Hoping to ease traffic congestion along Burning Bush Lane near Indian Grove Elementary School, as well as address traffic cutting through the parking lot of St. Thomas Becket Church, Mount Prospect trustees Tuesday voted to prohibit stopping, standing and parking on the east side of Burning Bush between Cree Lane and Burr Oak Drive on school days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The village's Transportation Safety Commission had already recommended the change by a 5-4 vote.
Traffic Engineer Matthew Lawrie said the primary pickup location for students is the school lot. Congestion has increased since River Trails Elementary District 26 eliminated free busing, resulting in more parents choosing to drive students to school.
"Oftentimes, today what we see is this row of cars backing up all the way to Burning Bush Lane and then queuing out and spilling out onto the street itself, almost to Cree Lane," he said.
Thru traffic, he said, will go around the queue of vehicles into the oncoming traffic lane. Others will turn right into the church parking lot, go around the church building and to the exit to turn right onto Burning Bush Lane. Parked cars on the east side of the street prevent through traffic from getting around.
Lawrie told the board that the church had approached the village with concerns not only about the cut-through traffic, but also about parishioners exiting the church lot and having difficulty seeing around cars parked on the east side of the street.
Subsequently, the school district formally requested that parking be prohibited during school days on the east side of the street between Cree and the church's north driveway, which would reduce the likelihood of students crossing mid-block to meet parents waiting in their cars on the east side of the street.
The village's engineering division supported the change, even though it would result in the loss of eight on-street parking spaces. However, Lawrie said, there is a possibility that school faculty can park in the church lot during the school day.