GLEN ELLYN – After months of meetings, the fate of the area surrounding Lake Ellyn Park in Glen Ellyn has been decided, with a 3-2 vote to widen Lenox Road and make other changes.
Lenox Road will be widened to 28 feet between Hawthorne Boulevard and Linden Street and to 27 feet between Linden Street and Essex Road, in an effort to minimize the impact to trees while still widening the roadway.
With its vote Oct. 14, the Glen Ellyn Village Board of Trustees ultimately decided to follow some, but not all, recommendations of the village's Capital Improvements Commission and staff regarding the Lenox-Linden Improvements Project.
The decision to widen Lenox Road stemmed from the board's desire to make it as accessible and safe as possible for larger vehicles.
"If you have a mini van, it's not hard," Trustee Diane McGinley said. "But if you have any type of truck, it's extremely – almost impossible – to get down that street with a car parked there."
Although some residents said they expected the board to vote to widen Lenox Road between Hawthorne Boulevard and Linden Street, they were hoping to win their case against widening the other stretch of Lenox Road, due concerns about the effect the widening could have on trees and the lack of parking need.
"I think that we're just very disappointed about the trees in the north half of Lenox," Glen Ellyn resident Carolyn Oesterle said. "We tried hard to not have that part of the road widened."
With any widening of Lenox Road, residents said they worried about how safe it would be to allow cars to pass each other more quickly on the road, a concern echoed by Trustee Tim O'Shea.
"We're not trying to make it easier to get down these roads," O'Shea said. "We're trying to make it safe."
Delineating parking where the road has been widened will help to address these concerns by creating the perception of a limited driving corridor, even when no cars are parked there, said Bob Minix, the village's professional engineer.
Permeable pavers may be used to define parking, as well as for aesthetic and water drainage purposes at the Lenox Road and Linden Street intersection. The surrounding neighborhood typically sees flooding from Lake Ellyn during large storm events, such as the one last April.
"This is a nice pilot program for us to see how it works, see how it holds up," Village Manager Mark Franz said.
Due to the concerns of some village trustees regarding the durability and cost of pavers, staff will compile additional data on their use.
Village staff will work with the Glen Ellyn Park District to develop a plan for a walkway on the east side of Lenox Road between Hawthorne Boulevard and Essex Road that would connect with other paths in Lake Ellyn Park as part of the park district's Master Plan.
The board voted against installing sidewalk on the south side of Linden Street between Main Street and Lenox Road and agreed with a Capital Improvements Commission recommendation to leave Lenox Road between Essex Road and Oak Street as is, with no widening or new sidewalk.
Trustees Dean Clark, Tim Elliott and Diane McGinley voted for all recommendations, while Trustees Robert Friedberg and Tim O'Shea voted against them. Trustee Pete Ladesic was absent.
Plans for Lenox Road and Linden Street have been in development since last year. The commission finalized its recommendation in April, but project approval by the Glen Ellyn Village Board was delayed due to design and timing issues.
Construction on Lenox Road and Linden Street is expected to begin after July 4, 2014, due to the roads' proximity to Lake Ellyn Park and its Fourth of July festivities.