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Study to reduce 47th Street to three lanes approved

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La Grange, IL — A study has been commissioned to determine the feasibility of reducing 47th Street from four to three lanes as part of a series of steps taken to improve safety on the busy La Grange roadway. The La Grange Village Board Monday, May 10, authorized traffic consultants KLOA Inc. to conduct a feasibility study to convert 47th Street from a four to three-lane roadway from East to Gilbert avenues. The purpose is to determine the impact such a reconfiguration would have on regional traffic and also to determine if such a reconfiguration would have the desired effect of reducing traffic volumes and speed.

It is one of a series of measures that have been taken to increase safety following the death of Countryside resident Cari Cook on May 19, 2009.

Cook, 31, was struck by a sport-utility vehicle driven by a La Grange woman traveling east on 47th Street as she was crossing the street at Eighth Avenue with her two children, a 4-month-old son and 2-year-old daughter. The son was in a carrier worn by Cook while the daughter was in a stroller.

Cook was standing in the curb lane of 47th Street attempting to lift her daughter’s stroller over the south curb when she was struck. Her daughter escaped injury, but her son suffered a fractured leg.

As part of the study, traffic counts will be taken during peak periods on weekdays at key intersections, such as La Grange Road, Brainard, Edgewood and Gilbert avenues.

Village Trustee Mark Kuchler asked to take the issue off of the omnibus agenda and open for discussion to make residents aware of the measures being taken to improve 47th Street safety.

“The main reason I wanted to take it off of omnibus approval is because 47th Street is so important to everyone on the board, as well as residents, and to make sure that residents know what’s occurring and all the work staff has done on 47th Street and the intersecting streets.”

Kuchler added he wanted to make sure the study did not start until the repaving of 47th Street, which has begun, was completed since it may impact the results of the study.

Public Works Superintendent Ryan Gillingham said some components of the study could be started now.

“There’s other components that we could hold off on in order to capture once the roadway is done as well as to look at some other facilities, such as (Lyons Township High School) which could change the data.”

The study will also take into account the impact such a reconfiguration would have on side street traffic. Any alterations to 47th Street are subject to approval by the Illinois Department of Transportation, which maintains jurisdiction of the road.

The cost of the study is $14,000.

The study is expected to be completed in the fall to coincide with a Village Board workshop scheduled to discuss safety issues.


Cops & Kids raise $2,600 for Cari Cook Family Fund

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March 10, 2010

Cops & Kids raise $2,600 for Cari Cook Family Fund

The family of Cari Lyn Cook, the young Countryside mother who was struck and killed last May while crossing 47th St with her two small children, received a check for $2,600 at tonight's meeting of the Countryside city council.

Countryside Interim Chief of Police Scott Novak presents Matt Cook, holding daughter Ellie, with a symbolic check for $2,600 as Mayor Robert Conrad looks on.

The money was raised at the 13th Annual Cops & Kids basketball tournament held February 18 at Gurrie Middle School in La Grange.

To learn more about the event, watch the video below. To learn more about the Cari Lyn Cook Family Fund, click here to visit the website.

Source: Everthing Lagrange -

La Grange Village Board again raises safety comimission issue

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By Joe Sinopoli, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Suburban Life Publications
Posted Feb 09, 2010 @ 11:12 AM
Last update Feb 09, 2010 @ 11:18 AM
La Grange, IL — The formation of a Public Safety Commission was resurrected by the Village Board Monday, Feb. 8. But questions remain as to what the duties of such a commission would have — or if it is even needed.

Trustee Michael Horvath, who raised the issue, said such a commission sends a message to the pubic that public safety is just as important as economic development to the community. He likened the commission to the village’s current Community and Economic Development Commission.

“I see it as a value add and a resource that would really help the community improve its ability to understand what public safety issues are and deliver public safety solutions — no different than any other commissions we have,” he said.

Village President Elizabeth Asperger said residents can always participate and provide input with all issues, particularly with respect to public safety.

“But these issues tend not to be as simple on their face as they are in reality, they can be very complex,” Asperger said. “When you consider a particular traffic safety issue, whether it’s vehicular safety or pedestrian movement, very small changes can have very significant consequences that might not be apparent at first blush.”

That, she said, is why the community relies on its professional staff which is studied, well versed and knows the entire community.

“And quite frankly, that’s our job as elected officials to evaluate that as residents and representatives of the whole community, and make the policy decisions we need to make, ensuring that they don’t simply affect one group of folks, but that we look at the whole community picture,” she said.

Horvath said his vision is that of an advisory commission.

“I don’t think it’s a policy making body nor do I see it as a judiciary body on the delivery of public service,” he said. “I see it more as an input, sounding board communications vehicle, organizational assistance, information assistance. It would assist staff, not hinder it. I think there is some really good expertise in the community.”

Horvath first called for the formation of the commission last year following the death of Countryside resident Cari Cook, who was killed while crossing 47th Street on May 19. Cook’s death prompted a community meeting between some 200 residents, state and village officials. A series of safety improvements along 47th Street and other part so of the village have been completed and more are being planned as an outcome.

“I just think it puts an official stamp on public safety,” Horvath said. “It’s not that we’re doing a bad job, I would like to see an improvement.”

Source: La Grange Suburban Life -

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