Tri States Public Radio Staff
Thu January 21, 2010
City Council Turns Down Stop Sign Petition
Macomb, IL – Macomb will not place stop signs on Grant Street at Randolph Street. But the city says it's still willing to consider options for improving safety for pedestrians near the intersection.
The stop signs were requested in a petition signed by 106 people. Organizer Jamie Lane feels it's difficult for those on foot or bicycle to cross Grant Street during certain times of the day.
Lane says she was not initially in favor of placing stop signs at the intersection but felt that was more affordable than installing traffic lights or hiring a crossing guard.
She hopes the city will now consider building a new sidewalk along the north side of Grant Street to encourage pedestrians to cross Grant at Lafayette. Second Ward Alderman Ed Lavin says that could be a possibility down the road.
"Until we get a budget straightened out I'm not going to make you no promises," says Lavin. "But we will try to look at this if we can apply for a grant to do something (such as build a sidewalk)."
Lavin serves on the city council's public safety committee. He recommended aldermen deny the petition request for the stop signs on Grant.
Lavin says from 2004 to 2008, there were just 11 accidents at the intersection. He says only four or five happened on school days.
He also says the committee found an average of just 11 students per day walk or bicycle to the nearby Macomb Junior-Senior High School.
The intersection currently includes stop signs on Randolph and Maple. Some residents have complained it's difficult to make a left turn on to Grant from those streets during morning drive.
Like Lavin, Fourth Ward Alderman Mike Inman, who lives near the intersection, says the matter is not a done deal. He shares Lane's concerns about safety and hopes a grant can be secured through the "Safe Routes to School" program.
"(The program) is not only to build sidewalks but to encourage their use," says Inman. "The whole program is to encourage bicycling by teenagers. That's the route we need to be heading ...to encourage healthy lifestyles and do it in a safe manner."
The city council turned down the request during its January 19 meeting after discussing it at length during its January 11 Committee of the Whole meeting. You can listen to that discussion by clicking on the audio button.