Approval of Alternative #2
In a 4-1 vote, the Transportation Advisory Board approved Alternative #2 as the preferred alignment for the proposed improvements to 248th Avenue, from 95th Street to 103rd Street.
Alternative #2, which includes the expansion of 248th Avenue and the Islamic Center of Naperville’s new mosque, would widen to the east to shift the centerline 10 feet to minimize right of way and entry impacts. It would also reduce the shared use path to eight feet in one section, and add in left turn lanes at all the side streets.
Traffic Noise Assessment
The traffic noise assessment, conducted by Civiltech Engineering and the Naperville Transportation Engineering and Development department, was also presented to the board. It shows a sound barrier could be warranted from 95th Street to 103rd Street in a section where yards of homes back up to the road. Of the 11 locations the assessment looked at, eight have predicted noise impacts.
“In the existing conditions, the homes along the corridor are experiencing 61 to a 64 decibel level,” said Jim Woods, project manager at Civiltech. “When we go to build with the ICN traffic, we are finding that the levels are 62 to 66.”
IDOT and FHWA have to review and approve the highway noise analysis. If found feasible and cost-reasonable by IDOT, residents impacted will have a chance to vote whether they want one installed.
Tall Grass Greenway Trail
The overall goal of the project is to create a better driving experience and increase safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. The group also looked at ways to make the Tall Grass Greenway Trail safer, since a wider roadway will be built. One way of doing that is using rectangular rapid flashing beacons.
“It is a proven safety countermeasure as discussed by FHWA. It could be push button activated or automatic detection,” said Joel Christell, director of environmental and design studies at Civiltech. “And it really does increase driver compliance for ‘Stop’ at the crossing.”
Four beacons, a speed limit of 40 mph, and offset crosswalks are part of the project proposals. Based on feedback received, there will also be an addition of an eight-foot wide shared use path up to Trumpet Avenue to cross at the existing traffic light. Since the project was first proposed, there has been a lot of public comment and community feedback. A couple of public speakers came out to yesterday’s meeting citing continued concerns about increased traffic due to ICN.
“We’re also recommending based on some feedback that ICN put an advisory sign as you’re leaving the site at the right in, right out,” said Christell. “So if someone is coming out we want to make sure that we can advise them that there is a crossing, there is an advisory speed.”
TAB also approved a request to ask for federal funding for the proposed project. The final decision now goes to City Council.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.