Tagcollision

Witness appeal

In London and Greater London (but not the City of London), when the Metropolitan Police want the public’s help in their investigations of incidents and crimes, including traffic collisions, they erect “Witness Appeal Signs” near the scene.

“We are appealing for witnesses.” Singapore also uses these signs.

It seems in 2009, though, the Metropolitan Police banned the use of the signs except for traffic collisions. Some research indicated that the public perceived that, due to the presence of the signs, crime in the neighborhood was increasing. The Daily Mail article quoted one officer to say:

“They were placed where the crimes actually happened, so were very much targeted at people who might have seen something. Now that source of information has been cut off…”

The signs are placed and designed in such a way to be seen by people walking, biking, and driving near the scene of the incident.

How effective is this small sign posted on a pole compared to a bright Witness Appeal Sign in London?

I suggest that American police departments, Chicago’s included, look into installing similar signs for the most severe traffic collisions, starting with a bilingual “witness appeal sign” for the hit & run crash in Pilsen that killed Martha Gonzalez.

The automobile assault on pedestrians occurs daily

Transportation for America reports 400 pedestrians killed each month. Thankfully, no pedestrians were hurt in the collision you see here.

More of you need to carry cameras around to document this travesty. You’ve seen my photos. Where’re yours?

Watch for my article on pedestrian safety coming on Friday (I wrote it a month ago, but the information and message isn’t late).

Motoring is triple threat to bicycling and the environment

Location: Northwest corner of Clark Street and Congress Parkway.

This photo shows the damage that automobiles inflict on our cities, environment, and, closest to my heart, bikes and bike parking.

An errant motorist jumped the curb and crashed first into the tree, then the bike rack, and finally the bike parked here. The LaSalle Blue Line station entrance is just steps away (in the background). Imagine the fate of a bicyclist who might have been locking their red Schwinn road bike to the bike rack only to find a 2-ton metal box hurtling in their direction. This photo makes clear how driving is a threat to so many aspects of our streets.

The collision had a direct monetary cost. The city will most likely pick up the tab for everything except replacing the bike. Here’s what I surmise from the photographed scene:

  • Tree removal and replacement: >$1,000
  • Bike rack removal and replacement: $450 ($300 for a new one, $150 to remove)
  • Vintage Schwinn: $200
  • Bike removal: $50
  • Cleanup: $150
  • Total: At least $1,850

Please drive carefully. Send me your photos of the automobile imposition – reader updates are here. But wait, I’ve encountered this again and again:

Location: Northwest corner of Elton Avenue and Cicero Avenue.

Location: Northwest corner of Lawrence Avenue and Kostner Avenue in front of Chicago Public Library, Mayfair branch.

UPDATE: Thanks for the mention, BikePortland.

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