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Chicago Wants to Zero Out Traffic Fatalities By 2022

Friday, May 11, 2012

New York's transportation department has had safety bragging rights -- reducing traffic fatalities to their lowest level ever.

But Chicago wants to go one better.  In a sweeping action agenda (.pdf), Chicago's DOT Chief, Gabe Klein, is promising to eliminate all traffic fatalities within a decade, and to reduce bike and pedestrian injuries by 50%.

Klein says this can be done through improved design, more vigorous enforcement, and safety education.  Among the proposals are a 20 mph speed limit in residential neighborhoods and more clearly marked crosswalks.

The document also promised to increase the number of under 5-mile trips taken by bike to 5% of all trips, and to "make Chicago the best big city in America for cycling and walking."

That's a distinction NYC DOT Chief Janette Sadik-Khan and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have tried to claim for New York, which has added hundreds of miles of bikeways in the last five years, and tripled the number of cyclists.

The Chicago document also promises more transit options including BRT, better on-time performance by the CTA, and more real time transit information.

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Transportation Nation

BREAKING: Rahm Emanuel Names DC's Gabe Klein as Chicago Transpo Chief

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

File Photo: Gabe Klein in Washington, D.C.  (Photo: DDOT)

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) Transportation Nation has learned that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has picked his transportation chief. Gabe Klein, former head of Washington D.C.'s Department of Transportation, will become the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation in mid-May. An announcement is expected later this morning.

Klein tells Transportation Nation that he hopes to build on the innovative programs that were put in place in Washington, D.C. and transform Chicago into a world class transportation city. During his tenure, D.C. launched a bikeshare program, expanded bike lanes and installed several electric car charging stations.

As we've reported here before, Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, is largely supportive of public transit, is a cyclist himself, and has said he wants to build 100 miles of new bike lanes during his first term.

His transportation plan when running for mayor was, in essence, a transit plan. Emanuel also impressed local transit and transportation activists with his interest in the topic and detailed knowledge of the issues including having a specific favorite bike-lane design.

Now Chicago has a pro-bike, pro-transit pair in charge of transportation policy.

UPDATE: Several other Emanuel appointments were also announced today, including the head of the Chicago Transit Authority.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter for more breaking news.

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