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In Transit: Crosswalks, interchanges and buses to O'Hare on readers' minds

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  • A crosswalk with a flashing yellow beacon on Central Avenue near Melas Park in Mount Prospect has caused controversy over the efficacy of the new signal.

      A crosswalk with a flashing yellow beacon on Central Avenue near Melas Park in Mount Prospect has caused controversy over the efficacy of the new signal.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, August 2016

 
 

This week's column is all about you, thanks to an influx of reaction on topics ranging from crosswalks to buses.

After a recent article on the anniversary of cyclist Joni Beaudry's death at a crosswalk on Central Road in Mount Prospect, numerous readers commented, including Janice Zemaitis. She and others are concerned about the safety of walkers and bicyclists relying on the crosswalk's yellow flashing beacon.

Zemaitis continues "to find this flashing signal crosswalk dangerous and ineffective in stopping traffic. Just last week, I was on Central as the beacon flashed but cars around me continued to go through the crosswalk.

"In addition, the digital speed feedback signs indicate that traffic is not adhering to the 35 mph limit as it is often flashing numbers over the limit. I think the Village of Mount Prospect should recognize the danger this crosswalk poses to their residents."

John Behof of Kildeer says "the best solution would be red lights to stop the cars or even an overpass or underpass.

"The second-best solution would be to face the yellow lights at the bike riders and have a big sign in neon lights that reads: 'This is a dangerous intersection. ... So, please do not put your life in the hands of a teenager texting or an unlicensed and uninsured driver that has never seen the rules of the road.'"

Meanwhile, Emanuel Haimann Jr. is dubious about a flashing white crossing signal where the Illinois Prairie Path crosses Main Street in his hometown of Lombard.

"The Prairie Path gets a lot of pedestrians and cyclists, and Main Street, although it has a 25 mph speed limit in the downtown area, is two lanes in each direction so it is difficult to see if someone is approaching or in the crosswalk," Haimann said.

Sometimes traffic in one lane will stop but "this gives the pedestrian a false sense of safety and they begin to cross the street even though not all the traffic has come to a complete stop yet. I have seen many near misses at this intersection."

Express bus to O'Hare?

Mark Cicinelli of St. Charles noticed the new Pace Park-n-Ride at I-90 and Randall Road and wonders, "will this location have a future route that goes direct, or even makes a stop along the way, to O'Hare?"

Pace spokeswoman Maggie Daly Skogsbakken replied that, "at this point, the I-90 service plan does not include any 'direct to O'Hare' service, but the connection to the CTA Blue at Rosemont provides access to O'Hare. After transferring at the Rosemont Station, it's a quick, one-stop trip straight into O'Hare."

Diamond reaction

Former Daily Herald employee Marty Stengle caught an article about a new diverging diamond interchange at I-90 and Elmhurst Road. "A similar configuration just opened a few weeks ago with much fanfare where I now live in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, on I-75 near Sarasota," Stengle said.

"There was much angst and hand-wringing about the whole thing, but it is a piece of cake to drive as long as you stay in your lane and obey the traffic signals. Already has cut down on accidents, according to the Florida Department of Transportation."

Bigger trail?

Cycling enthusiast Terry Witt of Bartlett is excited about Pace's bus center and Park-and-Ride at Barrington Road and I-90. "It will be a multimodal marvel," Witt said.

But "you just forgot a chance to promote bicycling. The interchange is in the center of a recent Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning study to connect the Crabtree Nature Center to the Fox River Trail. There is an IDOT Community Advisory Group studying the Barrington Road project that will increase the road width to four lanes from Algonquin Road to I-90," he said.

"The CMAP study recommended a side path along Barrington Road within the right of way provided by the IDOT project. The construction of that side path seems to rely solely on a decision by the village of South Barrington."

Gridlock alert

Watch out for a shutdown on Route 31 near Aucutt Road in Montgomery July 15 through early July 23. IDOT crews will be repairing the crossing at the Burlington Junction Railway tracks.

Upcoming

Take a walk on the wild side from 12:30 to 5 p.m. July 26, as the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Agency conducts a tour of the 1880s Pullman neighborhood of Chicago. The community was home to hundreds of railroad workers and now is a living history lesson. For more information, go to metroplanning.org.

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