by: Angela Wood, Member of HHPNA
For over a decade our family has lived on the 600 block of South Willow Avenue. We enjoy what Historic Hyde Park has to offer in the way of historic homes, trees, excellent schools, friendly neighbors and soon the newly renovated Hyde Park Village.
However, absolutely nothing has changed over the past ten years with regards to speeding cars and heavy trucks illegally cutting through on the 300-600 blocks of South Willow. For over ten years, our family, along with many other residents, has complained to the City and to the police about the daily frustrations we face as residents. We have seen many pedestrians and bicyclists almost hit by speeding cars. In the last 12 months, two of our neighbors’ cars have been totaled after being struck at a high speed as they were parked on the side of the road. In addition, multiple other cars have lost mirrors and bumpers from hit-and-run drivers. With no crosswalk on South Willow Avenue at West Swann Avenue, children walking to and from school are guessing where to cross.
Recently, members from HHPNA, the Spanishtown Creek Neighborhood Association, representatives from the Selmon Expressway, and several concerned residents, met with City Councilman, Harry Cohen, to see what can be done to address some of the issues.
At this time, the City is studying a number of areas for improvements including South Willow Avenue. It was shared during the meeting that posting signage directing trucks to the designated truck route (as opposed to just the current “No Truck” signs on South Willow Avenue) and a crosswalk at South Willow and West Swann Avenues are part of the the overall plan. Because these initiatives are part of a city-wide project, we expect the changes to take time.
South Willow Avenue is a residential, family-filled street. It is also one of the primary gateways into Hyde Park. We hope these changes will help make it a more beautiful and safe roadway for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.