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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

This Walk Signal Faces The Wrong Way, Sending Wicker Park Pedestrians Into Oncoming Traffic

The poorly aligned pedestrian walk signal at the corner of Ashland and Milwaukee avenues is sending unwitting Wicker Park residents into danger.

A misplaced walk light at the corner of Milwaukee and Ashland avenues invites pedestrians to cross the street when cars have the right of way.
Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago
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POLISH TRIANGLE — A poorly aligned pedestrian walk signal at the corner of Ashland and Milwaukee avenues is sending unwitting Wicker Park pedestrians into oncoming traffic.

The signal has confused pedestrians and led to at least one close call Thursday morning.

The Chicago Department of Transportation is now working to fix the dangerous situation, a staffer for Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) confirmed Tuesday.

The light faces southbound pedestrians walking along the east side of Ashland Avenue, crossing Milwaukee Avenue in the direction of the Polish Triangle.

The light is affixed to a working street light. But when the street light is red, the walk light invites pedestrians to walk into oncoming traffic.

Credit: Hannah Alani / Block Club Chicago
A misplaced walk light at the corner of Milwaukee and Ashland avenues invites pedestrians to cross the street when cars have the right of way.

To the left of the bad walk light, a second pedestrian signal is working correctly.

Wicker Park resident Jessica Cabe first noticed the bad light weeks ago. She assumed the city was aware of the issue, she said.

About 8:15 a.m. Thursday, however, she noticed a pedestrian who was walking in front of her throw her hands up and shout at a car.

“I noticed the incorrect pedestrian signal was flashing a countdown, so I assumed the driver was just ignoring the pedestrian’s right of way,” she said. “But then I realized the pedestrian and I were both looking at the wrong signal. So since it was a close call, I filed a 311 request right away.”

If the walk light faced pedestrian traffic crossing Milwaukee Avenue, it would be correct, Cabe added.

“The timing of the signal isn’t the problem,” Cabe said. “It’s just twisted around to face the wrong direction.”

At 9:24 a.m., Cabe received notice from CDOT that workers were on the case.

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