The Flossmoor Village Board has taken significant steps to address traffic safety concerns near Heather Hill Elementary by approving the installation of a stop sign equipped with flashing lights at the intersection of Lawrence and Scott Crescent.
The decision comes after an analysis conducted by engineering firm Baxter & Woodman and a proposal presented by Flossmoor Chief Police Jerel Jones during the Monday, July 18, board meeting.
Earlier this spring, Sandy Byron, a long-time Flossmoor resident at Lawrence Crescent and school crossing guard, brought the need for improved safety measures at the intersection to the board’s attention. Byron’s concern has brought attention to the potential dangers caused by both speeding and busy drop-off and pick-up times.
“This is a great example of everyone in the community getting involved to make something happen. I had the opportunity to stand out with Sandy a couple of mornings. She cares about those kids immensely,” Trustee Gary Daggett said. “Her only concern was for the kids.”
In May 2023, Baxter & Woodman conducted a thorough stop control analysis of the intersection in response to the situation. An earlier study showed the corner had only experienced two traffic crashes in the past decade, but it lacked appropriate stop or yield control signage.
Lawrence Crescent, the main street at the intersection, sees a significant change in direction as it shifts from an east/westbound route to a southbound one. Notably, the east approach shows the highest traffic volume, with approximately 296 vehicles passing daily.
The analysis observed that the intersection is next to Heather Hill Elementary School. The posted speeds range from 20 mph to 25 mph depending on the time of day, with a designated school zone with a speed limit of 20 mph during school hours. According to recent data, an estimated 1,205 pedestrians and vehicles traverse the intersection daily, with the highest volume of traffic observed after school dismissal.
In light of the findings, Jones has put forth measures to bolster safety within the school zone:
- Updated crosswalk signage will be implemented.
- A stop sign and flashing lights will improve pedestrian visibility.
- The west sidewalk ramp at the southeast corner will be removed due to its lack of connection to a crosswalk.
- An increase in law enforcement presence to address speeding and ensure compliance with traffic regulations.
Jones emphasized the crucial nature of these recommendations. He stressed their role in efficiently handling pedestrian and vehicular traffic while prioritizing the safety of all individuals on the road, especially in the vicinity of a school zone.
During his presentation, Jones explained that the increased signage, stop sign and lights would not prevent speeding but would increase the safety of drivers and pedestrians.
According to the memo, the installation process is scheduled to be finished before the fall school year starts Aug. 17.
“This project will be done before school begins in August. Some of the signage has already come in, and we are in the process of scheduling those installs,” Jones said.
The village has announced plans to collaborate with the School District 161 and Heather Hill school administration to ensure that news of these changes is included in their e-newsletters for parents.
“I wanna give a shout-out to Sandy Byron. She is a school crossing guard over at Heather Hill, so I appreciate her bringing her concerns to us,” commented Mayor Michelle Nelson. “We are thrilled to increase signage and make those areas safer.”