We support the village’s plans to narrow and update Madison Street for three important reasons:
Calmer traffic – To address a common concern, research from the U.S. Department of Transportation and AARP indicates that Madison’s new three-lane configuration (two travel lanes + a center turn lane) will manage traffic flow with only slightly slower travel times during rush hour. To put this in perspective, Ridgeland is two lanes through Oak Park and carries about the same number of cars as Madison.
Safer – Madison has one of the highest crash rates in metro Chicago, with nearly one crash per day on the 1.5 mile Oak Park segment. 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 20 to 50 percent, 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 – Since this change was proposed eight years ago, developers and residents alike have consistently supported a narrower, more walkable street with car traffic moving at a calmer, safer, and more even pace.
After eight years of delay, we urge the village board to trust the transportation experts who say this project won’t significantly affect rush hour traffic operations but will create a safer, more livable corridor 24 hours a day. It’s time for a Madison Street that enhances our community rather than dividing it; a street where everyone, including senior citizens like Suleyman Cetin, who was hit and killed four years ago on Madison, can safely cross the street.
Mary Anderson, Christina Angarola, Ron Burke, Gary Cuneen, Brian Hungerford
Citizens for a Safe and Vibrant