2012 - a bad year for Chicago pedestrians and cyclists.
Sadly 48 pedestrians were killed on the streets of Chicago last year – the highest number of fatalities in 5 years. Active Transportation Alliance Director Ron Burkle attributed the spike in deaths to the mild 2012 winter, which put more people both on the sidewalk and the roads. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spokesman Jos Ucles however, felt that that distracted pedestrians might also be a factor. “All you need to do is look around and see everyone on a cellphone, texting, or listening to music and not paying attention to the road.”
Nearly half of the pedestrian fatalities were the result of hit and run accidents.
Cycling deaths unfortunately also went up from 7 in 2011 to 8 in 2012. The Chicago Department of Transportation recently released a lengthy, comprehensive Pedestrian Safety Plan in an effort to improve the Chicago pedestrian environment.