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Four ambulances were called to the scene of a traffic accident that occurred about 9 o’clock this morning at Lake Street and Ridge Avenue in Evanston.

Fire officials on the scene say it appears five people have been injured in the two-car accident.

Victims from the accident were taken both to St. Francis and Evanston hospitals.


Update: 9:38 a.m.: Ridge Avenue and Lake Street now have been reopened to traffic.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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12 Comments

  1. Accidents and traffic lights

    Hearing about yet another car accident on Ridge frustrates me to no end. It seems that, almost every day, we read about an accident at Ridge and either Greenleaf, Greenwood, Lake, or Grove. I am wondering when our city council will make it a priority to address the hazard that is Ridge Avenue. It has way too much traffic, moving way too fast, with way too many dangerous intersections. And yet people (a very vocal minority) are absolutely outraged by the idea of erecting traffic lights that would jut out into the street on Ridge Avenue and elsewhere. I cannot help but ask if more visible traffic lights would help make Ridge Avenue safer.

    1. Would it?
      I’m not one of the ones opposed to the traffic lights, but is it actually the lack of visibility of the lights that’s causing the accidents? I’ve heard a lot of people say this, but never heard or seen any evidence. The police should have some kind of reports on the accidents and their causes.
      It certainly can’t be the lights at grove as there aren’t any.
      Just anecdotally and from personal experience it seems that the width of Ridge is far more of a concern, especially with the busses taking up more than one lane.
      I just don’t see that it’s worth the money and time and the fight involved to replace the lights if they aren’t actually the problem. If the evidence shows that they are then by all means change them, but let’s not waste time and money fixing something that isn’t going to fix the problem.

    2. Ridge, accidents and the 18th Century

      You said “of erecting traffic lights that would jut out into the street on Ridge Avenue and elsewhere. I cannot help but ask if more visible traffic lights would help make Ridge Avenue safer.” ========== It is well known that the Preservationists and little old ladies sitting in their parlor with their tea and crumpets, don’t want decent street lighting [or traffic signals] to shine in or block their view. If [anywhere in Evanston] traffic accidents or crime occurs, well the people are just fodder that have less value then 18th century lighting.

    3. Not so sure

      This accident happened on a bright Saturday morning, with no leaves to obstruct the view of the traffic lights.    So what were these drivers looking at?  Apparently not their environment which might include other cars or pedestrians, not just traffic lights.  Mast arm lights will not address driver inattention. 

    4. The last rehab of Ridge Ave

      During the last rehab of Ridge Ave, as a State of Illinois roadway, the State’s Engineering Division required the City of Evanston to install mast arm traffic signals as an evidence based safety measure. The City declined, installed the current traffic signals, and took full economic responsibility for the roadway forevermore. Check the record.

  2. Poor street illumination
    Poor street illumination doesnt help either.
    As the light reflection of opposite direction cars will blind you!

  3. A Modern, Progressive Community?

    Last time the subject of widening Ridge Avenue for safety was seriously discussed in city council, a vocal minority insisted on keeping the width as is so that trees wouldn’t have to be cut down. Between tree defenders and those who insist on keeping the ineffective Tallmadge lights  even on these busy thoroughfares, our streets are only safe for horse-and-buggies, which, ironically, they recently tried to outlaw.  In our homes we no longer live like it’s the 1800s and so out on our streets we shouldn’t either    .

  4. Slow down traffic
    It seems to me that most problems on Ridge occur when traffic is stopped in one lane (because of turning traffic) with cars continuing to move fast in the other lane. Given the narrow lanes these cars can be overlooked by cars turning in the other direction, resulting in crashes. The most obvious solution would be to reduce lanes (one wide traffic lane in each direction with separated turn lanes in the middle) and a lower speed limit of 25 mph. Ridge has two lanes in Chicago and Green Bay has two lanes in Wilmette, so there is no good reason why Ridge needs to be four lanes in between – it gives us a bit more speed but also many more accidents.

    1. Agree with Matt

      I live nearby Ridge and have little choice to use it or cross it to go just about anywhere. I agree with Matt. My twice a day on this awful road tells me the problem is too much traffic going too fast with nearly no opportunity to turn West.  Visibility of traffic lights are not the problem.

      Would love to see an an accident analysis of how many accidents at intersections are caused  by drivers stopped in an attempt to turn. Left turn lights at Lake and/or Davis to access the nearby schools west of Ridge would help immensely, in my opinion.

      1.  Ridge

        I agree as well.  The lanes on Ridge are tight and when someone is turning left chaos occurs.  I would support wider single lanes and tung lanes where needed.  It will keep traffic moving and cut down on “blind side” accidents.

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