Keep Oak Park street signs simple

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I agree with Ed McDevitt [Signs of the times, Viewpoints, June 26] about the ridiculous quantity of parking restriction signs that appear on a single pole, let alone a single block. In my view the laughable results (but for the inevitable parking tickets, in some cases erroneously issued by parking enforcement personnel who can't figure out the signs) are the consequence of trying to be too perfect instead of good enough.

The same can be said of Stop and Yield signs. In Elmwood Park, you know the drill — 2-way stop for the north/south street, followed by 2-way stop for the east/west street, and so forth until you arrive at a major intersection with a 4-way stop.

Compare Superior Street in Oak Park, heading west from Ridgeland: 2-way stop north/south; 4-way stop at a side street; yield north/south; 2-way stop east/west; 4-way stop at a side street. Utterly unpredicatble; you have to exercise vigilance reading road signs at the risk of ignoring pedestrians. And the yield sign for southbound traffic on East Avenue at Superior is so poorly positioned as to be easily miss-able at night. We can count on at least one high-speed accident per year there.

Keep it simple. It's safer overall no matter what the traffic engineers say about a given intersection considered in isolation.

Bob Stigger
Oak Park

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That's what we asked for  

Posted: July 3rd, 2013 11:12 AM

While I see your point, Mr. Stigger, the position of 2-way and 4-way stop intersections is a little more complicated and sometimes needed depending on traffic flow. Many neighborhoods have fought hard for their 4-way, traffic light, or special signs that meet the needs of residents. We have a larger picture to consider, but not at the expense of safety on individual streets. Thankfully, the village is pretty considerate of local needs before worrying about "predictable" or "simpler."

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 2nd, 2013 10:19 PM

I'm all for simple! Now let's put some effort into making the crossing of streets less adventurous.

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