Long-range Kane County transportation plan envisions 43% population growth
Kane County's population will grow by 43% by 2050 -- a total of more than 233,000 new residents -- and officials must make transportation and infrastructure improvements to address that expected growth.
That's the future laid out in the county's 2050 Long Range Transportation Plan, which received a stamp of approval from the county board's transportation committee Tuesday.
The report uses growth forecasts from the regional Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. It shows future Kane County population growth concentrated along the Route 47 corridor and near the northern border with McHenry County. Accordingly, future job growth is also forecast for the county's northern border, as well as its eastern and southern boundaries.
All of that means residents and commuters can expect a lot more north-south and eastbound traffic throughout the county in coming years. The county's plan envisions multiple roadway and infrastructure improvements along Randall Road, Big Timber Road and Plank Road, as well as the Bliss Road corridor.
County transportation officials incorporated feedback from residents and local municipal leaders in surveys and polls in putting together the plan. Based on more than 3,500 responses, residents placed a high priority on conserving the natural environment (89%), maintaining existing roads to improve travel time (85%) and addressing traffic congestion (84%).
Residents also agreed a safe and effective local transportation network is key to future job and economic growth in the county. But there are already problems that must be addressed.
Residents identified existing safety issues at:
• The corner of Fabyan Parkway and Route 31.
• Multiple intersections along Route 20, including at Route 25, Route 31 and Randall Road.
• Multiple intersections along Randall Road.
Residents identified existing traffic congestion problems at:
• Route 30 and Route 47, and Route 30 at Orchard Road.
• Multiple intersections along Orchard Road.
• All along Randall Road.
Residents also said they want better pedestrian access, connections and bike paths or lanes, particularly in central Kane County. That includes better access to the Kane County Cougars facility.
The survey showed a favorable opinion of widening Route 47 in Sugar Grove and Randall Road. And residents want better transit opportunities for college students to get to Waubonsee Community College and Aurora. That includes more parking at Metra stations and better bus service.