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What Illinois needs to do to help communities improve pedestrian, cycling safety

What Illinois needs to do to help communities improve pedestrian, cycling safety

A stretch of Irving Park Road near Hoyne Avenue. State regulations are a barrier to safety along busy Irving Park Road, Ald. Matt Martin writes.…

Thursday, Jul 14

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A stretch of Irving Park Road near Hoyne Avenue. State regulations are a barrier to safety along busy Irving Park Road, Ald. Matt Martin writes. On June 12, a driver hit and killed Peter Paquette as he crossed Irving Park Road on foot in a marked crosswalk. Peter was a long-time 47th Ward activist and volunteer who was beloved by many, and had just left an early voting rally that I and dozens of other elected officials were attending.

The state-owned road he was attempting to cross is notoriously dangerous, and this specific intersection had been, to many nearby residents, a tragedy waiting to happen.

Two years ago, my office advocated for significant pedestrian safety improvements to this same stretch of Irving Park, only to find many of our recommendations nixed by the Illinois Department of Transportation due to conflicting state regulations. This cannot continue.

North Center residents know full well how dangerous a road Irving Park is, and the numbers back them up. The 1.5 miles of Irving Park that fall within the ward (from Clark Street to the Chicago River) see six times as many crashes as the city-wide average.

But it’s a key corridor that my constituents have to navigate if they want to walk to any of the three parks, two senior housing complexes, three schools, two grocery stores, or the L station that all line Irving Park, not to mention dozens of other restaurants, bars, and stores.

Soon after I came into office in 2019, I learned that the […]

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