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Fiction versus Fact PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   

There is all kinds of misinformation floating out there. Here a few clarifications:

Fiction: The only way to meet 2030 traffic loads for Quentin road is a five lane highway
Fact: There are actually a number of different ways to tackle this problem.

We believe the Cook County Highway Department (CCHD) has only looked at one.

  • Synchronized traffic lights! Synchronizing traffic lights along a road can have a huge, positive impact on traffic flow. Traffic flows in bundles of cars along the entire corridor without stopping. There are regular gaps for people to pull out into the road.
  • Add a third lane for people making turns off of Quentin road! This would eliminate traffic stopping traffic to pull off the current two lane road.
  • Slow down traffic. Its counter intuitive, but slower traffic means cars can move more closely together (more cars per travelling through the same area).
  • The fact is the traffic issues on Quentin road are at two short peak times (morning and afternoon rush hours). We believe less expensive, smarter solutions can mitigate these traffic concerns well within 2030 ADT projections.

Fiction: You environmentalist just want the "No Build" solution.
Fact: This is just not true

From the beginning of this process members of this group have tried to work with all stakeholders to address this problem. The three lane proposal is our suggested alternative. The position that it must either be a 5 lane highway or "No Build" is actually the position of the CCHD. Basically they are saying we must accept their proposal or they will give us the “No Build” option. (Under the “No build” option they address the bridge repairs and leave Quentin a two lane highway.) They are trying to frighten us into accepting their proposal OR ELSE. This has succeeded with some people who are terrified that if we don’t go along with the CCHD, we will get “No Build.”

We believe the CCHD works for us, the citizens of Cook County. Our goal is to work with them to find a solution that meets all of the stakeholders needs. We have been trying to get the CCHD to give some estimates for alternatives to a five lane. Unfortunately, it seems their only solution to traffic problems is building wider roads.

Fiction: The Forest Preserve will be hardly harmed at all by the proposed 5 lane solution.
Fact: About 1,000 trees will get cut down

This is concretely what we know will happen. (We are trying to use the CCHD’s numbers here.)

  • About 1,000 trees will get cut down.
  • In total 7 acres of new easement will be lost: .8 acres for permanent easement for the road, 1.6 acres for temporary easement that will be destroyed by the road construction, and 4.5 acres will be lost to forest preserve improvements which include relocating the entrance to Deer Grove, an underpass for pedestrians and bikers, and a new paved bike path in Deer Grove West. While we do support the underpass, the other forest preserve improvements are unnecessary and will use forest preserve land unnecessarily. Note: These figures are on top of any existing right of way easements that have been granted.
  • 1 acre will be lost to the expanded road; 2.5 acres will be ecologically destroyed by the construction, and another 3.5 acres will be used for building the under pass (which we support), and the bike trail (more on that later). So in total about 7 acres of land will be lost.
  • 8 wetlands will be significantly impacted by the 5 lane highway.
  • Instead of 2 lanes of asphalt, we will have 5 lanes of asphalt. 5 lanes need more salt during the winter and the larger impervious asphalt surface washes everything on it into the watershed.
  • 5 lanes will be more dangerous for commuters since they will increase the probability of accidents with deer and other large animals.
  • The proposed 5 lane will have curbs and gutters. This is not good for amphibians and small critters. People make fun of this, but the fact is we are expanding a concrete road through many creatures’ habitat: frogs, turtles, salamanders, etc. Curbs don’t help.

Now whether you think this is a significant impact or not, this is what will happen. Some of us believe we should make our best effort to mitigate the harm we are doing to this natural area.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 March 2010 00:18