Council Gives the Green Light to Stop Signs
Council overrides majority report, saying additional stop signs are necessary.
Elmhurst City Council voted Monday to recommend four-way stop signs at Mitchell and McKinley avenues, overriding the Public Affairs and Safety Committee's majority recommendation that states two stop signs are sufficient.
New traffic control signs at this southwest side intersection go against staff and consultant reports and city guidelines, but satisfy the requests of many area residents.
This is the second time the issue of installing four stop signs at this corner, which now has two signs, has appeared before the council.
The 8-5 vote was preceded by heated discussion about whether the city's traffic control manual acted as a policy council members have to follow or a guideline they only need to consider. Committee Chairman Patrick Wagner led the charge for the minority report that recommended four-way stop signs, citing speeding and the lack of traffic control for the five-block stretch along Mitchell from Madison to Vallette streets.
Wagner said modern subdivisions should never be constructed with uncontrolled blocks-long stretches.
Mitchell Avenue resident Ann Frolik told the council vehicles use the intersection as a cut-through from York to Spring roads, and that the street configuration in her neighborhood made their situation unique.
But a few aldermen said allowing the signs at the intersection would set a precedent for the rest of the city, especially since Elmhurst staff and an outside consultant determined the streets met none of the criteria for a four-way stop sign. The majority report states “there are no sight restrictions and low accident history at this intersection” and that “no defined speeding issues were found.”
“It is a fact that stop signs do not slow traffic,” said 1st Ward Alderman Paula Pezza who, along with and 3rd Ward Alderman Michael Bram, authored the committee's majority report. They joined aldermen Diane Gutenkauf, Scott Levin and Mark Mulliner in voting against recommending the signs.
After the vote, Mayor Pete DiCianni reminded the council he vowed to deal with problem intersections when he was elected and commended them for taking a “new look” at traffic policy.