Any new road construction project is likely to ruffle a few feathers, but the latest plan proposed in Countryside has some residents concerned it may cause more problems than it will solve.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is currently working on a plan to improve 55th Street, from LaGrange Road to East Avenue. Proposed additions are a cement median on both 55th Street and LaGrange Road, adding storm sewers on the north side of 55th and widening that road.
The proposed project currently has a timeline of two seasons at a minimum and construction would cost $4.6 million. IDOT conducted a crash analysis, which found there were 259 total crashes between 2010 and 2014 at this intersection. Nearly half of those crashes were rear ends. Thirty-two percent of those car accidents resulted in injuries, with one fatality.
Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with the proposed plan. Countryside residents attended a public hearing held by IDOT on October 26 and voiced their concerns. One resident suggested the medians could increase the number of U-turns. Another voiced concern that motorists would drive through the neighborhood north of 55th Street, hoping that speed bumps would be added to that neighborhood to slow down passersby.
Countryside residents can watch this project and submit comments to the IDOT directly. Any comments received before November 24 will be included as part of the official public meeting record.
Whenever a new construction project is proposed and executed, there is a risk that it will cause new types of car accidents the department of transportation didn't anticipate. Be careful on the road and stay informed about how those changes could affect traffic in your neighborhood in the future.