Good cities are built for walking, which is perhaps why Chicago has unveiled an ambitious plan to put pedestrians first. The capital of the midwest aims to eliminate pedestrian fatalities and drastically reduce injuries over the next ten years.
How? Brand new expansive crosswalks, pedestrian islands, better urban design, and stricter traffic law enforcement. The Chicago Tribune reports:
The Chicago Department of Transportation's pedestrian plan has more than 250 recommendations for long-term and short-term improvements, some of which were installed during this year's road construction season.The city launched an extensive data-collection effort, focusing on intersections and corners with the most accidents; the short-term infrastructure and law enforcement improvements will start there.
The priorities, as defined by CDOT with input from the public, include improving safety for children and seniors around schools and parks, improving access to transit, safer crossings at intersections and increasing space for pedestrians.
Every city that aims to be highly walkable—and livable—should place pedestrian safety at the core of its mission. Which is why it's nice to see walking getting such exhaustive attention in a major, car-heavy city like Chicago. Quality of life improves drastically when people feel safe walking around. L.A. should be taking notes.