Chicago Details New Transportation Plan

A 100-page Chicago Department of Transportation plan aims to eliminate fatal traffic crashes in 10 years

Chicago wants to alter stoplights at 100 intersections this year to make some of the city's most dangerous roadways safer.

It's part of a 100-page Chicago Department of Transportation plan called Chicago Forward that ultimately aims to eliminate fatal traffic crashes in 10 years.

Among the proposed changes, CDOT suggests giving pedestrians an extra three-second jump on cars at busy intersections and lowering the speed limit on residential streets to 20 miles per hour.

"When a person gets hit at 20 [miles per hour], there's an 85 percent chance that they'll survive," said Commissioner Gabe Klein.

CDOT also detailed plans for better road maintenance, repairing all potholes within 72 hours, stepping up bridges repairs and rehabbing bike lanes.

According to city data, as many as 100 crashes occur each year at the intersection of Damen, Elston and Fullerton because of traffic signal orientation. The plan proposes reconfiguring the intersection to reduce the number of crashes and make it safer for bikers.

Drivers who travel through the intersection often are all for the switch.

"It is confusing," said driver Steve Roque, "and there's so much traffic coming through Damen. It's just small for as much traffic as comes through here. They really need to rearrange this."

The Department of Transportation wants to pay for the changes with a bigger cut of Illinois gas tax revenue.

If funding comes through, many of the changes would be completed in the next couple years, including installing countdown signals for pedestrians at 300 intersections in 2012.

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