Mount Prospect, IDOT at a Crossroads on Pedestrian Safety Improvements
Mount Prospect is focused on keeping pedestrians and cyclists safe in the downtown area, but officials say achievement of that goal is on hold while their plans await approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Village officials expressed particular frustration at the lack of movement to improve traffic on the main street at Busse Avenue.
Main Street divides the downtown “triangle” into two segments north of the railroad tracks. On the west side are the new apartment complex 20 West and Restaurant Station 34. On the east side are restaurants, bars and a party hall.
Village director Michael Cassady said there was an impasse between IDOT and the village on how to improve access in this area.
Public Works Director Sean Dorsey said the priority now was to get approval for a crossing, but IDOT is looking for more turn restrictions for drivers.
According to the village proposal, there would be no left turn from Main Street southbound to Busse Avenue eastbound. Left turns would be permitted to and from the lane north of Station 34.
IDOT, however, also wants to ban left turns from Busse Avenue westbound on Main Street and all turns in and out of the lane. The state agency also wants direct, direct access to the east side of Busse Avenue and a higher median profile on that side.
“These restrictions are pretty severe (for drivers) when it comes to access to our streets and our community,” Dorsey said. “We’re sort of of the opinion that it’s too restrictive to implement.”
Cassady said the “invasive requirements” are unfortunate.
“Very soon people will be avoiding our downtown area,” he said.
Efforts to meet with IDOT, or even get emails answered, have been unsuccessful, Cassady added.
Administrator Colleen Saccotelli suggested that communities could come together to influence IDOT to break the deadlock.
“These issues are not unique to Mount Prospect,” she said.
Mayor Paul Hoefert said he had an issue with the restriction suggested by the village, no left turn from Main heading south, saying it would hurt businesses.
Cassady said this was also IDOT’s proposal.