Common Sense? Rough Road After Water Main Break Needs Adequate Warning at Thomas Middle School Crosswalk

Rough road at a crosswalk.

The Arlington Heights public works crews that repair water main breaks are a highly professional group. They work in brutal conditions during cold winters and hot summers — day and night.

When a water main break requires excavation in a street, the resulting fill is often a little bumpy. It’s understandable that is would be especially hard to achieve a nice even road fill in zero weather. Recently, an excavation occurred in Thomas Street at Belmont Avenue. There is a rough bump after the excavation — enough to cause some concern that Hersey High School or St. Viator teen drivers, or some plain-old tired, rushed driver, might hit the bump on an icy night, and lose control of their vehicle.

The combination of an uneven bumpy road, busy road, icy road, proximity to Thomas Middle School, along the route to two high schools, should have anyone with a little common sense, alert to the need for extra safety at the intersection.

Non-reflective makeshift, inadequate sign.

However, only a non-reflective makeshift street sign was placed right at the bump. The whole idea of warning motorists about a bump is to give the motorists time to decelerate to avoid losing control of their vehicle after hitting the bump. The lettering on the makeshift sign is probably only visibly effective for a distance of 10-15 feet — and probably less at night.

The assessment of the hazard gets worse when you consider that this is a Middle School crossing on a busy roadway affected by poor winter road condition. For the protection of the students that use the crosswalk nearby, and the crossing guard that works at the intersection, it surprising that the Village of Arlington Heights would not be up to standard in highway safety at this location.

Recommendations:

To the Village of Arlington Heights:

Immediately install or locate a standard Diamond Shape reflective “Bump Ahead” or “Bump” sign visible ahead of the bump so motorist have time to decelerate.

To parents of students at Thomas Middle School:

While the temporary rough road near the school exists, pressure the Village of Arlington Heights and officials at District 25 to work improve the safety at the intersection with proper warning signs that can be seen well in advance of approaching the intersection.

Note:
While the Village of Arlington Heights might have it’s own sign-making capabilities, the signs are also available on the Internet for only $40 each.

Size: 24″ Diamond Shape
Rust free .080 aluminum
Reflective lettering
Reflective background
Holes centered top/bottom
Engineer grade prismatic is rated for 7 years
High intensity is rated for 10 years
Fade resistant

USA Traffic Signs “BUMP” $40.99

The staff that worked so hard to fix the water main deserve a supervisor with better sense to follow up with adequate warning signs about the rough road near the school crossing.

Standard BUMP sign.

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