Currently, the streets surrounding many Village of Skokie schools have inadequate traffic calming controls and insufficient signage creating a perilous environment for the children of Skokie. This is a petition to request more prominent, clearer signage and greater enforcement of pedestrian safety surrounding Skokie schools.
Although we are making specific recommendations for District 73.5, we would like to see these changes, such as four-way stop signs at all intersections surrounding Skokie schools and extending the school speed limit zone to one block before the schools on all streets surrounding each school. According to www.peds.org/pdf/Slow_Down_Flyer.pdf, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 miles per hour has a 90% chance of survival, whereas a pedestrian that is hit by a car traveling 30 miles an hour has only a 50% chance of living. Clearly, it is important for vehicles to reduce their speed near schools and heavily trafficked pedestrian areas; enforcement of these school zones should be a priority.
Specific to Middleton, the school zone sign begins at St. Louis at the main entrance of theschool. This does not give motorists adequate warning that they are in a school area. There should be a sign one block east of St. Louis, at Trumbull Avenue.
The uninterrupted flow of traffic on Main Street from McCormick Avenue to Crawford Avenue encourages drivers to speed through the reduced speed section in front of Middleton Elementary School on Main Street. As motorists head west, it is difficult for the driver to see the crossing guard.
Frequently drivers have stopped too abruptly. As crossing guards and school personnel help children cross Main Street, cars frequently creep into the crossing area or are slow to stop. Once the crossing guard leaves, Main Street becomes perilous for families to cross to McNally Park. Drivers simply will not stop for pedestrians. Indeed, our longtime guard as deemed the corner of Main St. and Drake too dangerous for him to continue crossing children there. This must change.
Throughout Evanston at each crosswalk there is prominent signage indicating that it is state law to stop for pedestrians. These signs have an icon of a stop sign, and an arrow showing drivers where to stop. We are requesting the same. In front of Village Hall and in front of Evanston schools, there is prominent signage imbedded in the road; at Village Hall, this sign has flashing lights. We are requesting the same.
To increase the safety of our children and the rest of our community, we are requesting:
Additional signage at the crosswalk on Main St. at both Drake Avenue and St. Louis Avenue. We would like there to be a prominent sign at the corner that shows motorists where to stop for pedestrians and,
Signs for eastbound drivers at A) the southwest corner of Main Street and Drake and B) the southwest corner of Main Street and St. Louis and a painted white line at Drake Street and St. Louis, showing drivers where they are to stop for the pedestrians in the crosswalk, found throughout Evanston and,
Signs for westbound drivers at A) the northeast corner of Main Street and Drake and B) the northeast corner of Main Street and St. Louis at Drake Street showing drivers where they are to stop for the pedestrians.
A flashing light surrounding the current “stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk” sign at Drake Ave on Main St. To allow for plowing, this sign had to be placed lower than the Village Hall sign, making it less visible to drivers.
Four way stop signs at all intersections immediately surrounding Skokie schools including Meyer Elementary School.
Narrow Main Street at Drake Avenue so that motorist do not try to go around vehicles stopped for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
The issue of inadequate signage was brought to Village Officials attention in October 2011, and the Village did upgrade signage at Middleton, but it was not sufficient. Since that time, a child was killed by a reckless motorist and a school bus filled with kindergarteners was struck by a taxi only two days later. Both of these incidents occurred at St. Louis and Main Streets. There is no greater time to act on creating a safer environment than when the community is aware of our safety deficiencies.
Melina Kelson started this petition with a single signature, and now has 316 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.