As many of you are aware, we have been working on the street racing issue in our Ward for some time. There have been recent flare-ups between 35th Street and 39th Street on Racine which spills over to Morgan Street. This is a challenging problem but know we have been and will continue to work on this problem.
I was out on Saturday night working with the police to stop the street racing. To that extent the police have been limiting access to the Mariano’s parking lot on Ashland Ave. Last weekend there were approximately 1,200 street racing cars at that lot. On Saturday night I saw approximately 250 cars driving from Racine to Morgan down into the Stockyards and then over to Mariano’s. The whole night was a game of “cat and mouse.” Very frustrating!
I am happy to see that some of the measurers we have been working on with the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) are finally being implemented. Since 2019 we have been working on traffic calming measures along Racine from 35th to 39th. I also introduced an ordinance in April of 2020 for additional stop signs at 37th and Racine.
As part of this effort, we anticipated traffic could be deferred to Morgan Street, so back in 2019, I requested CDOT conduct a traffic study. They initially concluded that no new stop signs were warranted on Morgan Street from 35th Street to 39th Street. We have been working with CDOT to convince the traffic engineers to allow for more stop signs. I was happy to convince the engineers in March of this year and an ordinance will be introduced on May 20, 2020.
New stop signs along Morgan Street at 35th Place and 37th Street will further slow traffic and hopefully deter the street racers.
You may also notice the temporary traffic calming measures that were installed along Racine this week. This pilot program will give us an opportunity to study the design to ensure it is the most effective measure to reduce street racing. ( I Have attached a rendering of the plan).
We are also keenly aware of this racing along Loomis. Since the bridge has been out of service, while we rebuild it, the racing has been quiet. We will be ready once the work is done on the bridge.
I, like many of you get frustrated with the racing. Rest assured your calls and suggestions are being heard and changes are being implemented. If we can be of further service, please contact my office.
Patrick D, Thompson
Alderman, 11th Ward