Safe Pedestrian Pathway Near South Shore's Grand Crossing by Sandra Varona

Grade: 11th

Many lives are lost every year due to people getting hit by cars. Sometimes it happens because people are distracted in their cellphones, don’t hear/see oncoming vehicles, or even because they try to cross the street as quickly as possible. According to the Foundation For Traffic Safety, there has been an increase in hit-and-run crashes. The organization also found that in 2015 there were 737,100 accidents; 2,096 of those cases were fatal. Although drivers claim not seeing running over someone, crashes also happen because pedestrians misuse crosswalks. This project aims to decrease the number of crashes between drivers and pedestrians by reimagining the underground area of the S Stony Island overbridge. This busy area is confusing to drivers because of the street structure. There are eight lanes to cross. Thus, accidents between cars and pedestrians can frequently happen. For this, I propose building a pedestrian tunnel underground and getting rid of the pedestrian crosswalks above. This tunnel is one that people can enter to get to the other side of the street instead of having to cross many lanes. It also is painted to bring pedestrians’ attention to using the tunnel. This project reflects the needs and interests of local residents because in this area there are a lot of seniors, disabled people, students (all of whom are in a rush every day), and traveling from home to their intended destinations during the day can be very risky. Also, around Grand Crossing, there are many stores, and people should be able to feel comfortable shopping and going home. Drivers will also feel less worried about hitting someone while making sense of the streets nearby, which are already confusingly laid out.