CDOT says it will look into part of L where most vehicle crashes have occurred for new signage – NBC Chicago


The Chicago Department of Transportation has announced that it will conduct a review to potentially place new clearance signage along a stretch of the L where most vehicle collisions have occurred across the city in the past. year, days after an NBC 5 Investigates report highlighted these crashes in the west end of the city. Side.

The area in question is the portion of the Green Line that crosses Lake Street. Community members say the trucks trying to turn east or west on Lake Street have been stuck and ripped up there for years because the true clearances for the L are actually lower than what. is displayed because they do not take into account the structural supports that support the track from below.

A truck, bus or other vehicle has become stuck under a transit structure 32 times across CTA’s service area since early 2020, according to transit agency records. Fifteen of these incidents occurred on the green line along Lake Street. Of the 18 collisions that have occurred in the past year alone, 11 have occurred on the same section.

Community members say the problem not only poses a danger, but also discourages deliveries, which has a negative impact on trade in the region.

“They won’t let their trucks come and deliver,” said Roger Romanelli, executive director of the Fulton Market Association. “It cuts down on the number of businesses and jobs on the West Side.”

Ray Carlson said he’s seeing the problem firsthand at Chicago Turnrite, the Lake and Kilbourn corner metal fabrication business that his family has run for more than 70 years.

“I have had several public transport truck connections that have said that for safety reasons not only for the drivers but for the trucks themselves, we will no longer come to pick you up or deliver you”, he said. -he declares.

Carlson said trucks making deliveries have to make special arrangements because of the structure.

“They bring a big truck here, see they can’t unload, then they have to go ahead and take it to a depot and unload it into a smaller truck and ask the little truck to bring all the stuff. hardware, ”he said, noting that his company is charged for it.

Residents of a Chicago neighborhood have long complained that trucks get stuck under the same stretch of the L, even going so far as to call it “” the most dangerous street in Chicago, “reports Phil Rogers of NBC 5 Investigates .

In a meeting with the Fulton Market Association on Tuesday, four days after the NBC 5 Investigates report highlighted the issue, CDOT representative Joseph Alonzo told community members the agency would conduct a review and wanted to help with signage.

“CDOT wants to help and help and on request for signage, we can certainly help with the signage,” Alonzo said.

“It takes a cursory examination of our traffic engineering section to examine it, then properly place it in strategic places where it could be seen by the driver of the trucking company to see exactly where that signage would be, so they can’t make that commitment to go where they might get stuck, ”he added.

“We could help with signage where owners are concerned, as well as where there are actually accidents happening because of it,” Alonzo continued. “So we hope this is something that could prevent these accidents and actually improve the safety of intersections and the street where truckers actually cross.”

Some West Side residents say they finally want to see the structure – built in the 1890s but rehabilitated and repaired since then, according to the CTA – brought up to modern standards. But for now, the inexpensive addition of signs indicating the clearance for cornering trucks would be a welcome start.

“To be completely honest, we’ll take what we can get,” Carlson said.

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