- R.F Wittmeyer
- August 14, 2018
Improvements at various crossings along Central Road in Mount Prospect could come to fruition. After several years of studies, the village wants to increase safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. The village’s Strategic Plan has identified top priorities for pedestrian and bicyclist safety in high volume areas. The plans come two years after a Mount Prospect mother of five died after being hit in a Central Road crosswalk at Weller Lane. Since then, her husband launched a campaign focusing on crosswalk safety and design.
Last year, village staff participated in two safety engineering evaluations of the Central Road corridor from Arthur Avenue to Rand Road.
- One study was initiated by the village. It included an in-depth pedestrian safety analysis of the corridor by outside firm the Ciorba Group.
- The second study was a “Road Safety Review” of Central Road. The study was conducted by the Illinois Dept. of Transportation (IDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). They analyzed roadway safety with an emphasis on pedestrian crossings.
Traffic Signal Recommendations
Ciorba reported the number of crashes involving pedestrians or bicyclists and motor vehicles is low. They did not warrant specific crossing improvements. In fact, they concluded that traffic signals are not warranted at the We-Go Trail, Cathy Lane, or Pine Street intersections. They also indicated that the Emerson Street intersection might warrant a traffic light. But they thought it might be too close to the existing signals at Main Street/Route 83 to garner IDOT approval.
Other Proposed Crosswalk Improvements in Mount Prospect
Other pedestrian crossing improvements Ciorba suggested the village to consider for Mount Prospect pedestrians include:
- On Arthur Avenue, add marked crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signals.
- For Busse Road, add marked crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signals. Additionally, they recommend prohibiting the right turn on red movements for northbound vehicles.
- On We-Go Trail and Cathy Lane, they recommend installing a 4-ft. wide pedestrian refuge island in the Central Road right-of-way. Also, the village should install overhead pedestrian crossing signs. Lastly, they recommend the elimination of the sidewalk ramps on the east leg of the intersection.
- For Pine Street, they recommended adding a marked crosswalk and signs. They also recommended the construction of a 4-ft. wide pedestrian refuge island and install overhead pedestrian crossing signs.
What’s Next for Mount Prospect
The work will begin on Weller Lane and Emerson Street. For Emerson Street, the recommendations include:
- Constructing a raised median refuge island across the west leg of the intersection
- Installing overhead pedestrian crossing signs.
- Eliminate northbound vehicular traffic by installing a right-in/right-out island in the Emerson Street right-of-way.
The costs will divide across the village, the county, and the state. However, due to its location near the Mount Prospect Public Library and the downtown area, the Public Works Director Sean Dorsey placed the work at Central and Emerson as in high need.
Trustee Paul Hoefert said after these studies that “[w]e have high traffic roads in town and fairly high speed roads and Central is one of those. I see commuters dashing across four lanes of traffic at a time when traffic is heavy. Anything we can do to improve safety. I think across the world, especially in the village, we have sign overload and I suggest if we put signs up, we need to take others down.”
Dorsey has another goal to help Mount Prospect pedestrians: reduce the speed on Central Road from 35 mph to 30 mph.