Lines of orange traffic control barrels were placed along a portion of 183rd Street in Homewood from just east of Riegel Road to east of Aberdeen Street to test the effects of reducing the street from four traffic lanes to two.
The village plans to monitor traffic patterns and congestion on 183rd Street during the two-week pilot project. Traffic on Ridge Road and 187th Street will also be monitored because they run parallel to 183rd and could pick up additional traffic as a result of the lane limits.
The test is part of a larger project to reduce speeding and make 183rd Street safer for residents who live there, for cyclists and pedestrians, and for all motorists. The “traffic diet” approach is one of several options the village is exploring.
The Homewood Public Works Department is also keeping in contact with residents to gauge reaction to the lane limitations.
Public Works Director John Schaefer said the department held two meetings with residents the last week of April to inform them about details of the plan and get feedback. He said people who attended the meetings were generally positive about the project.
“They are just glad we’re doing something, that we’re trying,” he said.
If the test is successful, the village could restripe the street change the configuration from four traffic lanes to two traffic lanes, a center turn lane and bike lanes on each side.
When the plan was unveiled at a recent village board meeting many residents who spoke or submitted written comments supported not only restructuring the lanes in the test stretch but extending it the length of the street from Halsted Street to Kedzie Avenue.
The department has also met with residents on Gottschalk Avenue in the blocks just north of 183rd Street. Another project under consideration is to either make Gottschalk one way going north from 183rd or block Gottschalk at 183rd and make it a dead end.
The village is also exploring the possibility of installing traffic lights at 183rd and Center Avenue and adding lane delineators at 183rd and Park Avenue.