Ridge Avenue has had at least six of Evanston’s 10 worst intersections for traffic accidents over the last five year — and the worst of all at least for the last two years has been Ridge Avenue at Lake Street.

As Evanston Now reported Tuesday, city officials are trying to come up with solutions to reduce the frequency of accidents at Lake and Ridge and elsewhere along Ridge Avenue.

Here’s a map that shows the number of accidents at various intersections along Ridge in 2016.

You can click on any of the map markers to see how many accidents occurred at that intersection in 2015.

Year-to-date data for 2017 for most intersections was not yet available from Evanston police.

Three intersections on Dodge Avenue — at Dempster, Main and Oakton streets — have made the top 10 list at least twice in recent years, as have two on Church Street — at Maple and Sherman avenues as have the intersections of Howard and Asbury and Central and Green Bay.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Urgent change is needed

    Ridge is an absolute nightmare to drive through. Tons of children cross the 4-lane way each day during rush hour. I’ve personally witnessed way too many accidents on this road (more than other roads combined). I can’t believe Evanston hasn’t come up with a solution after years of minor and major accidents. Do you job!

    1. 2 lanes versus 4 lanes on Ridge

      Is crash data available for Ridge north of Emerson where Ridge is only 2 wide lanes?

      Is crash data available for Ridge in Chicago fron Devon to Howard where Ridge is 2 wide lanes with a 25mph speed limit?

      Is crash data available for Green Bay Road in Wilmette comparing before and after the roadway was reduced from 4 narrow lanes to 2 wide lanes?

      1. Tree City USA Award

        Evanston employs people who work to ensure we receive the Tree City USA award each year.  They’ve succeeded in attaining this award for more than 30 years.  People who live here would be extremely unhappy if our trees were removed.  You might expand your thinking to options that promote safety other than the removal of trees.  For instance, the majority of Evanston residents avoid driving on Ridge because the lanes are too narrow.  Many have chamioned reducing the lanes on the street for safety reasons.  Why could this not be a possible solution before we being hacking the trees?  A bit of paint to change the lane demarcation is far cheaper than chopping down numerous trees only to find out that doesn’t help.  Once they are gone, it takes a lifetime to get them back.

        1. Tree Pruning

          It seems discussions  about Ridge and accidents comes up sevral times a year  Othen Ridge being to narroe for the larger SUV’s nad Buses the City does a poor job of pruning the Trees. The Council should plan aday trip driving up and down Ridge and take a look. City also plants trees to close to street lights.    

    2. Unfortunately something truly
      Unfortunately something truly tragic has to occur. At that late time the city will “fix” Ridge. But that won’t bring back a life. Addendum: and an expensive lawsuit will ensue.

  2. Ridge is a hazard

    Everything about Ridge is dangerous: the speed limit is much too high, the lanes are too narrow, and motorists on Ridge somehow don’t understand they’re required to stop for pedestrians. The amount of criminal activity I witness on Ridge every day is staggering. A good start would be four-way stops at every intersection and deletion of a lane. Why are we imperiling Evanston residents so that northern suburbanites can careen through our town?

    1. Get some sleep

      I agree that Ridge is too narrow but I’m not sure the speed limit is too high. 30 seems ok but people drive distracted to phones and cannot stay in their lane. They also don’t understand you have to yield to oncoming traffic when turning left. However, to address the comment of criminal activity. IT IS NOT CRIMINAL. It is a traffic law violation, a fineable offense unless there is some recklessness involved. 

      Establishing only one lane on Ridge would be a traffic nightmare during rush hour. It would  it be fair to commuters from both outside Evanston and of course Evanstonians. Green Bay and Emerson is more of disaster since it was updated than before. Cars block the intersections and east and westbound traffic cannot turn on red which backs traffic up for blocks in both directions. That is all.

      1. Not sure?
        Surely 30 mph is the minimum, suv’s, trucks, buses, all road hogs will honk so they can pass, in excess of a 5, 10, 15, mph grace of not being given a ticket. Avoiding Ridge Ave. gives false knowledge that Asbury is safer? Maybe so because the West side of Ridge Ave gives no place to go becaue of the higher elevation. I have seen more stops signs being ignored on Asbury. Defensive driving is observing space to give the speeders their right of passage in Evanston and Skokie. There may be a decline in population; however, it does not pertain to the traffic issues.

    2. Aggressive driving is the

      Aggressive driving is the issue.  While physical deterents and a lowered speed limit might help, curbing “me first,”  entitled behavior via policing with penalities would send a powerful message.  Signage on Ridge indicating “Aggressive driving will be prosecuted” could serve as a first warning.

      1. I like your thinking. If only

        I like your thinking. If only getting rid of bad drivers where that simple. I’d especially love to see those who go over 40mph on side streets to see some time behind bars.

        But the most practical solution is to design the roadways in ways to slow drivers. Red light cameras and speed cameras also have their place.

        The hope is that the reduced roadway capacity will get more people onto the CTA and Metra. Traffic jams likely won’t get much worse.

    3. Overuse of traffic signals

      Evanston has a bizzare fetish for traffic signals where four-way stops would provide a safer option. Ridge has crosswalks at every block, and of course cars are required by law to stop for all pedestrians. However, some dangerously ignorant motorists don’t understand the law. Ridge would be best served by straightforward, inexpensive stop signs  at each intersection. It would have the added benefit of reducing top speeds on this narrow stretch.

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