Skip to content
CityLab
Transportation

New Chicago Plan: Pedestrians Come First

The city's new Complete Streets Design Guidelines creates a paradigm shift in how road crews and transportation workers should look at shared streets.
relates to New Chicago Plan: Pedestrians Come First
Reuters

Tucked inside the new Complete Streets Design Guidelines that the city of Chicago is about to debut, pasted onto page 10, is a reproduction of a Chicago Tribune news blurb from May 6, of 1913 with this irresistible headline: “SPEEDER WANTS ALL STREET: Motorist Complains to Judge Because Pedestrian Gets in Way.”

Pedestrian advocates exactly a century later will be happy to know that our 19-year-old anti-hero, Harold Bracken (son of a saloonkeeper!), was fined by the court $200 for knocking over a pedestrian on Michigan Avenue with his speeding car. An equally awesome detail: Our injured pedestrian got up, jumped into a passing car, caught up with Bracken and had him arrested. In doling out the fine, a municipal judge declared, "The Streets of Chicago belong to the city, not to automobilists."