spaces and the curb. In addition, the speed limits on the boulevard have been reduced from 30 mph to 20 mph, a change expected to help reduce the severity of accidents.

Studies on Speed Reduction

Studies indicate that an individual hit by a car moving at 35 mph is five times more likely to die from his injuries compared to someone struck at 20 mph. Preliminary data suggests a 35% drop in drivers exceeding the 30 mph mark and a 29% increase in those maintaining speeds below 20 mph.

Also, pedestrian crossings have been shortened, making it safer for pedestrians to navigate busy intersections. These enhancements have received a thumbs-up from Bike Lane Uprising, a cycling safety advocacy group. Gia Biagi, the outgoing Transportation Commissioner, emphasized that the project’s potential impact extends to all road users.

Challenges Remain

Despite these enhancements, concerns continue. The project underscores the need for collaboration among stakeholders, as well as a reevaluation of existing policies, such as aldermanic prerogative. While progress has been made, a comprehensive approach is needed to ensure that safety and accessibility improvements are consistent across the city.

As the city continues its efforts to enhance bike safety, it is encouraging to witness the tangible impact of these upgrades. While the design modifications may not exactly be receiving accolades, they signify a considerable leap from what went before. The positive response from the community and the demonstrated improvements in driver behavior point toward a brighter, safer future for Augusta Boulevard and the wider urban landscape. Speak to a Chicago bicycle accident attorney today to learn more.

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