Highland Park

Rumble Strip Noises Rattle Highland Park Residents

NBC Universal, Inc.

A series of rumble strips in the northbound lanes of U. S. Highway 41 in Highland Park are designed to warn drivers approaching the Park Avenue intersection, but people who live nearby said the sound of vehicles crossing over the traffic device can be deafening at times.

“There are days and nights it sounds like you are watching the Indianapolis 500,” said neighbor Bruce Nathanson.

Neighbors said they support the safety measures, but said their requests for a quiet solution have been ignored by the Illinois Department of Transportation and other state officials.

“We’re not getting any results,” said neighbor Mindy Israel.  “Nobody seems to be taking us seriously.”

It appears the constant bursts of buzzsaw-like noise will not be quieting down any time soon.

The Illinois Department of Transportation said rumble strips were originally installed on that portion of U.S. 41 in the early 1990s and have been in continuous use since that time. New rumble strips were installed after the road was resurfaced in fall 2019.

The City of Highland Park said the mayor and city manager have been working with residents in the area and scheduled discussions with state leaders. The city said it recognizes the importance of rumble strips for public safety purposes, but it is urging IDOT to explore other comparable solutions to address safety and also take into consideration the noise that is generated in the adjoining residential neighborhoods.

Neighbors said the rumble strips on U. S. 41 near their homes are designed for rural areas.

However, IDOT told NBC 5 told the rumble strips follow national standards, as well as state policies and procedures, for their design and installation, and there are no plans to remove them.

“We like this area, but we can’t live here anymore,” Nathanson said.  “It’s just a quality of life issue for us.”

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