People just seem to want to zip around in their cars on Oak Park streets, village officials say. So they’re looking for ways to slow them down, possibly by installing additional speed bumps on three busy-ish village streets.
Oak Park received requests earlier this year to have speed bumps installed on three Oak Park blocks, according to Village Engineer Jim Budrick. Those include the 1200 block of North Columbian, 300 block of South Home, and the 1000 block of South East Avenue.
The village tried temporary speed bumps on the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of South East Avenue in 2008, to stop people from speeding between the two local high schools. And they seem to be getting the job done, Budrick said, so Oak Park may need to try them out elsewhere.
“It’s the only traffic device I’ve found in 30 years that works consistently,” said Budrick.
The blocks on Columbian and Home have yet to submit formal requests to have the devices installed. The 1000 block of South East Avenue has, Budrick said, though residents haven’t yet obtained signatures from 51 percent of the residents on the block.
Oak Park’s village manager and police chief have the authority to decide whether speed bumps can be installed on Oak Park streets, according to Budrick. The village is currently working on plans for those three blocks, and is looking at possibly putting in some temporary speed bumps sometime in the spring. Some $25,000 is in the proposed 2011 village budget for “traffic-calming” measures.
Speed bumps, if installed, would likely be temporary, in order to “retrain” drivers on those streets, Budrick said. However, they’ll eventually be made permanent on the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of South East Avenue. The nature of those blocks necessitates them, he said, and they’ve worked by lowering speeds by about 10 mph.
“Sometimes you have to recondition people to think about what they’re doing,” Budrick said.