Evanston Police report 13 percent reduction in crashes on Ridge Avenue


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

A crash at the intersection of Ridge Avenue and Lake Street in January 2018. The Evanston Police Department announced the number of crashes on Ridge Avenue decreased in 2018.

Catherine Henderson, City Editor

The Evanston Police Department announced last week a 13 percent reduction in crashes on Ridge Avenue in 2018, following efforts from the city and the EPD to reduce danger on the road.

According to a news release from the city, 241 crashes occured in 2018 from Howard to Emerson Streets, compared to 278 in 2017. In 2018, the city and the EPD coordinated a traffic initiative to increase safety and address traffic complaints, according to the release.

The EPD and city also used press releases, social media, message boards and speed display signs to emphasize the importance of traffic laws on Ridge Avenue, the release said. In 2018, EPD officers issued 4,311 traffic citations along the road, including 1,339 speeding tickets.

In February 2018, the city also reduced the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph and added left-turn arrows to traffic signals at the intersection of Lake Street and Ridge Avenue in April 2018.

Lara Biggs, the engineering and capital planning bureau chief for the city, emphasized the importance of controlling traffic in an interview last February.

“We really are hopeful that this is going to have a big impact on the number of accidents that have been occurring on Ridge,” Biggs said. “We’ve been fortunate that the public has been really supportive in that these changes have been made for safety. So we hope that continues, (and) that people sort of maintain patience while we make these changes.”
The release said the city and EPD will continue its efforts to increase safety on Ridge. They will focus on speeding, disobeying traffic laws, distracted driving and seat belt requirements.

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