JOLIET – A Joliet councilwoman told her colleagues on Tuesday that the next accident at a far West Side intersection is “on you” when they did not side with her plea to put up stop signs against the advice of a city engineer.
The intersection at Theodore Street and Great Ridge Drive was the topic of lengthy discussions for the second consecutive night.
Jan Quillman, who said she is often called by neighbors of the intersection, also made a case for the stop sign during a Monday meeting of the council’s Public Service Committee.
After it was apparent the council was not going along with her request that they override staff and order the stop signs, Quillman said opponents should watch for the next accident.
“It’s on this council, and it’s on the people who don’t do this,” she said. “I did my due diligence. If there’s another accident, it’s on you – not me.”
There have been 17 accidents at the intersection from January 2013 to Feb. 15, according to a staff report to the Public Service Committee.
Quillman and neighbors at the intersection want signs that would stop motorists on Theodore.
The basic case against the stop sign is that Theodore is an arterial road carrying through traffic, while Grand Ridge is a residential street going into a subdivision.
Traffic Engineer Russ Lubash told the Public Service Committee that two other nearby intersections with residential streets have had more accidents and another one has had nearly as many.
“What we don’t want to see is an arterial roadway that is cluttered with stop signs that create new safety concerns,” Lubash said.
The city does plan to take some action at the intersection.
The Department of Public Works has recommended that the city post larger speed limit signs in more visible locations and space them closer together. Warning signs would also be used to alert motorists of upcoming intersections. Pavement stripes would be used in such a way to reduce the speed of motorists turning left off Theodore. Also, police would step up speed enforcement along Theodore.
Members of the Public Service Committee objected to Quillman’s characterization of those actions as doing nothing.
“We’re not not doing anything,” said Councilman Jim McFarland, chairman of the committee.
He noted that the committee also will review the matter again once the staff recommendations were put into place.
“This issue is coming back to our committee,” McFarland said.
Train station bid approved
The council without discussion approved a $16 million contract with Walsh Construction to build a train station and Heritage Corridor boarding platform at the public transportation center under construction.
The bid had been a topic of previous meetings because of a delay imposed by the state in awarding the bid, which was submitted in June and has gone up $400,000 since then.