After negotiations between the union and the school district failed to reach an agreement, teachers in the Chicago Public Schools went on strike Monday for the first time in a quarter century. As a result, most of the district’s schools are closed and some 350,000 students are affected by the strike.
Of course, Chicagoans know that a teachers’ strike affects more than the union, teachers, district, and city – it impacts the daily lives of parents as well. Many parents were forced to miss work to care for their children who would otherwise be in school. But this walkout affects an even broader class of people: motorists.
With school not in session, that means that the streets of Chicago will see a sharp increase in foot traffic because of the kids not spending time in a classroom. Even though twelve dozen schools are open for what is being called “strike contingency planning,” those locations will close at 12:30pm each day – sending the kids back out to their homes and/or onto the streets. So it is vital that all drivers exercise extra caution while driving in areas which attract pedestrians – because after all, kids don’t always use the best judgment when trying to cross the street.
In addition to having more kids out in public, the strike will also change traffic patterns according to events that are related to the strike itself. For instance, the union has vowed to picket almost continuously at the headquarters of CPS, which is located on Clark Street north of Adams between LaSalle Drive and State Street. So if you have to drive in The Loop near this area, be aware of slowed traffic, more pedestrians, and a heightened police presence. Also, teachers may be picketing outside various schools throughout Chicago, so be alert for more pedestrians in these areas as well.
Furthermore, there will be more vehicle traffic during the noon hour near the 144 schools which are still operating despite the strike. That’s because parents will have to pick up many students at 12:30pm when the schools close their doors. Parents can also take their kids to various churches, parks, community centers, and libraries which are providing activities for all or part of the school day – so vehicle traffic will increase in these areas as well. Here is a map of the schools and other locations that are accepting children during the strike.
If you or a love on were hurt in an Illinois auto accident, be sure to contact an Illinois auto accident attorney as soon as possible.