Stop signs, curb extension planned for Milwaukee Avenue at Kostner; Gardiner requests speed cameras for 3 locations in 45th Ward
by BRIAN NADIG
Alderman James Gardiner (45th) has announced plans for the installation of stop signs on Milwaukee Avenue at Kostner Avenue in Old Irving Park and said that he requested a speed camera for that area in addition to cameras at or near the Foster-McVicker and Central-Catalpa intersections in Jefferson Park.
Kostner dead ends at Milwaukee where a daycare is located, and residents have requested that the city take measures to slow down traffic at the intersection due to the childcare facility, Gardiner said. In addition, the Schurz High School athletic field is located at the southeast corner of the intersection.
Also planned is an ADA-compliant curb extension for a crosswalk on Milwaukee at the intersection’s north end, Gardiner said. The extension would shorten the amount of time pedestrians spend in the street.
While installing stop signs on main thoroughfares is uncommon, the city Department of Transportation has endorsed stop signs for both northbound and southbound Milwaukee. There are nearby traffic signals at Kilbourn Avenue to the north and Addison Street to the south.
“The intersection of Milwaukee and Kostner was looked at based on existing condition and type of crashes, including two crashes where the drivers left the roadway and hit the daycare building. It was determined that all-way stop sign is an appropriate traffic control for this location. In general, CDOT does not install stop signs on collectors and arterial streets; however, they may be considered at locations with type and severity of crashes, poor sight lines and natural obstruction,” CDOT said in a statement.
Gardiner said that he has received numerous emails and phone calls from residents expressing their support for the stop signs since he posted the news on his Facebook page. An ordinance introduced by Gardiner that would authorize the stop signs on Milwaukee is expected to get approved by the City Council later this summer.
Also in the ward, Gardiner sent an email on July 15 to the transposition department requesting the installation of speed cameras in the following areas “due to the inherent risk of speeding vehicles to pedestrians and bicyclists:”
Milwaukee Avenue between Kilbourn Avenue and Addison Street
Central Avenue between Catalpa Avenue and Balmoral Avenue
Foster Avenue between Austin and McVicker Avenue (in front of Austin-Foster Park)
In addition, plans are being made to eliminate the rush-hour parking restrictions on Central between Milwaukee Avenue and Elston Avenue in an effort to stop motorists from “flying in and out” of the parking lane during rush hour, Gardiner said. He added that residents have requested traffic safety improvements in the area due to several accidents and the high number of children crossing Central to get to the nearby Farnsworth School, 5414 N. Linder Ave. He has said that a stop sign on Central cannot be ruled out.
Feedback on the request for the speed cameras was mixed on Gardiner’s Facebook page, with some expressing support and others describing the cameras as a cash grab for the city rather than a safety measure.