CHICAGO (CBS) — A father is so fed up with careless drivers in his neighborhood that he has taken to his phone to record his frustrations.
Multiple drivers speed past a stop sign in a park on the western edge of the Lincoln Square community, putting kids in harm’s way. CBS 2’s Steven Graves took their complaints to city leaders, who are taking notice.
At Jacob Park, at the corner of Virginia and Leland avenues, there is a warning sign for just about everything – no dogs, no smoking, no parking. But most apparent warning sign – that familiar red octagon with the word “stop” in white capital letters in the center – seems to have no effect.
“I was just filming cars as they go by,” said Mike Ngan.
Ngan recently recorded a total of 10 vehicles in all, pretty much ignoring the stop sign on the residential street. Some stop sign violations are worse than others.
“In my opinion, the people who choose to use it are the ones who are trying to cut through the neighborhood in order to gain a few minutes,” he said.
Bug for Ngan, a father of two, a concern is raised every time someone fails to stop at the stop sign.
“I’m just afraid that my kids might get hit,” he said, “and that to me is really my biggest concern.”
But how bad is it? Chicago Police citation information wasn’t immediately available Monday, and we found only three crash reports in the past three years.
So we decided to set up our own surveillance, and in about 15 minutes, we saw much of the same.
So what can be done to stop it?
Here’s the thing – Virginia Avenue near the park is split into two wards. To the north of Leland Avenue is the 40th Ward, to the south the 47th – except that Jacob Park falls into the 40th.
Both aldermen’s offices have received complaints in the past. The immediate response from both was to add lines on a crosswalk to make it more visible.
But now that video showing violations was just recorded days ago, one of the aldermen’s offices is taking action.
“Truly at this point, we’re going to want to monitor the situation for a bit,” said Joshua Mark, of the office of Ald. Matthew Martin (47th).
Mark said the Chicago Department of Transportation is now getting involved and exploring options.
“The idea, for instance, for a stoplight just doesn’t make sense there. A raised crosswalk is something I could imagine there,” Mark said.
Mark has contacted police for more eyes, but encourages residents to be the best advocates.
And those like Ngan plan to do just that – trying to put brakes on the problem so no tragedies happen.
CBS 2 contacted Chicago Police, who could not say for a fact whether enforcement has been increased. But they assured that each neighborhood request is taken seriously.