Trustees consider Fuller's safety wall

Safety bollards installed at Fuller’s Car Wash in the wake of a fatal accident this summer will be concealed under a proposal from the business.

At Tuesday’s Hinsdale Village Board meeting, trustees held a first read on Fuller’s plan to enclose the 3-foot-5-inch concrete-filled steel posts in a brick wall to match the building at 102 W. Chicago Ave. The 11 bollards were installed in August, shortly after Hinsdale’s Sean Richards, 14, was struck and killed July 17 when a vehicle exiting the car wash accelerated into the sidewalk where Richards was walking. The vehicle proceeded into Fontano’s Subs across Lincoln Street, injuring three patrons.

Fuller’s did not get approval from the village before erecting the protective barrier, an action for which owner Doug Fuller apologized during a plan commission hearing Oct. 11. Plan commissioners recommended approval of the project by an 8-0 vote.

Trustee Luke Stifflear, serving as president pro tem in Village President’s Tom Cauley’s absence Monday, reiterated the circumstances in introducing the matter.

“The applicant installed the bollards without a permit and at this time is seeking approval for the bollards, along with a more decorative brick wall which will surround the bollards,” Stifflear stated.

The bollards, which extend 4 feet into the ground, prevent cars exiting the car wash from continuing onto Lincoln, forcing them to turn immediately north. The majority of the approximately 40-foot wall will have a height of 4 feet 9 inches and be constructed of solid brick and limestone, according to officials, with two end caps on each side and decorative light fixtures on top of each end cap.

Joel Groenewold, attorney for Fuller’s, said the wall is an aesthetic upgrade.

“The purpose of the wall is to cover the bollards so you don’t see the bollards, because they’re ugly,” he said.

Trustee Alexis Braden expressed appreciation to Doug Fuller for implementing the measure out of safety concerns.

“Thank you for taking the initiative in doing that,” she said. “I know you did that on your own.”

She also asked Fuller and Groenewold if an engineer was enlisted to ensure the bollards were properly installed.

“I don’t think it was an engineer per se. It was Murphy’s Sealcoating that did the work, and it was their design person that said here’s how the bollards should be,” Groenewold responded.

Trustees are expected to take action on the matter at their Tuesday, Nov. 21, meeting.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean