Residents want ‘speedway’ traffic to slow down

By on May 12, 2011

Photo: Myra Ottoson’s van was damaged when a car skidded across three front lawns and struck her parked van in the middle of the night. Courtesy Photo

by Sandy Kaczmarski
Kaneville—Kaneville will be getting some new speed limit signs that show drivers’ speed in response to resident complaints about the main drag through town—Harter Road—becoming a speedway.

“Harter Road is definitely a drag strip,” resident Kathy Hofmann said.

The latest incident happened last Thursday in the middle of the night when residents heard a vehicle leave the roadway and crash into a van parked on a lawn. Tire tracks show skid marks across three front yards and debris left in the street, indicating the vehicle in question lost a taillight and may have been a teal color.

Hofmann found tire tracks across her property including the sidewalk, where kids often play during the day.

“Fortunately for the kids, this happened at night when no one was around,” she said.

The Kane County Sheriff’s report indicates that the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed. Lt. Pat Gengler said the crash has been assigned to investigators. He said the person who caused the damage didn’t leave a note or any way to get hold of them later.

“So they’re gonna make us track ‘em down,” he said.

Myra Ottoson woke up to find her van with a damaged bumper.

“Apparently, they went through my driveway then hit the van,” she said.

Ottoson is also a Kaneville trustee and says the board has tried to get the speed limit changed from 30 mph down to 25 mph without success.

“There is a huge safety concern since there are so many kids,” she said. “This is a main thoroughfare between the middle school and the high school.”

Ottoson said she’s noticed more traffic since the middle school opened in the fall of 2009. She said in the past, the board has contacted the high school to work together on a program to talk to young drivers, without fruition.

“Certainly, if we became aware of a safety issue or concern involving our students, the school would work with folks to try to address that with our kids,” Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said.

Schuler recently took over as superintendent and said he’s not aware of any previous contact the school has had with concerned neighbors. He said there are a number of ways the school can connect with students such as school announcements and also driver education classes.

Traffic Manager Tom Szabo, Kane County Division of Transportation, said the county is working with the village to address the speed issues. He said new speed limit signs have been ordered and will be installed at two locations: one on Harter on the south end of the village limits, and another one on Main Street coming into town from the east.

“They’re dynamic speed advisory signs, a fancy name, but basically they go underneath the speed limit signs with an electronic readout showing actual speed,” he said. “There’s a radar gun inside.”

Szabo said the signs should be installed within a few weeks.

Meantime, Gengler asks anyone with information about the crash to call the investigations division at (630) 208-2024.