Rerouting of traffic patterns in downtown Flossmoor under way

  A new crosswalk was added to Flossmoor's downtown
  traffic island last week.
(Photos by Tom Houlihan/
  H-F Chronicle)
 
Work has started on traffic improvements designed to make downtown Flossmoor safer for pedestrians and motorists.
 
Concrete work was completed last week at the Sterling Avenue traffic island, Flossmoor Public Works Director John Brunke said Monday. Pedestrian ramps that comply with the Americans for Disability Act were also installed across the street from the island.
 
A new crosswalk at the south end of the traffic island was installed and two existing crosswalks were removed. The new crosswalk provides access to benches on the island. 
 
  Commuters will no longer
  be able to use crosswalks
  that formerly crossed the
  traffic circle.

 
One of the former crosswalks led directly to the Metra station from the traffic island. That crosswalk led directly into a tunnel beneath the train station. During morning and afternoon rush hours, that route has been a funnel for commuters on their way to and from work, and also for students at both Western Avenue School and Parker Junior High School.
 
Commuters coming to and from the station will now have to slightly alter their trek across the traffic island.
 
In May, the Flossmoor village board approved a plan to revamp downtown traffic patterns after a study showed that the movement of cars and people — especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours — can be confusing and dangerous. Last summer, a mother and her two children were hit by a car after they crossed the traffic circle on their way to the corner of Sterling and Central Drive.
 
According to the study, conducted by the consulting firm of Baxter & Woodman, numerous factors make the downtown area dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians. Sightlines are bad, especially for drivers unfamiliar with Flossmoor’s downtown. Signs are confusing. The traffic island is, essentially, a roundabout and needs to be treated like one, the study said.
 
Village officials said complaints over downtown traffic have been mounting for the past several years.
 
The project also includes new signs and striping in the downtown area. Brunke said the new signs will be installed and the striping completed before the beginning of the new school year in August.
 
The traffic study recommended the removal of a mailbox that has been located on the traffic island for many years. Village board members delayed a decision on whether the mailbox would be removed and relocated elsewhere in downtown Flossmoor.
 
Brunke said there is still no decision on the mailbox. 
 
That part of the project will be on hold until a decision is made, which will probably take place after the other work is completed, he said. 
 

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