Little Village moms push for safer street crossing

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After months of waiting, a group of Little Village moms put a stop to cars racing through their neighborhood with the inauguration on Thursday of two stop signs on South Central Park Avenue. (WLS)

After months of waiting, a group of Little Village moms put a stop to cars racing through their neighborhood with the inauguration on Thursday of two stop signs on South Central Park Avenue where the road intersects 23rd Street.

Parents like Yolisma Malacara said previously cars would just fly right through that intersection, making it hard for her young son to walk by.

"They have to wait for a while. The cars don't give them a chance to let them cross," she explained.

"It was a little nerve-racking to know that... I didn't feel safe for him to cross the street by himself," added Yeny Duran, talking of her 6-year-old son Edwin.

Jeremy Feiwell, principal of Castellanos and Cardenas elementary schools, which are both within blocks of the new stop signs, said these families aren't alone in their concern.

"There's around 1,200 kids who are all going to school at the same time," he said.

Realizing they shared a common worry, Duran and Malacara joined other moms through COFI's Power-Pac and reached out to Alderman Ricardo Muñoz (22nd Ward).

They gathered 500 signatures for a petition and then Muñoz brought an order to the city council's Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety. But the committee recommended not passing the order. Muñoz's office says the Chicago Department of Transportation was concerned that adding stop signs on Central Park Avenue would disrupt the flow of traffic.

But with two different schools just blocks from the intersection, kids walk through there all the time; their parents were relentless. Muñoz pushed again and in February, the full city council approved an ordinance bringing these new traffic signs to the neighborhood.

Now, there's an important change for drivers thanks to one word that made a world of difference to concerned parents.
Related Topics:
trafficroad safetytrafficgovernmentschoolChicagoLittle Village
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