As a long-time resident, I heard that the Village Safety Commission recently voted to recommend to the Village Board that four way stop signs be placed on Osterman. There already are two stop signs at Robert York and two yield to pedestrians signs posted on Osterman.) I believe that installing stop signs at all four corners of this intersection is completely unnecessary. They will simply impede traffic flow on Osterman.
I’ve had the un-nerving experience last year when Deerfield Road was closed of using Osterman while the pedestrian tunnel was being built. I experienced a vehicle backup on Osterman that extended west from the temporary four-stop signs at Robert York and Osterman intersection to the nearby Metra tracks. I was the last vehicle in a long line of traffic caused by these temporary 4-way stops, and nearly escaped being trapped on the Metra tracks with no viable alternative.
I understand that the village traffic consultant has reviewed and recommended against 4-way stops on this stretch, and I fully agree since pedestrian foot traffic throughout the day is periodic and minimal. The two existing “yield for pedestrian” signs already installed on Osterman work well and seem more appropriate than a 4-way stop now being proposed by the Village Safety Commission.
Recalling my backup experience, I'm convinced this could potentially create a serious accident with significant legal implications for Village taxpayers if traffic backs up westward on Osterman onto the Metra tracks as happened to me last summer.
In my opinion, placing 4-way stop signs here is overkill. My residents use this street frequently as an alternative to congested Deerfield Road when driving to the Post Office, the shops in Deerfield Square, local banks, and other downtown destinations.
My suggestion is to leave the intersection as is with its two stop signs at Robert York, and two “yield for pedestrian” signs on Osterman. As the Village traffic safety consultant has indicated, the current traffic pattern has demonstrated sufficient safeguards to protect both pedestrians and vehicles and accident rates are not excessive. So why change something that has been working very successfully for years?
Ed Collins, Deerfield resident since 1977