Community Corners works to ensure safe, welcoming streets in Near West Side

The Community Corners initiative is one of five resulting actions of Near West Side Partners Inc.’s 2021 Appreciative Inquiry Summit. The Community Corners team uses multiple sources of data to gain insights into key intersections to ensure a thorough safety intervention that will reduce vehicular accidents and improve these public spaces for community usage.    

Kelly O’Neill, assistant district attorney and Near West Side community prosecutor, notes that the Community Corners initiative hopes to “intervene, prevent and even promote the areas to connect people and neighbors.”       

The group has compiled a list of high-traffic and high-collision intersections by researching the area, surveying and speaking with residents. Kelly adds that “it’s one thing to come in and say we’re going to do this great project, but to get the input of the people who will be using the roads and be affected by the changes is most important.”  

Focused intersections include 35th and Vliet Street as well as 27th and Richardson Place, among others. Effective strategies include cones, barrels, curb extensions and planters as preventative measures to traffic violations and incidents. The initiative aims to ensure that anyone can safely access the roads no matter the mode of transportation whether it is walking, biking or driving.         

O’Neill highlights the importance of keeping our neighborhoods clean. Busy streets are easy to pass through, but “if we show we care enough to keep them clean, big change can occur.” You can read more about the Appreciative Inquiry Summit here.