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Oswego

Traffic signals coming to downtown Oswego? Public meeting set for Sept. 18

Traffic speeds through the intersection of Route 34 (Washington Street) at Main Street in downtown Oswego.
Traffic speeds through the intersection of Route 34 (Washington Street) at Main Street in downtown Oswego.

The village of Oswego will host a public meeting in September to address safety concerns for pedestrians at the intersections of Washington Street (Route 34) and Main Street, and Washington Street and Harrison Street in the village's downtown.

Village Administrator Daniel DiSanto announced the pending meeting Monday, Aug. 12, during a legislative forum hosted by the Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce at the Oswego Public Library District's Montgomery Campus Library in Montgomery.

DiSanto said the public meeting on downtown pedestrian safety will be held from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m., Sept. 18 at Oswego Village Hall, 100 Parkers Mill.

During the meeting, DiSanto said village officials expect to display preliminary engineering plans showing the installation of traffic signals on Washington Street at the Main and Harrison street intersections.

DiSanto told the forum audience the village board previously voted to hire Christopher B. Burke Engineering LTD to conduct a study to determine the need and impact of installing traffic signals at the two intersections. The Illinois Department of Transportation, he said, is open to installing signals, as long as the village can show support from the downtown businesses. IDOT owns and maintains Route 34 through the village's downtown.

Referring to the possibility that signals may be installed at the two intersections, DiSanto said, "The downside is it would slow traffic down, so if you're a driver it's going to be slower to get through those intersections. But the good news is, it slows traffic down, so you can actually cross the street with a protected red light."

IDOT widened the highway from two to four lanes through the downtown area in 1995.

Concern for public safety at the two intersections has increased over the past several months following several accidents between pedestrians and vehicles. Most recently, an Oswego Police Department Community Safety Officer was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Main and Washington street while conducting traffic during an event last month.

In October 2018, a 79-year-old Oswego resident was struck and killed by a motorist while attempting to cross Washington Street outside of a crosswalk.

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