Intersections can pose an extra danger to pedestrians when drivers whip closely around corners at high speeds. This can be especially dangerous in large cities where tall buildings and crowds of people walking reduce visibility. One way to encourage Illinois drivers to slow down and to avoid cutting corners is to create visual space for pedestrians using paint on the ground. These painted areas are called sidewalk bump-outs.
Art makes for safer intersections
In an effort to make intersections safer for pedestrians, The Chicago Department (CDT) of Transportation recently launched an initiative to use paint, posts, and other artistic approaches to create more visible pedestrian areas. By widening turn radii and creating visible pedestrian islands, the CDT hopes to encourage drivers to slow down and to pay attention to pedestrians at intersections.
Artists create colorful murals
For some of the intersections, the CDT worked with artists and designers to create different colorful murals in the expanded pedestrian spaces. The first bulb-outs, complete with paint and posts, were installed by the CDT in 2015. These bump-outs created new seating areas for pedestrians and shortened crossing distances. Such additions forced motorists to change their driving habits as they traveled through intersections. Although there was some negative feedback from citizens about the changes, the intersections are now safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists as there are fewer car accidents.
Chicago intersections may be safer with more visible painted bulb-outs and posts, yet pedestrian accidents still happen. If a pedestrian is injured by a motorist driving too fast through an intersection or cutting a corner too closely, he or she may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses. An attorney with a background in car accidents and injury cases can answer your questions and explore options with you.