#Local Government
City of Elgin, Elgin Police Department, IDOT
United States of America

The busy intersection at Summit and Shady Oaks Drive is unsafe for drivers and pedestrians and has been for years. Numerous fatal accidents and near misses make this intersection unsafe and put children, adults, and animals at risk every day.

Fatal Traffic Crash

On May 12, 2017, at approximately 2:47 p.m., Elgin Police and Fire Departments responded to the intersection of Summit Street and Shady Oaks Drive for a traffic crash with injuries involving a motorcycle and another vehicle. The preliminary investigation revealed that a vehicle, being driven by 52-year-old male was traveling southbound on Shady Oaks Drive and failed to yield to a motorcycle traveling westbound on Summit Street, which had the right of way. This caused the motorcycle to lose control and eject the motorcycle driver, who was not wearing a helmet. The motorcyclist, a 72-year-old male from Elgin, was transported to St Alexius Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. The driver of the southbound vehicle was uninjured. Several streets in the area of the crash were closed during the investigation for approximately four hours.

This is not a new problem. Please see this article from 2014:
Those who live and work near Shady Oaks Drive and Route 58 (Summit) in Elgin say it's a dangerous intersection that likely needs a traffic light, and data shows accidents there have increased steadily since 2012.

Victor Pierce, president of the Lofts homeowners' association north of Route 58 and east of Shady Oaks, said in the seven years he's lived there, he's gone outside to help accident victims several times. The Loft homes are part of the Cobblers Crossing subdivision, of which Pierce is a master board director.

A traffic study should be performed to determine if a light is needed, Pierce said. He said he called the city about it twice since the spring, and finally decided to voice his concerns at the city council meeting last week.

That seemed to get the wheels in motion.

Elgin Police Lt. Jeff Adam said he's going to analyze data from the intersection.

"Any time someone complains about a particular intersection, we do a traffic warrant study and we'll look at the facts," he said.

If the analysis shows a traffic study is needed, the city will contact the Illinois Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction of Route 58, Adam said. "That adds, obviously, another layer to it," he said.

IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said a traffic study was done in the past and the intersection has been identified as one that could warrant a traffic signal, but funding for that is not included in IDOT's 2015-2020 plan. The next plan comes out in the spring, he said.

The latest traffic count is 12,600 vehicles per day on Route 58 west of Shales Parkway, Tridgell said.

Elgin police data shows there was one accident at that intersection in 2009, followed by seven each in 2010 and 2011, none in 2012, four in 2013 and 10 this year so far.

Pierce said traffic increased after a light was installed in September 2013 farther east at Route 58 and Shales Parkway. That's because more people are apt to drive that way since traffic flows better, he said.

Traffic count data prior to the installation of the light at Shales Parkway was not immediately available, Tridgell said.

Curt Humble, assistant manager of Chicago Pizza Authority, just west of Shady Oaks Drive, said a traffic light is needed.

A CPA delivery driver was seriously hurt in a four-vehicle crash in summer 2013 that injured nine people. An Elgin man who police said was driving nearly 100 mph was sentenced to three years in prison.

"It's busy there," Humble said, adding that the driver is doing much better and has visited the store since the accident. "It's a big intersection with a lot of traffic."

IDOT holds public meetings on its multiyear plan so residents can provide their input, Tridgell said.

Pierce, who works in public works for Mount Prospect, said he hopes the city of Elgin will decide to pay for an updated traffic study. According to his research, it would cost about $5,000, he said.

"IDOT might own the road, but any kind of traffic control that would either decrease accidents or improve traffic flow and things like that, it doesn't necessarily benefit IDOT," he said. "It benefits Elgin. It benefits residents."

We, the undersigned, call on the City of Elgin and the Illinois Department of Transportation to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Summit and Shady Oaks Road to protect drivers and our residents.

The Elgin Needs a Traffic Signal at Summit and Shady Oaks Drive petition to City of Elgin, Elgin Police Department, IDOT was written by Robin Shapiro and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.