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Evanston police say traffic accidents on Ridge Avenue from Howard to Emerson streets dropped more than 13 percent last year compared to the year before.

The street saw 241 crashes in 2018, compared to 278 in 2017.

Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew says the decline is the result of efforts by police and city traffic engineers to improve safety on the roadway.

That effort included a reducing the speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour, prohibiting turns at some intersections, changing the timing of traffic signals and trimming trees to increase visibility.

Police stepped up enforcement — issuing 4,311 citations along the corridor including 1,339 for speeding, 901 for distracted driving, 874 for disobeying a traffic control device and 239 for failure to wear a seat belt.

That’s more than double the 1,996 citations issued on the Ridge corridor in 2017.

The city also conducted public education efforts including with electronic message board and speed display signs.

Glew says the intersection of Lake and Ridge — where signal timing was changed — along with the intersection of Greenwood and Ridge — which got new turning restrictions — had the most improvement. Traffic crashes were down 58 percent at each intersection.

Glew says the department plans to continue efforts to improve safety and encourage driver behavior changes through targeted enforcement..

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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3 Comments

  1. Great News!

    Such great news! Yes, driving slower and stopping more frequently is a pain, but if it saves lives then I think we call all agree it was a good idea worth keeping. Getting to your destination 5 minutes faster isn’t worth someone’s life.

  2. An excellent beginning

    If Evanston desires to further reduce the number of auto crashes on Ridge, it must rebalance its priorities and focus more on safety and less on reducing congestion. Changing the profile of Ridge from 4 nine foot lanes to 3 twelve foot lanes would be the best step to advance this goal.

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