The move to shock drivers into being on the lookout and yielding to pedestrians is part of a new large-scale safety effort aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities citywide, officials said.
I agree that this a noble undertaking. I disagree with the onsidedness of the campaign. After photographing the dead pedestrian mannequins at Wacker and Chicago, I headed up the Mag Mile to Pearson and Michigan, where the old pumping station meets the Water Tower Place mall. I walk this route many times a week and am always amazed at the stupidity of those who look like perfectly normal, full grown adults.
This scene - please note the red light and the flashing do not walk symbol- was repeated through 6 light changes. Coming at these pedestrians from the left were cars trying to turn left off of Michigan Avenue onto Pearson. I was astonished at the diversity of the jaywalkers, old, young, tourists, locals, disabled, those texting and those talking on cell phones. The worst of the bunch are the parents of young children and babies, who not only endanger their offspring, but also set bad examples for obeying the rules. I scratch my head in wonder.
So go ahead and shock the drivers into paying attention. But who is going to shock the pedestrians?
Maybe the Mayor will deputize me and some of my law abiding friends to hand out tickets involving fines. We could make a good dent in the budget shortfall by enforcing the jaywalking ordinance. We might even be able to save a lives. I know of at least 2 fatalities that took place at this corner.