Washington St. Oswego

(Google image)

Oswego trustees, during their committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday night, will discuss whether safety improvements can be made to downtown intersections where a pedestrian was recently killed while crossing Washington St.

Committee documents show that this month, Oswego Village President Gail Johnson and village staff will be meeting with representatives from the Illinois Department of Transportation to revisit a request to install traffic signals along Washington Street at Main and Harrison Streets.

As WSPY reported last month, a 79 year-old woman was killed in October while crossing Washington Street outside of a crosswalk near Adams St. Since 2012 there was one other pedestrian/vehicular accident on this stretch of Washington St., which resulted in a non-incapacitating injury in 2017.

IDOT owns Washington St. which is a state operated highway as Route 34. The state widened the intersection of Washington Street at Harrison Street to four lanes in 1992

when constructing the new bridge over the Fox River. They widened the intersections at Main Street and Madison Street in 1995.

Over the years, the village and IDOT looked at a traffic signal at Washington and Main with plans drawn up. Documents indicate that in 1999 the project was canceled after petitions were signed by downtown patrons who protested what would be a loss of around 19 parking spaces.

IDOT has since denied the signal, based on the intersection not meeting prerequisites for a signal. However, in 2008, an agreement was reached to install a traffic signal at Harrison St.

Some improvements the village has installed over the years include a flashing pedestrian crossing beacon, pedestrian crossing signage in the center of the right-of-way, and  pedestrian crossing flags.

In addition to advocating for traffic signals, village officials say they will advocate to IDOT to relocate and add flashing beacons over the pavement to improve visibility to drivers and to install a high intensity cross walk that flashes a red light when a pedestrian activates it, clearly requiring vehicles to stop.

Additionally, changes to the roadway, like narrowing  lanes or adding speed tables to intersections could take years to approve and construct.

Officials say they are not recommending underpass or overpass at Washington and Main Street, due to these types of structures posing several engineering challenges.