Lyons Township High School eyes traffic safety at south campus
Updated: November 19, 2012 2:31PM
LA GRANGE — A Lyons Township High School parent is urging stronger pedestrian safety measures at the south campus in Western Springs.
Nora Valentino of La Grange told the School Board Oct. 15 she has been concerned about school safety for several years while driving her children past the south campus on Willow Springs Road to Highlands Middle School on Plainfield Road.
“My oldest is a freshman at the south campus, and my concerns now are greater,” she said. “I see students at 51st Street and at Mason Drive, waiting and waiting to cross the street, knowing they need to get there on time.”
Highlands has many visual reminders for drivers, including crossing guards, signs with flashing lights and police ticketing motorists using cell phones, Valentino said.
“That’s what I’d like to see at the south campus, something similar with some visual aids, particularly at the pedestrian crosswalks,” she said. “I’ve approached the village of La Grange about putting cones on the street so drivers entering the school zone will have time to react and respond.”
In 2010, LT undertook a joint study to determine whether a traffic light was warranted along Willow Springs south of 47th Street with the villages of La Grange and Western Springs, the Park District of La Grange and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital to the south, which draws traffic to the area.
Superintendent Tim Kilrea offered a favorable update on the progress of the study conducted by KLOA traffic consultants. There is enough traffic to warrant a signal, he said.
The superintendent recommended a new traffic pattern be developed for the south campus as the signal becomes operational.
Grant funds for the signal project aren’t expected to become available until 2014, and Kilrea said he agreed with Valentino that steps to improve safety in the interim should be taken, such as signs or cones.
The signal has been proposed at the south exit of a horseshoe drive at LT, which will line up with an entrance to Denning Park.
A flashing walkway should be installed at Mason Drive, according to the consultant’s study.
The villages, park district and LT are scheduled to consider an agreement governing installation and operation of the traffic signal in October or November.
“It was nice to hear about united efforts,” she said.