CHICAGO (CBS) — Beside a construction site, a West Loop corner turned deadly last week, following the collision of a bicycle and a truck.
It’s part of a disturbing trend, with accidents more than doubling at the corner of Madison and Halsted.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has more on whether the city is taking the right steps to prevent another accident.
The Chicago Department of Transportation said an inspector comes by every day to document safety concerns, if there are any, and record them.
According to CDOT, the agency employs 25 inspectors to visit these types of sites that have some sort of impact on traffic. But no one needed to leave the office to document an alarming trend that recently turned deadly.
As a 44-story tower takes form above the intersection of Halsted and Madison, below is a confusing mix of lane closures and detours signs.
“Whenever I am over here, I get a little anxious,” said West Loop resident Alex Dembitz.
Those traveling through the area daily describe it best.
“It’s very hard to see as you are walking through. There’s just a lot going on,” said Dembitz.
Flowers still mark the spot where a bicyclist was killed earlier this month as she collided with a garbage truck. A check of the city of Chicago’s own crash records showed it was among the nearly 30 vehicle accidents reported near the intersection over the past year.
Developers began construction in the area in 2017, with the Chicago Department of Transportation approving the required traffic control plan and responsible for inspections.
But city records document 28 vehicle accidents within 100 feet of the site from over the last 12 months. The number is more than double the amount recorded in the three previous months.
According to IDOT just 10 accidents occurred there in 2014, 12 in 2015, and 10 in 2016.
A big question for the Chicago Department of Transportation: wasn’t there enough information already out there to indicate that the intersection was a problem and that adjustments were needed?
CDOT has the ability to modify lane closures or even require personnel be on site to manage traffic. Neighbors in the area said it was time to do something.
“With all the construction, I don’t know what but we need to figure out a way to make it more safe,” said Dembitz.
CDOT declined CBS 2’s request for an interview, but in a statement said safety in the area was a top priority.