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Quentin Road widening sparks debate

The Lake County DivisiTransportatirevealed series proposed changes QuentRoad from Route 12 Route 22 during public hearing last week Lake Zurich

The Lake County Division of Transportation revealed a series of proposed changes to Quentin Road from Route 12 to Route 22 during a public hearing last week at Lake Zurich High School. | Laura Pavin~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 14, 2013 2:10AM

LAKE ZURICH — Public opinion appears to be mixed after the Lake County Division of Transportation revealed a number of proposed changes to Quentin Road.

Nearly 200 area residents attended the public hearing at Lake Zurich High School on Feb. 6, where the transportation agency offered a first look at its preliminary engineering study for the 2.25-mile stretch of Quentin Road between routes 12 and Route 22.

The agency sought input on a number of elements related to the improvement plan and project schedule, which could start in 2015.

The preferred improvement plan — or Phase I study — would be a continuation of the proposal Lake County unveiled in 2009. County project manager Chuck Gleason said that plan takes into account the road’s existing and future traffic levels, while also offering ways to improve its safety during peak hours, and enhancing its bicycle and pedestrian connectivity.

Gleason noted that the county typically begins discussions about widening roads from two lanes to four when the roadway handles an average of 15,000 cars each day.

Citing studies and projections from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Gleason said Quentin Road has carried well over 15,000 cars per day for years. In 2009, he reported, there were about 21,000 cars using the road each day. Even if Route 53 is expanded north into Lake County, Gleason said Quentin Road is still expected to have about 30,000 cars a day in 2040.

“I think it needs to be done, but I hope it doesn’t hurt our property’s (value) too much,” Lake Zurich resident Elissa Etchingham said.

A number of residents disagreed that the project would improve the traffic congestion on the section of road, however.

Many residents argued that unless the source of the congestion was fixed — Lake-Cook Road and Route 53 — widening Quentin Road would only create more noise and chaos for the area.

“If you have all of the people north of Quentin and 22 able to get onto 53 up there, you’ve just taken all that congestion and put it onto the freeway — where it needs to be,” said Lake Zurich resident David Schmidt, offering support for the extension of Route 53 north of Lake-Cook Road.

Gleason, however, countered that all the information provided to the county suggests traffic on Quentin Road in the area is created locally. Rather than commuters to and from the area via Lake-Cook and Route 53, he said the traffic builds up from people who live and work in the area.

Some residents suggested that traffic could be alleviated if the traffic lights at Quentin Road’s intersections with routes 12 and 22 were timed better. Other concerns related to noise abatement and whether trees would be cut down.

Approval of the project design is set for this June.

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