Active Transporation Alliance is making Skokie’s streets smart

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Active Transporation Alliance is making Skokie’s streets smart

Ben Lipka

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Jason Mormolstein, English and journalism teacher, parks in the Old Orchard Mall parking lot and exits his 2007 Kia Sportage, prepared for another exciting day at Niles North. Cars whoosh past as Mormolstein begins to steadily cross Lawler Avenue. Eventually, Mormolstein meets the sweet embrace of door four and is flushed with relief.

Mormolstein, like hundreds of other faculty members at Niles North, has had to either make a dash across the busy Lawler or walk all the way to the other crosswalk, which is completely out of the way. However, thanks to a grant to assist in traffic control projects, the Active Transportation Alliance (ATA) is considering setting up a crosswalk on Lawler Avenue between doors four and five to make the environment safer and slow down traffic for pedestrians like Mormolstein.

“Our goal is to make crossing stress free for students and faculty and ensure traffic is safe,” Nancy Wagner, a member of the ATA, said.

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, the ATA closed Lawler Avenue from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to set up a temporary crosswalk which was active from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., as pedestrian activity peaked. The Niles North engineering classes recorded activity along the new crosswalk.

“We’re going to be doing some of these because it’s a quick and inexpensive way to test the space and provide feedback,” Hanna Kite, another representative of the ATA, said.

Constructive criticism from the community along with a committee’s input will decide how successful the event was. The ATA hopes that this event can serve as a model for future crosswalk testing.