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New Stop Light at Busy Edgewater Intersection 'A Long Time Coming'

By Benjamin Woodard | November 20, 2013 6:01pm
 City crews flipped on the switch Nov. 20 at the new stop light at Balmoral Avenue and North Broadway.
Balmoral Stop Light
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EDGEWATER — Bruce Greene busted his leg and spent three days in the hospital after he was struck by a motorist in 2009 while crossing through the intersection at Balmoral Avenue and North Broadway.

Ever since the incident, the 44-year-old Greene and his congregation, Epworth Church just down the block, have lobbied for a stop light at the intersection.

On Wednesday, they got what they asked for when city workers flipped the stop light's on switch.

"It's amazing. It's a great day," said Greene, who has since recovered from his injuries — but not before amassing $30,000 in medical bills.

He said he hopes the new light would prevent future injuries. At least one other person had been hurt crossing notoriously speedy North Broadway in recent years, according to Ald. Harry Osterman's office.

Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein joined Osterman (48th) and others Wednesday to officially activate the light (It had been blinking red for 24 hours).

At the end of a five-second countdown, the blinking red turned to yellow on North Broadway. And to the laughs of some, the confused driver of a white sedan got stuck in the middle of the intersection on a solid red.

After the first cycle of yellow, red and green, traffic flowed smoothly.

Osterman said it was "a long time coming."

Brendan Costello, the owner of Burke's Public House, located at the northeast corner of the intersection, said that ever since he opened his bar and restaurant two years ago he's seen far too many people nearly get hit while trying to cross the street.

"I saw a kid almost get hit and it scared the s--- out of me," he said Wednesday. "[The stop light]'s a good thing."

Klein said the $350,000 light was the first of 32 federally funded stop lights that would be installed throughout the city.