WICKER PARK — Two years after the city doubled down on its efforts to make crosswalks safer for pedestrians, drivers are still cruising through well-marked crosswalks.
On Thursday in Wicker Park, several drivers were pulled over by police and slapped with tickets for it.
Officer Ana Pacheco, a Chicago Police spokeswoman, said that the effort was part of an all day "targeted crosswalk enforcement" that will also visit the intersections of Ashland Avenue and 18th Street, Michigan Avenue and 21st Street and Carpenter Street and Grand Avenue.
Pacheco confirmed that drivers were being ticketed if they did not yield to pedestrians, and a total of 83 citations were issued.
Fines for failure to yield to a pedestrian can range between $50-$100. In 2015, there were 2,602 citations issued for "Failure to Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalk," the city announced.
From 8-9:15 a.m. Thursday, officers were issuing citations to drivers who failed to stop at a boldly marked pedestrian crosswalk at Division Street and Wolcott Avenue in Wicker Park, to the delight of cyclists and pedestrians in the area.
Antoine Purdis, 36, cheered officers as he passed by in a wheelchair.
"Thank you! Thank you! I've lived here 23 years and got hit twice at this intersection," he said. "They never stop."
Cyclist Brian Relph, a transplant from the U.K. who was biking past when he saw the sting, looked on with glee. He said Chicago could be even more bold when marking pedestrian crosswalks.
"They don't stop for anyone," Relph said. "I'm from England and we have obvious crosswalks, zebra crossings and a big post and a bright orange bull at the top. Here it is not obvious."
Joe Ramirez said he witnessed a woman get hit by a car and paralyzed at the intersection five years ago. While he appreciates the police crackdown, he said cars simply do not stop at the intersection.
"She flew from one side of the crosswalk to the other," Ramirez said. "A big truck hit her. I think they should just put a stop sign here. They go through these yield signs all the time, people run over them."
An officer with the CPD's Traffic Enforcement Management Division said he hoped these stings would make drivers more aware of the rules of the road.
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