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posted: 1/16/2013 12:23 AM

Rolling Meadows rejects ballot question on Meacham Road

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The Rolling Meadows City Council on Tuesday rejected launching a hurry-up effort to put a question about widening a rural section of Meacham Road on the April ballot but kept the possibility open for future elections.

Reacting to a suggestion from Sixth Ward Alderman John D'Astice, Mayor Tom Rooney said previous advisory referendums were at the request of residents, and no residents have asked for this question to be on the ballot.

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D'Astice was the only alderman who voted in favor of the ballot initiative. He said perhaps the approximately 100 outspoken people who oppose any widening do not speak for the majority of residents.

State officials have suggested expanding Meacham between Algonquin Road and just south of Kirchoff Road as wide as four or five lanes.

However, last fall they decided that collecting suggestions from groups of affected people should be part of the engineering process.

Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg are awaiting a letter from IDOT outlining the state's plans and how much each body would pay toward the estimated $6.8 million.

A federal grant of $4 million has been promised.

Rooney said he is determined "to save people over there from five lanes."

"Five is unreasonable through that area," he said. "If they come back with more than three lanes, I'll pull the plug myself, and I believe the council will as well."

The municipalities have submitted a report to IDOT that says two lanes plus a turning lane could feasibly handle projected traffic. The backup caused by vehicles turning left is one of the road's problems, Rooney said.

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