Musings on the Proposed Ridgefield Metra Station

More than one person has reacted to Metra’s proposal to build a train station about as far from McHenry County College as is possible. Below I share some thoughts that have come from readers:

I am becoming concerned about the Metra plans to build a station on Ken Koehler’s property (the Northwest Herald reported that the parcel is owned by a trust in which Koehler has an interest), rather than something closer to the college and more accessible to Route 14.

If you look at the map, there are three possible locations.

One is on Ridgefield Road along the tracks abutting the back route to the college, although it is a triangular sliver and may have problem with water and/or toxic waste from the company next door.

It would also require that the parking be across the street from the station so people would have to cross, which could be a problem.

The other site would be just West of the soccer complex. That site appears to be large, dry, has access to Route 14, and would allow some type of potential pedestrian access to the college.

With the Koehler site, traffic is going to have to go through the middle of Ridgefield at an already dangerous intersection and it would not serve very many people to the North. I presume that people would have to exit onto Country Club Road so as not to cross the tracks, although people might attempt to shortcut over the tracks if they are on foot on route to the college.

All in all, this appears to be a much inferior site to the one to South of the tracks. That parcel is already inside the city limits of CL as far as I can tell from the map on the city’s website, which I presume is current.

Another concern expressed is that Ridgefield is too small to protect itself by incorporating.

Short of incorporation, they are going to be swallowed up by Crystal Lake.

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