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Upgrades come to Bronzeville intersection after complaints of multiple crashes

Upgrades come to Bronzeville intersection after store owners complain of multiple crashes
Upgrades come to Bronzeville intersection after store owners complain of multiple crashes 02:24

CHICAGO (CBS) – Usually, summertime construction is not a welcome sight, but a community organization in Bronzeville was relieved to see traffic safety improvements made at the intersection in front of their building after years of fighting for it.

It's a story CBS 2's Charlie De Mar first reported in March.

It might just look like any other intersection, but those who work and live near the corner of 51st and Prairie see a new four-way stop as a symbol of a safer neighborhood for pedestrians and drivers.

"My goodness, it was like a racetrack," said Sandria Washington.

Urban Juncture, a community organization in Bronzeville, sits on that so-called racetrack at 51st and Prairie.

"Over the years, we have had a number of crashes," Washington said.

There have been so many crashes they started taking pictures of the collisions and even reached out to their alderman, Pat Dowell (3rd) in 2018.

CBS 2 first reported on Urban Juncture's calls for a four-way stop in March after a car plowed through the lower level of their building.

"This is something we have been pushing for since 2018," Washington said. "Your story was extremely helpful."

After years of sounding the alarm, earlier this month, construction began and turned 51st and Prairie from a two-way stop to a four-way stop.

"Keeping pedestrians safe, keeping the people who live in the area safe," Washington said.

Pavement markings and traffic calming posts were also added.

But with changes come adjustments. CBS 2 was there as drivers got into a minor fender bender.

"Pedestrian safety is extremely critical especially at this intersection and small things can make a really big difference," Washington said.

After CBS 2's story in March, Dowell's office said a traffic study would be conducted. On Monday, Dowell's office said the Chicago Department of Transportation recommended a four-way stop in April.

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