The Mount Prospect village board has agreed to spend up to $38,000 on a Central Road Pedestrian Crossing Study in the wake of controversy after 55-year-old Joni Beaudry of Mount Prospect was struck and killed last year by an SUV in a recently opened crossing at Central and Weller Lane.
The study will be conducted by the Ciorba Group, which helped design the Central and Weller crossing.
Public Works Director Sean Dorsey said the study will examine a three-mile stretch of Central Road, which contains 10 signalized intersections, four uncontrolled marked crosswalks and numerous unmarked crossings with sidewalk ramps at intersections.
He said the primary goals are to evaluate existing and potentially new pedestrian and bicycle crossings and to develop a plan that enhances safety and consistency.
The study will provide a review of crash reports involving pedestrians and bicyclists provided by the village; a study to see if a traffic signal is warranted at Central Road and Emerson Street; a review of a conceptual pedestrian crossing plan for the Central Road, Northwest Highway and Prospect Avenue intersection created by the village; a review of school speed limit zones along the corridor; and preliminary cost estimates for new and modified pedestrian/bicycle crossings.
"Obviously this is an important issue," Trustee John Matuszak said. "Not only because of the accident, but just because people need to get around in a safe manner."
Mayor Arlene Juracek agreed, saying, "We have got long stretches where pedestrians can't cross Central Road safely."
Dorsey said Ciorba Group's past work means "they are familiar with the outcomes and the improvements that we have made. They are familiar with the roadway and the implications. The residential access. The traffic signals. The train interrupts. The volume of traffic. The speed. The schools."
He said a joint task force that includes Illinois Department of Transportation and federal officials will conduct a safety inspection of the Central and Weller crossing before the end of the month and make recommendations for improvement.
Improvements won't necessarily be expensive, Dorsey said. "We're looking for things that we can implement consistently through the corridor. We're looking at the start of a toolbox. So I don't expect that there are going to be pie-in-the-sky solutions."