Traffic Signal Funding Acquired After Fatal Crash on ‘Devon Speedway'

Longtime residents say traffic crashes are all too common at a busy Edgebrook intersection. Some even fatal. Still, years after a proposed traffic signal was recommended cars continue to speed by.

Just hours after burying his best friend Adam Roma visits the memorial marking where 22-year-old Steven Lajin was killed in a hit-and-run.

“To watch a father bury his son--22 years old--not married, didn’t even get to grow up fully--it’s heartbreaking,” Roma said.

The posted speed limit along the stretch of Devon Avenue near Lemai is 30 miles per hour.

But, residents say for years drivers have ignored it.

“We like to call that stretch that we live on ‘Devon Speedway,’” resident Michael Pond said.

He says in the last five years there have been multiple deadly crashes.

“People speeding at upwards for 60 to 70 miles per hour because there’s no traffic light between Central and Cicero," he said.

After one of those deadly traffic accidents in 2013, 39th Ward Ald. Margaret Laurino and 41st Ward Ald. Anthony Napolitano commissioned a Chicago Department of Transportation engineering study that found a traffic signal would increase safety.

But approval and funding stalled for years.

“This is a residential community and understandably the people who live in Edgebrook are shaken up over this," Laurino said.

With the tragic death of Lajin, killed last Thursday after been thrown from his motorcycle in a rear-end crash, a renewed push by residents.

“It’s unfortunate that a young man had to lose his life for us to be having this conversation publicly once again," Pond said.

Laurino announced Tuesday that a traffic signal has been funded.

“So, now we’re at the point where we simply go to the city of Chicago and say, hey, we need to pick up the tab for this cost and the commissioner has agreed to do that," Laurino said.

CDOT will start working on the traffic signal by late summer, it’s expected to be completed, in the late fall.

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