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Buffalo Grove Road Improvement Study Begins

Residents gathered Tuesday to learn more about road conditions and share their thoughts about possible improvements.

Lake County officials are in the early stages of planning for the future of Buffalo Grove Road as the pavement ages and draws more traffic.

The county’s transportation division kicked off its first phase of a road study Tuesday , where residents were invited to review road conditions and traffic data and pose questions to Lake County officials.

While a road improvement plan has not been established for the stretch of Buffalo Grove Road between Deerfield Parkway and Route 22, future work could include widening the road to four lanes, adding turn lanes and extending the bike path between Brandywyn Lane and Aptakisic Road, Lake County project manager Chuck Gleason said.

“The reason why we’re studying it is really that there’s a lot of traffic on the road,” he said. “It’s almost like a red flag when you see those numbers.”

According to data that the county obtained from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, approximately 15,000 vehicles travel that stretch of Buffalo Grove Road each day.

The highest traffic volume, 17,050, runs between LaSalle Lane and Aptakisic Road, and is projected to grow to 21,000 vehicles per day by 2040. Meanwhile, the part of the road receiving the lowest traffic volume is between Satinwood Terrance and Birchwood Lane, which 13,740 vehicles travel daily. That stretch is projected to nearly hold steady, with 14,000 vehicles expected daily by 2040.

Meanwhile, the road between Deerfield Parkway and Larraway Lane accommodates 14,875 vehicles daily, while the stretch from Larraway Drive and Thompson Boulevard receives 15,445. Both sections are projected to have 19,000 vehicles per day by 2040. The traffic volume is expected to grow the least between Aptakisic Road and Brandywyn Lane, which is driven by 14,250 vehicles. By 2040, 15,000 are expected.

Gleason said the right of way is wide enough to accommodate additional northbound and southbound lanes. The county might need to acquire private property if it determines that turn lanes also are needed, he said.

Those who attended Tuesday’s meeting were asked to weigh in with thoughts about existing road conditions and potential improvements.

“The ones I’ve talked to so far have been concerned that the road will be closer to their house,” Gleason said midway through the two-hour event, which featured displays showing the existing road and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s traffic data.

One of those concerned residents was Lilia Gofman, who lives near Buffalo Grove Road and Thompson Boulevard.

“In the summer, I cannot sleep with open windows because of the cars passing,” said Gofman, who fears that a widened road will worsen the noise problem. She and neighbor Dawn Kasper both agreed that they would not want their views obstructed by a sound barrier, either.

“I can go to the city if I want to be blocked,” said Kasper, who is also concerned about drainage problems and rising taxes.

“I’ve driven down Buffalo Grove Road and yeah, traffic can be bad … but we live with it,” Kasper said. “I don’t know where you draw the line between what you need and what would be nice.”

Public comments will be accepted in writing through Nov. 22. Feedback can be sent to Chuck Gleason at the Lake County Division of Transportation, 600 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville, IL 60048-1381.

Comments also can be submitted via the project website.

Engineering and environmental studies will follow, with a second public meeting expected to take place in late 2012. The county then will develop a preliminary roadway design and hold a third public meeting in 2013 before completing its study in the spring of 2014.

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