There was a time when I would drive south on Laramie to the Eisenhower expressway very early in the morning. And for many years, the ability to make a left turn onto the Eisenhower was pretty much based on the green light. Then a number of years ago, some idiot decided that the green light wasn’t justifiable. Now you have a sign that says you can only turn on the green arrow.
Even with the new Amazon warehouse located just south of Roosevelt Road on Laramie, there is still not that much heavy traffic coming northbound on Laramie out of Cicero, which would make the left turn availability dependent solely upon the arrow. I’ve mentioned my disdain for it a couple of times in older columns. Years back, I felt like I was a sitting duck. And in today’s world of carjacking, sitting out there with nothing coming either northbound or southbound seems even more dangerous. And although I haven’t heard of any carjacking stories at that location, and thank goodness there’s a lot of open space if you’re paying attention to notice someone on foot, there is still the potential for carjackers in cars to target you as you sit there waiting on that left-turn signal.
If there’s one thing our local politicians can advocate for, it’s that the city start synchronizing the lights, especially late at night, to go green in a consistent pattern. Anybody who has traveled northbound on Cicero knows that the light catches you at Madison. And then once it goes green you barely can get across at Washington because they have the red light camera there. All designed to trap drivers and earn money for the city with no regard for the safety of the residents!
And seeing that the ages of some of our carjackers are very young teens, it’s time that at minimum they arrest the legal guardian/parent and lock them and that teenager up in a cell together for a minimum of 96 hours. The cell would have one cot and one chair. And it would be very interesting to see who gets to lie down and go to sleep.
We also need laws in place so these children must attend school. Being locked up should not include television or entertainment. And classical music should be pumped into the cells because we know how that sound can help to tame the savage beast.
Lastly, one of my friends posed a very interesting question online: Are the young people of other racial/ethnic groups out here carjacking at the level young black kids are?
I did see a news report where some of the young people claimed they did it because they were bored. Or because of peer pressure. Perhaps at minimum, we’re going to have to start making them accountable for financial restitution, even if it means they have to do it their entire life.
There has to be real consequences that make our young people think twice before they commit the carnage they now do so readily.