Ticket trap on Randolph

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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At the intersection of Randolph Street and Oak Park Avenue, a police car lies in wait most afternoons, handing out citations to eastward-bound motorists who read the misleading signage at that corner, which fails to display words saying, "No Through Traffic." You go through and get cited even though the only directional sign says merely, "Right Turn Only." The adverb "Only" on the sign applies to turns.

How about a sign that says, "Traffic Must Turn Right"?

George Dietz, M.D.

Oak Park

Reader Comments

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Tom from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 6:51 PM

Let's see, there a sign that says right turn only, facing the driver across the street is a standard sign that is a right arrow, there is a concrete traffic diverter on the west side of the street and a concrete traffic dirverter on the east side of the street. Get a clue!

Bill from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 12:23 PM

I was caught at the intersection at LeMoyne and Oak Park Ave. last year. I was guilty. What I did not like was the way the village piles on. I had to bring cash to Village hall to because I was not bonded and I had to take online traffic school. The village can charge its fine without cutting in the online traffic school. Also village policy should let all keep their driver's license since. This is an arcane policy that survives in Illinois for some reason.

Very Concerned Oak Parker from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 3:38 PM

Maybe we could vote on another referendum to raise our own property taxes again? I'm sure this will solve the problem somehow.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 2:51 PM

I agree, doubter. Would love to see cars get pulled over by the dozens each morning on Ridgeland from Madison to South Blvd., not to mention those who turn right on red when it is posted "No Right Turn On Red 7AM to 7PM". Ticket the crap out of everyone - just think of all the heated sidewalks and consultants OP could get with all that revenue!

doubter  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 2:31 PM

I am a mom who drives up and down the streets of OP most days, toting kids to various sports practices. I am the safest driver out there. Unlike 90 percent of the other drivers I encounter, I actually stop at stop signs and wait my turn. Where are the tickets for all the drivers who barrel through stop signs every single day in this town? Is this not unsafe and illegal driving? How about if the officer who camps out at OP and Randolph spreads the love and monitors some 4-ways stops?

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 2:13 PM

Or the village creates an arbitrary traffic regulation at a four-way intersection, knowing drivers are either going to misunderstand the sign or disobey it. Then they camp an officer there to write the inevitable tickets. It's much more cost-effective to have officers writing tickets than catching perpetrators of non-traffic offenses. Another invisible OP tax. I wish the guy who writes tickets when my kids leave the car on the street had been around when my garage was broken into.

We asked for it  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 2:03 PM

The violation rate for our RTO (not this one) at rush hour was nearly 50%. It drops to near 25% off-peak, I think, but that's still just too easy for OPPD when we ask them to sit there and bust people. Whether confused or just better than everybody, these people still deserve the ticket. Even a right turn can be unsafe...no clue why anybody is trying to go straight or left with a traffic light one street away either side. That's just dumb.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 1:57 PM

Thank you, Jim. For those who have a hard time understanding "Right Turn Only" - What part of "Right Turn Only" do you feel doesn't apply to you? I forgot - we live in OP. There are no rules - only people who feel that rules don't apply to them.

doubter  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 1:32 PM

It confused me because I associate right turn only signs with intersections where two-way traffic is about to become one-way, so the driver has no other option but to travel in a new direction to avoid oncoming traffic. At OP Ave and Randolph, the road ahead was still accepting cars going in the direction I wanted to go, but to get there, I was being directed to an illogical detour.

Jim from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 1:31 PM

The intersection's shape also forces traffic into a right turn only. Here's my politically incorrect observation: In context, you have to be an idiot not to know what the signs and configuration mean. Watch the drivers who cross the intersection. The preponderance are drivers who think the traffic pattern just isn't convenient for them. So they break the rules. Go for it OPPD.

Jim Bowman from OP  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 12:17 PM

I am truly, sincerely, considerably surprised that right turn only is understood to mean if you turn, turn right. You might even say I am amazed, stunned, even speechless, in which case give me credit for getting this out. I would have thought the only possible objection to this sign would be by liberals, for whom the imposition of a right turn would be thought unconstitutional.

We asked for it  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 12:12 PM

I know of several neighborhood groups besides ours who have discussed with trustees, the police, village staff, etc. about this issue and I have nothing but praise for the response we've gotten. I dunno about this specific intersection, but "our" RTO, there are stats about crashes and how much the RTO reduces crashes. Esp at rush hour we see frequent accidents from illegal turns.

muntz  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 10:55 AM

I'm guessing the goal of the "right turn only" is to force left turns from either Washington or Pleasant, both of which have traffic signals. And there might be traffic backups during rush hour on OPA that don't allow for easy left turns. But, like you, I do wish I could travel straight across Randolph and continue east/west. But there are intersections with a similar setup and restrictions, such as LeMoyne/OPA, Greenfield/Ridgeland.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 10:43 AM

And, as the author asserts, for someone unfamiliar with the intersection, it's pretty easy to interpret "Right Turn Only" to mean that the only turn allowed is to the right. As we've learned with parking, confusing signage and aggressive enforcement can be a good source of village revenue.

I doubt it  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 10:03 AM

I don't believe residents asked for aggressive ticketing. I got this ticket too last year when traveling that route for the first time. I don't see why this intersection is special and cars are not be allowed to continue eastbound. There is a slight jag in the road, similar to other intersections around town. And anonymous posters who claim to speak for a group are suspect.

We asked for it  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 8:28 AM

Dr. Dietz, the Right Turn Only signs around the village mean you may only turn right. Residents have asked for--and gotten--an aggressive crackdown on motorists who go straight or left. The signs bring down the accident rates and we wish more people obeyed them. But if drivers need clarification, thanks for helping give it. And those of you who get caught, thanks for helping with the village finances!

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