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Yet another crash on one strip of Chicago roadway brings demand for safety improvements

Southwest Side Chicago neighbors concerned about safety on Pulaski Road
Southwest Side Chicago neighbors concerned about safety on Pulaski Road 02:17

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A car crashed right into an auto shop this week on a dangerous stretch of Pulaski Road on the Southwest Side that has already made the news for several other crashes.

Neighbors have been taking street safety into their own hands.

Pulaski Road between 51st and 71st streets—in the West Elsdon and West Lawn communities—is known as a busy area. To many residents, it is also dangerous.

"There's always high speed," said Jaime Groth Searle, a founder of The Southwest Collective. "There's like at least one accident a week - sometimes more than that."

The latest incident involved a truck crashing into a car dealership on the corner of 49th Street and Pulaski Road on Wednesday – shattering the front windows of the business and the concrete surrounding them.

It was unclear late Thursday what caused the accident.

Employees said no one was injured inside—a lucky outcome, residents say, unlike other incidents that have happened on the same stretch of road.

"It's becoming a lot more dangerous for people who live in the neighborhood," said Dixon Galvez-Searle.

Dixon Galvez-Searle and Jaime Roth Searle founded The Southwest Collective, or SW Collective, as a group dedicated to improving neighborhoods in the general area of Midway International Airport. One of their main concerns is the lack of safety along Pulaski Road.

"It's everything from property damage like we're seeing behind us, to people getting seriously hurt, to even people getting killed," said Galvez-Searle, "and this happens on a regular basis."

Just last month, the driver of a car police said was going at a high speed hit two people standing at 63rd Street and Pulaski Road.

Just steps away weeks prior, Chicago Public Schools educator Charles Mills was killed in a hit-and-run while crossing Pulaski Road.

Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) sent a letter to the Illinois Department of Transportation last month calling for safety measures.

In it, she cited over 1,500 accidents that have been reported along that one stretch of Pulaski Road in the past year – six of them fatal.

Tabares' office said they have not received a response.

Now, the residents are creating a campaign, handing out bumper stickers with a QR code to a survey.

"We take that data back to CDOT," said Groth Searle.

The goal is to get the city and state to put some deterrents on Pulaski Road that everyone hopes will save lives.

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