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Village of La Grange 47th Street Safety News

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Department of Public Works
TO: Village President, Village Clerk, Board of Trustees, and Village Attorney
FROM: Robert J. Pilipiszyn, Village Manager
Ryan Gillingham, Director of Public Works
DATE: August 10, 2009


The Village is actively engaged in a strategy of evaluating and improving pedestrian safety throughout the Village. Part of the strategy towards improving pedestrian safety involves enhancing pedestrian crossings within IDOT roadway corridors (i.e. 47th Street, La Grange Road, and Ogden Avenue.) Proposed improvements to the pedestrian crossings include posting additional advanced warning signage, installing advanced warning pavement markings, installing dual flashing pedestrian activated yellow beacons and other recommend design elements. The first three crossings that have been identified for enhancements include the following crosswalk locations:
• 47th Street and 9th Avenue
• La Grange Road and 52nd Street
• 47th Street and Waiola Avenue

We requested that the Village’s traffic engineering consultant, KLOA, Inc., provide the Village with a proposal to design the improvements and secure the necessary Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) approvals for improving these three pedestrian crossings. The scope of work generally includes the following activities:
1. Collect existing survey information regarding roadway and crossing geometry.
2. Conduct field work to observe pedestrian crossing activity, and verify signing, pavement markings, sight distance and lighting.
3. Evaluate and make recommendations related to available technology for enhancing crosswalk signage and pavement markings.
4. Develop construction plans, specifications and estimates to install recommended improvements.
5. Coordinate approvals of other agencies including ComEd and IDOT.

KLOA has proposed to complete this work in an amount not to exceed $18,000. We recommend KLOA perform the engineering work for this project based on their experience in this type of work. The proposal for this work is attached for your consideration. As
previously communicated to the Board, since time is of the essence we authorized KLOA to proceed with design services in amount not to exceed $5,000 pending Village Board approval of the entire contract.

One of the goals of this project is to construct the improvements as soon as possible so that the enhancements can be utilized throughout the upcoming school year. The pedestrian crossing at 47th Street and 9th Avenue has been identified to receive the upgrades first, and the improvements will serve as a template for other intersections. Some of the materials identified for the pedestrian crossing improvements require 8 or more weeks for delivery. In order to achieve the goal of constructing these improvements as soon as possible, we recommend advance purchasing various materials.
The first item we recommend for advance purchase are the illuminated pedestrian signs, flashing beacons, ground mounted pavement flashers, pedestrian push buttons and other required equipment to operate the pedestrian crossing system at 47th Street and 9th Avenue. The proposal from Traffic Control Corporation in the amount of $39,184 for this equipment is attached for your consideration. This proposal includes the installation of the ground mounted pavement flashers, but does not include the electrical work required to supply power or install conduits, foundations, or handholes. Once the engineering drawings are completed by KLOA, a separate contract for the electric work will be required. This work also requires coordination with and approval by IDOT and ComEd. For reference this system manufactured by Traffic Control Corporation has been installed in several locations in the Chicago area, most closely on Cass Avenue in Westmont, IL.

Please note that we propose to defer ordering the equipment for the other two pedestrian crossings so that we can assess the effectiveness and functionality of the enhanced design and to receive citizen input.

The second item we recommend for advance purchase are the bollards and sign poles required on both sides of the crossing at 47th Street and 9th Avenue. For consistency throughout the Village, we recommend utilizing the Streetscape bollard currently utilized at the La Grange Road train station. Also, we recommend a pole for mounting the pedestrian signs and pedestrian activated push buttons of the same style. We received a proposal for these poles and bollards from KSA Lighting in the amount of $2,960.50.

Funds are budgeted for 47th Street improvements in FY2010-11. At the end of the year we will prepare a budget amendment to recognize cumulative budget expenditures for pedestrian safety improvement activities pursuant to Board direction.
In summary we recommend approval of a contract with KLOA, Inc. in the amount of $18,000 for the development of plans and specifications for pedestrian crossing improvements at 47th Street and 9th Avenue, La Grange Road and 52nd Street, and 47th Street and Waiola Avenue. Also, we recommend approval of purchasing materials for improvements to the crossing at 47th Street and 9th Avenue in the amount of $39,184 and $2,960 from Traffic Control Corporation and KSA Lighting respectively. Read The Full PDF

Crossing Design Proposal

Engineering Services Agreement – Speed Study of 47th Street Corridor

Speed Study Proposal 

Engineering Services Agreement – Feasibility Study for Traffic Signalization at the Intersection of 47th Street & East Avenue

Feasibility Study Proposal




Woman pleads guilty in traffic death of Countryside mother

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By Joe Sinopoli, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
La Grange Suburban Life

La Grange, IL - The driver who accidentally killed Cari Cook has pleaded guilty to traffic offenses, paid her fines and must keep a clean driver’s record for at least four months.

For Cari Cook’s family, finding closure remains elusive.

Mary McPhillips, 45, the Chicago woman who struck and killed Countryside resident Cari Cook, 31, as she crossed 47th Street May 19, pled guilty for failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian and improper lane usage in Cook County Circuit Court in Bridgeview Aug. 3.

Meanwhile, Matt Cook, Cari’s husband, said he and family members as well as friends were expecting to find some closure when they attended the hearing at its scheduled time of 10:30 a.m. Instead, they were informed the hearing before Judge Maureen Feerick had been rescheduled for an earlier time and was over.

“Just before 10:30 a.m. (village prosecutor John Kenney) had requested that I and a couple of family members come out and talk with him,” Matt Cook said. “At that point, he informed us (McPhillips) had arrived earlier that morning and requested to appear at that time.”

Kenney said the legal maneuver is not uncommon.

“What technically happened was Ms. McPhillips chose to plead early,” he said. “It’s not unusual for a defendant to plead early if they want to just get a plea in and not contest it.”

Kenney would not speculate as to whether or not McPhillips was trying to avoid a face to face meeting with Cari Cook’s survivors.

“I don’t know what she was thinking, but she did look serious,” Kenney said.

For the Cook family and friends, the hearing was going to be an occasion to put one chapter of the tragedy behind them.

“We were kind of taking aback by it because we weren’t there to say anything or even planned to say anything. We just wanted to be present because my wife couldn’t be there, and it was tough for us to be in a place where we really didn’t want to be and for it to turn out that way,” Matt Cook said. “Some people were visibly upset by that. We didn’t go there with any other reason but to support my wife.”

La Grange Police Chief Michael Holub said his investigators were not informed of the time change either.

“It’s not unusual that a judge would move up a traffic matter to accommodate people,” Holub said.

McPhillips was also placed under court supervision, which Kenney said means she cannot receive a a traffic ticket for a set period of time.

“Generally it’s four months,” he said.

Investigators had concluded Cari Cook’s death was not the result of recklessness or negligence. Asked if there were any plans to file a civil suit against McPhillips, Matt Cook said he was not prepared to make any comment at this time.

Cari Cook had crossed 47th Street with her 2-year-old daughter in a stroller and her 4-month-old son strapped to her chest when she was struck by McPhillips’ vehicle as Cari Cook was trying to lift the stroller over the curb.

The infant boy suffered a fractured leg. Her daughter was unharmed.

 Read the Full Article and Comment


Woman in La Grange fatal gets supervision

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August 5, 2009

A Chicago woman received court supervision Tuesday after pleading guilty to two traffic violations following the death of Cari Cook, struck as she walked across 47th Street at 8th Avenue in La Grange.

Police Chief Michael Holub said officers involved in the case were prepared to appear at 10:30 a.m. at the Bridgeview branch of Cook County Circuit Court, but were told the matter was heard instead at 9 a.m.

Mary McPhillips, 45, pleaded guilty to failing to exercise due care to a pedestrian and improper lane use stemming from the May 19 accident that claimed the life of the 30-year-old Countryside mother of two and injured her 4-month-old son. An investigation by La Grange police, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and the accident reconstruction team of the Illinois State Police determined there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges.

Matt Cook said he arrived with family members and friends shortly before 10:30 a.m. to show support in the case involving his wife's death. He was unaware the proceedings already had taken place.

“Having that turn of events made it more difficult,” he said. “We had prepared ourselves to deal with something, whether or not that would have offered closure.”

Matt Cook declined to comment Wednesday on whether a civil suit would be filed.

“Yesterday was difficult, extremely hard,” he said. “It's kind of amazing about our legal system that someone gets supervision based on tickets they received.”

 Read the Full Article and Comment


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Cari Lyn Cook (Stevens)

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