Despite tragic crash, Kaneland intersection to remain unchanged

The intersection where a car driven by a Kaneland High School student killed a man on a motorcycle in August does not warrant any new safety measures, according to a Kane County Division of Transportation study.

The study dates to last August when a student driving a gray Subaru pulled out of the school parking lot near the intersection of Keslinger and Dauberman roads and collided with a 60-year-old Maple Park man on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The crash occurred outside of regular school dismissal, but there were multiple student witnesses.

That prompted public demands for measures to prevent future tragedies at the intersection. After five months of studying traffic, visibility, talking to local law enforcement and analyzing crash data, KDOT staff concluded that the Keslinger and Dauberman intersection is no more dangerous than comparable intersections.

“The amount and severity of crashes, with the exception of the fatal crash that happened in 2023, has generally reduced in the past six years from the previous five years,” said KDOT’s Collen Jaltuch to a committee of county board members this week.

Even the speed limits on the surrounding roads are as low as allowed by state law, staff members said. That means there will be no additional stop signs, traffic signals, rumble strips or other safety measures implemented.

Instead, KDOT’s Stephen Zulkowski encouraged parents to discuss the importance of not rushing behind the wheel.

“Having a few extra minutes to get to school on time is quite valuable and can help safety,” he said.

Mark Davoust is chair of the county board’s transportation committee, which received the report. He is also the grandfather of students at Kaneland High School. He said the results of the study will no doubt frustrate people who called for intersection modifications.

“A life was lost,” Davoust said. “If I take my transportation committee hat off, I’d want to know do we have to wait until there is enough crashes or fatalities before we do something to make it safer. This kind of deep dive into the numbers is necessary because you have to confront the emotion, what safety looks like and what it takes to achieve it.”

Zulkoski, the county's chief of traffic operations, said implementing changes at the intersection without the data to support it may actually make driving near the high school less safe.

“Frustrated drivers could lead to behaviors that could reduce safety,” Zulkoski said. “Speed control and traffic calming is not achieved by using a traffic control device that isn’t warranted.”

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