Five months, one petition and 24 signatures later, River Forest trustees have finally approved the installation of a new stop sign at Keystone Avenue and Vine Street. A public works crew put up the sign Nov. 30.
“I feel good, I think it’s actually working. I definitely think people are seeing the effect here,” said Stewart Weiner, who organized the petition drive. “People are slowing down as they come down the block.”
Weiner, who lives in the 100 block of Keystone Avenue, started the petition drive around June, after he noticed the 30 or so neighborhood kids often running into the street playing football, softball and other games. The kids included his 8-year-old daughter, Lura, and 4-year-old, Addy.
“I can see the drivers aren’t paying attention,” Weiner said. “They’re on their phones, speeding, not expecting kids to jump out, and you just end up screaming at kids to come back. There’s not a whole lot we can do.”
Initially, neighbors bought and installed signs warning drivers to slow down because there were children at play. Village officials told neighbors the signs were illegal. So, in June, Weiner went door-to-door and collected signatures from about 24 nearby homeowners calling for speed bumps on the street.
In August, he presented the petition to the village board, which referred the request to the Traffic and Safety Committee for research. Committee members decided a new stop sign would be the best method for handling traffic there in October.
And, at the Nov. 27 village board meeting, River Forest’s seven trustees approved the new sign. Three days later, the sign was put up at the intersection.
“It shows the process can work if you put in the effort and give it a shot,” Weiner said.