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Awkward Rogers-Touhy Intersection To Get Makeover for Pedestrian Safety

By Benjamin Woodard | February 6, 2015 5:37am
 The crosswalk at Rogers and Touhy avenues would be shortened from 110 feet to just 40 feet.
The crosswalk at Rogers and Touhy avenues would be shortened from 110 feet to just 40 feet.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — The "skewed" intersection at Touhy and Ridge avenues would get a makeover by the city to increase pedestrian and driver safety, according to preliminary plans.

The Chicago Department of Transportation drew up plans in 2010 that would extend the curb at the southwest corner of the intersection to reduce the turning angle from Touhy and would shorten the crosswalk there from 110 feet to just 40 feet.

Implementation of the plan was delayed due to People's Gas construction in the area. But now work on the intersection should get started this year, said Ald. Joe Moore (49th). A community meeting about the plans is being scheduled, he said.

Deputy Transportation Commissioner Luann Hamilton wrote Moore in 2010 about the "skewed" intersection, outlining the city's plans.

The bumped-out curb would do several things to benefit drivers attempting to turn left from Touhy and pedestrians attempting to cross the street, she said.

• Slow right-turning vehicles from Rogers onto Touhy, making it easier for drivers turning left from Touhy onto Rogers to distinguish northeast-bound, right-turning traffic from those heading straight on Rogers.

• Allow motorists to scan for traffic approaching from the right without having to turn their head at a sharp angle.

• Pedestrians walking at 3.5 feet per second would be exposed to traffic for 17 fewer seconds.

• Reduce turning speeds.

The plan would also allow more space for cars waiting for the light to change at Ridge Boulevard and Touhy, according to the letter.

In addition, the sidewalk space created by the extended curb could be landscaped and beautified, Hamilton said.

The project was expected to cost $75,000 and was fully funded in the 2011 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting election.

Optional features, such as permeable pavers, trees, planter beds and lighting, in the reclaimed pedestrian space would bring the project cost up to $325,000, according to the city.

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