In response to another devastating accident on IL Rte. 24 and Cameron Lane on October 12th—this time involving a young mother and her toddler, which resulted in the mother’s loss of life—State Representative Mike Unes organized a meeting with officials from both the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP). The result of that meeting was a thorough review of the intersection, and a determination by IDOT’s Safety Committee that the intersection warrants traffic lights.
“I’ve represented this area in the 91st District for seven years now, and throughout my tenure there have been many accidents and close-calls at this particular intersection. I share the belief of many residents of this area that something needs to be done to improve the safety along this portion of Rte. 24, and after last month’s fatal accident, I wasn’t going to allow another day go by without acting,” said Rep. Mike Unes.
After meeting with the Hollis Township Road Commissioner, Representative Unes immediately called into town Assistant IDOT Secretary Rich Brauer, as well as a representative from the ISP to thoroughly assess the intersection and discuss solutions for improving its safety.
Further review of the crash and traffic data near the intersection determined that the installation of traffic signals would provide the best remedy based upon current IDOT standards. According to the IDOT Safety Committee, the increasing volume of traffic, particularly truck traffic, along this route is a major factor warranting this safety improvement.
“At IDOT, we are committed to working with our communities and elected officials to help address their safety concerns,” said Assistant Transportation Secretary Rich Brauer. “We recognize the need for improvements at this intersection. A design study is underway for the future installation of traffic signals, which will be a priority for us going forward.
Hollis Township Road Commissioner Dennis Beckman added: “I am tremendously grateful to Representative Unes for his immediate action on our behalf. I walked into his office unannounced the day after this most recent accident, spoke to him directly about my concern, and he promised that he would do everything he could to help. Here we are three weeks later, and a real plan is already underway to help prevent future tragedies. As a local road commissioner, it is very helpful and encouraging to have received such prompt and thorough consideration of my concerns.”
Though this intersection is in Peoria County, Rte. 24 is one of only two arteries that connect Fulton and Peoria Counties, and a significant number of its daily travelers are coming to or from Fulton County. Canton Mayor Kent McDowell gave accolades for the measure, citing the benefit to his own residents who routinely travel thru the intersection: “I am just really very pleased by the initiative taken here by Rep. Unes on behalf of the residents who rely upon Rte. 24 for daily travel. Even relatively minor improvements to road safety can have a major regional impact.”
Design studies and efforts to acquire Safety funds for the project are in progress at this time.
For more information on the issue, please call Representative Unes’ Pekin District Office at 309-620-8631 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.