Citizens for a Safe and Vibrant Madison supports the village’s plans to narrow and update Madison Street. Here are three important reasons to welcome this improvement:
Calmer traffic: To address a common concern, research from the Federal Highways Administration and AARP indicates that Madison’s new three-lane configuration (two travel lanes + a center turn lane) is sufficient given the number of cars using Madison. No appreciable change in travel times or traffic diversions are expected. To put this in perspective, Ridgeland is two lanes through Oak Park and carries about the same number of cars as Madison.
Safer: Madison’s current poor design contributes to a very high crash rate. There is room for cars to speed and weave, no (or poorly designed) left turn lanes, long crossing distances, and a lot of turning motions to and from cross streets and businesses. Research shows that similar roadway narrowing projects reduced crashes 25-50%, an important fact given that there are four schools and at least one pre-school within one block of Madison.
More pleasant for residents and inviting for development: Developers tell the village they want a narrower, more walkable street with car traffic moving at a calmer and more even pace.
It’s time to create a vibrant, safer Madison Street with new retail, residences and offices, rather than a mini-expressway marked by empty lots and underutilized/empty buildings. Transportation experts and developers agree that the key to achieving these goals is narrowing the street to make it a more livable and inviting corridor for Oak Park.
Citizens for a Safe and Vibrant Madison