Algonquin's Infamous Intersection
March 31, 2008
You've read about the need for a bridge over the Fox River somewhere north of Route 62; right? Have you ever been stuck on Route 31, heading south down the hill into Algonquin and the intersection and light at Route 62 (Algonquin Road)?
Maybe you are one of the two or three law-abiding drivers who stay in the traffic lane until you reach the beginning of the left-turn lane. By that time, it's too late to get over into the left-turn lane, because there are already many cars and trucks, including BIG trucks, to your left - drivers who cut over one or two blocks back and drove down the middle of Route 31 and right through the oncoming left-turn lane for northbound traffic. If you were lucky, you were able to squeeze over without changing the color of paint on the left side of your car.
Things are about to change. Last week I called an IDOT engineer with whom I've been corresponding for about three years and also called the head of public works in Algonquin. I asked both if there was something they could do to slow the number of violations by southbound drivers. Suggestions - More and new signing. Warn drivers to keep right. To avoid lane violations. Whatever. New signs, of course, must come out of the Manual of Standards...
Today the IDOT engineer called to tell me that IDOT will be changing the traffic pattern as soon as the spring lane-painting season begins. IDOT will take out the island painted between the north- and southbound lanes on Route 31 north of Route 62. IDOT will also take out the short left-turn lane for northbound traffic, because it serves only about three houses on the west side of Route 31.
This will substantially lengthen the left-turn lane on southbound Route 31.
The police department will continue to watch for violations after the new line-painting has been completed. Watch for the new pattern later this spring. Thanks to IDOT and the Village of Algonquin for your response!
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