October is Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month
October is Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month, an important reminder to all of us to be mindful of people walking in the street. Regardless of whether we arrive by train, bus, bike, car, or scooter, at some point in each journey we are all pedestrians. This year adds a unique lens to pedestrian safety as so many of us are using our streets for social distancing, exercise, and other activities beyond driving.

As of the end of September, 27 people lost their lives while walking in Chicago this year. With traffic volumes down due to the pandemic, there was hope that perhaps our streets would be safer for people walking. Unfortunately, drivers are speeding on less congested streets making crashes more likely to be deadly for our vulnerable transportation users. Slowing down can be the difference between life and death.
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is November 15, an international day to honor the memory of those lost to fatal crashes, calling our attention to the enormous responsibility that comes with driving. At CDOT, all of our work is centered around safety, and you’ll see that throughout the projects highlighted in this newsletter. Learn more about Vision Zero Chicago, our commitment and approach to eliminating fatalities and serious injuries from traffic crashes, and join us by signing our Vision Zero Safe Driving Pledge. Thank you for being our partner in traffic safety.
CDOT Updates October 2020
Photo courtesy of Mark Ballogg Photography
CDOT Projects Win Several Awards

On Friday, October 2, CDOT was honored with the Transportation Award for the Navy Pier Flyover at the annual March of Dimes Construction & Transportation Awards Luncheon. Dan Burke, Chief Engineer, accepted on behalf of the department, noting key aspects of the project including safety improvements for trail users and eliminating bottlenecks. He also thanked CDOT team members including Oswaldo Chavez, Lubika Benak, Luis Benitez, Moira Kent, Anne Zhang, and Scott Klosowki for their dedication to the project. Congratulations!

The Riverview Bridge is the recipient of two awards: the Infrastructure/Industrial Construction category for the Chicago Building Congress 2020 Merit Awards, and the Sustainability in Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the Illinois Section of the American Society for Civil Engineers. The Riverview bridge expands access along the North Branch of the Chicago River, providing bicycle and pedestrian passage across the river connecting Clark Park and California Park.
Commissioner Gia Biagi joined Alderman Daniel La Spata to unveil new protected bike lanes on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. The protected bike lanes and upcoming pedestrian and transit access improvements were designed in coordination with residents, businesses, and the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce. These lanes are just a piece of the the city's expanding bike network, which will include 15 miles of new bikeways on the South Side this year, a complement to the expansion of CDOT's Divvy bike share system.
CDOT and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) have teamed up to launch Pop-Up Essential Bus Lanes. This pilot program is being implemented on two of the City's highest ridership routes, Chicago Avenue (#66) and 79th Street (#79). One lane of traffic in each direction will be dedicated for buses to help reduce delays and bus bunching. The temporary Pop-Up Essential Bus Lanes prioritize service for essential workers and other bus riders. In total, the pilot will provide more than 12 miles of temporary dedicated bus lanes.
Shared Streets throughout Chicago will remain open through November 30, weather permitting. Since mid-June when the program began, CDOT has provided 12 installations of Shared Streets, which limit vehicular traffic in favor of providing more space for people to walk and bike in the street. The program was created in response to COVID-19 public health guidance to maintain social distance in public places. An online survey asking people to evaluate Shared Streets indicates that the majority of respondents would like to see Shared Streets offered again. After the program closes, CDOT will conduct an overall review of the program with recommendations for the future. 
The Illinois and Chicago Departments of Transportation invite you to participate in a Public Input Opportunity for the improvement of North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago! Instead of a traditional public meeting, feedback will be accepted virtually through November 9. Visit NLSDinput.org to learn about the proposed designs and alternatives that have been updated since the last public meeting. Participants can provide feedback through various interactive tools such as an ideas wall, interactive map, and survey. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redefine Lake Shore Drive!
CDOT joined Alderman Patrick Thompson, Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez, and local stakeholders to cut the ribbon on the newly rehabilitated Loomis Street Bridge. The movable bascule bridge over the South Branch of the Chicago River underwent a full rehabilitation including replacement of roadway and sidewalks, concrete repairs and asphalt resurfacing for the approaches to the bridge, and a concrete-filled lane in both directions for a smoother and safer ride. CDOT Commissioner Biagi commended CDOT's In-House bridge maintenance forces who completed the work saying, "Each of these bridges is a finely calibrated machine and it took contributions from more than a dozen of our specialized trades workers to successfully complete this project."
CDOT joined Alderman Sophia King and community stakeholders for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the third and final phase of a project to restore Drexel Boulevard. The full project to upgrade one of Chicago’s historic Boulevards started in 2018 and involves modernizing Drexel from Oakwood Boulevard to 51st Street. The work includes construction of new concrete pathways and ADA crosswalk ramps, installation of new irrigation systems and flower beds, and planting of new trees. CDOT Commissioner Biagi commented that this project “sets the stage for a comprehensive review of our Boulevard system that will look at ways we can leverage our resources to make additional investments in other parts of this network.”

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!