Mt. Prospect studies pedestrian safety in 'triangle' area

With Tokens and Tankards scheduled to open and the likelihood of a new occupant for the former Blues Bar, Mount Prospect's small triangle appears to be a destination in the making.

Given that, the village is looking into making the downtown area more pedestrian friendly by studying a possible pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Busse Avenue and Main Street/Route 83.

On Tuesday, the village board approved spending $34,000 out of TIF funds for the study, which will be conducted by Gewalt Hamilton Associates. The village has heard for years that some pedestrian crossings downtown are a challenge.

"It has been an issue that has been raised for many years by people that live in the downtown, that work in the downtown, that frequent the downtown," said Community Development Director William Cooney.

Gewalt Hamilton will take pedestrian and vehicle counts at Busse and Main as well as nearby intersections, including turning movements.

The firm also will gather origin and destination data of vehicles turning left from southbound Route 83 onto eastbound Busse Avenue.

"If we change ... turning movements at that location in order to allow for safer pedestrian movements, it could (affect) all those intersections and traffic flow throughout the downtown area," Cooney said.

The firm will draw up crossing designs for the Illinois Department of Transportation to look at (Main Street/Route 83 is a state route), and produce a final report for Mount Prospect probably by mid-November.

"If the whole point of this is pedestrian safety, I think you need to look at the conditions," Mayor Arlene Juracek pointed out, "the design, the lighting and everything, in twilight and evening hours, and whether people are going to the car show or to the restaurants."

Trustee Richard Rogers also recommended for study the possibility of putting an elevator on Main Street that would lead into the village's public garage by village hall.

"An elevator could be put outside. It doesn't have to be in the garage. It could be attached to the garage in what is now the green area," he said, suggesting that people frequenting restaurants in the small triangle could park in the garage.

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