Arlington Heights' Cleveland Avenue plan on cut-through traffic: Stop signs not included

  • A speeding car that hit a parked SUV on Cleveland Avenue in Arlington Heights Dec. 10 led to a recent community meeting and a village action plan to help curtail cut-through traffic.

    A speeding car that hit a parked SUV on Cleveland Avenue in Arlington Heights Dec. 10 led to a recent community meeting and a village action plan to help curtail cut-through traffic. Video frame grab courtesy of Jay Casaletto

  • Arlington Heights officials this week released an action plan to help reduce cut-through traffic on South Cleveland Avenue. But residents say the immediate changes don't go far enough because stop signs aren't included.

    Arlington Heights officials this week released an action plan to help reduce cut-through traffic on South Cleveland Avenue. But residents say the immediate changes don't go far enough because stop signs aren't included. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, 2019

 
 
Updated 2/28/2020 9:30 PM

Arlington Heights officials have unveiled a short-term plan to curtail speeding on South Cleveland Avenue, including a bigger police presence and making radar guns available to residents so police can issue warning letters to speeders.

But some neighbors say the immediate action plan still falls short of changes they'd like to see, like more stop signs.

 

The village's seven-point plan, unveiled this week by Village Manager Randy Recklaus, follows a Feb. 19 community meeting at village hall that was attended by 40 residents upset with constant cut-through traffic they say has long plagued their neighborhood.

The meeting was precipitated by a Dec. 10 crash on the block in which a car careened off a parked SUV and overturned. Video of the crash -- when the driver of a Toyota Camry tried to go around the Ford Explorer as another car approached -- was captured on a neighbor's home security system.

Police said this week they've already stepped up their traffic enforcement in the area with marked and unmarked squad cars. That includes deploying a decoy vehicle that doesn't contain a live officer but nonetheless can act as a deterrent, said Police Cmdr. Greg Czernecki, of the department's traffic bureau.

Recklaus added that officers will be paying special attention to the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Rockwell Street -- a four-way stop -- to see if drivers are obeying the posted signs.

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Police are also offering to loan portable radar detectors to residents interested in tracking potential speeders. Under the program, Citizen Assisted Radar Enforcement, residents use the speed guns and take down license plate numbers, and makes and models of vehicles. They give the information to police, who will send warning letters to the registered car owners.

It's a little-used program but been in place for some time, according to Czernecki, who says it's one more tool to help control the situation in neighborhoods where speeding is a concern.

"It's kind of like a neighborhood watch program for traffic safety," Czernecki said. "If any violations are observed, it allows drivers to know that residents are concerned about speeding and driver behavior on their street."

Jay Casaletto, who lives with his family on the 800 block of South Cleveland Avenue, said what he and other residents want is more stop signs to help quell the constant stream of traffic between Central Road and Davis Street. That would include 4-way stops at Cleveland's intersections with Orchard and Fairview streets, where there are 2-way stops now, and yield or stop signs at the intersections with Maple and Park streets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But village officials have pointed to studies that clocked average vehicle speeds on the block to be around the 25 mph speed limit. The village looks at traffic volumes, crash data and a traffic study to determine whether 4-way stop signs should be installed.

Village officials say they plan to take new pedestrian counts during school rush hours in the spring to help determine if a stop sign or further traffic control is warranted, despite not meeting vehicle count criteria.

Other parts of the village plan include the potential of adding more signage, reviewing existing signage for possible replacement or movement of sign locations to increase visibility, and reviewing the pros and cons of new road features like additional striping and bump outs.

Casaletto said he thinks many of the village's immediate plans are "just prolonging any real change."

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