Safety in the downtown area of Oswego was a focus Wednesday.

When he drives down Washington Street in Oswego, resident Dick Davis has this description.

That’s why the Oswego Village Board has approved a $94,000 study of downtown Washington Street, also known as state highway 34.  The first phase was an open house for residents to comment.  Residents had arrived early and within a half-hour nearly 50 people had attended.

Part of the study reveals that 17,900 vehicles travel the route daily, the July 2019 total for both directions.  Statistics show 127 total crashes over a five-year period (2013-2017) between Route 31 and Madison Street. Fifty-three percent were rear end collisions, 22 crashes turning left, 14 attributed to angles, and 10 sideswipes.  

During peak pedestrian hours, 35 people were shown crossing at Washington and Main streets and 25 crossing at Harrison and Washington. Resident Ted Clauser and his wife have tried to cross Washington Street.

The village sought citizens comments, including tagging a downtown map with suggestions. Clauser had these ideas.

Clauser’s rerouting and speed tables-bumps  solutions, both previously discussed at Oswego Village Board meetings, would have high future maintenance costs and Illinois Department of Transportation restrictions. The village does not want to own the current Route 34 bridge in any switch.

Oswego Public Works Director Jennifer Hughes talked about the study completed by the firm of Burke Engineering of Rosemont.

Three new development projects, including the massive Reserve at Hudson Crossing impact the future road design and is a reason for the study.

During peak hours, Route 31 southbound is jammed with vehicles back to Mill Road.

Four steps are part of the study. Currently, the village is at the data collection phase, which will be followed by purpose and need, identify alternatives, and a preferred alternative. The study explores short and long term solutions to allow residents to enjoy downtown Oswego in a safe and efficient manner.

Residents who were unable to attend  the open house but would like to provide the comments may email their thoughts to info@oswegoil.org