GENEVA – Residents of the Fox Run subdivision off Route 25 in Geneva want the state of Illinois to reduce the speed limit on Route 25 from Fabyan Parkway to South Bennett Street, where the entrance to their subdivision is located.
Marty Smircich, a resident of the Fox Run subdivision, said the danger to residents comes from cars going faster than the 40 mph speed limit that is posted near the entrance to their subdivision.
“Where I’m coming out, the cars are not going 40 miles an hour,” Smircich said. “They’re going faster.”
Smircich said it also does not make sense that Route 25 increases to 50 miles an hour at 150 yards before the entrance to the Fabyan Forest Preserve.
Smircich presented Geneva aldermen with 115 signatures at the March 27 Committee of the Whole meeting, asking for the city to show its support for reducing the speed limit there.
Aldermen agreed to have City Administrator Stephanie Dawkins send a letter to the state, with a copy to the Kane County Forest Preserve District. But aldermen had reservations about committing the city’s resources to a study until they know what the state will require.
Smircich’s petition also stated the speed limit reduction is sought to “reduce the hazard of exiting Fox Run Drive, by posting speed limit of 30 miles per hour as far south and north of the Fox Run neighborhood as possible to ensure safety.”
But Smircich also said he would defer to traffic experts after a study as to what speed limit would be best.
“We’re simply asking the city to support asking IDOT to take a look at it and see if [reducing the speed limit] makes sense,” Smircich said.
Public Works Director Rich Babica said typically, when the state gets a request like this, it gives it back to the original requesting agency – in this case, Geneva – and seeks proof, usually in the form of a study.
“There are a myriad of issues to prove lowering the speed limit is justifiable and reasonable,” Babica said. “We would definitely need an engineering study. You base it [the speed limit] off the 85th percentile. It’s a four-lane highway coming down a hill southbound. We would need a full study for that entire corridor.”
First Ward Alderman Mike Bruno said he would be cautious about changing a speed limit on a road where additional development is expected.
“We’ve got basically a lot going on with Mill Race Inn and points south,” Bruno said. “That could easily invalidate any engineering that is done today. … I’d like to see how that area is developed first.”
Fourth Ward Alderman Jim Radecki said he would support a letter to the state for its consideration, but a resolution “takes a little more science behind it” before justifying spending money on a study.
Police Chief Eric Passarelli reported statistics for that area going back to 2009 show no accidents at the Fox Run and Crissey/Route 25 intersection. There were 104 accidents on Crissey, with 90 percent of them related to Route 25 and Fabyan Parkway, he said.
“We had one at Crissey and Oak, two at Crissey and Spring and six at Crissey and South Bennett,” Passarelli said. “From an accident perspective, the vast majority were down at the other end by Route 25 and Fabyan.”
Passarelli said police are actively doing traffic control in that area as well.
“We’ve had 141 traffic stops there this year and 1,051 since 2009,” Passarelli said. “Officers are definitely out there.”
But local attorney Doug Warlick, a resident of Fox Run, said drivers do not slow down unless they see a police officer.
“There is nothing to slow the vehicles until the stop sign,” Warlick said. “It’s not safe.”
Kane County Forest Preserve Commission Chairman Michael Kenyon said the district always tries to be cooperative in instances like this, when the forest preserve might be asked to support a citizen request.
“We want to do what is best for the citizens,” Kenyon said. “My feeling is the forest preserve wants to respect the local people. If you want speed limit reduced, we respect that.”