Buffalo Grove residents fed up with Stevenson High traffic

Complaints from some Buffalo Grove residents have prompted Stevenson High School officials to ask students and parents not to drive through nearby neighborhoods to avoid traffic congestion on Route 22.

The controversy originates in the Mirielle, Tenerife and Waterbury subdivisions, which are on the south side of Route 22 and across from Stevenson's sprawling Lincolnshire campus. In that area, Route 22 is the dividing line between Buffalo Grove and Lincolnshire.

Students and parents driving east on Route 22 can enter the Stevenson campus using a left-turn lane at Stevenson Drive. But that lane backs up, especially in the morning, Buffalo Grove Village Engineer Darren Monico said.

Instead of waiting there, some impatient motorists turn right onto Waterbury Lane or Apple Hill Lane and zip through the subdivisions until they reach Palazzo Drive, which intersects with Route 22 across from the school. When they get a green light, they can cross Route 22 and continue north on Stevenson Drive to the school.

So many drivers use the Palazzo Drive route that it can be difficult for people who live in those subdivisions to leave their neighborhoods in the morning, Monico said. It's especially frustrating for cars waiting to turn right from Palazzo onto eastbound Route 22, he said.

“There are cars sitting there waiting for the light to go green,” Monico said.

Stevenson High officials are sympathetic.

“This is an unfortunate situation, and it's one of the reasons why we've been encouraging our students to take the bus to school,” Stevenson spokesman Jim Conrey said.

Only about 40 percent of Stevenson's 3,942 students ride buses, however, Conrey said.

Buffalo Grove officials have received four or five complaints about the traffic in the neighborhoods near Stevenson in recent years, Monico said.

They responded by asking the Illinois Department of Transporation to extend the time for the left-turn arrow at Stevenson Drive, Monico said. The state complied, but the problem continued.

The village can't construct a right-turn lane from Palazzo onto Route 22 because there isn't enough public land there for such a project, Monico said.

Officials are considering no-turn signs at Waterbury Lane and Apple Hill Lane, Monico said, but the ban also would apply to residents.

So, for now, all Monico can do is ask Stevenson officials to request students and parents avoid using the subdivisions as an alternate route.

Conrey obliged this week in an email to the Stevenson community.

“We're hopeful that drivers will heed the village's request to avoid driving through those subdivisions,” he said.

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  Some Buffalo Grove residents have complained about Stevenson High School students using Apple Hill Lane and nearby residential streets to avoid getting stuck in traffic on Route 22 in the morning. Russell Lissau/
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