020624KP5693SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to prioritize safety and efficiency on Illinois roadways, State Senator Mike Simmons has secured passage of another bill that promotes seamless collaboration between the Illinois Department of Transportation and local jurisdictions in modifying roadways in Chicago and across the state to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and decrease motorists crashes.

“Senate Bill 899 will allow for multiple road modification initiatives to move forward enhancing safety for cyclists, pedestrians and people living with disabilities saving many lives,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “By clarifying jurisdictions in this language, our goal is to establish a framework that improves the efficiency and safety in implementing street completions statewide, including on some of our most dangerous roadways.”

Senate Bill 899 builds on Simmons’ previous legislation – Senate Bill 2278, which became law Jan. 1 and removed requirements that roadways accommodate large trucks. Based on input from the Illinois Trucking Association and Mid-West Truckers Association, the bill grants IDOT and local authorities the power to regulate vehicle length for turns and mandates signage to inform drivers of these rules.

Numerous road upgrades near community hubs like schools and libraries have been delayed. However, with the passage of Simmons’ bill, at least six road calming projects can now move forward. These projects include street resurfacing, pedestrian refuge islands, curb extensions, or a combination of these enhancements – here are a handful in Chicago though more will advance across Illinois:

● Pulaski Road (71st-43rd): Witnessed 12 traffic fatalities since 2019, including 3 pedestrians.
● Peterson Avenue (Lincoln-Ridge): Reported 5 traffic fatalities since 2019.
● Michigan Avenue (44th-42nd): Situated in a community near parks and schools.
● Pulaski Road (Monroe-Gladys): Located in a community near an elementary school and library.
● Cicero Avenue (Ohio-Erie): Positioned in a community near an elementary school.

“This initiative lays the groundwork for a more secure and accessible transportation landscape for all Illinois residents enhancing safety at intersections and promoting smoother traffic flow,” said Simmons.

Senate Bill 899 passed the Senate on Thursday and moves to the House for further consideration.