Chicago streets will be safer for pedestrians with proposed ordinance

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed on July 28 a City ordinance that would require drivers to come to a full stop when a pedestrian is crossing an intersection with no traffic signal or stop sign, rather than just “yielding” to pedestrian traffic as the ordinance currently states. AARP says it applauds Mayor Emanuel for promoting pedestrian safety.

“AARP would like to thank Mayor Emanuel for making pedestrian safety a priority and for making Chicago a more livable community,” said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director.  “With changing demographics and more people using alternative transportation options such as walking, biking, and mass transit, it will be critical that Chicago stay ahead of the livable communities curve.”

Livable Communities are places where people of all ages and abilities have a range of travel choices (e.g. driving, walking, biking, public transportation) to get safely where they need and want to go.  Mobility options provide ways for older adults to remain independent and to stay healthy and connected to family and friends.

AARP supports the adoption of “Complete Streets” policies as part of the Association’s livable communities agenda and is part of the National Complete Streets Coalition that advocates for Complete Streets policies at the federal, state, and local levels.  Complete Streets policies are those that focus on the safety of all users, including drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

“Mayor Emanuel is certainly taking a step in the right direction for pedestrian safety, but much more needs to be done to ensure that Chicago and all communities are prepared for the demands of a changing demographic,” added Gallo.  “We understand that this first step is part of a larger initiative, and we look forward to working with Mayor Emanuel and the City Council and supporting efforts to make Chicago a more livable community.”