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Albany Park Resident Wants City To Take Action On Problem Intersection; 'It's Like An Obstacle Course Around Here'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Rick Young says his complaints about an intersection in his Albany Park neighborhood are falling on deaf ears. CBS 2 Morning Insider explains why his alderman is asking him to make even more noise.

Young has called the intersection of Ainslie and Kimball home for nearly 20 years, and has noted lots of nuisances in the neighborhood, from drivers using the alleys as shortcuts to cars parked at bus stops to roaring motorcycle engines.

"I've been writing to people: alderman's office, anybody I could think of," he said.

Young said, since the beginning of the summer, he's sent hundreds of emails to the alderman's office.

He also sent CBS 2 email after email with picture and video proof of complaints about parking violations in June, drivers blaring their horns in August, and littering in September.

The Morning Insiders wondered if Young was the boy who cried wolf, and decided to investigate his claims of daily chaos at Ainslie and Kimball.

"It's like an obstacle course around here," he said. "These cars just simply don't stop here. They sort of roll through the intersection."

CBS 2 waited it out, and counted at least a dozen rolling stops in about 20 minutes.

"My safety concerns are for pedestrians who are trying to cross this intersection," he said. "I've seen this for 19 years."

Even bicyclists blow right through the intersection without stopping.

On just a two-block stretch of Kimball near Ainsle, city traffic data shows 26 car crashes in less than a year. More than a few of those caused by drivers failing to yield.

Chris Poulos, chief of staff for Ald. Rossana Rodriguez (33rd) said the alderman is aware of the traffic issues at the intersection, and she is considering asking the Chicago Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic study in Albany Park.

"It sort of forms a natural chokepoint. You have Ainslie as the only sort of street that goes to Kimball. You have schools in the area," he said.

However, Poulos wouldn't commit to making a move just yet.

"When you're asking CDOT to conduct a traffic study, you have to take into account that that's going to be city resources. So we want to be very careful, and sort out how we approach that," he said.

Poulos said the alderman's office hasn't been overwhelmed by the number of complaints Young has filed; in fact, he said Young should get more neighbors to call in to help Rodriguez legitimize complaints to the city.

CDOT said they conduct approximately 1,000 traffic studies each year. The department said it's in the midst of a study in another part of Young's ward.

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