Motorists on the west side of Jacksonville need to pay extra attention near Illinois College from now on.
The Jacksonville City Street Department installed the new stop signs at the intersection of College Avenue and Park Street this morning, turning the long-beleaguered intersection into a full four-way stop.
The City Council has heard increasing concerns from residents in the area of the intersection after a number of car crashes and near misses occurred at the intersection over the last year.
Neighbors said with Washington Elementary students walking to the Jacksonville Middle School grounds during the school’s renovation, and Eisenhower Elementary students following suit this fall, the need for a four-way stop was greatly magnified.
College Avenue now has two additional stop signs with LED border lights that flash to alert approaching traffic of the new stop zone. New crosswalks have been painted and no parking zones bordering the intersection have been lengthened with some now stretching more than one hundred feet from the crossing.
Both College and Park were closed for approximately three hours this morning while the signs were installed and crosswalk paint was allowed to dry.
The new intersection now divides what was the longest uninterrupted stretch of city street in Jacksonville. Motorists are urged to pay attention while traveling in the 1000 and 1100 blocks of West College as the intersection with Park Street has never been a four-way stop.
The change was approved unanimously by the City Council a little over a week ago. Following the meeting, Mayor Andy Ezard said there have been a lot of close calls at the intersection and the city and council do not want any more close calls. He said it will take some time for folks to get used to the new stop, but the bottom line is safety first.