Annie Glidden may slow down

By Tyler Vincent

Anyone who has visited or attended NIU is familiar with the southern portion of Annie Glidden Road.

That part of the road, which begins at Taylor Road and goes to I-88, is more often than not clogged with student traffic either coming to class or heading home for the weekend.

A movement by local residents could result in a lowering of the speed limit from its current limit of 45 m.p.h.

“It’s not a healthy situation,” said resident Tom Specht, who circulated a petition that was signed by approximately 170 area residents, who supported a change in the speed limit.

“Let’s say you had a bunch of kids by the road with a truck barreling down the road at 65 m.p.h. If you had a little brother or sister out there, would you feel comfortable?” Specht asked.

At Monday night’s meeting, the City Council ordered city staff to prepare an ordinance that would lower the speed limit on Annie Glidden Road to either 35 or 40 m.p.h. between the viaduct by Lincoln Highway to Bellvue Drive.

“It’s a safety issue,” 5th Ward Ald. Pat Conboy said. “I don’t see any real disadvantage in it. I believe we need to slow down and be a little more careful.”

But city engineers are skeptical.

A speed study of South Annie Glidden Road from Route 38 to the tollway took place in August, said assistant city engineer Joel Mauer.

“The speed ranges all over the board from 38 to 48 m.p.h.,” Mauer said. “Eighty-five percent of the vehicles, or 85 of 100 cars, were going 45 m.p.h or below. The data will tell you that the acceptable speed is the one we have in place.”

A speed study is designed to find out the speeds of traffic at different locations, depending upon such diverse factors as what the prevailing speed of the automobile is, how much development is in the area of study and how many driveways are present along the roadway.

“The speed study did not warrant it (the speed changes) at this time,” city manager Jim Connors said.

Conboy disagrees.

“That’s not the issue. Even if everyone was going 45 m.p.h., that’s too fast,” Conboy said.

Connors said that an ordinance prepared by staff should be ready for the next city council meeting on Oct. 22.