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Hinsdale police considering barriers to reduce downtown accidents

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 4:23 p.m. CDT

HINSDALE — It's no longer thought to be a coincidence, but rather a regular occurrence that has prompted the Hinsdale Police Department to try to improve safety.

Police are contemplating placing barriers in the Hinsdale business district along South Washington Street after repeated accidents have occurred since 2001.

"We've seen a number of crashes that have occurred in the 100 block of South Washington on the west side of the street," said Hinsdale Police Chief Bradley Bloom. "Three so far this year were cars that have jumped the curb and struck the buildings."

Steinway Piano workers know the feeling all too well, as the building has been struck twice this year, causing damage to the main entrance.

Bloom brought the issue forward to the zoning and public safety committees several months back, and members asked the department to research options to increase safety.

"What we told the zoning and public safety committee on Monday was that we would come back with some designs and some cost and get some direction from them if they wanted to move forward with this," Bloom said.

Bloom said what's unusual about the situation is it doesn't seem to be happening anywhere else in the business district.

"The only thing that's peculiar about that block is it's uphill, diagonal parking," he said. "I'm assuming when most people pull into those spaces they have their foot on the accelerator."

It will take some time before barriers could be put in if approved, Bloom said, because they would need to be designed in a way that would be aesthetically pleasing.

"Our concern is the safety of the residents and the people in the buildings," he said. "I think it's upon us to implement some common-sense safety."

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