Roundabout construction at Bunker, Keslinger will start in 2019
In November of 2015, Randy Harris of Campton Hills asked the county transportation department if a traffic light could eventually be installed at the Bunker and Keslinger roads intersection because traffic leaving the LaFox Metra train station in the evenings backs up from the parking lot to that intersection.
Traffic engineer Lydia Benda got right back to Harris, explaining that the intersection did not meet federal guidelines for a light, but the county was aware of the situation at the station.
Which leads us to the key part of Benda's response, which Harris shared with me. She outlined the county's vision for a part of the work extending Bunker Road to include a "roundabout" at the intersection that would alleviate traffic backups. The locally funded project was on tap to start next year.
But Jennifer O'Connell, project manager for the Bunker Road improvements at the transportation department, says the project has been pushed to the 2019 and 2020 construction seasons.
"It is definitely still on the books, and 90 percent complete on the design aspects," O'Connell said. "We will be spending 2017 with land purchase, which is a long process, with temporary and permanent easements and a few right-of-way takes."
The roads will remain two lanes in each direction, but the roundabout design forces cars to slow down to about 20 mph as drivers watch for gaps in the traffic flow.
"If the gap is there, you don't have to stop at all," O'Connell added. Because the study in that area revealed that many of the drivers leaving the train station are heading in the same direction, the roundabout should result in traffic moving smoothly.
"You yield to the circulating lane, but once you enter it, you have the right of way," O'Connell said.
Drivers can keep heading west onto Keslinger, or circle around to travel south on Bunker, or even keep moving to do a U-turn.
The county has had no complaints about a similar roundabout at Route 47 and Burlington Road, which was completed last November.
"It's a great success so far," O'Connell said. "It's easier to plow and easier to get fire trucks through there as well."
No more deep dish:
Maybe the public's love affair with deep dish pizza is waning a bit. What other reason could there be that Gino's East has closed after more than two decades in business on East Main Street in St. Charles?
I have to admit, it's never been one of my favorite ways to enjoy a pie, so over that entire time I went to Gino's East maybe two or three times when visitors were in town.
A lot of factors come into play for restaurants these days, not the least of which is having satisfied customers coming in the door on a regular basis.
You have to take social media reviews with a grain of salt, but if a place is getting some bad comments online it has a stinging effect. Gino's East had mixed reactions in that arena, so one has to wonder if deep dish pizza simply doesn't spark the love affairs it once did.
No more dance:
After speaking to State Street Dance Studio artistic director Ashlie Andersen last summer about the studio's 15th anniversary, it sure seemed as if this Geneva studio was poised for future success.
So it was surprising to see an acupuncture business logo on the door that was once the dance studio's entrance.
I haven't seen any postings or information about why the studio closed. The place will always have a spot in the "pleasant memories" parts of my brain.
For a few years, we were regulars there, taking dance lessons from Otto Konrad, the father of former studio director Linda Cunningham. It was always fun, and Otto remains one of the great characters I've come to know in these parts.
He encouraged us to dance at the studio's shows at the Paramount Theater in Aurora every summer, and those were enjoyable experiences that don't come along all of the time. Also, Cunningham made the studio available for years for dancers to prepare for the Geneva Dancing with the Stars fundraising events.
Other studios have popped up in the area, but it will certainly be different going by State Street and realizing no one is learning new dance steps or routines up there any more.
That's some storage:
If you drive by too quickly, you'd think a massive office building was going up on West Main Street in St. Charles, just west of Randall Road.
But it will be a Metro Storage building for indoor storage. So, we'll just say this: That place is going to hold a lot of stuff.
That Aldi community:
A reader, asking not to include his name, wanted to mention that when he and his wife were strolling through a local Aldi with carts jammed with groceries, a few people mentioned they had not often seen that much stuff being purchased at one time at Aldi.
He explained he was shopping for his church, which delivers the groceries to the Salvation Army.
Upon hearing that, the people handed over some money to purchase even more.