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Stop – at the stop sign? Nahhhhh…..

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Stop – at the stop sign? Nahhhhh…..

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
June 11, 2007


Next time you’re at the Jewel-Osco in Woodstock, you might want to think twice about stopping at any of the stop signs… at least, for the time-being. There are several stop signs in front of Jewel, by Hollywood Video and at busy parking lot intersections. I don’t know why the developer wasted its money.

Usually, when you see a stop sign, it means Stop. Come to a complete, four-wheel, dead stop. Then, when the path is clear, you can “go”. Except in the Jewel-Osco shopping center in Woodstock.

There the stop signs are pretty. They look real. They are where they are needed. And they are totally worthless, because they are unenforceable. A Woodstock cop could be sitting right there and see you go through it at 30MPH, and he won’t be able to stop you or write you a ticket.

Most busy shopping centers create a legal agreement with the local police department that allows the police department to enforce traffic laws on their private property. Around here that would be called a Vehicular Control Agreement (VCA). There was one at the old Jewel property a little farther south on the other side of 47. For some strange reason, when the new shopping center was built and Jewel-Osco moved, no one bothered to get a new VCA put in force.

I tried for about two years, but my single, solitary voice was not loud enough to get it done. Even tried to get the Jewel manager involved and the Jewel corporate office. I pestered the property manager at CB Richard Ellis. If you’d like to take a shot at it, here are some phone numbers:

Woodstock Police Chief Robert Lowen 815-338-2131
City Manager Tim Clifton 815-338-4300
CB Richard Ellis 847-706-4900 (getting name of new contact)
Woodstock Jewel Store Manager Stano Bombicino 815-206-0499
Jewel Regional Office (getting name of new contact)

So, in the meantime, if you step off the curb in front of Jewel, do NOT expect drivers to stop for you. You may want to call your insurance agent to be sure your life, health and disability insurance policies are paid up.

Oh, yes, and the Fire Lane and Loading Zone markings? You might as well ignore them, too, because police do not enforce them, either.

But beware. Someday all this might change… And there probably won’t be any warning.



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