The drivers of two cars were injured about 1 p.m. today when their vehicles collided at the intersection of Ridge Avenue and Lake Street in Evanston.

One of the cars ended up on the sidewalk just short of the stone pillar of a retaining wall.

An ambulance arrives to transport one of the injured drivers.

Evanston fire paramedics transported both drivers to local hospitals for treatment of injuries that apparently were not life-threatening.

Both Lake and Ridge were blocked to traffic for about a half hour after the wreck.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. A wish….

    I know it's not practical and will never ever happen, but I'd love to see Ridge become one lane in each direction and have a left hand turn lane at major intersections, Church, Lake, Dempster, Main and Oakton.  

    1. Ridge accidents

      Turns at three of the Five intersections are already controlled by traffic signals that include turning arrow.  Article doesn't say how the accident occured other then they hit each other. I was on Ridge about 11 am this morning and had to worry about the vehicle in lane next to me since I think it wanted the spot I was in.  You could probably do the remaining two intersections with trafffic siginals also.

  2. Ridge is an accident prone street

    I live a block east of this intersection and it worries me that accidents seem to occur with such frequency on Ridge along different intersections. In the last 3 years, I have learned of and seen the aftermath of several accidents at Ridge and Davis, Church, now Lake, and Grove. I have to think that reducing the speed limit and enforcing it first with Evanston police radar guns and later with speed cameras is the only way to create and maintain safety awareness. It's a lovely neighborhood and this doesn't bode well for residents around there.

  3. This area is very dangerous

    This area is very dangerous with a large number of accidents. . This is not the first time that a car has ended up on the sidewalk. This is a crossing for three schools in the area and one of these days someone will get hit just standing on the corner. In addition there are many who people drive down Ridge while texting and talking on cell phones.

  4. I do not understand why

    I do not understand why when the City spent all that money renovating Ridge, putting in new stop lights, that they did not install stop lights with turn arrows at each intersection? I live on Ridge and it is apparent that the accidents are from people turning and not being able to see the other oncoming car.

    1. Agreed!

      This statement is spot on!

      And, it could apply not only to this intersection, but to several within the city's limits that have undergone recent reconfiguration (read:  Church/Dodge).

      Yes, we all know that the lights are timed and if one choses to drive 30 MPH, it's likely we'll have little time to wait at any light controlled intersection along Ridge. Maybe the addition of left turn signals might not provide for traffic flow, as it is now, but really? Would adding the left turn signals change things all that much?

      While we're on the topic of left turn signals, why not extend the timing of the one at Green Bay Road and Emerson, just a few seconds, so northbround Green Bay traffic heading west on Emerson can make that turn without taking life in hand?

      One does have to wonder where the city's traffic engineers are and what they're doing given how many curious traffic issues exist in our community.

  5. Need a light at Grove and Ridge

    With the park at the corner of Ridge/Grove, the newly built Roycemore, the emergent Time and Glass museum, King Home, YMCA, and that Grove is used as the emergency route for police/fire it makes great sense to install a light at Grove.

    I have seen a great many accidents – a number of them with injuries – at this location. Davis and Lake, not so much but that may be moderated by the lights at these intersections.

    Because Grove is a two-way street a lot of traffic looking to avoid the Lake light or Davis construction directs there.

  6. This is my intersection

    That is my house in the picture on the SW corner of Lake & Ridge. It is hard for me to believe there are any more dangerous intersections in Evanston than this one. I often work from home and have lost count of how many accidents occur at this intersection but I would conservatively estimate it is at least one every two weeks. And I'm not there every day so the actual number of accidents is higher.

    I am often jarred by the ominous sound of screeching brakes followed by the thud of cars colliding. Many times my wife and I have been among the first to run outside to try to help those involved.

    We deliberately avoid turning onto Lake from Ridge and instead choose to drive around the block. When I wait with my kids to walk across that intersection I make them stand far back from the corner b/c of the number of cars I've seen end up on the sidewalk just like the picture above shows.

    I don't know what it is going to take for something to change here but if anybody has any suggestions on what can be done to bring more attention to this highly dangerous intersection, I would be happy to be a part of taking things forward to make things safer for drivers and pedestrians here.

    1. Mast Arm Traffic Signals

      What do you think of mast arm traffic signals that would be more visible to drivers.  Is the safety gain worth the damage done to Ridge's historic character?

      1. Ridge traffic

        I think we should leave Ridge the way it is. The two vehicles collided with each other. That's all you know. Looking at picture perhaps they sideswiped each other — one wanting to be in others lane. Do we reallly want to start rebuilding all the streets when  an accident occurs?

  7. Time for an online email petition?

    I walked by this one about ten minutes after it happened. It looked terrible–very upsetting.

    Maybe it's time to start an online email petition for a traffic light. I am not tech savvy enough but maybe someone else is. I live in the area and I know my neighbors would sign such a thing . 

    1. What?

      There is a traffic light at this intersection. It's even in the photo! You live in the area but you don't know this?

      The bigger problem as has been trod over and over again is enforcement. Crossing this intersection on a walk sign I have been about five feet from being hit by a runner far more times than I would like to think about.

      1. Biggest Problem?

        While some may point fingers at the police for lack of "enforcement" isn't the biggest problem irresponsible drivers? I've been driving on Ridge Ave for 20+ years from my South Evanston home and drivers continue to drive too fast and carelessly on this thoroughfare. We can ask the "government" to install more lights and increase enforcement, but what about asking drivers to accept personal responsibilty when they get behind the wheel? Driving a car is a serious responsibility and all drivers should be held accountable for their actions. If we want to maintain our personal freedoms shouldn't we also be willing to accept personal responsibilty?

        1. Hey YOU – Consider Driving Responsibly!

          Thomas Paine – you are totally on target!  As individuals, we should realize we are not the center of the universe and the things that are of supreme importance to us are not always that important to those around us.  Even when our desire is the importance of getting home as fast as we can so we can wedge our butts into the couch while eating a microwaved plate of last night's leftovers.

          Speed limits are laws, not recommendations.  They are set to what an engineer has deemed to be the safe speed to be traveled on a roadway.  In Evanston, these streets are highly traveled areas with drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians / children sharing the street.

          I say to all of you, how about taking some ownership for your driving and stop being a bunch of sheeple (OMG – did that person just call me a sheeple?  Yes, I believe so!  The nerve!!!).  Are you really blindly following the guy in the car ahead of you who is speeding or do you realize you are speeding and just not care?  Why do you have to travel over the speed limit anyway?  Do you really not care about respecting the safety of those around you or is it simply because the guy in front of you chooses to speed and you are just following along?  As Grandma would say, "If that guy drove off a bridge, would you follow him over the edge?" 

          Did you know that the majority of lights in our town are timed to the speed limit?  What that means is if you go faster than the posted limit, you are only traveling to a light that will be red upon your arrival.  You are hurrying up to wait!  What else does that mean to you?  Well now, you are burning up more gas when you travel a higher rate of speed AND you will burn down those brake pads when you get to the red light.  You just spent more money on gas (already expensive) and ensured you will be replacing your brakes soon just so you could hurry up and wait!

          Sometimes the things we do don't make very much sense.

          For those of you going 40 MPH down a 30 MPH RESIDENTIAL artery street, you are creating a great amount of noise pollution on your way to that red light.  Not to mention the unsafe environment you are creating.  People live on these streets and would like to have more quality of life than your speeding is giving them.  Vehicles traveling at 40 MPH in front of a residential home makes an unsafe environment for us and our children.  it also creates a sound akin to living on Lake Shore Drive… without the benefit of living on the lakefront!  And while we are on the subject of noise, how about letting up on that horn that seems to have grown fast to the palm of your hand?  Sure that guy in front of you hasn't reacted as fast as you would like to the light that went green half a second ago, but do you really need to lay on top of your horn for ten minutes?  Seriously, families are settled in ready to enjoy a nice evening dinner when your horn suddenly blares out a monosyllabic stream of invective in one unbelievably long note (yeah, I have imagination and I know what that horn is saying by how long you are holding it down).  Everyone at the table jumps in their seat and now you've got 85 year old grandma all fired up.  She's railing about self-important jack@ $$$$es (her words, not mine) and the folks are trying to calm her down so her bad ticker doesn't cause another emergency trip to the hospital.  Seriously, a nice little toot-toot to wake up aforementioned slow on the uptake driver who isn't moving fast enough for you would be just as good.  Really – it works!  And it would be great to keep grandma from getting fired up.  It takes a good long while to calm her down to any level of sanity again.

          So anonymous driver, how about giving your fellow man a brake!  Slow down, relax on the horn, don’t let those other idiot drivers get you down and, for God’s sake, don’t follow the lead of someone who drives like a demon.  That just makes you a sheeple headed to ____________, well, why don’t you fill in the blank?

          This little interlude brought to you by your local artery street residents.


          1. Also turn signals and cell/texting again

            Probably 1/3 of cars I see don't  signal even when turning left on Sheridan and Greenbay—even when traffic is coming.  People seem to think it is a "Suggestion' instead of law [100 feet before turning].

            On Lincoln I think every fifth driver is on their cell phone.  That street is probably not that un-usual.



  8. Too many

    I don't regularly use Lake to cross Ridge but there were 3 occasions I was fortunate to miss an accident here by just a few minutes. Clearly something needs to be done.

  9. Speeding and worse is accepted on Ridge Avenue

    We live on Ridge and speeding is the norm as are accidents. No one in city government lives on or near Ridge so there is no effort to improve the situation except, perhaps, North of Emerson..

    When we go to ward meetings, public works officials have actually said that Ridge is too narrow to speed on or, better yet, we are confused by the optical illusion of standing still and that the cars are actually not going fasteer than 30 mph.

    Even worse, the signals that are controlled by the police or fire departments frequently do not work or are not activated.

    The Fire Department feels compelled to run it's sirens and blast air horns for extended periods of time. for the most part, they don't even live in town so what do they care? The police can dispatch 10 cars that travel at up to 60 mph and create minimal disruption and noise.

    I have written the mayor and elected officials and nothing happens. Wilmette appears to have solved the problem sith a three lane configuation that meets state and federal safety requirements of 12 foot lanes with police monitoring.

    Ridge Avenue has substandard nine foot lanes that are a hazard and contribute to all of these accidents. 

    Although no one would know it, the city actually employs a traffic engineer to solve these problems. As near as can be determined, coming up with excuses rather than results is what the taxpayers are getting from that department.

    The situation has only become worse in recent years. However, one need only look at the enhanced signage and regulation over the past couple of years on Forest Avenue to know that much can be done to improve a situation if one does not live on the wrong side of the tracks.

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