Chicago Left Turn Traffic Calming Reduces Crashes

The city installed reflective posts and speed bumps at dangerous intersections to induce drivers to take left turns more slowly and carefully.

1 minute read

January 24, 2023, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Crosswalk in Chicago with newly installed yellow delineators and speed bumps

City of Chicago / Left turn traffic calming

A traffic calming element installed at 18 Chicago intersections is successfully slowing left turns, reducing the risk of collisions with pedestrians, reports Monica Eng in Axios. The project is part of the city’s efforts to reach its Vision Zero goals and eliminate pedestrian deaths. 

According to Eng, “Left turns were involved in 40% of crashes that led to serious injury or death from 2017 to 2021, according to city data.” David Smith, the city’s Complete Streets director, says data from a pilot program shows a 25 percent reduction in crashes at intersections where the change was made.

Some residents expressed frustration with the new infrastructure, inadvertently proving the device’s efficacy: “All they have done is further slow traffic,” one NextDoor commenter complained. Which is, after all, the point. “If you hit a speed bump or the rubber posts, you've driven in the wrong place.”

Friday, January 20, 2023 in Axios

Aerial view of homes on green hillsides in Daly City, California.

Depopulation Patterns Get Weird

A recent ranking of “declining” cities heavily features some of the most expensive cities in the country — including New York City and a half-dozen in the San Francisco Bay Area.

April 10, 2024 - California Planning & Development Report

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

A view straight down LaSalle Street, lined by high-rise buildings with an El line running horizontally over the street.

Chicago to Turn High-Rise Offices into Housing

Four commercial buildings in the Chicago Loop have been approved for redevelopment into housing in a bid to revitalize the city’s downtown post-pandemic.

April 10, 2024 - Chicago Construction News

Walkways and escalator at crowded transit station, with one person walking a bike in foreground.

Best Practices for Outsourcing Transit Operations

Contracting with private sector vendors can help transit agencies improve efficiency and provide better service.

April 14 - Smart Cities Dive

White sign with No Camping - Violators Subject to Arrest and municipal code in red text with snowy trees in background.

Opinion: Unhoused People Need Housing, Not Law Enforcement

The sharp increase in the unhoused population calls for urgent action, not criminalization.

April 14 - The Hill

Google street view of grassy lot next to brick church with elevated freeway on other side in Houston, Texas.

Houston Supportive Housing Development Sparks Debate

Critics say a proposed apartment building would negatively impact the neighborhood’s walkability.

April 12 - Houston Chronicle

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.