A number of intersections at which motorists were prohibited from making right-hand turns at a red light will see changes, thanks to a vote of the village council.
At the Oct. 23 council meeting, members approved an ordinance amending current turning restrictions based on recommendations from an engineering firm. The firm was asked by the Traffic and Safety Commission to assess 12 intersections in the village that contain 22 approaches prohibiting drivers from turning right on a red light.
The council approved removing the signs on three approaches, including the northbound lane at the junction of Circle and Roosevelt streets, the southbound lane at Des Plaines and Madison streets, and westbound at Madison and Des Plaines streets.
The signs at seven approaches will be modified to replace the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. restrictions with signs prohibiting the turns when pedestrians are present. At each of those seven intersections traffic from all directions is required to come to a stop. The intersections of Des Plaines and Jackson, and northbound Des Plaines at Randolph, eastbound Randolph at Des Plaines and westbound Randolph at Des Plaines, will be changed.
The four approaches at Circle and Randolph will also be changed to eliminate the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. designation so that the restrictions will apply for the entire day.
Only two new signs prohibiting right turns at red lights will be added; one at eastbound 16th at Harlem and the other on southbound Des Plaines at Randolph.
A representative from the engineering firm said sight distance is a primary factor when assessing whether an intersection warrants a “no turn on red” sign. If there are obstructions at the intersection that make it difficult for a driver to see oncoming traffic, the intersection warrants a turning restriction. The decision as to whether an intersection has a restriction for the entire day, for certain hours, or only when pedestrians are present is based on the amount and type of pedestrian traffic at that intersection.
The council also approved an ordinance to amend parking fees in handicapped areas. Currently, fines start at $175 and can increase to $250 for late payments. In accordance with the state statute, fees will now start at $250 and can go as high as $350 for failure to pay.
Village Administrator Mike Sturino said it had been some time since the fees were raised and this new fee structure is in keeping with the fines in other Illinois cities.