City Plan to Realign U.S. 231 / Joliet

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City Plan to Realign U.S. 231 / Joliet

Postby Big Dog » Sat Feb 26, 2005 3:53 pm

In an effort to redirect trucks and traffic off of the square the city is proposing demolishing Bank One on Court Street and redirecting 231 / Joliet Street through where Bank One is currently located and connecting to 231 farther to the west. The city has requested $3,500,000 on the next federal highway bill to pay for the project. Some plans illustrating this idea are located here.
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Postby $$gmoney$$ » Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:06 pm


Thanks to Arclight for the picture taken on 3/15/2004 of the milk truck accident on the square.

As a person who spends a lot of time around the downtown square, I can tell you that there are safety issues that need to be addressed on the square. As a pedestrian on the square I can tell you that even when being alert and obeying the traffic signals, I have frequent close calls with traffic. Fortunately I am quick on my feet and have avoided getting run over. The problem is that a lot of the people who drive through the square are not used to driving in a more urban environment where there are pedestrian walks where pedestrians have the right of way. If the light is green they fly through the intersection not really paying attention to the pedestrians crossing the street. It is not uncommon for people to drive through the square like they are in a NASCAR race even with children in the crosswalk.

Another problem is that about 50% of the semi trucks making a right turn in front of Fiesta Mexico drive up on to the sidewalk when making the turns. It is not uncommon to have trucks encroach onto the sidewalk by several feet. The trucks also have to cross multiple lanes of traffic when navigating some of the tight turns. The problem is exasperated when traffic on the square is heavy giving the trucks less room to maneuver.

One of the problems is the fact that southbound traffic on Main Street has to go around the square in order to continue south on Main Street. With the explosive growth south of town this problem will only increase in time. The solution ultimately will involve making the traffic 2 way on Main Street again. The problem with this solution is that it is going to give less room for the semis westbound on 231 making a right hand turn onto Main Street will have a similar problem like they have by Fiesta Mexico. One solution is to have 231 traffic drive through Bank One as the mayor has proposed avoiding driving around the square but I believe other options need to be explored. It is my understanding that an alternative truck route was explored but was dismissed due to the fact that the trucks would be driving by an elementary school.

The milk truck picture illustrates the danger of having semi trucks drive around the square. I was told a young inexperienced driver coming off of a long shift caused the accident. I don?t think that the milk truck incident or the traffic problems is evidence that we need to spend $3,500,000+, demolish 50% of the west side of the square, and wipe out a ton of parking to solve. If it comes to tearing Bank One down it appears to me that the adjoining historical building will not need to be torn down as it would not be in the path of the 231 extension.

I don?t think that simply telling people to drive nice or posting a cop on the square issuing tickets is the solution. Sticking our heads in the sand will not solve this problem either. I don?t pretend to have all the answers but I can tell you that if something is not done it is just a matter of time before someone, perhaps a child, is killed or injured around the square.

The bottom line is that I think it is a problem that needs to be solved. I am not convinced however that we are ready to start tearing down buildings. I don't think all of the solutions have yet been fully explored. I think the mayor is jumping the gun because he wants to do something to justify the expense of the Lakota plan.
$$ The smart money listens to the money man. $$
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Postby -={ARCLIGHT}=- » Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:24 pm

$$gmoney$$ wrote:Image

Thanks to Arclight for the picture taken on 3/15/2004 of the milk truck accident on the square.

Thanks for hosting the pic, some of the prudes on the times board have there panties in a twist because of the image host I used.
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Postby Up All Night » Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:58 pm

Nice post $money man$. I remember the milk truck incident. I do think that it was a freak accident and does not necessarly mean that we need to start tearing down historical buildings either.

I also think that if 231 is straightened out that it will encourage trucks to fly through the square which is a very bad and dangerous idea.
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Problem with 231 traffic on the square

Postby dmorton76 » Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:50 pm

while its probably too late, due to the lay out of crown point, has anyone ever considered a bypass to the square? When I was on college in Macomb IL, one of the convient things they had was a bypass to the whole square. You didnt have to go through the square at all to go through town. I have included a link to a map. Look at the blue line running east and west. you will notice that it goes up and around several blocks bypassing the square. In Macomb the Semis, trucks, and car traffic as well would use this to avoid driving and navigating the square (worrying about cars pulling out of parking spaces, etc).
just a thought..
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