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Public Meeting Set for 'Hazardous' Touhy-Ridge Intersection, Alderman Says

By Benjamin Woodard | February 26, 2015 5:33am
 The crosswalk at Rogers and Touhy avenues would be shortened from 110 feet to just 40 feet.
The crosswalk at Rogers and Touhy avenues would be shortened from 110 feet to just 40 feet.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — A public meeting will be held to review plans for the overhaul of the "hazardous" intersection at Touhy and Ridge avenues, said Ald. Joe Moore (49th).

Moore said attendees would be able to review a city engineering plan that would extend the curb at the southwest corner of the intersection to reduce the turning angle from Touhy and would shorten the crosswalk there from 110 feet to just 40 feet.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. March 5 at the Pottawattomie Park field house, 7340 N. Rogers Ave.

Implementation of the plan was delayed due to People's Gas construction in the area. But now work on the intersection should get started this year, Moore said.

Deputy Transportation Commissioner Luann Hamilton wrote Moore in 2010 about the "skewed" intersection, outlining the city's plans.

The bumped-out curb would do several things to benefit drivers attempting to turn left from Touhy and pedestrians attempting to cross the street, she said.

• Slow right-turning vehicles from Rogers onto Touhy, making it easier for drivers turning left from Touhy onto Rogers to distinguish northeast-bound, right-turning traffic from those heading straight on Rogers.

• Allow motorists to scan for traffic approaching from the right without having to turn their head at a sharp angle.

• Pedestrians walking at 3.5 feet per second would be exposed to traffic for 17 fewer seconds.

• Reduce turning speeds.

The plan would also allow more space for cars waiting for the light to change at Ridge Boulevard and Touhy, according to the letter.

In addition, the sidewalk space created by the extended curb could be landscaped and beautified, Hamilton said.

The project was expected to cost $75,000 and was fully funded in the 2011 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting election.

Optional features, such as permeable pavers, trees, planter beds and lighting, in the reclaimed pedestrian space would bring the project cost up to $325,000, according to the city.

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