City of Elmhurst

Elmhurst City Centre Traffic Review and Signal Modifications

Studying Traffic Operations within a Resurgent Downtown

Having experienced significant growth within its urban core, City officials inquired about the implications that increased density has had and will continue to have on traffic operations within the Central Business District. Civiltech provided Traffic Engineering services to investigate existing and future traffic concerns and recommend measures to enhance existing traffic operations and mitigate anticipated increases in congestion.

Studying and Modeling Existing and Future Conditions

Civiltech conducted vehicular and pedestrian counts at 22 intersections, assigned traffic anticipated to be generated from new developments to the street system, and conducted existing and future conditions signalized intersection capacity analyses to compare key performance metrics. Analyses were completed using a traffic model developed using Trafficware’s Synchro/SimTraffic software. The comparison between existing and future conditions found that the anticipated development projects would only minimally increase traffic volumes in downtown Elmhurst.

Analyzing Traffic Signal Performance

The City also recently installed new signal controllers at five CBD intersections. At York/South Palmer, vehicle queuing and delays persisted. Civiltech performed field visits to observe traffic signal operations and impacts on vehicular/pedestrian movement, developed recommendations for signal phasing and timing modifications, assisted with the re-programming of the controller at the intersection, and performed follow-up observations. Significant improvement was observed and compliments were received from stakeholders.

Traffic Signal Design Recommendations

To the south, the York/Arthur intersection is heavily used by pedestrians during school arrival and dismissal periods with reports of northbound motorists “blowing” the red light. Civiltech studied the location and concluded that this is due to the presence of post-mounted signals only. Motorists’ attention is likely being misdirected to the South Palmer intersection mast arms 350 feet to the north. Civiltech initiated a traffic signal design and construction contract to install new mast arms at this location.

Analyzing Development Generated Traffic

Another component of the study involved a traffic count within a parking garage of a newly-built residential development to quantify the number of peak hour inbound and outbound trips generated by a typical apartment building in the center of Elmhurst. This development was found to be generating significantly less traffic when compared to industry-wide averages, leading to the conclusion that residents in downtown Elmhurst are using alternative modes of transportation to travel to work or to run errands.

Additional Studies Under this Contract

Additional intersections were evaluated under this contract including:

  • A possible one-way conversion of Addison Avenue from Second to Third Street
  • The feasibility of removing turning restrictions at York Street/First Street
  • Potential modifications to traffic control at York Street/Schiller Street
  • A left turn arrow study at York Street/Third Street

This Project Incorporates the Following:

  • Certified PTOEs
  • Traffic counts and field observations
  • Signal phasing and timing modifications
  • Modeling with Synchro and SimTraffic
  • Traffic signal controller reprogramming
  • Traffic signal mast arm placement
  • Analysis of development generated traffic
  • Studying a variety of intersection issues

Scope of Services

  • Traffic Engineering
  • Traffic Projections
  • Traffic Counts
  • Intersection Control Studies


  • Local


Learn more about this project and its related services.

Contact Mike Folkening