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IDOT and CDOT finally agree to streamline safety measures

Friday, Jan 20, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Background is here if you need it…


* From the press release

The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Chicago Department of Transportation have come to a new agreement that will streamline and accelerate the process of delivering proven and scalable safety measures on local roads and state routes within the City of Chicago. The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman and CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi, establishes preapproval of certain infrastructure designs related to Chicago’s urban street context to improve safety for people walking, biking and driving. […]

The improved collaboration between CDOT and IDOT ultimately will help to streamline the approval and delivery process for implementing proven safety countermeasures to help address the trend of rising traffic fatalities in Chicago, Illinois and across the country, particularly among bicyclists and pedestrians. The MOU will go into effect immediately and establishes:

    • A standardized list of traffic safety infrastructure designs routinely submitted by CDOT that will not be subject to comprehensive IDOT review prior to installation. This will allow the city to design and self-certify curb cuts and other sidewalk improvements to make streets more walkable and accommodating for nonvehicular traffic, establishes 10- foot-wide vehicular lanes as the minimum lane width.

    • Clarified “Design Vehicle” standards to emphasize pedestrian safety at intersections. A design vehicle is the largest vehicle that is likely to use the facility with considerable frequency and its selection can significantly impact a road’s design and geometry. By agreeing to a more appropriate design vehicle for urban streets, certain state routes will be able to add safety features, such as curb extensions and bump-outs that shorten crossing distances for pedestrians.

    • An IDOT-CDOT working group to help formulate future agreements and enhance existing interagency collaboration.

Discuss.

       

7 Comments
  1. - Incandenza - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 12:23 pm:

    This is long overdue and honestly seems like a desperate attempt by the current administration to appear like its doing something about how unsafe the car-dependent infrastructure is in Chicago.

    Many world class cities are decades ahead of Chicago in terms of pedestrianizing their cities and making choice of transportation safe, available and usable. London, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo are all lightyears ahead of Chicago in terms of land use and walkable/bikeable cities. Chicago is still deeply car-dependent and it is incredibly unsafe to use a bike almost anywhere to commute, shop, or get around the city.

    Making other modes of transportation viable and safe for children and elderly is paramount. It is an equity issue, an economic freedom issue, and better for the health and well being of the city.

    The city should have infrastructure making it safe enough for a child to bike to school without being in danger by cars, and available enough for elderly or disabled people to have access to groceries and other services as pedestrians. That should be the goal.


  2. - Biker - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 12:38 pm:

    Low key huge announcement. A single street can have city and state ownership depending on the block. Which makes a new bike lane subject to 2 planning processes and 2 budgets rolling up to 2 different executives.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 12:40 pm:

    ===The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman and CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi, establishes preapproval of certain infrastructure designs related to Chicago’s urban street context to improve safety for people walking, biking and driving.===

    MOUs that allow intergovernmental cooperation are the best groundwork items to at least show progress to things, like infrastructure.

    Nice lil thing too during the mayoral campaign season, as these types of “cooperations” allow the idea of “getting things done” when the agreement is a first important step, while also moving forward too.


  4. - SKI - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 1:57 pm:

    Any one know if these agreements in standards are being updated to account for e-bikes, scooters, one wheels & other micro-mobility devices?

    Currently you can have e-bikes speeding up to 28mph running alongside regular pedal bikes in the bike lanes. I can’t imagine that’s a good thing in the long run.


  5. - Huh? - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 2:42 pm:

    “MOUs that allow intergovernmental cooperation are the best groundwork items”

    Except when CDOT is involved. Then they decide what parts of the MOU they will ignore, which is generally everything.

    In less than a month, this MOU was rammed down the throat of the career IDOT staff.


  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 3:13 pm:

    ===In less than a month, this MOU was rammed down the throat of the career IDOT staff. ===

    It was a long time coming.


  7. - Sonny - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 3:33 pm:

    Didn’t hear or see much from IDOT in terms of help as the crash and death rates hit multi decade highs over the last three years. If they aren’t 100 percent on board to make Chicago safer they should be ignored.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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