Crosswalks are not as safe as they should be

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I've been an Oak Park homeowner since 2009. On Sunday, Aug. 11, I was crossing with my 4-year-old from the northeast corner of Scoville Park across Oak Park Avenue at Ontario Street at approximately 11 a.m. A southbound Chicago police car stopped as they were supposed. We were halfway through the intersection and clearly visible to a northbound car who did not stop despite a police car being present. The Chicago police car did not do anything as I assume they were on lunch break and not in their jurisdiction. 

These types of crosswalks, while marked with paint and a road sign, are not safe for pedestrians to cross. Often it takes a while for both sides of traffic to recognize that they should stop for pedestrians at these intersections. This has been a concern of mine for several years. 

The crosswalk at Oak Park Avenue and Van Buren Street is another significant concern. Many school-age kids use this crosswalk going to and from school without parents. Forest Park, with a much lower tax burden on their homeowners, now has flashing-light crosswalks signs on Madison Street where pedestrians press a button and it alerts drivers that pedestrians are trying to cross. 

Since these have been put in place, I've noticed that cars are much more likely to stop (in combination with an elevated speed bump). 

I'd ask fellow Oak Park residents to reach out to the Village Transportation Commission if you support making crosswalks safer for pedestrians in our village with flashing crosswalk signs.

Jason Dols 

Oak Park

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