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home : opinions : letters to the editor   February 5, 2016

8/19/2013 9:29:00 AM
Letters to the editor: Safe routes to school?

This is in response to a recent NewsTribune article regarding Spring Valley adding a stop light at the intersection of U.S. 6 and Strong Street and a sidewalk along Strong Street due to increased school traffic. The grant for this project is being paid for by IDOT and is intended for safe routes to school for our children. The city council is still focused on businesses and is not making it about it safety for our children.
One main item they did not consider is where the students live that walk to and from school. A large majority of students live east of Richards Street. So they would have children leaving school, go west, cross a busy school driveway, Strong Street, and the Stough Group intersection. Then walk down the west sidewalk of Strong Street, crossing the proposed Sullivan’s grocery strip mall entrance/exit to the U.S. 6 proposed stop light. After crossing U.S. 6 the students would cross Casey’s driveway another high traffic area taking a longer route home than they had previously heading down Richards Street.
Over the past couple of years McClure Engineering has been working on and secured this grant for the city and conducted a traffic study. Recently Chamlin and Associates was hired to do just a traffic study regarding the proposed Sullivan’s store and strip mall. Then the entire project was just given to Chamlin, not very ethical or professional. Anyway, it just created additional costs to the taxpayers paying for two studies. Plus more than likely the city will need to pay some of the costs of the sidewalks on both the north and south sides of U.S. 6 along with moving power lines along Strong Street.
Other items not considered were the traffic plan and schedule proposed by McClure Engineering, the negative impact a stop light will have on businesses at the intersection, and Sullivan’s proposed entrance. Last week Sullivan’s proposed entrance was across from McDonalds on U.S. 6 and this week it is on Strong Street. They are just in the planning stages.
After all, this grant is intended for safe routes to school and the safety of all our children. Using Strong Street for student foot traffic is not safe and there are other options to consider for traffic concerns.

Ken Bogacz,
Spring Valley

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