Roundabouts Suggested On Darien's Cass Ave.

DARIEN, IL – A consultant says area officials should consider roundabouts or a traffic signal to improve traffic flow along Cass Avenue near Interstate 55 in Darien.

Through a public records request, Patch obtained a 168-page report from consultant CDM Smith. Completed last month, the study was commissioned by DuPage County.

The report introduces the idea of having roundabouts at Cass’ intersections with Northgate and South Frontage Roads.

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Those roundabouts could be combined into what is known as a “peanut roundabout,” acting as one system. That would simplify access and let drivers navigate freely “within the peanut,” the consultant said.

Roundabout supporters say they are good for traffic flow, safety and the environment.

Find out what's happening in Darienwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

In meetings with nearby government agencies, the consultant found some were concerned with driver expectations of roundabouts. But none of them opposed the concept.

An alternative for South Frontage and Northgate is a traffic light, the consultant said.

The study covered the area of Cass between 91st Street and Concord Place.

The consultant counted 198 traffic crashes between 2016 and 2021. (2020 was excluded because pandemic regulations skewed results, the consultant said.)

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The most crashes were at the intersection of Cass, Hinswood Drive and North Frontage Road. Many involved drivers turning and failing to yield, according to the study.

Between 2016 and 2021, the area in question included four fatal crashes and one just outside the area, the report said.

One of the crashes occurred on May 31, 2020. Gina C. Pisano, 31, of Oak Lawn, who was riding a motorcycle, collided with a pickup truck, according to a police report. She died shortly afterward. The primary cause was the truck driver failed to yield the right of way, the consultant said.

For the one outside the area, 57-year-old Cicero residents Ronald Circelli and Laura Bale were found dead after their motorcycle crashed on Sept. 27, 2021, in a ditch between North Frontage Road and the Cass Avenue ramp to southbound Interstate 55. It was believed they failed to reduce speed on a curve on North Frontage.

In early 2022, the County Board approved spending up to $241,000 with CDM Smith to study the intersection and the surrounding area.

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