'Our nerves are shot': How rumbling trucks are disrupting a Streamwood neighborhood

As a large truck whizzed by on Schaumburg Road, Caroline Weaver raised her voice to a near-shout so she could be heard above the din.

“35 mph? Sure he is,” the Streamwood resident said skeptically, referring to the posted speed limit.

Weaver lives adjacent to a bucolic stretch of Schaumburg Road between routes 19 and 59 that's lined by forest preserves and horse farms.

When she moved to the neighborhood in the 1990s, “we bought for the birds and the frogs.”

The peaceful atmosphere evaporated in the late 2000s, residents say, after signs restricting vehicle weights to 20,000 pounds were removed and trucks moved in — bringing vibrations, diesel fumes, traffic and safety concerns six days a week.

“We did not have this issue at all when we bought this house,” Weaver said.

However, officials with Cook County, which owns the road, said the weight limit on Schaumburg Road is 80,000 pounds and there were no records of signs with lower limits.

On Wednesday morning, a steady flow of gravel trucks and other heavy trucks roared along Schaumburg Road in both directions.

The corridor provides a shortcut to state routes for truckers traveling to and from nearby quarries and industries.

That means, “these gravel trucks will be stacked, 11 to 12 in a row, all rumbling at the same time,” neighbor Ross Kondrath said. The racket is heard inside the house as well.

Weaver displayed a piece of metal she said flew off a truck and landed by a school bus stop at Schaumburg Road and Trail Ridge Court. “Had there had been kids there, it could really have been horrible,” she said.

For its part, the county's Department of Transportation and Highways supports “the safe and efficient movement of goods to maintain the region's role as North America's freight capital.”

“It is critical that all Cook County maintained roads are permitted to carry truck traffic,” spokeswoman Brittany Hill said.

The county has worked with residents and collected data on trucks that resulted in updated signs and pavement markings as well as a reduction in the posted speed limit from 40 to 35 mph, Hill noted.

Cook County also coordinates with Streamwood and sheriff's police to enforce weight and speed limits, and it has encouraged local quarries to ask drivers to use alternative routes.

The department “is committed to continuing to monitor the situation along Schaumburg Road for additional improvement opportunities,” Hill said.

Still, the volume of trucks makes routine activities such as crossing Schaumburg Road or turning left onto Weaver's street perilous, she said. “If people driving behind us, especially the trucks, aren't paying attention, they're either swerving off the road, honking at us, or hopefully, we can get out of their way.”

Streamwood leaders “understand this traffic causes concerns for our residents,” Village Manager Sharon Caddigan said.

Along with monitoring Schaumburg Road, the village has convened public meetings on the problem, installed temporary speed signs and advocated for safe pedestrian crossings, she said.

“Traffic analysis found that most trucks were obeying the speed limits. Passenger vehicles were more likely found to violate the speed limits,” Caddigan said.

Reducing the speed to 35 mph doesn't go far enough, say frustrated residents, who want signs directing trucks not to use Schaumburg Road installed on routes 59 and 19 or to have it reclassified.

“Our property values are surely suffering, our nerves are shot, and someone will surely be injured or will die if more isn't done,” Weaver said.

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  Ross Kondrath, left, Caroline Weaver and Joli Sumoski are worried about traffic and noise pollution from trucks that travel on Schaumburg Road Wednesday in Streamwood. Brian Hill/
  Caroline Weaver holds a large piece of metal that she says came from a truck traveling on Schaumburg Road. Brian Hill/
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