Four new police officers were sworn in on Nov. 8 by Police Chief Dan Vittorio (third from left) at the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting. The new patrol officers are (from left) Alekhine Aguilos, Iarahim Mansour, Robert Schmidt II and Daniel Cronin. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Four new police officers were sworn in on Nov. 8 by Police Chief Dan Vittorio (third from left) at the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting. The new patrol officers are (from left) Alekhine Aguilos, Iarahim Mansour, Robert Schmidt II and Daniel Cronin. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn officials want drivers to slow down

By Joe Boyle

Oak Lawn officials are concerned about drivers who are refusing to slow down and are ignoring stop signs.

“The number one complaint I have gotten over the years is the flow of traffic and speeding,” said Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) at the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on Nov. 8. “People want more stop signs but it just doesn’t work. But this is also about the court system. Police are going to write the tickets and they have to go to court. Many of the them then just get a slap on the wrist.”

The issue came up after a request to recommend a two-way stop sign at the intersection of 96th Street and Kolmar Avenue. While none of the trustees opposed a stop sign, some believed that a four-way stop would be the best option.

The Traffic and Safety Commission had previously approved the request. The board eventually agreed to insert the two-way stop sign by a 4-1 margin. Trustee Paul Mallo (3rd) objected, stating that a four-way stop sign would be safer. Trustee Tim Desmond (1st) was not at the meeting.

Mayor Terry Vorderer agreed with Mallo, but encouraged a vote to approve the two-way stop sign. He said this could be revisited at a later date.

The addition of speed humps were debated during the meeting. Olejniczak said that long term they don’t prevent drivers from speeding.

Village Manager Tom Phelan said the increase in drivers racing down side streets has increased and is an example of many motorists who have a disregard for safety.

“I’m concerned about driving through stop signs,” Phelan said. “It is a problem. It used to be the rolling stops and now they are just driving through them. That is a concern with kids out playing.”

Mallo also has concerns about adding speed humps.

“As far as speed humps, they can actually cause more damage,” Mallo said. “But drivers not only cut through 96th Street but they cut through the whole district.”

Trustee James Pembroke (4th) also reminded everyone that with the recent time change, it will be darker later in the afternoon. Motorists should be careful when driving into the evening hours, Pembroke said.

“It is getting darker earlier and I want to remind drivers to slow down when they are driving down the streets,” Pembroke said. “Please slow down.”

Most of the trustees said said they get two or three calls at least each week about speeding drivers.

Trustee Ralph Soch (6th) suggested that digital speed monitors that indicate the speed in which a driver is traveling could be inserted in more locations in the village. He believes that drivers who see the speed in which they are traveling will cause them to slow down.

Police Chief Dan Vittorio said that four-way stop signs are usually reserved for busier intersections. But he also added that installing more stop signs does not always help.

Vorderer said 96th Street is an alternate route for motorists who are trying to avoid 95th Street. Officials have also indicated that traffic has increased along side streets near Central Avenue from Southwest Highway to 107th Street due to the water main project that will continue through next year.

Four new police officers took the oath to serve the village during the meeting. The new patrol officers are Alekhine Aguilos, Daniel Cronin, Iarahim Mansour and Robert Schmidt II. Vittorio pointed out that the new officers were lateral transfers from different municipalities.

Mallo, who was the chief organizer of the new Fall Music Festival that replaced the Fall on the Green format, presented donations to Park Lawn, The Courage Program and Live Like Abby. All three organizations will receive $20,000 from proceeds raised from the three-day festival.

Eagle Scout Awards were presented to Blake Izaguirre and Domas Rasynas.

Vorderer also wanted to thank everyone who voted in the general election. On a personal note, Vorderer thanked his wife, Linda. The couple celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary on Nov. 8.

2 Comments

  1. Trevor on November 20, 2022 at 9:16 am

    Install a Roundabout .



  2. Ron Fordice on November 20, 2022 at 10:51 am

    Stop signs do nothing. I see people every day blow right thru the stop signs to avoid the stoplight at 103rd&Cicero.
    I see can’t see way you say speed bumps would be unsafe. If someone is speeding and the bump damaged there car that’s there problem, and maybe that will teach them about speeding.
    Start putting in some roundabouts like they do in Evergreen Park or the speed bumps.



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