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Flashing crosswalks part of La Grange pedestrian safety plan

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Pedestrian safety improvements in La Grange continue with enhancements planned at three intersections, two of which are on 47th Street.

Additional warning signage and dual flashing pedestrian-activated yellow beacons will be installed at the intersection of 47th Street at Ninth Avenue and at La Grange Road.

Crossings at 52nd Street and La Grange Road and 47th Street and Waiola Avenue are also being considered for similar enhancements.

Also being added are advanced warning pavement markings, which are imbedded in the pavement on each side of the crossing and are illuminated when the bollard style pedestrian beacons are activated.

The Village Board approved a contract with Meade Electric Oct. 26 for the improvements at a cost not to exceed $28,060. Funding is provided through the village’s capital budget.

Assistant Village Manager Andrianna Peterson said the pavement markings will only be illuminated when triggered by a pedestrian.

“It’s better to have them activated as needed then on continuously because this will draw particular attention at the time a pedestrian is gong to cross,” she said.
Public Works Director Ryan Gillingham said the system is relatively new.

“It is a newer technology and from what I am told, it will be the first to be installed in an (Illinois Department of Transportation) roadway,” Gillingham said.

The individual flashing lights are installed in the pavement equally on each side of the crosswalk.

Gillingham visited a pedestrian crossing located on Cass Avenue at the railroad crossing downtown that has the same system.

“It certainly alerts motorists to a pedestrian crossing,” he said.

The lights and beacon poles are expected to be installed this week. Commonwealth Edison will relocate a light pole the following week in order to provide electrical service to the system.

“This may be a design we will be able to employ in other areas as well,” Peterson said.

The improvements are part of a package of short term goals developed last summer following the May 19 death of a Countryside mother Cari Cook, who was killed  crossing 47th Street near Eighth Avenue.

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 at about 11:40 a.m. with her two children, a 4-month-old son and 2-year old daughter. The infant boy was in a carrier worn by Cook while the daughter was in a stroller.

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

Peterson said the village’s overall safety plan is a work in progress.

“We’re always working to enhance pedestrian safety,” she said.


Cari Lyn Cook (Stevens)

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