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CHICAGO (CBS) – You’ve no doubt seen those striped crosswalks around the city of Chicago, where drivers are supposed to stop for pedestrians. Now drivers are getting an extra visual cue.
The city is putting up the first 50 signs – positioned in the middle of crosswalks – saying “Stop For Pedestrians Within Crosswalk.”
A state law passed in 2010 requires drivers to stop for pedestrians who are walking in crosswalks, not simply yield, even if the pedestrian is crossing against a “don’t walk” signal. Pedestrians are legally not allowed to enter a crosswalk unless they have a “walk” signal, or if there is time for a car on the cross street to stop.
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller spoke with one pedestrian after he’d just crossed Diversey Parkway at Wilton Avenue, where a sign just had just gone up.
“The car wouldn’t stop. I forced my way across the street. I pointed to the sign. It seemed like they got the picture, but it seems like they wouldn’t have stopped unless I asserted myself,” said Julian Kendall of Chicago.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) said her ward is getting many of this first wave of signs. She aid it will take some drivers a little while to figure out what they’re supposed to do.
“They’re trying to understand how the law works. I think people are really quite grateful for it. It’s a great innovation.”
The Chicago Department of Transportation said hundreds of signs will eventually go up at crosswalks. Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein says the signs and installation cost about $400 each. The money comes out of each alderman’s infrastructure fund.