Arlington Heights residents say crash video proves need to stop cut-through traffic
Video of a car careening off a parked SUV and overturning earlier this week shows the need for Arlington Heights leaders to do more to curtail cut-through traffic in their neighborhood, some village residents say.
Jay Casaletto, who lives with his family on the 800 block of South Cleveland Avenue, said Thursday that measures such as a police radar speed sign in the 25-mph residential zone are not solving the longtime problem. The portable sign, which collects speed data from approaching vehicles, was on the block Thursday.
Casaletto said too many drivers use the residential street to avoid frequently congested Arlington Heights Road between Central Road and Northwest Highway. He said residents hope to see police on the street more often, especially while children are waiting for school buses.
"We've had many close calls but also many accidents on the street," Casaletto said.
Arlington Heights police Cmdr. Greg Czernecki said uniformed officers have performed about 285 hours of dedicated traffic enforcement on Cleveland since 2009. The village conducted a speed survey in 2016 and plans a further look at the neighborhood traffic after viewing the video of Tuesday's crash, he added.
"We hear the residents," Czernecki said, "and we want to address their concerns. We want to revisit it. We want to take a look at the (speed) data again and see if there's anything we can do to improve, whether it's our enforcement or anything like that.
"If it does warrant additional stop signs or anything like that, we want to take a look at that and address it accordingly."
Czernecki said the driver behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry traveling north on Cleveland about 2:10 p.m. Tuesday -- as seen on the video from a neighbor's home security system that Casaletto was authorized to release -- and was attempting to go around a parked Ford Explorer while a southbound vehicle came toward her.
The driver didn't move enough to the left and struck the Explorer, causing the Camry to overturn, Czernecki said. The driver, who was found to be traveling 32 mph in the 25 mph zone, was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, he said.
Casaletto also provided to the Daily Herald surveillance video from about 6 p.m. April 15 that shows a woman walking down Cleveland with a leashed dog and a young child just behind her on a scooter. The video shows a car veering in their direction from the opposite side of the street, coming close to the curb. The car also narrowly avoided striking a vehicle that appeared ready to back into a driveway.
He said the videos were made public in an effort to get the attention of village officials. Casaletto said 30 to 40 neighbors plan to meet about the cut-through traffic issue after the holidays.
In the last police traffic survey from July 2016, police found roughly 10,100 drivers -- almost evenly split between north and southbound -- used Cleveland daily at an average speed of 24 mph, Czernecki said. The traffic volume is consistent with similar residential streets in Arlington Heights, he said.
Police are working with the village's engineering department regarding the residents' concerns and plans call for another speed survey, Czernecki said.
"We'll always revisit it," he said. "Obviously, traffic patterns change. Traffic behavior changes constantly. So, it's like every couple years we'll readdress it, reassess and see if anything did change."
Cut-through traffic safety concerns also were expressed last month by Long Grove residents near Lake-Cook Road and Arlington Heights Road. That frequently congested intersection is on the Buffalo Grove-Arlington Heights border.
Thousands of drivers have been trying to escape rush-hour delays at Lake-Cook and Arlington Heights roads by using two local streets in Long Grove. The village installed a temporary radar speed sign in an attempt to calm the Schaeffer Road traffic and hired Lake County sheriff's police to work a special three-week detail.