Oswego 6 19

(WSPYnews.com photo by Mark Harrington)

More than $94,000 will be spent towards improving safety for people crossing four-lane Washington Street in downtown Oswego after its village trustees unanimously voted for a study that hopes to prove the need to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

After calling it a 30-year issue, Oswego Public Works Director Jennifer Hughes told trustees about IDOT’s consideration process.

Recent separate studies by Oswego and IDOT revealed the same results, said Hughes. Three downtown business development projects, including one with 496 condo-like apartments, in the next two years are expected to increase pedestrians and autos entering the roadway.

Part of the study will be visuals for public inspection and a public hearing within the next three months.

Currently, flashing yellow street signs indicate a pedestrian attempting to cross at Main Street and Washington and at Harrison and Washington.  However, cars closest to the center line can be blocked by another car from viewing the warning beacons. Hughes mentioned one option.

Oswego Police Chief Jeff Burgner provided trustees with statistics.

From April 2014, there have been 1,400 combined warning or violation tickets issued by police for a variety of offenses. There have been 25 crashes at Harrison (January 2014 to present) and 32 crashes at Main Street on Washington Street, including two pedestrian related. 

Also one death occurred this past year, which DiSanto said caught the attention of IDOT, including more openness to signalization.

Twenty miles per hour is the speed limit on Washington Street, also known as state highway 34, from Madison Street to Rt. 31.

Impacts for the two stop-lighted intersections are being considered in the study. This is Oswego Village Board Trustee Judy Sollinger.

Hughes and Oswego Village Administrator Dan DiSanto indicated these impact concerns.

Moving Route 34 traffic onto Route 71 to Orchard Road and back to 34 was mentioned, however in the past, concerns centered on Oswego having to take over owning and maintaining one mile of four-lane roadway from the 34-71 intersection to across the Fox River, including the multi-million dollar Washington Street bridge.