Accident at Diversey raises ire of neighbors
Police officers investigate the scene of a two-car accident that happened on York near Diversey on the City’s north side. Both cars were reportedly totaled, but no injuries were reported. The intersection has been dubbed the “suicide corner” by the neighbors due to its poor visibility and the number of mishaps at the site. Neighbors have appealed to the City to install a stoplight or other safety measures.

By Dee Longfellow

For The Elmhurst Independent

On Saturday, Feb. 15, an accident occurred on York Street near Diversey in north Elmhurst that reportedly totaled two automobiles. No injuries were reported – at least, not this time.

Neighbors have been requesting a stoplight at that intersection ever since north side residents came out to a City Council meeting in June of 2019, along with resident Pete DiCianni, who is a member of the DuPage County Board, Dist. 2, and former mayor of Elmhurst. DiCianni, who grew up on the north side where six of the seven siblings attended Churchville School, brought along a petition that evening with 400 signatures to plead for a traffic light, a painted crosswalk and any other safety measures that could be afforded at the intersection of York St. and Diversey.

In light of the recent accident, DiCianni now is especially alarmed and extremely concerned with the delay to move forward with safety initiatives.

“By gauging the traffic patterns only, the warrant study is declining the stoplight despite multiple past accidents, injuries and even a fatality,” DiCianni told the Independent in an exclusive interview. “Not only did residents sign a petition, both principals [of Conrad Fischer and Churchville schools] wrote letters of support, and the Village of Bensenville even passed a resolution of support because some of their local children attend Conrad Fischer.”

At the City Council meeting back in June, Joe Martucci, a 56-year resident of north Elmhurst, said that York & Diversey was known locally as the “suicide corner.”

“In the past 56 years, there have been several accidents and records indicate a few deaths, too,” Martucci said. “There are 1000 children between Churchville and Fischer schools, there’s McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, the Shell gas station, Mangia Italiano, the two car repair shops, gas stations, making it impossible to exit Diversey either north or south.  

“I’ve been buying food and walking across to the townhouses and it’s nearly impossible. It’s been astronomically bad. I hope you [the City Council] take it into consideration.”

In addition, letters of support for the measure were submitted by DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick and by County Board members Donald Puchalski, Sam Tornatore and Ashley Selmon, all of whom represent District #1, which includes the York & Diversey intersection.

“The problem is,” DiCianni said, “they do these warrant studies but nobody talks about the schools, the area businesses, Elm Brook Senior Care. Nobody asks, ‘does it make sense, will it save lives?’ At some point, you have to use common sense and look at history. It’s time to start investing in the north side’s safety.”

 

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