Continuing a recent trend, River Forest officials had traffic safety on their minds at the Jan. 24 village board meeting.

Officials approved a revised contract for a traffic study in the northeast corner of the village and addressed traffic safety in two areas of the village, based on concerns expressed by residents to the Traffic and Safety Commission.

Concerns expressed by resident Dave Karrow relate to the intersection of Vine Street and Ashland Avenue, and Ryan Bloecker’s concerns relate to the intersection of Keystone Avenue and Washington Street. 

In November, officials approved the original traffic study contract and, in December, action was taken to address other traffic safety concerns expressed by residents.

Officials voted unanimously at the Nov. 8 village board meeting to award a contract with Kenig, Lindgren, O’Hara, Alboona Inc. (KLOA) to conduct a traffic study in the area bounded by North Avenue, Harlem Avenue, Greenfield Street and Lathrop Avenue at a cost not to exceed $13,500.

Although complaints about cut-through traffic in that section of the village have been received previously, the matter formally came to officials at the Oct. 11 village board meeting when resident Robert Armalas requested action.

Jeff Loster, director of public works and development services, said in a memo that Armalas sought modifications to the proposed scope of work when it was posted.

The more substantive modifications included a change in the number and locations of speed studies and an increase in hours of data capture, Loster said. The changes were made to more effectively address the concerns of the residents who live in that area and the anecdotal evidence that has been provided, he added.

In recommendation approval of the revised contract, Loster suggested that officials consider a village-wide traffic study, noting, “Things are a bit repetitive.”

In response to a question from Trustee Bob O’Connell, Loster said such a study would incorporate findings from this study as well as the recently completed commuter parking study and the Safe Route to Schools study.

Officials accepted Loster’s recommendation and voted unanimously to approve the revised contract with KLOA at a cost not to exceed $16,500. Findings are expected in 6-8 weeks.

The village board agreed with the recommendation of the Traffic and Safety Commission and voted unanimously to install four-way stop signs at Vine and Ashland based on the concerns of Karrow, who also serves on the commission. The intersection is currently under two-way stop control with only drivers on Ashland required to stop.

The village board addressed Bloecker’s concerns by voting unanimously to install a flashing crosswalk sign on the east leg of the intersection of Washington and Forest Avenue, which is one block east of Keystone.

According to Loster, commissioners shared Bloecker’s concerns regarding Washington and Keystone but did not support his request for curb bump outs there. In addition to installing the flashing crosswalk sign at Washington and Forest, commissioners discussed replacing two of the four stop signs at Washington and Keystone with flashing stop signs. Bloecker asked that the flashing stop signs not be installed but agreed with the flashing crosswalk sign. Loster said village staff members will work with commissioners on other potential solutions, noting that flashing stop signs at that intersection would be only for traffic on Washington.

At the Dec. 13 village board meeting, trustees agreed with recommendations from the Traffic and Safety Commission to install a pole-mounted radar feedback sign on the west side of Thatcher Avenue near the intersection with Vine Street and install temporary knock-down bollards at the limits of the parking lanes in the eastbound/westbound directions of Chicago Avenue at the intersection with William Street.

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