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Chicago's plan to cut pedestrian fatalities by 100 percent

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In 10 years, the city of Chicago is hoping to not see a single pedestrian death.

The Midwestern hub is doing all that it can to protect pedestrians and promote walkability—a fact that was recently demonstrated with the debut of the city’s first-ever pedestrian safety plan.

The ambitious proposal calls for major changes within the next few years. By 2022, Chicago hopes to reduce pedestrian injuries by 75 percent and eliminate fatalities all together. To do so, officials from the Department of Transportation have called for over 250 planned road improvements, including more clearly marked crosswalks, the creation of pedestrian islands in the middle of multilane streets, and more crossing signals for walkers.

The plan was designed after a thorough analysis of the city’s traffic deaths and a review of recommendations from residents themselves.

Chicago saw over 17,000 pedestrian-car crashes between 2005 and 2009, 16 percent of which resulted in serious injury or death for the person on foot. And while Chicago has recently seen a drop in crash rates, city planners still feel they have their work cut out for them.

“We face substantial challenges… Chicago has double the national average for hit and run pedestrian fatalities (40 percent),” Gabe Klein, commissioner of the Department of Transportation wrote in the report. “Our goal to reduce pedestrian fatalities to zero over the next ten years may seem a stretch, but as the City of Big Shoulders, we can settle for nothing less than other world-class cities.”

Read the entire Chicago Pedestrian Plan here (PDF).

[via Chicago Tribune]

Images: Chicago Pedestrian Plan

— By on September 22, 2012, 2:38 AM PST

Sarah Korones

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sarah Korones is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for Psychology Today and Boston's Weekly Dig. She holds a degree from Tufts University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure