Improve Commuter Safety in Libertyville Crossing Milwaukee Ave

Please see my email sent to Mayor Weppler of Libertyville, IL on 10/25/17

Dear Mayor Weppler,

Will it take someone being injured (or even worse) crossing Milwaukee Ave in downtown Libertyville during rush hour before traffic management is improved?

I propose having a crossing guard or community service officer at the Metra train crosswalk during the busiest weekday evening times to improve traffic and commuter safety.

A professional who could logistically determine when it’s appropriate to stop traffic and allow pedestrians to cross Milwaukee and balancing that with keeping a steady flow of traffic on Milwaukee Ave and in downtown during these busy times.  

z1My wife and I often drive northbound through downtown during these hours and we see the outbound train arrive as the train gates are lowered. Once they are raised, certain amounts of cars are able to cross the tracks going either south or north. However, in less than 1 minute, the train commuters begin to cross the street so motorists yield. Logistically, it would be ideal if only large groups attempted to use the crosswalk at the same time, but often this isn’t the case as individual or small groups may cross at different times. As some commuters cross the street, motorists yield before proceeding. You have that ebb and flow of commuters wanting to cross as the motorists wanting to get over and beyond the tracks. This can occur for up to 5 minutes. Needless to say, this scenario does not alleviate congestion on Milwaukee Avenue during rush hour.

This scene may repeat itself with the next outbound train.

Based on my MetraRail research, six outbound trains are scheduled to stop weekdays in Libertyville between 5:32 pm and 6:50 pm. Even with slight delays, we’re talking about 1.5 hours that a community service officer could direct traffic. If budgets are tight, there are four trains between 5:32 pm and 6:26 pm, roughly 1 hour.

I truly believe traffic management personnel should be involved at various times to streamline the process and improve safety. One should factor in the design of the downtown and traffic lights, parallel parking on Milwaukee Ave that can create backup issues, and regular trains during rush hour which creates a very busy and potentially dangerous situation, especially in the evening with so many commuters wanting to cross Milwaukee and get home as soon as possible.

z2From my observations over the last few years, having a community service officer there for 1-2 hours makes sense and would improve the situation for drivers and commuters alike.

Appreciate your time and attention in this matter.


Kevin Schwarm