By Bob Balgemann


Speeding along various streets in the village is an ongoing problem and occasionally draws discussion at village board meetings. Sometimes a resident or residents will ask that four-way stop intersections be created to keep speeding under control.

But the official view typically is to reject such a proposal, saying most consistently that the purpose of stop signs isn’t to control speeding.

Now speed bumps are back in the picture.

Scott Lane is the most recent location to come under scrutiny. Tiffany Hammond, who lives on that street with her family, has told both the Public Improvements and Safety Committee (PISC) and village board she doesn’t intend to give up until the problem is resolved.

Her letter of concern asked for speed bumps along Scott Lane. It was read at both the July 20 PISC and July 20 village board meetings, as coronavirus pandemic restrictions don’t allow speakers to appear in public before those officials.

Village Clerk Lori Mitchell read the letter to trustees at the end of their meeting.

It stated that Hammond was asking for speed bumps to be placed along Scott Lane for the safety of the many children in that neighborhood, including the safety of her own youngsters.

“People constantly speed down our street because it is the first street that goes all the way through to Maple, from Harlem Road,” she said. “I have seen cars going more than 50 miles an hour. I do not want to see anyone hurt or killed. So I plan to keep on pushing this issue until it gets resolved.”

As is policy with public comments, neither Mayor Steve Johnson nor any of the board members responded to her letter. But as is almost always the case, at some point her request will be considered by staff and its decision conveyed to her.

In fact, some action already is being taken.

Public Works Director Chad Hunter reported to the village board that Tiffany Hammond offered some public comments, remotely, about speeding along Scott Lane. Historically, he said the village has not put in speed bumps. But he did talk with Hammond and provided her with some options the village is going to try in the Scott Lane area.

“We will try some signage, a speed trailer, and the police department will try some patrols to keep the speed down,” he explained. “We hope there are just a few speeders who we can give tickets to, and get them to stop speeding in that area.”

Pavement program

Earlier that evening, at the PISC meeting, members voted 6-0 to recommend approval of Resolution 41-R-20, giving authorization to seek bids for the village’s 2020 pavement maintenance program.

Village Engineer Chris Dopkins said the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting revenue streams for all municipalities, including Machesney Park. While this village’s road fund was healthy, he said staff decided to delay bidding for the program, and the Hawksview improvements, “out of an abundance of caution.”

Specifically, he said staff wanted to determine how the pandemic and resulting shuttering of retail stores impacted the March and April road fund revenues. “For the purposes of this memorandum, the good news is that staff is comfortable moving ahead with both the Hawksview improvements and 2020 pavement maintenance program,” he said.

The village board already has approved a resolution to authorize bidding for the Hawksview work, he continued. And now, he said a second resolution, this one authorizing the bidding of the 2020 pavement maintenance program, was before PISC members for their consideration.

He said the proposed program primarily consists of resurfacing existing streets. It also includes various Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements to existing sidewalk ramps. Here is a schedule of dates for this year’s work:

-July 23 (last week), advertising for bids.

-Aug. 11, bid opening, usually at village hall, 300 Roosevelt Road in Machesney Park.

-Aug. 17, PISC and village board action to award contracts.

-Sept. 7, Begin construction along various streets throughout the village.

-Oct. 2, Substantial completion of projects, with roadwork being finished.

-Oct. 16, Final completion, with all work being done.

With time being of the essence, Engineer Dopkins said staff was recommending that both the PISC and village board take final action that night. Their recommendation was followed by both sets of officials.

Then Hammond’s letter was read after the vote.


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