Politics & Government

This Shiloh road had 168 accidents in 3 years. Now you’ll have to drive slower.

A road connecting Belleville and O’Fallon that had 168 accidents in the past three years is getting a speed limit reduction.

The St. Clair County Board voted Monday night to approve an ordinance lowering the speed limit of a 1.6-mile stretch of North Green Mount Road between Frank Scott Parkway East and Lebanon Avenue from 45 to 40 mph.

County Engineer Norm Etling said while the county gets many speed complaints, few actually meet the requirements. In this case, however, he said a speed reduction was warranted.

“There have been enough accidents there to warrant a reduction in speed,” he said.

According to a speed reduction study conducted by the county, over the last three years, there have been 168 reported accidents along that stretch of roadway. Of those accidents, 85 have been “rear-end type” collisions.

In October 2018, according to Shiloh Police, there were four accidents on North Green Mount in one week. Those rear-end accidents have been often attributed to excessive speeding, the study found. Most have been fender-benders, Etling added.

The study also found the growth surrounding the road warranted a speed decrease and noted that area school districts have buses in the area throughout the mornings and afternoons.

The speed limit will be reduced on Green Mount Road in O’Fallon between Frank Scott Parkway and Lebanon Avenue. Wikimedia

Time will tell whether the speed reduction actually curbs accidents, Etling said, noting that driver error may be attributed to accidents on the road as well.

“It’s not all related to speed,” he said.

An area just north of where the speed limit reduction will stop, between Frank Scott Parkway East and U.S. Highway 50, was the focus of some O’Fallon residents’ frustration in 2017. Traffic restrictions were installed to promote safety by prohibiting drivers from turning left onto Green Mount from Aladar and Donna drives. But residents complained that the restrictions, which turned Green Mount into a four-lane, divided road at that point, have made getting out of subdivision difficult and increased traffic on some streets.

At the start of the county meeting, an O’Fallon organization dubbed the Stoplight Campaign requested the county install a stoplight at Scott-Troy Road and Old Vincennes Trail. Several members said at peak hours of the day the intersection is dangerous.

Gary Hursey, an O’Fallon Township trustee, said the intersection is dangerous and people’s lives are at risk. He said the city of O’Fallon and the township have agreed to split the cost but said the county backing the project would “go a long way” toward getting the stoplight installed.

County Board Chairman Mark Kern said the county conducted a traffic study of the intersection five years ago that concluded there was no need for a stoplight. He said if growth has changed that in the past five years, a new study would need to be requested by the O’Fallon City Council.

Some members of the organization disagreed and said that the responsibility should fall to the county.

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.
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