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Hercules Road is 30MPH

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Hercules Road is 30MPH

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 22, 2007

At the September Coffee with the Chief the midnight-shift officer described his efforts to curb speeding on Hercules Road and Bloomfield Drive in the 20MPH speed limit zone. These roads are in the Apple Creek area in the south part of Woodstock. A resident asked if the 20MPH was a School Zone, and the officer answered that it was not.

The orange 20MPH Speed Limit signs are not legal speed limit signs, and the City quickly ordered the developer to remove the one (the only one) on Hercules Road. As of last week, the two orange (meaningless) 20MPH speed limit signs on Bloomfield Drive were still up.

Now, here is the interesting part. The officer said that he had made a half-dozen traffic stops in that area. Because the speed limit signs were not legal signs, I filed a FOIA Request with the Woodstock Police Department to learn how many speeding tickets and citations were issued on Hercules Road and how many traffic stops were made where tickets were not issued.

When I received a prompt reply from the PD, I realized that I had not been careful enough with my wording in my request. The answer?

On Hercules Road east of Dean Street - 2
On Bloomfield Drive between Dean Street and Braeburn Way - 0
Number of traffic stops without tickets or warnings - Not answered

What I wanted to know was how many tickets and how many warnings, but I didn't word my request specifically that way. I did get the answer to the question I asked which was read as the combined number of tickets and warnings. Well, at least I got a partial answer. It was my error not to ask the question I intended to ask.

Regardless of that, only two tickets (or warnings) are not a "half-dozen". So, maybe there were traffic stops without warnings or tickets. Only the officer knows whether he stopped a driver and did not issue a warning or ticket. The dispatcher ought to know, too, because all traffic stops should be reported by radio.

With respect to Hizzoner's request that I only take up the City's time with requests that are reasonable, responsible or legitimate, I'll back off this time (probably only this time) and not re-submit my FOIA request for the more specific and omitted information.

I'm sure it would be considered unreasonable for me to ask why I did not get an answer to how many traffic stops there were without tickets or warnings being issued. Has the City given up on its racial-profiling record-keeping that required an officer to give me a written Warning four years ago, after he stopped me for a turn that I proved on the spot was not unlawful?

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