The speed limits around Homewood-Flossmoor High School have dropped to 20 miles per hour on school days when students are present.
But it doesn’t seem drivers have noticed.
Drivers are speeding down Governors Highway at the posted 45 mph speed, and 40 mph on Kedzie Avenue. Flossmoor Police Chief Jerel Jones told the Chronicle that the school zone change now puts the H-F area on the same system as the other schools in the village. The new speeds will be “strategically enforced,” he said.
District 233 Superintendent Scott Wakeley instigated for a change. In spring he asked the village about slowing traffic on Governors Highway. H-F’s school day is 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, although that can vary with late start days and students coming early or staying late for academic and sports programs.
There is a stop light from the H-F campus onto Kedzie Avenue, but none on the east side of campus.
“The original conversation centered on wanting a stop light at the entrance to the school on Governors Highway. The practicality of making that happen, including the timeline to get through the process and finances, led the conversation to a solution that could be completed more quickly,” said Carla Erdey, communications director for H-F.
Governors Highway and Kedzie Avenue are both state roads, so Flossmoor Public Works Department contacted the Illinois Department of Transportation asking a representative to take a look at the situation around the high school. John Brunke, director of public works, said the state reviewed and approved a school zone designation.
Just before school started in August, IDOT installed a variety of florescent green signs for the 20 mph speed, notice of a school zone and student crossing intersections. The signs are placed at certain perimeters around the campus following regulations spelled out in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Brunke said. The manual is published by the Federal Highway Administration and is used across the country.
A new section of sidewalk on the west side of Governors Highway was laid as part of Flossmoor’s sidewalk replacement program, Brunke said.
“HF is thrilled and appreciative of our partnership with the village, including their support in making this happen for the safety of our students and staff,” Wakeley said.