Thursday, November 10, 2016

November 10, 1951 -- New Loop Traffic Configuration

November 10, 1951 – Chicago tries to adjust to a radical transformation as Washington Boulevard and Monroe Street become one-way eastbound streets and Randolph, Madison and Adams Streets become one-way westbound roads.  Even though it is a Saturday and traffic is light, there is still confusion, and 280 police officers are on hand to keep things in order.  Michael Ahern, the city’s traffic guru, makes four observations after the day is over:  (1) “Motorists using the one-way streets must overcome the habit of keeping to the right and realize the entire street is theirs; (2) Left turns are permissible on the one-way streets.  The motorist planning to make a right turn off the one-way should edge over to the respective curb well before reaching the destination; (3) Motorists turning into the one-way streets will facilitate the flow of traffic behind if they proceed to the far curb, rather than make a sharp turn at the corner; and (4) Pedestrians must remain on the sidewalk until the signal lights change, and then be doubly alert.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 11, 1951]  The above photo shows Randolph Street, looking west from Wabash, just after the change took place in 1951.

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