Lemont states opposition to bicycle accommodations on McCarthy Road

Lemont, IL

The Lemont Village Board of Trustees does not believe it’s feasible to add bicycle paths at two intersections that will be reconstructed in the coming years, and Monday, the board passed two resolutions stating its opposition.

The village board voted unanimously Monday to approve two resolutions rejecting the inclusion of bicycle facilities at two McCarthy Road intersections that will be renovated in the next few years.

On June 1, the Illinois Department of Transportation adopted a “Complete Streets Law” policy, which mandates that bicycle and pedestrian accommodations within urban areas where construction takes place on IDOT maintained roadways.

Because McCarthy Road is an IDOT maintained roadway, the department had required that the village follow the policy for intersection improvement projects at McCarthy and Walker roads and at the “triangle” intersection on McCarthy, Derby Road and Archer Avenue.

Under the policy, municipalities can opt out of the program if they believe adding bicycle and pedestrian accommodations is not feasible.

The “Triangle Intersection Improvement” project is scheduled to go to bid in April.

Adding bicycle lanes would require major utility relocation work and the acquisition of additional
right-of-ways from Cog Hill Golf Club, village officials said.

The “Walker Road and McCarthy Road Intersection Improvement” project, which is still a few years out, would require a 6-foot-wide on-street bike lane along the curb in both directions.

Additional right-of-ways would be required and a design of the current Phase I would be needed, village officials said.

“It’s not a feasible project,” Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves said at the village’s Nov. 15 committee of the whole meeting. Reaves was absent from Monday’s village board meeting due to illness.

With the widening of McCarthy Road east or west of the project intersections unlikely to happen, and without existing on-street bicycle paths within five miles of the project areas, it doesn’t make sense to spend money to include the plans, village officials said.

Despite the rejection, the village board plans to continue looking at locations to add bike paths in the future.

“I want us to look at future projects that we can accommodate this law,” said Lemont Trustee Jeanette Virgilio, identifying herself as an avid biker. “Unfortunately, the timing of these projects did not allow us to accommodate this.”