New signs barring turns onto Barton Avenue southbound from Oakton Street in Evanston have neighbors steamed this weekend.

Several residents are complaining about the new signs on Alderman Ann Rainey’s 8th Ward message board, saying nobody told them the signs were coming and that they create considerable inconvenience for drivers trying to get into the neighborhood — given heavy traffic on other streets in the area.

Rainey says the signs had been requested by the Barton Neighborhood Association — which argued that through traffic was using Barton as a short cut to Ridge Avenue to avoid the light at Oakton and Ridge — and that the neighborhood group had supposedly done a survey of residents to back up the request.

Neighbors complaining now say they weren’t surveyed. Rainey says that for now the signs are just a test — the City Council hasn’t yet adopted an ordinance that would make them permanent.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. I think what’s irritating is
    I think what’s irritating is that if you’re an Oakton parent coming from the east of the school – so driving westbound on Oakton – you’re now a bit hosed. You can either turn onto ride and then turn into the school – that would be great if there’s an arrow but there isn’t. Or, you can drive to Oakton and Asbury to totally circle the area to get to the school. I understand the concern of cutting through, but as an Oakton parent I’m a bit irritated that this wasn’t mentioned at all since it really forces you to now simply take Ridge or go a totally different direction to the school.

  2. Local Traffic Only

    In case anyone who can make a difference does read this, how about a simple "Local Traffic Only" or "No Thru Traffic" sign?  Would this not actually describe what they want?

  3. No right turn on Barton

    I understand how Barton neigbors must feel – I live on Oakton and there is plenty of traffic using Oakton because it is a better deal than Howard.  Unfortunately, what this is going to cause is an even worse snarl for eastbound traffic at Oakton/Asbury.  If people are now forced to turn right onto Asbury and then go left to get into their neighborhood, we will have a lot more of a situation that already exists.  There is already a lot of traffic making a left turn onto southbound Asbury from Oakton.  Since there are large numbers of students crossing the Asbury crosswalk, anyone turning impedes all traffic behind themselves from continuing on Oakton heading to Ridge.  Until students are out of the Asbury crosswalk everyone waits in a line behind the turning driver.  The frustration level of drivers on our street is off the charts.  Morning drivers are primarily on their better behavior, but evening and weekend drivers are out of control.  Residents of this street live through horns honking, drivers shouting at other drivers, drivers passing other drivers in the parking areas at completely unsafe speeds and many other instances of road rage.  Side street residents have protections in the form of speed bumps, but our city needs to do more to help the residential sections of our artery streets.  If Oakton wasn't treated as such a great deal for drivers, they would be more likely to get to their homes/work using the streets that are closest to their destination.  Much of the traffic on Oakton that is cutting through on Barton is indeed heading to Ridge – and then on into Chicago.  Make Oakton less pass-thru friendly, and Barton's problem will be resolved at the source of the issue because Oakton Street will no longer be used by people trying to get to Chicago fast.  The biggest benefit of this will be ALL of our children because they will be safer as they head to one of the three schools or any of the multiple parks on Oakton.

  4. Other Options

    (1) Make it No left (for people driving West) or No Right for people driving East during certain hours say 8AM til 5PM.
    (2) Another option would be make it One Way North 24/7

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