A plan from Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, to cut the speed limit on Oakton Street between Dodge and Ridge avenues to 20 miles an hour is running into objections from city staff.

The City Council is scheduled tonight to review a proposed ordinance that would make the change Burrus wants, but a staff memo suggests making other changes — including targeted police enforcement of current speed limits and setting up lighted speed display monitors along the road several times a year.

Chute Middle School and Oakton Elementary School are on that stretch of Oakton and existing school speed limit signs restrict speeds to 20 miles in hour near the schools when children are present.

City staff also removed 30 mile an hour signs in between the school speed limit signs to expand the school speed limit to the entire length of Oakton between Dodge and Ridge.

The city currently has 20 mile an hour speed limit signs posted around Evanston Township High School on Church Street and Dodge Avenue, but neighbors frequently complain that those limits are routinely violated.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. 20 MPH 24/7 ?

    There are several good reasons that replacing the school zone speed limit signs with permanent 24/7 20 MPH signs. School zone speed limits signs are only in effect when children are present from 7 am – 4 pm, Monday – Friday.

    – People who are ticketed for speeding will fall under a regular speeding fine rather than a major school zone speeding fine ($250).

    – If you think the traffic backup on Oakton St. is bad at 30 MPH, try to imagine how much worse it will be at 20 MPH. You will be creating a lot of angry drivers who be making angry residents when they lay on their horns.

    – To avoid the larger backups and the 20 MPH 24/7 speed limits, more cars will duck down the side streets to get places faster at 25 MPH. This will increase the chance of a bad accident.

    – If cars speed in the 30 MPH zones, they would be more likely to speed in the 20 MPH zones. Speeding is best reduced by increasing enforcement.

    – If this is the right thing to do on Oakton St., it should be the right thing to do for all the schools in Evanston. It is my understanding that this is being brought up for a vote because a handful of residents in the area think that this way to handle the speeding issue. I have not seen anything to show that a majority of the residents think this is a good idea.

    I can not think of a good reason to exchange the current school zone signs 20 MPH signs. I would love to hear a logical reason for doing this.

  2. Oakton speed limit cut proposed

    I'm with Skip on this one…  I live on Oakton and besides the excellent reasons stated above, why should a street that is already crawling most of the time have a special lower limit?

    Please just enforce the current laws limiting speed in a school zone to 20 mph when children are present.

    Respectfully submitted, Brian G. Becharas

  3. Why not put speed bumps on

    Why not put speed bumps on all the major streets in Evanston?  Begin by determining which aldermen have speed bumps on their streets, hence sending traffic away from their precious places and to somewhere else where the cars can go faster.

    We need speed bumps on Chicago Avenue.  Betcha Melissa Wynne has speed bumps on her street and might oppose the need for lower speeds on Chicago because that could send more traffic onto her block.  Perhaps Coleen Burrus is similarly advantaged.  So much of the traffic control efforts serve as ways to get traffic off my street (and onto yours).  No wonder people on Oakton feel precious and in need of special treatment.  Give 'em what the aldermen have.

    1. Speed Bumps on Chicago Ave

      @ Anon… 

      Whatta ya mean put speed bumps on Chicago Ave?  There already are (at least three on the 800 block and more as one drives North on Chicago Ave).  These appear to be natural "buckling formations" that have yet to be serviced with equipment the City owns but seems to use very sparingly.

      I'm wondering what the "Traffic Guy" at the RoundTable thinks.

      I'm just say'in…

      Brian G. Becharas

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