Last spring, District 99 began working collaboratively with the Village of Downers Grove to review pedestrian safety on the roadways surrounding our schools. To help us, we engaged a pedestrian safety consultant. The consultant is gathering detailed information about our current environment (such as vehicle speeds, crashes, near misses, videos, etc.), and is developing suggested solutions to improve safety.
Working together, we have already identified and worked with the Village to implement the following changes (click here to see a video):
- Reducing the speed limit on Main Street to 25 mph from Ogden to south of North High. In addition, a School Zone speed limit of 20 mph was established from Ogden Avenue to Lincoln Street, directly in front of North High.
- Increasing signage and speed feedback signs.
- Installing large digital signs on 63rd Street at South High and Main Street at North High, reminding drivers that school is back in session and to watch for pedestrians.
- Installing safety reminder stickers on sidewalks to remind pedestrians to look up and be aware near crosswalks.
These changes represent just the start of our work. Community input is critical to identifying and addressing other needs, generating conversations and developing solutions.
- An interactive map was open from August 16 to September 15, and allowed community members to document questions or concerns about specific intersections and areas.
- On Thursday, September 5, a Community Pedestrian Safety Forum was held. We provided an update of what’s been done so far and provide feedback about your experiences and safety suggestions. (Click here to see a video.)
After we complete the research and review feedback, the consultant will release a plan for moving forward in November. A community presentation will be held on Thursday, November 14 at 7 p.m. at North HIgh.
As this work unfolds, please continue to maintain safe speeds around our schools, drop off students in designated areas only, and give pedestrians the right-of-way. Please keep key safety points to keep in mind and share them with your student:
Thank you for your support and assistance in making our schools as safe as possible for our students,
Dr. Hank Thiele
District 99 Superintendent