Seeking city’s help slowing speeders

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Neighbors on the northwest side of town are fighting to put a stop to speeders. They’re doing this after saying they’ve seen too much damage done and too many close calls.

Day after day, night after night, residents in Cobblestone Way say the problem with speeders needs to come to a complete stop.

“We need to change the behavior of speeders.”

Cathy Bergfeld went door-to-door with that mission in mind and petition in hand.

“If we can get people to drive the speed limit, then we can prevent the sideswipes on Boulder Ridge.”

70 signatures later, she took the matter to the city. Now, city leaders are taking action, but it’s not the one neighbors were hoping for.

“The city says they’re putting in pedestrian crosswalk signs back there, but what neighbors say they wanted was a stop sign right here so it would make this intersection a four-way stop.”

“People tend to speed as they come around the curve and speed up once they get past it.”

An informal stakeout saw at least five cars come around the bend fast, then slow down when they saw the cameras. Police said drivers were probably reacting to the cameras as if they were a stop sign.

“We write a lot of stop sign tickets. Just because someone has a sign, doesn’t meant they’re going to stop. So, the signs aren’t always going to fix it. They might help slow people down. They may call their attention to a few things, but really, it’s just going to taken an effort. It’s going to be an education effort.”

Bergfeld says education and awareness are exactly what she and 69 other neighbors were going for.

“The main reason why we’re concerned is that there’s going to be an accident and there may be a pedestrian injury. As a retired emergency medical technician, I am very concerned about prevention. This is a public safety issue.”

Anyone with a problem in his or her neighborhood is encouraged to call for help. A traffic study and police patrols can be done, but they say raising awareness in one’s own community can also be a big help for situations like this.

Public works leaders say, the pedestrian crosswalk was installed instead of a stop sign because, according to City Council Code, 4-way stops can be put up when certain conditions are met:

  • 3 crashes reported within a year
  • an average of 225 vehicles coming through during any 8-hour period

For this intersection, three crashes were reported in a 5-year period and there are fewer than 100 vehicles in an hour on average.

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