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Near-miss at McDonald's

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Near-miss at McDonald's

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
August 12, 2011

Last night I came close (not really) to buying the farm right in front of McDonald's. Right! The McDonald's in Woodstock, right there on Route 47.

I was heading south and planning to turn left onto Country Club Road. Only it wasn't possible, because there was a northbound car sitting in the left-turn lane, waiting to turn into McDonald's.

Picture this. A northbound driver, not wanting to get rear-ended if he stops in the inside northbound lane on Route 47 to turn left into McDonald's, decides to just move over a lane to his left and stop in the oncoming traffic lane. The fact that it's a lane for southbound drivers doesn't matter much to him. Or maybe he's on the phone. Or texting.

I've only been complaining to the Woodstock Police Department about this for five-six years, so it's not time to do anything about it yet. I guess. Before McDonald's modernized and changed its driveway traffic flow, I had complained to the Woodstock Streets Department, the Woodstock Police Department and to IDOT - all with no success. But driver can still turn left off Route 47 into McDonald's, so the problem still exists.

I guess what it will take is for a woman with a carload of kids or a member of the City Council to get hit head-on. Then something may get done about it.

Since the cops can't be there 24/7, it's a perfect spot for photo enforcement. Create a local ordinance. Put a camera on a pole in front of CHASE Bank and photo the vehicle and the driver. Gotcha! Since Route 47 is a State highway, IDOT would have to post the signs to prohibit the left turn.

If the City of Woodstock asked for IDOT's help, they'd get it. But they won't ask. Or, at least, they wouldn't ask a few years ago. Should crashes be prevented? Or should action occur only after a bad crash?

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