Local News

Homewood trustees approve traffic study of 183rd Street

Officials in Homewood are taking steps to make a contentious road safer for drivers and residents, approving a traffic study of 183rd Street at the Feb. 9 village board meeting.

“This is something that is obviously needed,” Trustee Barbara Dawkins said. “It is addressing the concerns of a lot of our residents that not only live on 183rd but in and around that area. That can be a pretty dangerous stretch.”

Homewood sent a request for proposal to seven firms, narrowing to three before eventually choosing Burns and McDonnell of Kansas City. It will cost the village $136,550. 

The firm will analyze the portion of the road between Dixie Highway and Halsted Street. Mayor Richard Hofeld asked Public Works Director John Schaefer to talk to Burns and McDonnell about extending the study four blocks farther to Harwood Avenue. 

The study will include traffic counts and future projections at the intersections of 183rd Street and Dixie Highway, Riegel Road, Center Avenue, Aberdeen Street and Halsted Street at 13 different hours of the day. An analysis of crashes and recommended safety measures to be taken will be part of the study, as well, including potential issues with utilities in the area.

Residents have expressed concern about speeding drivers on the road since a fatal crash in July.

Homewood resident Lindsey Anderson was charged last month after his Porsche collided with a car driven by 19-year-old Dominique Wood of Merrillville, Indiana, on the 1200 block of 183rd Street. The Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team determined Anderson was going 66 mph — more than twice the speed limit of 30 mph.

Wood died from his injuries.

Police Chief Bill Alcott said the department has made 1,124 traffic stops on 183rd Street since the crash, including 326 on cars coming from side streets.

“These were all directed patrol, assigned for traffic patrol outside of regular duty. We’ve been assigning somebody every shift,” Alcott said. “We’re out there every day. We’re writing tickets or warnings.”

Alcott said the majority of the speeders are not from the area. The perception is often that because the road has four lanes, it’s more than a residential street. 

“We’re doing the best we can out there,” Alcott said. “That perception really does hurt us because it’s such a wide street. We’ll continue to radar traffic control on a regular basis there.” 

He said out of more than 300 tickets issued, only two were for traveling 25 to 34 mph over the speed limit. Two others were for 35 mph over. The department is looking into acquiring a speed display trailer, Alcott said.

“It seems like no matter how much traffic enforcement the police department does, it doesn’t slow people down,” said Trustee Larry Burnson, a former police chief. “People know about the accidents that have occurred there, including fatalities, but they still choose to go 50 miles (per hour) up and down that road. Hopefully this will solve some of the problems.” 

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