Why work groups?
Quentin Road has many stakeholders with a lot of diverse needs. They all must be considered during planning, rebuilding, and maintaining the road. We have identified four large areas of topics that seem to cut across all stakeholder groups and seem to be a good first way of categorizing what the road needs to do for us. We are sponsoring work groups that drill deeper into each of the topics both here on the forum as well as during face-to-face meetings.
Work Group 1: Road safety
Nobody wants to get hurt on the road so that safety concerns have to be among the most pressing needs for all stakeholders. We can enumerate all the problems we have with the current road, and can look at reputable research and experience from similar road projects to anticipate the impact of possible rebuild scenarios.
Among many other details, this work group will focus on road safety aspects such as:
- Left turns into and out of the neighborhoods and the Forest Preserve
- Erratic and aggressive driving behavior and speeding induced by multiple driving lanes
- Significantly increased accident rates for roads with four travel lanes on no median/center lane
- Increased accident rates due to road geometry changes (switching back and forth between four and five lanes)
- Accidents with wild-life
Work Group 2: Traffic and capacity
The Cook County Highway Department is often quoted to have said "the road must have five lanes". We have only heard them say that the road "qualifies" for five lanes.
We also always hear that Quentin Road is a "Strategic Regional Arterial (SRA)" and that is why it needs to have five lanes. While Quentin Road is indeed listed as SRA#414 by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP, a regional traffic plan for the route has never been finished or approved or published (see CMAP's SRA Resources Page. And then, series 400 SRAs such as Quentin Road are only minor SRAs and are not subject to the same requirements major series 100, 200, or 300 SRAs are.
This work group focuses on debunking the "five lane myth" and to assemble as much evidence as possible, that a three-lane approach is feasible for Quentin Road. Highway departments all over the country reduce lane count, they successfully operate high-volume three-lane roads, and the 2010 Edition of the Highway Capacity Manual has ben updated to better reflect the actual capacity of roads such as Quentin Road.
Work Group 3: Bike path and walk way
The goal of this work group is to bring together all of the stakeholders of the Quentin Road rebuild who are interested in finding a safe, kid-friendly sidewalk/path along the entire length of Quentin road, from Dundee to Lake Cook Road.
We believe that any solution must serve the neighbors along Quentin, the users of Deer Grove Forest Preserve, and the pedestrians and cyclists in the surrounding communities.
While we as on organization have some ideas about what these solutions should look like, the goal of this working group is to invite all stakeholders to participate in the discussion and development of a good plan and to cooperate with other organizations that share our goal.
Work Group 4: Deer Grove Forest Preserve
The goal of the Deer Grove Forest Preserve work group is to solicit the needs and preferences of forest preserve users regarding:
- crossing Quentin Road safely on bike, horse or foot
- the use and enjoyment of the forest preserve in a safe manner
- the impact on the road rebuild on the mission of the forest preserve district.
This work group also drives the dialogue with Forest Preserve Management regarding the east-side bike path south of the entrance to the preserve.