Douglas Rd. traffic jams frustrate drivers, officials : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Douglas Rd. traffic jams frustrate drivers, officials|
|Montgomery officials want IDOT, Oswego to adjust traffic signal timing|
|by John Etheredge|
Montgomery Village Board members expressed frustration Monday evening over lengthy traffic back-ups on Douglas Road at U.S. Route 30.
Board member Denny Lee told his board colleagues and village staff he has recently heard from numerous residents upset about the traffic jams.
Lee attributed the traffic tie ups to the timing of the signal at Route 30 and the two signals immediately south of Route 30 in neighboring Oswego. The Oswego signals are located on Douglas Road at the entrance to the Townes Crossing shopping center and at Fernwood Road, respectively.
Lee said he believes the timing of the signals south of Route 30 in Oswego need to be adjusted to speed the traffic flow.
"There are three sets of lights there and never are all three green," he said. "It's either the first and third one is red and the one in the middle is green, or the other two are green and the one in the middle is red. They only allow three cars to go through no matter what and traffic backs-up all the way to Old Post Road (in Oswego) and all the way past Walgreens (in Montgomery). And it's all because the lights aren't synchronized."
Lee suggested village staff talk with Oswego officials about adjusting the timing on their traffic signals.
Mike Pubentz, the village's public works director, noted the traffic signal at Route 30 and the two south of the highway in Oswego are not interconnected.
Pubentz also said the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has jurisdiction over the signal at Route 30 and Douglas Road.
Contractors for IDOT are currently rebuilding and widening Route 30 through the Douglas Road intersection.
Pubentz said he would have to check with IDOT officials to see if the agency has plans to interconnect the traffic signals south of Route 30 in Oswego as part of the widening project.
Pubentz described the current timing of the lights as "challenging" for motorists, but noted part of the problem is the signals at Route 30 are temporary due to the highway construction project and because the traffic lanes at the intersection have also been reduced.
"You'll notice there that southbound traffic on Douglas (Road) goes and then northbound Douglas (traffic) goes instead of both going at the same time so there are more turning movements to be made and the turning is more difficult. The traffic isn't moving as smoothly," he said.
Pubentz added that he continues to meet regularly with IDOT officials for status updates on the Route 30 project. He said IDOT officials have indicated in prior meetings they are aware of problems with the timing of the traffic signals at Route 30 and Douglas Road.
"I will talk to them again and see if we can make some improvements with the timing," Pubentz said.
Village President Matt Brolley said he completely agreed with Lee.
"Going through there is a nightmare," he said.
Brolley added that the traffic back-ups are adversely affecting businesses along Douglas Road.
He said officials at Planet Fitness in the Settlers Landing shopping center on Douglas Road have told him the that traffic jams are "just killing them because it's made it difficult for people to get in that center."
Brolley asked Pubentz to discuss the traffic signal situation with both IDOT and Oswego officials.
Referring to Oswego officials, Brolley said, "Potentially, Oswego could be looking at that, too."
Board member Steve Jungermann said on a recent drive it took him 15 minutes to travel through the three traffic signals.
"I actually could have crawled through there quicker," Jungermann said.
In a related matter, Jungermann asked Pubentz if IDOT's contractor on the Route 30 project has shutdown all operations for the winter.
Pubentz said the contractor has plans to continue pavement removal and storm sewer construction throughout the winter.
"They were going to take off for two weeks for Christmas and New Year's and then remobilize their forces," he said.
However, Pubentz said last week's cold weather likely prevented contractors from returning to work.
"That was their plan and they are already several weeks and months behind on that project so they are going to attempt to try and make up some of that work this winter," Pubentz said.
Endorse access drive plan
for Route 30 gas station
In other business Monday evening, board members voiced support for a request by a developer to allow for a right-in, right-out traffic access drive along the north side of U.S. Route 30, just east of Orchard Road on the village's west side.
Rich Young, the village's community development director, told the board the access drive would be approximately 150 feet east of Orchard Road and serve a gas station proposed at the corner.
Brolley noted that the board's recommendation in support of the access drive is advisory only.
IDOT, which owns and maintains Route 30, will have the final say over whether the access drive is granted.
According to the project plans, the gas station would have at least two traffic access points, including the one on Route 30. The second access would be off of Brentwood Drive to the north of the property.
The project plans call for the construction of a 4,600 square foot gas station and convenience store and a separate, free-standing car wash on the property's east side.