Vernon detour should be revised [UPDATED]Published 4:01am Monday, September 16, 2013 Updated 6:09am Monday, September 16, 2013
Is it too late to revise the Vernon Avenue construction detour? We hope not, because as it now stands the detour guides traffic through a school zone during the peak of the morning school and work rush — a situation that is at best inconvenient and at worst outright dangerous.
It is wonderful to see crews at work on Vernon Ave. between NP Park and the Union Ave. intersection. That stretch of road, a key route to some of the city’s major institutions, has been a cratered eyesore for years and it is high time that it is brought back to acceptable condition. The trouble is, detour signs route southbound Union Avenue traffic all the way to Channing Avenue right past the front of Adams School. The area around Adams is packed each morning with children and parents walking to school, with parents dropping children off and with school buses maneuvering on narrow streets. At the best of times the area is too congested. Now it is additionally crowded with drivers who would normally take Vernon on their way to work. The detour looks good on a map. In practice, it is not so good.
A better choice might clearly route southbound traffic along Washington and South Cascade, a route lined with businesses and offices rather than with homes and school children and is already being used as the detour for traffic going the opposite direction. It might be difficult to install clear detour signs for southbound traffic. Or there might be a better alternative. Either seems better than guiding traffic into the crowded vicinity of a school.
Sometimes the best of plans need to be revised. The Vernon Ave. construction detour seems to be one such case.