PEORIA, Ill. — Karen Hayter has lived on East Republic St. for five years, but does not feel comfortable when her grandchildren visit her home.
“I will not let them play outside,” said Hayter. “I have dogs, and I don’t let them come out front — only for a few minutes. It’s just ridiculous.”
A lot of drivers use the 300 to 700 blocks East Republic as a shortcut to Wisconsin Avenue, a heavily trafficked roadway. But unlike most other nearby residential streets, this stretch — where Hayter and dozens of neighbors reside — spans four blocks without cross streets or anything to slow cars down.
“They start slow,” said Hayter. “But they always end up getting really fast as you get down the street.”
“It’s a quick road,” said Hayter’s neighbor, Michael Cook. “There’s no stop signs, no speed bumps or nothing. They can go as fast as they want [with] no regard for kids or moms or anything out here.”
Glen Oak Learning Center is located directly across the street. According to Cook, there are several students in the neighborhood who walk to and from school daily during the school year. Cook, who has a daughter of his own, feared for the safety of the children, and requested the city place speed limit signs on this stretch of East Republic last year.
The city obliged and erected a pair of signs — one at each end of the street. But after several months of drivers continuing to speed, Cooks now believes the stops signs are not enough and reached out to WMBD.
One morning, our crews wanted to check out the situation and camped out with a speed gun to monitor drivers on East Republic. Out of nearly 30 vehicles in the span of 90 minutes, most of the drivers hovered slights above 25 miles per hour. But some registered more than 10 mph over the speed limit, including one car clocking in at 39 mph.
“I don’t know what they plan on doing,” said Cook. “If they are going to wait until someone gets hurt out here, or someone’s car gets ran into because someone’s speeding.”
Cook and Hayter have an idea to address the problem. They were inspired after seeing drivers slow down for road repairs currently taking place in the neighborhood.
“Speed bumps. All through this street, speed bumps,” said Cook. “If you have speed bumps you’re going to go slow, so you don’t tear something up in your car if you don’t slow down.”
“It would be nice to have some kind of speed bump or other deterrent other than the speed limit signs,” said Hayter. “The speed limit signs are not going anything.”
We reached out the Peoria Public Works about the situation, and it said there is a form online for residents to address these kinds of concerns. In fact, Peoria City Council approved the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Policy in October 2018, which allocates funding for residential concerns regarding the maintenance of safe and efficient roadways.
We’ve shared this link with Hayter. If you have similar concerns or would like to know if your concern qualifies for this funding, visit this link to fill out a request.