The village of Riverside has implemented a number of traffic-calming measures – including the installation of new stop signs and pavement striping – in response to a village-wide traffic survey completed last year.

The measures were approved earlier in 2018, but officials waited to implement them in order to coordinate the work with other street improvement projects this summer.

“This is just a start. There will be other ones in the next year,” said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, who was part of a committee, including Fire Chief Matthew Buckley and Public Works Director Edward Bailey, which made the traffic-calming recommendations back in March.

Among the more noticeable changes include new stop signs, including one which already has been installed on southbound Riverside Road at Burling Road. The complicated T-intersection previously allowed southbound traffic to continue along Riverside Road, which curves in front of the Riverside Township Hall.

While it wasn’t a location where there were great numbers of vehicular crashes, said Weitzel, for pedestrians, it was dangerous.

“There were a lot of near misses, especially with pedestrians,” Weitzel said. “This is really a pedestrian improvement.”

Weitzel said that he’s received some feedback that the stop sign needed to be more visible, so in addition to orange flags on the sign, a red reflective stripe has been added to the pole. A message board warning of the new stop sign has been located further north on Riverside Road to give motorists early warning and public works is trimming a tree near the sign to provide more visibility.

“People just want it to be more noticeable,” Weitzel said.

New stop signs have also been installed on northbound and southbound Longcommon Road at Addison Road and at northbound and southbound Nuttall Road at Bartram Road, along with high-visibility crosswalks.

Still to be installed are new stop signs at the T-intersection at Downing and Evelyn roads, and near Ames School at the difficult X-intersection in the northeast corner of the village where Bartram and Nuttall roads meet just south of Northgate Road.

In addition, a temporary stop sign that went up at Gage and South Herbert roads during the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s sewer project will become permanent, said Weitzel.

New striping on Woodside, Park Place

The village-wide traffic study identified Woodside Road as one of the village’s most traveled thoroughfare, particularly during rush hour. In addition to speeding, motorists when traffic is heavier treat Woodside Road, particularly southbound, as a two-lane street, although it isn’t marked as such.

In response, the village has now laid down 2,700 feet of white striping to create parking boxes on either side of the street. The markings clearly designate that there’s a traffic lane and a parking lane, and the hope is that the markings will slow down motorists.

At Park Place and Woodside, where the streets also converge with Kimbark Avenue – an intersection that can be particularly tricky at night – reflective lane delineators have been embedded into the ground to clearly mark traffic lanes.

A right-turn arrow has also been placed on the pavement on southbound Woodside Road at Park Place to make the turn more visible to motorists.

The village isn’t done with improvements to the Park Place/Woodside intersection. Plans also call for the installation of a new street light and traffic signal on the point of the Kimbark/Woodside triangle.

Officials also hope to send an early signal for motorists to slow down as they enter the village on certain streets. Large “25 mph” pavement markings have been placed on eastbound Forest Avenue at First Avenue, at westbound Longcommon Road at Harlem Avenue and at southbound Woodside Road at 31st Street.

In the next couple of weeks, public works employees will also be installing new 20 mph park-zone speed limit signs, implementing speed control measures that have actually been on Riverside’s books for more than a decade.

This story has been changed to correct the location of the new stop sign on Longcommon Road. It’s at Addison Road.

Flashing X-walk outside RBHS entry

Students, staff and visitors to Riverside-Brookfield High School – and Brookfield Zoo – who are arriving and leaving via car will get an extra reminder to be careful near the entrance to the school on Golf Road now that new flashing pedestrian crossing signals have been installed.

The solar-powered signals, placed on either side of the cross walk connecting the main school entrance with the west sidewalk, come courtesy of an $11,600 grant from Riverside Township, which was applied for cooperatively in April by the Brookfield and Riverside police departments.

Brookfield Public Works employees installed the signals last week.

“It gets challenging over there,” said Brookfield Police Chief James Episcopo. “We’re trying to get the highest visibility possible.”

Hundreds of students and scores of vehicles converge on Golf Road in the morning and afternoon on days when classes are in session. Zoo employees leaving work around the time school lets out add to the congestion, especially in the afternoon.

The crossing is also hazardous for pedestrians at night after football games and other school-related events.

The signals flash when a pedestrian triggers a switch on either side of the intersection. The flashing lights reinforce that motorists must stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

It’s the second consecutive year Brookfield police have won a safety grant from Riverside Township. In 2017, the township awarded Brookfield a grant to install a solar-powered speed monitor on eastbound Washington Avenue approaching RBHS and nearby Hollywood School. The device flashes the speed of oncoming vehicles.

Bob Uphues

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