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Board Approves $308K Main Street Traffic Signal Bid

The Village of Skokie board approved a $308,687 bid for the construction of a traffic signal at Main Street and Central Park Avenue on Monday.

Signs reading “Slow down. Save a child” are still up near Main Street and St. Louis Avenue almost a year after 9-year-old Carter Vo was struck and killed by a vehicle.

The signs can be seen on traffic medians and residential lawns near where Vo’s death occurred.

According to police, the driver responsible for Vo’s death was Skokie resident Hanin Goma. It was later revealed that Goma, 23, had marijuana and amphetamines in her system at the time of the incident, police said.

The incident occurred about a block away from John Middleton Elementary School. Following the crash, the village assembled a committee to look at traffic data and make recommendations on how to improve safety near the school. A traffic-engineering firm was also hired to conduct traffic pattern studies.

Fast-forward to today, and the village board has approved a $308,687 bid to install several traffic signals at Main Street and Central Park Avenue. At Monday's board meeting, officials said that Lake Villa-based Home Towne Electric Inc. was the lowest and most responsible bidder. It is unclear when the traffic signal construction will begin.

“This was criminal conduct,” trustee Randy Roberts said. “You can have all the traffic signals in the world and someone runs and disobeys them and drives recklessly. That doesn’t mean we can’t try and do better.”

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Bill Wegner March 18, 2013 at 04:07 PM
I have lived in Skokie for the last 40 years and have seen many wasted expenditures by the village.The 308,000 for a traffic light is not going to stop people from being irresponsible.Of course it's a knee jerk reaction,it usually is when a child is involved.The 25 mph speed limit is already a crawl down Main street.The landscaped medians already have slowed down traffic,especially in the summer when they grow into the roadway.Let's add another stop light and maybe some speed bumps to make it totally undriveable.25 mph is already a side street speed limit and I'm fine with it as long as people pay attention(stay off your cell phones).As for the hearings I never saw anything about them?
LisaJoinPatch March 18, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Not sure where you are getting your information. The side street (unless otherwise marked) speed limit in Skokie is 30mph. Go to Evanston and you have to go a more reasonable 25 on all side streets (20 near the high school on Church!). Evanston cares much more about pedestrians than Skokie as evidenced by the slower speed limit and plethora of indented clearly identified cross walks. For example, just watch the cars fly past Meyer preschool / kindergarten as children try to get to the school playground at all times on weekends and after school hours where there are no cross walks, no 4 way stops and cars are permitted to go 30 mph. As for those medians on Main, it actually enables cars to go much faster than when there is a mere yellow line between two-way traffic. Those medians actually create a parkway designed for high speeds.
Katie Gudgel March 18, 2013 at 05:04 PM
LisaJoinPatch - I agree with your numbers about the speed limits. But I would like to ask you where you get your information that medians cause cars to go faster. According to presentations made by the traffic consulting expert at the public hearings on Main St, the medians tend to cause people to slow down. Things like trees and landscaping cause it to feel "closed in" so they don't drive as fast. Now I am just repeating what the people the Village hired as "experts" have said. And a super preliminary search online "effect of medians on speed" seems to agree. So, do you have some other study that indicates that landscaped medians like on Main street tend to increase speed? Or are you just saying that people tend to speed on Main St (which is true). And it has landscaped median (also true). But if the Village hired experts and studies are also true, then people would be speeding even more if there weren't a landscaped median.
Bill Wegner March 18, 2013 at 05:10 PM
What studies have you been reading?Or do you just drive faster between those medians?As for Evanston cares much more than about pedestrians than Skokie?How did you come to that conclusion? Did you take a poll, or ask the mayor, trustees,police department before making that (your opinionated)comment?That is one of the things about Patch,it lets everyone give their opinion so others can disagree or at least call them on their ideas.
LisaJoinPatch March 18, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Kate and Bill, I spoke with an urban planner, specifically about that stretch of Main street, who worked for the City of Chicago for years under Daley on making a more "walkable" city. He is also one of the founders of the Safer Routes To Schools organization (see http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/). As far as I know, our city only consulted engineers and that was a big flaw on its part and why it wound up with a stop light as a solution (which will actually create a more dangerous situation for pedestrians). .

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