The Role of Segregation in Traffic Deaths

Research from Chicago suggests that the city’s traffic calming infrastructure is concentrated in the most affluent neighborhoods, contributing to higher rates of road deaths in lower-income neighborhoods.

Read Time: 1 minute

September 16, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Chicago Transit Authority

Sam Wagner / Shutterstock

An article by Erica Gunderson for WTTW News examines the uneven deployment of traffic calming devices in Chicago, an issue that can have a significant impact on traffic safety amid rising rates of road deaths.

According to José Miguel Acosta Córdova, senior transportation policy analyst at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Chicago’s wealthier North Side has more traffic calming measures in place than the South and West sides of the city. And while traffic tickets are also issued at higher rates in these neighborhoods, “Leslé Honoré of the Center for Neighborhood Technology says responding to traffic deaths with increased ticketing misses the mark.” As Honoré sees it, “What we need is better planning, what we need are streets that are designed for everyone and not just for cars.”

Honoré continues, “We know when this city was planned and how segregated it is, that Black and Brown communities weren’t given the infrastructure and were under resourced purposefully. And what that creates is the legacy of continued under-resourced communities, infrastructure that’s not maintained, streets and sidewalks that aren’t walkable.”

Saturday, September 10, 2022 in WTTW

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