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Grant Will Fund Transportation Plan Update

Officials: Study will help Plainfield plan for future.

A $120,000 grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) will pay for an update to ’s Transportation Plan, which will incorporate previous studies with new data to help provide a blueprint for the village’s future, according to officials.

Village trustees on Monday awarded a $120,000 contract to engineering firm Baxter & Woodman and planning consultants Teska Associates, which will team up to update the plan. The updated study will incorporate previous plans and studies, including the village’s and a transit-oriented development (TOD) study.

“The goal of this study is to consider the soon-to-be completed Comprehensive Plan updates, previously completed studies and plans and incorporate them into a single, more manageable document,” Superintendent of Public Works Randy Jessen said in a memo to the board. “The study will also look at current and future land uses within the community with additional consideration provided for the historic downtown area.”

Public Works Director Allen Persons said the transportation study update will allow the village to identify and prioritize potential improvement projects.

“[It will provide] cost estimates as well so we so can prioritize,” he said, adding the study could lead to funding grant opportunities by demonstrating the need for improvement projects.

“As we know, we’ve had a history of traffic issues,” Persons said.

Baxter & Woodman Chief Operating Officer Lou Haussmann said both his firm and Teska are familiar with Plainfield, having worked with the village in the past.

“We’re not going to spend a lot of time getting up to speed on the village,” he said.

Along with traffic studies, the project will include a public information campaign aimed at soliciting input from residents and business owners.

A series of public meetings will allow residents to share feedback and concerns, and an interactive project website is in the works, Haussmann said.

“So people who aren’t able to come to the meetings can still participate,” he said. “ … We’re going to ask people, where are the major gaps in the transportation network?”

Haussmann said the study will consider issues that haven’t been looked at in the past, including pedestrian, bicycle and transit plans.

The project will also look to the future, projecting traffic counts in areas that are not yet developed, according to Haussmann.

“I think, traditionally, one of the problems this village has had … is we didn’t look far enough into the future with planning,” trustee Dan Rippy said. “I think this will take us into the future.”

The village received the CMAP funding earlier this year, with the stipulation that the project must be completed within one year.

With a June 2013 deadline, Haussmann said things will move quickly, particularly the public input phase of the project. The first public meeting is scheduled to take place during the Aug. 21 in downtown Plainfield.

Additional public meetings are scheduled for Nov. 14 and March 20, 2013.

Persons stressed that the project is entirely funded by the CMAP grant.

“The village is not spending any money out of our pockets — this is all grant money,” he said.

Ed Arter July 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Is Teska the outfit who proposed a cul-de-sac on Rt 30 at Renwick years ago?
Tim July 17, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Once again, the village will ignore the residents who want the railroad crossing at 126 fixed and brought up to a standard at least what every neighboring community has done. (Plano, Downers Grove, Lemont, Naperville, and on and on) Like it or not, the one thing I hear most often from people who visit plainfield is what it is quickly becoming known for; "Welcome to Plainfield, here's your traffic ticket." This has been brought to their attention for the better part of 30 years now, and nothing has ever been done.
Dan July 17, 2012 at 08:29 PM
With the addition to fixing the railroad crossing, how about getting Metra to come out our way for easy commuting to the city.
Theresa July 17, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Tim, I will bet any amount of money you have NEVER attended a Village Board meeting. If you think crying about it on The Patch is getting anywhere you are wrong...yes, I think a lot of people agree on the RR crossing, but do you know for certain the Village, CN or IDOT have looked into this option? I have attended approx 4 board meeting and the board is receptive towards citizens concerns. I disagree about the ticket thing, I've lived in Plainfield for 8 yrs and have not had any negative encounters with the police. Just because a handful of violators have been ticketed does not speak for the 41,000 that live here
Tim July 17, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Dan, That opportunity is gone. The original plan was for something called the 'STAR Line' to use the old EJ&E lines. http://metraconnects.metrarail.com/star.php Unfortunately, the sale of EJ&E to CN pretty much kills that plan. Although Metra still considers it possible, it is incredibly improbable now.
Tim July 17, 2012 at 11:12 PM
They are so receptive to citizens concerns, that they have ignored their requests for something to be done to that RR crossing for 30 years. You have been here 8 years, and attended board meetings. How very wonderful that you have not gone through the long process of watching them 'listen' to you, only to completely ignore actually doing anything about it. But put in a traffic light specifically for a private, non-tax paying, organization? Sure, the town will jump right on that and help with resources however they can. http://plainfield.patch.com/articles/st-marys-wins-state-approval-for-a-traffic-signal-at-its-route-59-entrance As I said, the residents have been voicing their concerns for the RR crossing for decades now, with no response. The fact that the police now specifically use this crossing to issue tickets, is exactly because of the poor design that has been addressed to the village for decades. The police chief should be the first person to present a report on the safety concerns, since he is so aware of using the design flaws of the intersection for ticketing purposes. Yet, not a single report has been presented to the village from the police dept concerning the safety of the crossing, and the need for improvements. You may think it is a handful that think this, but a handful does not line up with the declining ability of business to stay open downtown. The reputation is out there, whether you believe it or not, and people take their money elsewhere.
Ernie Knight July 18, 2012 at 02:23 PM
There has been no widespread concern from citizens. A vocal minority does not mean the village will hop to their whims. Given the fiscal concerns, it's easy to see why the village would be reluctant to pay a large sum. Tim, If this is such a concern, start raising funds. Most taxpayers are not interested in spending more than they have to, especially when drivers are warned by signage and obligated by law not to stop on the tracks.
Truth Hurts July 18, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Ernie your right, I'm guessing this is not high on the list for the 41,000 people that live in the Village
Tim July 18, 2012 at 05:37 PM
The village does not pay the 'large sum'. In fact, all the village has to do is get on the same page, because the property is owned by the railroad. The railroad bears the largest share of the cost to upgrade. It is how it has been done on virtually every other rail line that runs through nearby communities. Yet, the village has done nothing, other than to pass it off as something they 'will get to'. Well, they have been saying that for decades now, and 15 years ago again had their chance, and blew it because of this same disorganized attitude. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1N1-0EB09707F7D8069D.html Like I said, this is a basic function of government, that they have failed to accomplish for decades. IT as about as far as 'a whim' as possible. Even 10 years ago, it was still identified in the regions comprehensive plan, and again nothing was done. http://www.plainfield-il.org/docs/village/TransportationSection41pdf1.pdf (2002) You not being aware of the history of the area, does not mean it hasn't happened.
Ernie Knight July 18, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Right. Taxpayers won't foot the bill. There's this big pot of money out there (railroad, grants, feds, state, etc, etc,) that will pay for this. And somehow that doesn't come from taxpayers and consumers. Once upon a time . . . There have been lots of things in the comprehensive plan that have changed. That's why its called a PLAN. Lived here 26 years and somehow I've always been able to figure out how NOT to stop on the railroad tracks. Improving railroad crossings is NOT a basic function of government. Water, utilities, roads are basic functions of government. Government was not intended to substitute for personal responsibilty.
my conscience July 20, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Theresa, I wouldn't make that bet if I was you. ;-)
Ram Seichert July 20, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Ernie is right on target here.

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