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“Hey, I’m Walkin Here”

Video Tuesday



I was reminded of this clip while walking to work yesterday and I was crossing at the crosswalk at Washington St. and Garfield Ave. This is an infamous crosswalk in front of the old Oak Park School and achieving success in comfort while crossing at this spot has its moments. Yesterday, I had a moment and was forced to give serious stink eye to a guy in a blue Buick. I might have even blurted out some phraseology to the effect: “Excuse me, I’m crossing here. Would you mind slowing down when you approach.

Or, “Hey, I’m walkin here,” with an additional expletive.

Confident pedestrians unite!


EXTRA: There have been a series of attempts to bring more attention to the fact that people are crossing at this intersection. First, there was a crosswalk, then there were signs announcing the crosswalk and then there was an overhead sign announcing, in clearly stated terms: Crosswalk.

Still, influencing motorists behavior accordingly has been a challenge. It’s likely a corridor wide issue. Instead of narrowly looking at the crosswalk, measures need to be applied further south and north on Garfield Ave: narrow the lanes, add bike lanes, street-scaping and/or apply bump-outs.  What else?

Street View via Google Maps.

  1. JohnRobertWilliams
    March 1, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Whoa! Garfield…TC’s forgotten step-child street. It’s a main N-S corridor and downright unfriendly….motorized or non-motorized. The Garfield/Peninsula Drive intersection (almost all left turns) is a frustration all the time. And it’s right at Bryant Park, an attraction…yet there’s hardly a sidewalk around! Front/Garfield…hectic to say the least and no sidewalk on the NE side….The city could care less. From Front to 8th, it’s too wide and cars swerve all over to avoid back-ups at the Civic Center Entrance and Oak Park…and the crosswalk is ignored by most motorists…South of 8th, it’s mostly without sidewalks….Just yesterday I pedaled to the Honor State Bank…not for the faint of heart….and the Sav-A-Lot, which could be a neighborhood grocery, is an island. Narrow the street surface, widen or construct sidewalks (hey! a streetscape!) The motorist jockeying for position and lanes is unnecessary…it’s posted at 25MPH. Or…make Garfield look like Woodmere…the nicest, planned street in town…. TC needs to enforce the adjacent land owners to construct sidewalks in a systematic manner…and the proposed bend in Garfield at the airport, had BETTER include a connector to Cherryland “Mall”…but don’t hold your breath…Garfield TWP, is so anti-bikepath/sidewalk…it’s CRIMINAL! Hmmm..the commonthread …”Garfield=Disfunction”.

  2. kwhite
    March 1, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I like to stand on the curb and point to the big overhead crosswalk sign. Motorists usually get confused enough that they stop. However, the last time I did this, a lady in a van looked at me and got this horribly shocked/offended look on her face; I think she thought I was using the middle finger instead of my pointer. Oops.

  3. March 1, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I do that do K – about 50% of the people glare at me when I point to it. 45% more talk on their cell phones. Maybe one in 20 stops. Usually the people from the other way don’t though. I am really stunned that people ignore it as it feeds not only the Civic Center but also an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!

    I think I’ll just start going all Dustin Hoffman on them…

  4. March 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    The good news: traffic counts up and down Garfield Ave. are well below 20,000 vpd, making the corridor ripe for a road diet (4 lanes to 3) and including bike lanes, perhaps semi-separated bike lanes (cycle-track) south of Hannah where it is currently 4 and 5 lanes. This isn’t just me talking as I’ve heard it discussed in the halls of the governmental center. Now, figuring out the timeline for the City to move on it, that, I have no read–I suppose I could ask.. 🙂

  5. December 1, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Love the video clip.

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