Letter: Maintain Morrison intersection’s current design

Morrison’s residents should call City Council members and reject ill-advised changes

Sauk Valley Letters to the Editor

The Morrison City Council is considering various options for reconfiguring the intersection of Genesee Street and Route 30, including options that would remove the existing traffic signals, make some sections adjacent to Route 30 one-way only and even close a one-block stretch of Genesee between Main Street and Route 30 to create a pedestrian plaza.

Morrison’s residents should reject these ill-advised changes and call on their City Council members to maintain the intersection’s present design.

Although some have characterized the intersection as unsafe, based on data that I obtained through a FOIA request to the Illinois Department of Transportation, only three collisions have occurred at the intersection in the past five years (2018-2022). The Genesee Street crossing is among the safest intersections for those crossing Route 30, whether as pedestrians, bicyclists or motorists.

Temporary street closures for farmers markets, festivals and other events can and should be utilized to attract shoppers and visitors to the central business district. Permanently closing a street to create a pedestrian plaza that would be used for special events perhaps 15 or 20 days of the year makes no sense. Access for local residents – including the apartment dwellers who would lose convenient parking near their own homes if the plaza were built –should be considered as the City Council evaluates potential changes.

I encourage Morrison’s residents to contact their City Council members to express their views on the potential redesign of Genesee Street. This safe, convenient, well-functioning intersection should be maintained in its present form.

Brian Bartoz, Morrison