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As we build a road, we will protect the forest preserves

Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times
by John Yonan

BUZZ ORR/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Palatine Saturday 11/15/08 The Deer Grove west entrance along Quentin Road north of Dundee Road in Palatine. Some people are opposed to a four-lane road plan for widening of Quentin Road from two lanes. Get a shot of Ben, friends of the forest preserve executive director, at the park showing an example of the ecosystems in the preserve. He is in opposition to a four-lane road plan for widening Quentin Road from two lanes. He says widening the road will harm trees and hurt ecosystems in the preserve. Please work with him on determining a good shot to take. Be creative, but keep focus on the plants and wildlife, while getting good view of him in the photo.

The Deer Grove west entrance along Quentin Road north of Dundee Road in Palatine. | Sun-Times Library


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For years, residents who travel Quentin Road in northern Cook County have voiced concerns regarding traffic congestion and safety. This is why Cook County’s Department of Transportation and Highways has undertaken a thorough process to find a solution to the problems posed by traffic congestion on Quentin Road, taking into consideration community feedback as well as safety and environmental concerns.

While last week’s editorial [“Protect iconic forest preserve from concrete overkill“] stated that a vote on the Quentin Road project is imminent, there are actually no plans for a vote at this time. However, a public hearing will be held this year to give stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the preferred alternative.

Also, the editorial said the county is considering a five-lane road. This is not true. Currently, two proposals remain — a three-lane road allowing for one lane of traffic in each direction with a continuous middle turn lane, and a four-lane road, which adds a turn lane at intersections.

Additionally, the the county transportation department has held a number of public meetings over the last decade and had an extensive public comment period, which ended Nov. 30 and gathered feedback from hundreds of residents. The department is evaluating all comments received and coordinating with resource agencies to identify the preferred alternative and prepare an environmental assessment.That assessment will address environmental concerns to mitigate the runoff of de-icing agents into wetlands and other areas of the forest preserves, which currently occurs. Any new road constructed will include a new and modern drainage system, which will mitigate runoff of contaminants into the forest preserves.My team and I are committed to preserving and protecting Cook County’s natural resources, while also ensuring that our residents – including pedestrians, cyclists and motorists — are safe.We are working with residents, advocates and the forest preserves to ensure that happens.

John Yonan, superintendent,
Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways



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