Audit Your Worst Intersection

On a Saturday in May, two other members of Bike Uptown and I did a “walkability audit” of the intersection of Montrose, Sheridan, and Broadway.  The audit is an evaluation of the comfort of a place for pedestrians.  It is not science – it is a list of questions designed to encourage in-depth observation of one’s environment.

We audited this intersection because it has the highest number of crashes in our ward.  It also has great potential to become a social space: The parts of Uptown away from the lake could benefit from additional places for recreation and socializing.

What did I see?  Motorists travelling quickly, narrow sidewalks, with virtually no place to sit.  The intersection is complicated, which means that a pedestrian crossing the street must always be on the lookout for cars coming from multiple directions.  Whether aware or not, it is an exhausting situation for a walker.

While I have long thought of this intersection as unpleasant, I usually bicycle through it.  The audit encouraged me to see this place from a different perspective and understand how it could be improved. A few tweaks to the intersection could serve multiple goals.  Widening the sidewalks would produce space for seating and plants while also reducing crossing distances and motor vehicle speeds.  Does this sound right to you?

Are you interested in auditing an intersection? Walk San Diego has a Walking Audit tool that many consider to be one of the best. For our audit we tried out the home grown CLOCC Walkability Assessment (link is a .pdf). Check them out and let us know if you’d like to post about your experience!

posted by Andrew Vesselinovitch

About bikeuptown46

I am currently the Communications Director for the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters which represents 33,000 union men and women in three states who swing a hammer for a living. I publsih a magazine, a couple of email newsletters and two websites. I also do videos, webinars, advertisng and public relations. As an avid cyclist I ride a three-wheeled trike 5 to 6 days per week 52 weeks per year which adds up to between 5,000 and 6,000 miles year-round, including daily commutes along Chicago's lakefront ... polar vortexes included. I have never missed a day of work because of Chicago's weather. I am an activist who serves humanitarian and political causes: To advocate for the Sudanese in Illinois who have fled Southern Sudan and Darfur is one of my most rewarding experiences. I work with my son Sean on Sudan presentations at churches and community groups with my Sudanese friends on the problems facing them in Darfur, South Sudan and the United States. My son Sean and I work together on the Abolition Institute which seeks to end slavery in the west African nation of Mauritania. My photography chronicles Chicago's lakefront through my daily rides. My photo website is http://genetenner.com/ I just self-published my first photo-book on the history of my Chicago neighborhood: Sweet Home Buena Park. I live about one-half mile north of Wrigley Field in the Buena Park neighborhood.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: