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Stoplight, Sidewalks Coming to Site of Student's Injury

Cook County officials approved a stoplight and sidewalk on 151st Street, near Hille School, where student Alex Fitzgerald was struck by a car in April. Oak Forest and Forest Ridge District 142 will chip in a portion of the costs.

Alex Fitzgerald wasn't the first, but hopefully he'll be the last student to be struck by a car along 151st Street, near . 

Alex, , inspired city and school officials to seek help from Cook County Commissioner Joan Murphy, to make the area safer for students. 

Aldermen Tuesday signed off on an agreement with the County, regarding the details of the design, installation and payment for a sidewalk and stoplight near the location. Alex was the third student to be hit by a car near that spot in recent years, said City Administrator Troy Ishler. 

Cook County officials approved the installation of a stoplight and sidewalk near the location. The County will cover the $250,000 cost of the stoplight; and will each pay a portion of the estimated $72,000 needed to lay the sidewalk. The city will contribute approximately $37,000 for a portion of the sidewalk; the school district will pay $11,992. The city will pay the remaining amount, to be reimbursed by the County.

A temporary stoplight is currently in place, until a permanent one can be erected in the spring. The signal will feature a "Walk" signal and button for students. The light will remain green most of the time, unless a student triggers the "Walk" signal. 

"Even the fact that the light will be green most of the time, like anyone it's normal to slow down a little bit and be more cautious as you approach a traffic light," said Mayor Hank Kuspa. 

The city's portion of the funds will come from its sidewalk escrow account, Ishler said.

"We do have sufficient funds to pay for this sidewalk," Ishler said, "Which I think is a perfect example of what we should be using this money for."  

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Tired of the B.S. September 02, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Danielle, In case you are wondering why people are passing judgement on your character, I would like to remind you of your first post on this thread, "I also have to agree with Holly and make the point that noone has made in that both instances of students being hit by cars could have been prevented if the students were a litlle more responsible. Just because the county and the city put in lights and sidewalks it doesn't mean that the students will use them and accidents won't happen. Waste of time and money. Parents need to teach their kids responsibilty this generation is being done a huge disservice by parents and society as a whole." You basically blame kids for being kids and then say that putting in traffic controls is a waste of time and money. I sure think that sounds like somebody that does not care about kids at all. Now talk all you want about your friends kids or your nieces and nephews, but, I wonder what your feelings would be if one of them had been hit by a car while not being "a litle more responsible".
Danielle Abendroth September 03, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Steve my earlier post was written in a sarcastic tone and was clearly misinterpreted. We will continue to have a difference of opinion on this matter, and that's ok because opinions are not right or wrong. Ultimately we both want the same thing, no matter the way it's achieved.
Danielle Abendroth September 03, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Tired, you actually have no idea about my life and whether or not that has happened to someone I know or not. My statement was a blanket statement about society as a whole and not just this incident or this type of incident. Kids are kids, people stoplights in or sidewalks in does not guarantee this will never happened again. And that's a fact, nothing is ever guaranteed. If you read all of my earlier posts youd have seen thats what i said. Just because I think kids need to be taught more responsibility doesn't mean I don't care. I'm sorry, but the first instance (not alexs) was blatant irresponsibility on the part of those kids. You just don't push people in the middle of the street, that's common sense. As a whole kids are coddled in today's world. My opinion does not make me shallow inhumane or embittered, it makes me a realist.
Tired of the B.S. September 03, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Danielle, I am sorry if you feel that i am judging you, that was not my intention. I guess that I am just finding it hard to believe that anybody would not want to have some sort of traffic control around a school where there are young kids. Every body brings up Fitz and the poor kid pushed into the street. Has no other kid been hit in this area? Have you forgotten when you were young? Did you ever do something that was stupid at that age? When I was young we rode around in our cars with no seatbelts, would you do that now? Kids will be kids and just because they are kids, they usually don't have much common sense...common sense is something that comes with age. I don't know that putting lights at this spot will guarantee that no child will ever be hit around there again, but I like our chances with the lights better than without.
Michael M. September 15, 2012 at 09:31 PM
According to the police report there were a few factors that contributed to the accident. One, the driver said she did not see the pedestrian until she hit him and the lighting would be considered dim at the time of the accident; second, the police report states "the pedestrian apparently ran into the street without first checking to see if a vehicle was close enough to him to become a hazard." Third the driver was "operating her vehicle at or near the posted speed limit of 35 MPH" The speed at time of impact was calculated between 28 and 32 MPH. One witness heard kids yelling for someone not to cross the street, and the victims friends all yelled that there was a car coming. So speed and lack of traffic signals was not the cause, but poor lighting and a crossing error seem to be the cause. Now this was a terrible accident and I feel for the family and the driver, and I pray that Alex will be healthy and have a great life. I would not want to be in his parents shoes and have to see that happen to my child. Placing the blame will not really help, but knowing the facts will lead to a real solution to the problem. The traffic signal does not seem to be the issue and most likely will not prevent further accidents of this nature; maybe what is really needed is more street lights so that drivers can see pedestrians. I think all who drive this street will agree that it is dark and sometimes you can not see pedestrians walking on the side of the road until you are on them.

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