Homewood Resident Petitions for 187th Street Stop Sign

The village is reviewing a Homewood resident's petition to install a stop sign at the intersection of 187th Street and Ashland Avenue.

Homewood resident James Bolden is sick and tired of cars speeding past his 187th Street home. That’s why he presented the village board with a petition to install a stop sign at the intersection of 187th Street and Ashland Avenue during the Nov. 27 business meeting. 

“There’s been several accidents,” Bolden said. “My neighbor got hit twice, pulling out of his driveway. My wife got hit once. Four weeks ago we had an accident on Ashland Avenue and 187th.”

Bolden says he frequently witnesses school busses and cars speeding down the road in excess of 45 miles per hour.

Police Chief Larry Burnson acknowledged the road is particularly problematic.

“It’s a natural throughway between Glenwood, Chicago Heights and the Flossmoor area,” Burnson said. “It has a very low speed limit for a street that’s a feeder route.”

Terrace Ave., a street south of Bolden’s home, has two stop signs despite significantly reduced traffic, Burnson added.

Bolden says he called police about the matter, but a more dependable solution is necessary.

“I understand (the police) cannot patrol this road all night, all day,” Bolden said. “They have other things to do …”  

Chief Burnson said police do frequently patrol the area with radar but, as Bolden mentioned, 24-hour enforcement is impossible. 

Village Manager Jim Marino will be looking into the issue, Mayor Richard Hofeld told Bolden.

HBR December 06, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I have lived on the corner of 183rd & Center for almost 10 years and you wouldn't believe the number of nasty accidents that have happened here (maybe 40?) I can't even count the various pieces of village property (including the landscape on my parkway) that have had to been replaced. The bus stop sign, the Rover's Run sign, the stop signs that are north and south bound, people's front porches, and the shrubbery along residents parkways that have all been damaged numerous times. They said that we will never get a stop sign here. That there weren't 'enough accidents' to get one. So I highly doubt 187th and Ashland will get the ok if 183rd hasn't. It's a shame.
Joel December 06, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I avoid center street and take a side street to avoid making a left turn there. Center is not perfectly straight and is very dangerous.
Dave Dougherty December 06, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I agree with Mr. Bolden, Ms. Beck and Joel. I have lived in Homewood most of my life and those spots have been issues for years. I would like to see a light at 187th and Center. This intersection has children crossing to school and Patriot's Park, I have seen so many people roll through or just blow the stop signs, its scary. I usually expect people to blow the sign when I travel that way. Most students of Millennium and James Hart, who live south of 187th and Center in the Churchill area have to walk because they are less than 1.5 miles to the school. My house is 1.475 miles from the school, so my student does not get the free transportation. I was told since there are crossing guards at 187th and Center, it is not deemed a dangerous intersection, yet usually these guards are there for the Churchill time not the Millennium or Hart time so many parents opt to drive their students, me too, which most people see, causes more traffic at Millennium/Hart intersections. And now we want the kids to ride their bikes more (all the new bike racks installed recently)...which would be good if I trusted the drivers to obey signs and the kids to obey the rules of the road too.
Terri Riley December 06, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Just hope if they do put a stop sign they make it a 4 way stop. They put up a stop sign on May St and 185th and they only have it on May and not 185th, it is very hard to see both ways before going, a 4 way stop would of been better, makes no sense.
James December 06, 2012 at 06:01 PM
183rd & Center is such a dangerous intersection. We always go to Aberdeen to catch the light when turning onto 183rd. Yet when we drive by the intersection a minute later we constantly think people are going to barrel through and hit us because there is no traffic signs there. I would perhaps even suggest a traffic light instead of a STOP sign, but let's see how a STOP sign works first. It is only a matter of time before a tragic accident happens there. Please don't make that be the catalyst for a change the town needs.
DJ Morgan December 06, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Enforcement is really the key, we could put stop signs on every corner in the village and still not solve the core issue.
Mr. Jack December 07, 2012 at 05:05 AM
James, you are so correct. It always takes a terrible accident before anything happens. Most public officials don't listen, or care enough, or cannot see forward enough, or just hear "blah, blah, blah" from their 'public' and especially the ones who live at a a major intersection and see stuff happen every day. They think we are exaggerating, blowing things out of proportion, etc. Then, 'shockingly,' (to them) someone is killed and we look back and say, 'See, we told ya so,' but it's always just too late. Always...and nothing changes...
Jim Gannon December 07, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Good points made by all. I recall the issue of the traffic signal at 187th & Center being rejected by the local residents who did not want the red, yellow and green lights cycling into their homes. The traffic signal at 183rd & Aberdeen was installed to provide safe crossing for students at James Hart, patrons visiting the tennis courts, baseball fields and Lions Club Pool. A traffic signal at 183rd & Center would be an improvement for traffic flow and safety, but it would involve roadway improvements and a huge price tag. The speeding issue on 187th (25MPH Zone) has forever been an issue. Radar enforcement works. However, the judicial system has taken a dim approach to enforcing a conviction for a vehicle going 30mph in a 25mph zone. Be careful and be safe in your travels.
BlackHawks Fan December 07, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I would like to see the village do a study on the cost of moving the traffic light from Aberdeen to Center on 183rd St. I agree with many that is a very dangerous intersection. The school kids could easily cross at Center with crossing guards; as far as Lions Club most people take Center to Ridge to get there as well as to get to Izaak Walton Preserve.
BlackHawks Fan December 07, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Mr. Gannon ~ It seems to me that if the village can allocate $135,000 to possible bring a casino to Homewood; I would think they could afford the moving of that traffic light for the safety of our citizens. I would also think that they could get IDOT involved with the cost of moving it as well.
terry norris December 07, 2012 at 04:37 PM
I like the idea of a four way stop at Ashland. Westbound traffic is not real bad, but Eastbound is a different story. If there is a green light at Riegel, it seems some people are afraid it may turn red and tend to speed up. With so many children, runners and bicyclists in the area, slowing traffic makes sense.
BlackHawks Fan December 07, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Opps~ Possible should of been possibly!!!
Jim Gannon December 07, 2012 at 07:33 PM
BHF, you focus on some good ideas, but I believe you need to be a bit more informed on the cost of moving a traffic signal. In my opinoin the signal at 183rd & Aberdeen is there to stay. I really don't know what the estimated cost is for installation of a traffic signal, but I do know it is several hundreds of thousands of dollars. I know you are asking approval from the village, but you need IDOT approval first. Remember, Illinois has some budget issues. I don't disagree with your intensions, but you need to understand the budgeting and approval process of a roadway project.
BlackHawks Fan December 07, 2012 at 08:11 PM
I never said I was asking approval from the village I was suggesting they do a study on the cost of moving it. I do understand that Illinois has budget issues and so does Homewood, but with that said if we can find the money to allocate over $135,000 of the taxpayers money for gambling I am sure there is a way to find money to allocate for a study to find out how much it will cost and who would need to pay for it. Without doing to much research your numbers for that project are probably pretty close.
HBR December 08, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I believe they said there weren't enough deaths. I think that is what it boils down to. Not 48 hours after this post, as I type this, there is an accident being cleaned up in front of my house. It's tiresome. And this is a very busy street that is crawling with children on foot and on bikes. I just can't believe that with the taxes we pay it can't go to bettering the safety of motorists and pedestrians. I also think this has to all be approved by the DOT. Look how fast they move considering that eyesore of a mess on the corner of Harwood and Dixie/viaduct in front of the Cancer Support Center that has been there for three years now.
BlackHawks Fan December 08, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Heather ~ I also saw the accident this morning and was planning on posting it here, but you beat me to it. Maybe if we post every accident that happens there more people will jump on board and hopefully the village will do something before it becomes tragic.
DJ Morgan December 09, 2012 at 12:55 AM
An ongoing map of accidents in the village would be an wonderful idea. Both as a tool for planning future stop signs, etc and a service to help motorist right now know where to exercise more caution!
Steve Buchtel December 09, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Stop signs are often precursors to terrible accidents, as are traffic lights. The safety argument for a stop sign isn't in your favor. They create the expectation that people will slow and stop - drivers, cyclists, pedestrians all have this expectation...and it doesn't always match up with reality. A call for stop signs is a proxy for a poorly designed street. 187th is wide and straight, a boon to drivers connecting to Halsted but a price on every one who actually lives and raises a family on it. Traffic studies show a strong correlation between lane width and speed. Try this 187ers - borrow a radar gun for two Saturdays. Measure speeds one Saturday. Next Saturday, park all your cars curbside, from Dixie to Halsted. Measure speeds again. You'll see a big drop. Make that your starting point in discussions with the Village on how to create a lasting, positive change to road user safety and your quality of life.
BlackHawks Fan December 09, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I take it you mean Highland and Ridge Rd.
Tobias Cichon December 09, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I live a few doors down from Center and 187th. My experience has been that no one ever blows that stop sign. I go through that intersection four to eight times a day and I would not want the traffic impact that a stoplight brings. While the next best thing might be a flashing red light, residents don't want a flashing red light outside their houses either. There are even "Stop Ahead" signs which seem to do the trick fabulously. As well, the street is so persistently trafficked that everyone can see someone else stopping at the intersection before they get near it. So, what data is there to suggest that this intersection is indeed dangerous enough to require a stoplight?
Tobias Cichon December 09, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Wait... open and accessible public data?! ... is Homewood into that kind of thing?
Tobias Cichon December 09, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Here's the problem - we need an efficient and fast thoroughfare. 187th is 25 mph, and 183rd is 30 mph. If we could raise 183rd to 35 mph and add a stop sign, then we'd be in good shape.
BlackHawks Fan December 09, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Tobias ~ Why do you want a faster thoroughfare? Most drivers drive 5 over the speed limit or faster on 183rd and 187th now, if the the speed limit is raised it will only increase accidents. The sidewalks are too close to the streets and pedestrians and bike riders will surely pay the price. As far as the stop sign on 187th and Center I also drive through there many times a day and have often seen drivers fly right through that stop sign and not just on 187th either. With that said a traffic light there probably wouldn't be a good idea.
D Wilson December 10, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Thank you for noticing my error. Here is the correction of my earlier post: " I'll throw in the need for a 4 way stop by the Irwin Center on Highland and Ridge. Due to visibility problems caused by the line of parked cars on the south side of Ridge by the Irwin Center, exiting from Highland (headed north) is extremely dangerous because the approaching Eastbound traffic cannot be seen at a safe distance. To make matters worse Eastbound traffic on Ridge is accelerating as the cars leave the light at Dixie. No need to wait for a fatality before at least considering the installation of a four-way stop at this dangerous intersection. Every event/concert at the Irwin Center fills the available parking on Ridge causing northbound Highland drivers to “nose” out into Ridge to see around those parked cars. I believe correcting dangerous intersections in Homewood should be a higher priority than, say, a new expensive sign for City Hall."
Heidi P. January 02, 2013 at 02:57 PM
I've lived in Homewood my entire life, going on forty years this June. Our roads have become more dangerous over the years, and they are continuing to worsen. We have school buses, carrying our precious cargo in some of the more dangerous hotspots. The damage to property is bad enough, but could you imagine the horror if there were fatalities of our most innocent. Just thinking about it upsets me. It should upset anyone. Our village needs to do something


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