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Stop it!

  • Written by Kevin M. Coyne

 

CR residents and officials believe stop signs near Metra station are a hazard

Chicago Ridge trustees mayPage-3-3-col-signsSigns on the Ridgeland Avenue and Washington Street area are becoming more of a hazard, say Chicago Ridge residents and officials. Photo by Kevin M. Coyne. try to put a stop to recently erected stop signs at the Ridgeland Metra station.
Nearly five months ago, the village installed three new stop signs that were designed to offer Metra commuters with safe passage across Ridgeland Avenue. Instead, the signs, coupled with trains stopping at the intersection, have caused a major hazard for those who have only a temporary window of safe passage.
One resident complained of trains blocking the intersection – especially during busy rush hour traffic.
“I’ve been riding the train for 30 years,” said Lynn Barker, a Chicago Ridge resident who spoke out during Tuesday’s board meeting. “Some of the trains block the busy intersection and allow for the commuters to cross the street. I don’t know how it’s feasible for one train and not another, especially during rush hour.”
Trustee Sally Durkin said the number of trains that block the intersection have been reduced over the years. She

said fewer trains block the intersection due to a Metra regulation, which requires the conductor to hit a sensor that is further down the track. In theory, those trains should not be blocking the intersection.
Durkin added that the signs are more of a hazard and cited an incident in which a woman was bumped by a car within the five months the signs were installed.
Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar, village engineer Andy Purfundt and Durkin will meet with Metra and Cook County officials on April 30 to solve the issues surrounding hazardous intersection.
“I believe the stop signs are more trouble than it’s worth,” Trustee John Lind said. “People are stopping in the right lane while the people in the left lane are still coming. I think we need to take it out and leave it how it was, forever.”
Mayor Tokar asked the police department to look into the legality of removing the signs in the middle and west side of the intersection.
“Once we put it up we may not be able to pull it out,” Tokar said. “There’s never been a sign up [before] and now it’s a problem.”