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Residents, officials debate need for proposed Lenox Road changes

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 2:25 p.m. CDT

GLEN ELLYN – Neighbors of the proposed Chidester-Elm-Lenox-Linden project near Lake Ellyn Park say it is up to the village to prove why it is necessary to widen roadways and add sidewalks in the area, since many of them do not foresee considerable benefits from these changes.

"The benefit of making park traffic flow more easy and faster does not outweigh the long-losing increases and risks to this property, including increased safety issues, loss of green space, damage to trees, increased flooding and expense," resident Carolyn Oesterle said.

The village's Capital Improvements Commission recommended that Lenox Road be widened from 25 to 28 feet in various areas and that sidewalk be added to the east side of Lenox Road between Hawthorne Boulevard and Essex Road and the south side of Linden Street between Main Street and Lenox Road.

Plans for Lenox Road and Linden Street have been in development since last year, and the commission finalized its recommendation for those streets in April, but project approval by the Glen Ellyn Village Board of Trustees was delayed due to various design and timing issues.

Chidester Avenue and Elm Street recently were added to the project as well, although those street designs are not yet complete.

The proposed Lenox-Linden improvements were brought before the Glen Ellyn Village Board of Trustees for discussion for the first time at a workshop Sept. 16.

Overall, residents at the workshop said they didn't see why widening Lenox Road was necessary because the street doesn't see a lot of traffic or incidents caused by the width of the road.

The purpose of the widening from the Capital Improvements Commission's perspective would be to increase the ease of two-way travel along Lenox Road when cars are parked near Lake Ellyn Park, according to village records.

But Oesterle said it's a good thing cars need to show down to pass each other.

Neighbors also shared concerns about the proposed sidewalks' effect on current green space and trees, flooding and safety, since the sidewalks would be installed against the curb as much as possible.

"I think increasing the non-permeable areas aggravates the existing flooding problem that you're trying to remediate," resident Eleanor Saliamonas said.

Capital Improvements Commission members Craig Pryde and Al Thelen said they wanted to place sidewalk near Lake Ellyn Park so that visitors have somewhere to walk when they're getting in and out of their cars.

Because two trustees, Tim Elliot and Robert Friedberg, were absent from the workshop and this was the first time the project had been presented to board members, trustees were not prepared to provide staff with specific directions for the project plans.

Village President Alex Demos proposed continuing discussions at the board's next workshop, which is scheduled for Oct. 21.

Pending Village Board approval of the project, construction on Lenox Road and Linden Street would begin after July 4, 2014, due to the roads' proximity to Lake Ellyn Park and its Fourth of July festivities.

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