River Foresters on Ashland Avenue are not all in agreement about a proposed “no turn on red sign” from eastbound North Avenue onto their street.

First mentioned at an October village board meeting, the sign would close off the last road that allows eastbound drivers to turn right into River Forest from North Avenue. All the other streets from Thatcher Avenue to Lathrop Avenue do not allow right turns.

The village’s Traffic and Safety Commission is conducting traffic counts on Ashland and other adjacent streets to determine the traffic impact of the nearby Gottlieb medical facility under construction.

It remains to be seen whether the facility causes an increase in traffic on North Avenue.

For Kevin Mahoney, who circulated a petition with his wife that supports installation of the sign, the problem has “little to do with the facility.” Heavy traffic on Ashland Avenue has been a concern for years, he said.

Allowing cars to turn right creates a dangerous situation, especially at rush hours, he said, because so many residents on Ashland are backing out of their driveways.

“There’s been more and more traffic here as of late,” said Ralph Schuler, another supporter of the sign. “Once the medical facility is open, I would imagine there’d be even more traffic.”

Schuler added that many cars turn right to avoid the traffic light at Lathrop Avenue a block east, and those cars are “coming around at a pretty good pace.”

But Patti Marino thought several of her neighbors would turn right anyway because they live on the block, and a sign prohibiting that would be “very inconvenient.”

A red light on Lathrop Avenue backs traffic up, and not being able to turn onto her street would add time to Marino’s drive home from work, she said.

“You bought a house right near North Avenue. There’s traffic,” Marino said.

She added that visibility has been impaired on Ashland Avenue lately because vehicles belonging to construction workers from Gottlieb have been parked there, which won’t always be the case.

Village Administrator Eric Palm said he thought construction on the Gottlieb facility would be completed within a couple months. The matter will likely come back to the board to be voted on early next year, he said.

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