In response to a recent spate of cars hitting pedestrians around the University of Chicago campus, U. of C. administrators have outfitted campus intersections with bright orange flags and large signs that read “stop and look before crossing.”
A spokesperson for the university said the signs and flags were installed at crosswalks along the Midway Plaisance on Friday, March 17 ahead of the start of the U. of C.’s spring quarter. Additional signs were placed at intersections around campus.
Since the beginning of this year, there have been four recorded incidents of cars hitting pedestrians around campus, per data from the U. of C. Police Department. The most recent recorded incident was on March 9, when a pedestrian was struck while crossing the street at 5811 S. Ellis Ave; they were transported by emergency responders to the U. of C. Medical Center.
From mid-January to early February, two pedestrians were hit around 55th Street between Woodlawn and University avenues; another was struck crossing the Midway Plaisance. Pedestrians in each collision were transported to the U. of C. Medical Center.
Over the same period in 2022, two pedestrians were struck by vehicles on or around the U. of C. campus, according to UCPD data. Only one pedestrian was hit over the same period in 2021.
“The flags were installed on a trial basis as one of the actions the University is taking to raise awareness of the issue. The University is also working with the City of Chicago, which makes final decisions related to road infrastructure, on potential infrastructure changes to further enhance pedestrian safety,” the spokesperson said.
The signs encourage pedestrians to carry these flags while crossing the street to increase visibility to oncoming traffic.
Pedestrians are being hit, and the University of Chicago is blaming the PEDESTRIANS?? Typical and awful. The driving, especially on 55th Street has gotten reckless and dangerous; cards have repeatedly knocked down the signs that indicate that they are to yield to pedestrians. But of course blame the pedestrians. What morons. This is such a subpar neighborhood and city.
I'd say instead that it reflects the relative amount that pedestrians and motorists would be physically affected by being hit vs by hitting.
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