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If you like the way the traffic signals work at Ridge Avenue and Main Street, you may find the forthcoming signal change at Ridge and Lake more to your liking.

Starting on Wednesday, April 4, left turn arrows will be added on northbound and southbound Ridge at Lake Street.

Just like at Main Street, and also at Oakton Street, northbound and southbound traffic will be allowed to flow in one direction at a time, while the other direction has to stop.

Meanwhile, eastbound and westbound traffic on Lake Street will continue to flow in both directions during its signal interval.

The city says that the change is being implemented on a trial basis and that it will take a second look next year before the change is made permanent.

The new system is being implemented in an effort to address recurring vehicle crashes and other safety concerns.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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9 Comments

  1. I look forward to continued
    I look forward to continued efforts by the city to make Ridge even slower, and make it impossible for anyone to ever leave the city. The changes to Emerson/Ridge/Green Bay are truly a model in congestion, for example.

    1. Ridge Avenue and driver safety campaign
      The city’s goal is creating a safer environment by reducing the number of crashes.

      1. Yes, but
        True enough, but it seems that any time they change something it’s not quite as thought out as it should have been.
        The Green Bay/Ridge/Emerson example is pretty much the pinnacle of taking something broken and making it dramatically worse.
        Church and Dodge is terrible. The Dodge bike lanes caused all kinds of issues that shouldn’t have been surprises…
        Traffic engineering isn’t Evanston’s strong suit no matter how good the intentions.

    2. Safety safety safety!
      Seems like as long as accident numbers are reduced, the city is happy to makes things slow and full of congestion. Safety is the #1 priority by far. While certainly that is admirable in theory, I agree it should be balanced against other impacts.

      Left turn signals actually aren’t a bad idea but I’m surprised it’s not like the lights on Davis where they go for the beginning of the light cycle, and then both directions proceed. Perhaps the left turn signal on Davis is only southbound, though…

      25mph on Ridge is ridiculous. I don’t think I’ve ever been on another 4-lane road (2 each way) in the entire country with a 25mph limit — can somebody find one? Maybe if it has ridiculous curves or is on a cliffside or something.

      1. 25MPH speed limit on 4 lane streets in Evanston.

        Both Oakton west of Hartrey and Sheridan along Northwestern University are four-lane streets with 25MPH speed limits.

  2. Best of the practical solutions

    The best solution is to make Ridge two lanes with turning lanes. If that is impractical, slower speeds and more left turn lights are improvements. As someone who lives west of Ridge, I am happy about the change.

  3. Traffic management
    Frankly to not be nice about it – the current state of traffic management in Evanston can only be described as abysmal. What’s been done on Ridge and Green Bay Roads has been some of the most poorly thought out changes to a main thoroughfare that I’ve seen in my 63 years on this planet. Driving through the intersection at Emerson has become like driving through the worlds largest pinball machine.

    The current mess has all of the characteristics common to vanity projects rammed through by city council members or nepotistic hiring practices. Perhaps we could try something new? Like hire someone competent at traffic management?

    1. Ridge/Green Bay/Emerson Intersection
      Why is traffic so often backed up on northbound Ridge and southbound Green Bay? Perhaps traffic planners could look at the relative backups on all the intersecting streets and try to make passage easier for the most crowded streets.
      For instance, the light at Green Bay changes to red just before northbound Ridge traffic gets there. Then Ridge drivers seeking to continue on Green Bay must wait thru several cycles of lights. Why not treat northbound Ridge traffic as a priority and continue the Ridge sequencing of lights all the way thru the Green Bay intersection? Is the streets department actually looking at the relative traffic volumes thru this intersection.

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