Chicago City Council member Matt Martin has proposed a complete streets ordinance that would require any walking, biking or transit paths to be upgraded whenever streets are repaved.
After road fatalities last month, including a 2-year-old child struck by an SUV and a 75-year-old man killed by a distracted driver, Martin replied, “My office will continue to work to ensure that future pedestrian improvements , bike, and transit infrastructure—not just in our neighborhood, but across Chicago—is holistic, systemic, and better designed to ensure safe streets for everyone.
At last month’s city council meeting, Martin took action on that front, introducing a new complete streets ordinance. The purpose of the legislation is to ensure that whenever the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) repaves a street, rather than simply redesigning it in the same car-centric manner as before, it prioritizes the needs people on foot, by bike and by public transport. . The ordinance would require the CDOT to include improvements to safe streets, collaborating with the CTA on all such projects.
“Chicago needs to quickly and comprehensively improve our safety infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians across the city, as well as prioritize transit ridership in a big way,” Martin said in a statement. “This order calls on CDOT to build on its arterial resurfacing plans with the regular addition of ambitious infrastructure including protected bike lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bus bulbs and raised pedestrian crossings. This will ensure that the CDOT prioritizes alternatives to cars.
If Martin’s proposal is approved by the Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee, the legislation will need to be approved by the full city council.