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updated: 4/16/2014 4:49 PM

Warren Township frustrated with drivers ignoring stop signs

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  • This stop sign in the Warren Township complex just outside Gurnee has a light to warn drivers at night. Township officials this week voiced concern about pedestrian safety on the busy site, saying too many drivers are running stop signs.

       This stop sign in the Warren Township complex just outside Gurnee has a light to warn drivers at night. Township officials this week voiced concern about pedestrian safety on the busy site, saying too many drivers are running stop signs.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

Warren Township officials are trying to do something about what they say are too many drivers blowing off stop signs at the government complex just outside Gurnee.

Officials said the lack of respect for the stop signs is a safety concern, particularly near the main township building and a skate park toward the entrance off Almond Road just south of Washington Street.

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"I am telling you, it is just an accident waiting to happen," Township Supervisor Suzanne Simpson said during a meeting this week.

Township board trustees agreed with a recommendation from Simpson to install stop signs that have solar-powered blinking lights on the perimeter in an effort to encourage compliance. Simpson said she'll begin with the purchase of two such signs, which cost $1,500 each.

Speed bumps also are expected to be installed soon on the township campus. Athletic fields, a food pantry, a senior center, a playground, a teen center, a skate park and the main office are some of what's on the Warren Township site.

Trustee Bill Gill and other elected officials said they'd support spending $6,000 on installation of a maximum of four of the blinking stop signs to try to make the township complex safer. Simpson said the money is in the budget.

"Too much pedestrian traffic and too many kids that aren't (stopping) to look and make sure a car isn't zipping by," Gill said.

Simpson said the township has authority to issue tickets with a $200 fine to stop sign violators, but it requires going to Lake County small-claims court to collect. She said Warren Township security guards who patrol the property typically receive excuses from those who run the signs.

"Time and again, they say they didn't see the stop signs," Simpson said. "I had a young man who must have been doing 30 or 40 mph right down the driveway here, went through both stop signs ... going back to play Frisbee golf."

Lake County sheriff's deputies often patrol the unincorporated township grounds, Simpson said. She said it would cost $169 per hour, with a two-hour minimum commitment, for a deputy to perform township traffic details.

Senior center participants received a stern warning about the need to obey township stop signs in the May-June newsletter. Simpson said the township park soon will be filled with young children and teenagers, so the seniors should be aware of the first two stop signs near the action when they enter the property.

"You must stop completely at both of them!" Simpson wrote in bold lettering.

Warren Township includes all or some of Gurnee, Gages Lake, Grandwood Park, Grayslake, Old Mill Creek, Park City, Third Lake, Wadsworth, Waukegan and Wildwood.

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

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