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Forget Frogger, Ridge looking to light up Metra crossing area

  • Written by Kevin M. Coyne

  For Chicago Ridge residents who are worried about crossing Ridgeland Avenue at the 103rd Metra station, village officials vowed to put up light up signs, which is expected to help commuters cross over Ridgeland without feeling like they are in a real-life Frogger game.
  “There haven’t been an reports of commuters being hit by an automobile but when I was up there today you can tell that it’s just a mess when the police are not directing traffic,” Police Chief Robert Pyznarski said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “I would much rather see as many light-up signs as possible because it’s very difficult to see the current signage.”
  In addition to adding new light-up signage, the village is expected to contract Celtic Developments at a cost of approximately $30,000 to improve the lighting around the 103rd and Ridgeland Metra station.
  • In other board news, there were some shifts on the fire and police beats.
  After police officer Daniel Grant was selected for the Narcotics and Currency Interdiction Team, the already short-staffed village was in need of officers.
  In light of Grant’s void and other officers either getting hurt or retiring, Chicago Ridge officer Jonathan Hill was sworn-in by Village Clerk George Schleyer at Tuesday’s meeting.
  Village officials also approved the hiring of four additional on-call firefighters. A request was submitted by Fire Chief Robert Muszynski earlier this month. After weeks of deliberation the village approved the chief’s request.
  • Video streaming of board meetings is fast approaching. Trustee Sally Durkin and the village’s information technology department have found a way to stream board meetings on YouTube and link videos to the village website, which is expected to be updated in the coming months.
  “After speaking with the village’s IT guy I feel that we are able to use YouTube to post video online and link the videos to the village’s website,” Durkin said. “We would like to use Comcast to stream video live but they would require us to pay a lot more. If we use YouTube we would be able to stream video for under $1,000.”
  • Two Ridge residents, Joe and Nancy Oswald praised the village for the holiday display around the village, saying they are “proud to be residents of Chicago Ridge.”
  In November, village officials purchased the various lights and decorations for a total of $20,000 over two years. The manufacturer offered the village a half-now-half-later deal where the village is able to save renting costs by simply owning the LED lights.
  “If we purchase the lights now over the years we’ll save money by not having the rent the lights,” Trustee John Lind said at the November board meeting. “We’ll also have the light for the next 10 years and we don’t have to pay any interest on the long-term agreement.”