City looks at ped safety

By Nina Gougis

The DeKalb City Council will consider bids Monday to help improve pedestrian safety near NIU.

The council plans to review the bids to install permanent speed displays on North Annie Glidden Road north and south of Lucinda Avenue.

Improving pedestrian safety has long been an issue for the city and NIU. Following a string of accidents in fall 2000, NIU and the city set up a task force to discuss what could be done to improve traffic safety.

There has been an average of about one death per year near the intersection, said Paul Rasmussen, director of community development.

The council hopes the displays will make the intersection safer for the pedestrians by keeping drivers aware of how fast they are going, said City Manager Mark Biernacki.

The council may also award a $10,850 bid from DeKalb’s Kishwaukee Electric, Inc. to install two street lights along Garden Road near Barsema Hall.

The lights will make it safer for students walking there late at night, Biernacki said. Adding the lights and the speed monitors will be a collaborative effort between NIU and the city.

The city hopes to install the monitors by December and the street lights by November, said City Engineer Joel Maurer.

The council will also determine the salaries of the mayor and seven aldermen for their next term and decide whether or not they should start paying for health insurance. Current proposals maintain this year’s salary levels for the mayor and aldermen at $25,000 and $6,000 respectively.

In addition, the council may also approve a $300,000 three-year budget to improve the downtown area and the building plan of a new contractor’s office at 838 S. Fourth St.

The council will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St.