A plan by Alderman Coleen Burrus to lower the speed limit on Oakton Street to 20 miles an hour went down to defeat at Monday night’s Evanston City Council meeting.

Burrus, whose 9th Ward includes much of Oakton, argued that the speed limit reduction was needed to provide safety for children attending schools along the street and to help residents who claim their walls and windows are cracking because of vibrations from cars and trucks going over rough spots on the aging pavement.

But other aldermen, including Don Wilson, 4th Ward, said a lower limit would just shift more traffic onto other streets which have similar problems problems with aging pavement and school zones.

Even a compromise proposed by Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, to only cut the current 30 mile an hour speed limit to 25 miles an hour went down to defeat on a 5-4 vote.

In addition to Burrus and Grover, the 25 mile an hour limit drew support from Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, and Ann Rainey, 8th Ward.

Related stories

Sign responds to Oakton speeding complaints

Oakton speed limit cut proposed

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Wins despite loss

    I'll be honest… as an Oakton St. resident who endeavors to be conscientious about the 20 MPH Limit – On School Days When Children Are Present… I was (and remain) not in favor of any additional speed limits…

    While my/our esteemed Alderperson, Coleen Burrus may have lost the battle… She did not lose the war!  It seems that with the installation of the new digital School Zone speed notifiers (that operate 24/7 in each direction of traffic) are successful in getting people to slow down even more at all hours of the day! So far anyway!

    With that I say – congrats Coleen!  Repectfully, Brian G. Becharas

  2. The current city council

    The current city council continues to make Evanston into a highly taxed and restrictive environment with little economic improvement.  Many proposals are raised and advanced without appropriate rationale.  I am glad the speed limit change proposals were both defeated.  At least there are 5 aldermen who can discern frivolous from necessary.

  3. Shameful that Council puts Cars Over People

    A move to 20mph (let alone a 25 mph) speed limit is a no-brainer.

    I'm really surprised that Don Wilson has such a twisted view of driver behavior as to think that people will go ten minutes out of their way just to drive 5 miles per hour faster.

    It makes absolutely no sense.

    The safer you make the streets for walking and biking, the more likely people will choose those modes of transportation.

    Bringing down the speed limit to a more sensible level is one way to achieve safety.

    Plus there are no downsides.  Most transportation studies of similar shifts show that with traffic light calibration, there is no impact on congestion.

    The city claims to want to encourage "multi-modal" mobility.  But when it comes to actually implementing policies that make that possible they fail miserably. 

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *