Next up in the McHenry County Board debate on the widening of Randall Road and the reconstruction of its intersection with Algonquin Road was Mike Walkup.
Walkup complained about the excessive population figures used in the analysis.
He urged the Board to wait for the new numbers, which will be available in October.
“Widening Randall Road is entirely separate from having a Continuous Flow Intersection (CFI),” Walkup argued, asking for the CFI to be taken out of the resolution by the Transportation Committee.
“This seems to be the only place in the country where we’d have a CFI where [there] is already commercial development.”
He referred to a plaque received from The Land Conservancy for the Fleming Road reconstruction.
“We got that plaque over the strenuous objections of the [McHenry County] Transportation Department.”
Walkup pointed out local residents were able to fight back the McDOT efforts to widen Fleming Road only because the Village of Bull Valley had conservation easements which, because of the village’s ownership could not be condemned by county government. The result was leverage for the residents’ position.
Crystal Lake’s Carolyn Schofield pointed to her ten years on the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission and her proximity to the Algonquin Road intersection, which she said she avoided.
“We need to solve this problem.
“We cannot step backward.”
Paula Yensen, a resident of Lake in the Hills, was next.
“I’m going to be voting for this because I want to promote the process.
“It’s a regional issue. It’s also about economic development.
“I do not see the contract as CFI-oriented.
“I drive it every day.
“It is a problem.
“I go [Route] 47 sometimes.
“I had three accidents on Randall Road.
“TranSystems is very good at communication,” she said, pointing to Fleming Road.
“We found a creative solution.
“This is a tough vote,” Yensen said.
“This is a way to continue the dialogue.
“If we don’t fix the road, business will find another way to create business.”
Wonder Lake’s John Hammerand pointed to Route 53 where people wait thirty minutes sometimes to get into the Woodfield Shopping Center.
“If we approve this intersection and it gets built, we’ll be sitting here in two months talking about a new intersection.
“We have a municipal objection, a pretty violent objection.
“Why are we spending money without their support?”
Hammerand also objected to the $1.1 million to spent on what he called “public relations.”
“Congressmen don’t spent $1 million to get elected.”
“I don’t believe this intersection improvement will solve the problem.
“This is the end result of voting ‘Yes’ to subdivisions,” he concluded.
Transportation Committee Chairwoman Anna May Miller agreed with Hammerand that there were other intersections on the corridor.
She characterized the Phase I process as “wonderfully creative and responsive.”
Miller, from Cary and representing District 1, said she wanted to “continue the dialogue,” which Phase II would do.
The question, as she put it, is
“Do we need something as radical as a DFI or something more traditional?”
Diane Evertsen from northwest of Woodstock took the floor after Miller.
“My confidence in ‘the process,’ the process is absolutely negligible.”
She told a story about Leonard, who was a kindergarten student who colored everything in black.
There was much discussion and concern about Leonard.
One day someone asked Leonard why he only colored in black.
“It’s the only crayon I have,” he replied.
Evertsen’s point was that County Board members weren’t listening.
The Alden and Fleming Road resolutions “were successes because the people who lived on those roads had had enough.
“They were at the pitchfork and torch carrying stage.
“At no time have I been invited to meet [with those affected].
“I don’t feel the principals in this situation have even had a voice and, if they’ve had a voice it has been negligible.
“More is not necessarily better,” she concluded.
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