Hillside

Neighbors Demand Village Take Steps to Prevent Stop Sign Runners

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Neighbors in suburban Hillside are demanding additional traffic safety measures to prevent stop sign runners and speeders in front of their homes, but the village said the issue is not as problematic as neighbors make it out to be.

The area in question is a three-way stop at the intersection of Forest Avenue and Madison Street. 

Roger Romanelli lives nearby and said he has video of dozens of vehicles running the stop signs going back to January.

“They are speeding through the stop sign like you can’t believe at all hours of the day and the videos prove it,” Romanelli said.

There are no sidewalks in the area.  Residents said since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more families and children walking on the streets.

“This is a direct path to the Prairie Path, and because we have so many people and so many children walking down the street, it’s really dangerous for cars to come speeding down,” said neighbor Marsha Jeffries.

Romanelli and his neighbors delivered a petition to the village that calls for more measures to improve traffic safety.

“I think flashing stop signs probably would help a whole lot because I’ve stood on my yard a lot of times and said, ‘hey, slow down!’,” said neighbor Jessie Harvey.  “You know, they just keep going.”

Romanelli, however, said the village is ignoring the residents’ call for help.

“If the Village of Hillside is contesting our petition, they’ve had three months to contest it,” Romanelli said.  “They’ve said nothing.”

Village leaders told NBC 5 they have not witnessed the same volume of violations as the neighbors.

Hillside police chief Joseph Lukaszek said officers have monitored the area and have issued only five or six citations in recent years.

“We have officers sit there for hours on end and not seen a car,” said Hillside police chief Joseph Lukaszek.

Lukaszek also said there is more traffic signage on the block than any other block in the community.  He also said officers try to give verbal warnings to residents instead of tickets that can hurt them financially.

But Romanelli said the videos do not lie.

“The video tells a thousand words,” Romanelli said.

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