1. Why is this work on Quentin Road being proposed right now?
The Quentin Road upgrade has been talked about for many years. The driving force for the upgrade now is the bridge that crosses Salt Creek on Quentin is in need of repair.
2. What do Federal dollars have to do with this project?
According to the CCHD, Federal dollars have been obtained ($3,000,000) to fix the bridge. In order to get this money, the CCHD must meet the 2030 Average Daily Traffic (ADT) traffic projections. Also according to the CCHD, the ADT for this stretch of Quentin Road requires four traffic lanes plus a fifth center turn lane between Ruhl and Lake Cook to handle the traffic load.
3. Do you disagree with the CCHD traffic load projections?
Sort of. The projections were based on traffic data collected in 2008. They use a mathematical model that predicts the future numbers. So much has changed in the past two years that we suspect the model may need updating. The 2040 projections are due out next year, and they probably will more accurately reflect the changes we will see in urban growth of this region.
But let’s assume the projections are correct. The real point is this: are there other ways to meet the 2030 traffic projections without building five lanes of highway? We think there are. Many people are using "Smart" solutions to address traffic issues short of building more lanes. These include synchronizing traffic lights, adding turn lanes, adjusting traffic speeds.
4. But isn't this segment of Quentin completely overloaded?
Not at all. CCHD traffic counts show that Quentin Road is a very quiet road for most of the day. Quentin has to deal with high peak traffic during two very brief periods in the morning and evening rush hours.
Widening Quentin to three lanes with a full center turning lane, as we propose, goes a long way. It takes all cars turning left at Hill Crest, Woodland, West Center, South, and Ruhl out of the traffic lanes, making the traffic flow much smoother.
And since the vast majority of traffic travels north/south on Quentin, synchronizing traffic lights at Lake Cook and Dundee (and possibly Rand and North West Highway) will provide a much higher capacity of flowing traffic during the brief peak periods.
5. But what about losing the Federal dollars for this project?
Federal funding is not lost. A three lane "smart" solution does qualify for the federal funds, since our proposal will handle the 2030 traffic projections.
The federal funds are not tied to a five lane solution. The requirement for receiving federal funding is that the proposed solution can meet or exceed the 2030 traffic projections. "Smart" solutions such as the one we proposed have been used all across Illinois and the US at capacities above what is projected for Quentin Road in 2030.
6. Isn’t this section of Quentin Road the bottle neck for all of Quentin Road?
We have not seen any data to support that. It is true that Quentin narrows going south of Lake Cook Road and going north from Dundee Road. This narrowing makes traffic merge. But what you really need to do is drive the entire length of Quentin and determine overall what is preventing the even flow of traffic through the corridor.
We don’t believe the traffic lights are properly synchronized and the missing center turning lane creates significant flow disruptions when cars turn left into the neighborhoods along Quentin Road. To understand the larger picture one normally needs to conduct a "Traffic Impact Assessment" for a larger area - not just a small segment of a road.
7. What about bike paths? What is the plan for bike paths under the CCHD plan compared to what you are proposing?
Good question. Under the CCHD proposal a bike path will be built to connect the existing trail system in Deer Grove West (the Forest Preserve west of Quentin Rd) to the intersection of Lake Cook and Quentin Roads. We understand this will connect the Lake County bike paths to the bike paths in Deer Grove West. The neighborhoods to the east of Quentin would remain isolated from this trail system, and commuters who wish to ride north and south along Quentin would still be without a direct route of travel.
What we propose is to create a bike path (and/or sidewalk) on the East side of Quentin Road, from Lake Cook Road down to the bike path in Deer Grove East at Camp Reinberg, which will also connect with the Palatine bike path system via the underpass into Deer Grove West.
We do not want to see additional bike paths built in Deer Grove West. This has been recently designated a State Nature Preserve, and we believe we should minimize new path construction. There are already quite a few bike paths in Deer Grove West.
In addition, our proposal will address the needs of neighbors for a connection with streets on the East side of Quentin and allow them to travel safely to Lake Cook Road - without having to cross Quentin Road.