Please attend an important meeting on Wednesday, May 3 meeting to support active transportation improvements in Wilmette

*** Please Attend ***
(And if you cannot, please take 90 seconds to send a supportive email — see below)
Central Avenue Reconstruction Project – Public Meeting
Wednesday, May 3, at 5 p.m.
Wilmette VIllage Hall
On Wednesday, May 3rd, the Wilmette Municipal Services Committee will again consider design options for the $3.5 million federally funded reconstruction of Central Street from Sheridan Road through downtown Wilmette to Green Bay Road.Wilmette Citizens for Active Transportation (WCAT) believes that this project presents a unique opportunity to improve cycling along a major North Shore east-west route that serves not only active cyclists, but also families and children riding across town to schools, park district facilities, Gillson Park, summer camps, and our village center.

WCAT has asked the Committee to consider design alternatives that offer safer, better cycling, such as bike lanes/markings, traffic calming measures to reduce vehicle speeds, and back-in diagonal parking on the downtown blocks to improve sight lines for exiting motor vehicles. At its first meeting, the Committee was interested in these ideas, but made no decisions.

We respect the fact that some residents and business owners along Central oppose certain aspects of the changes under consideration. WCAT strongly believes that the weight of available evidence supports the view that bicycle and pedestrian improvements will enhance quality of life in our village across the board, will not adversely affect nearby residents, and in particular, will enhance the accessibility and attractiveness of our downtown, to the benefit of local businesses.

In any case, we expect those who are opposed to changes to attend the meeting.That is why YOU are important. Numbers count. Our trustees need to know that residents support bike and pedestrian improvements that serve all residents, and want to see roads that are calm and safe for people to travel on or traverse, by whatever mode they choose. Please come to the meeting and voice your support for a forward-looking Wilmette that is committed to making our town a healthier and more attractive place to live.

If you cannot come to the meeting on May 3rd at 5 pm at Village Hall: please email your support to the committee: central@wilmette.com. Even a one or two sentence note can be powerful and encourage the committee to act with conviction and foresight.

Thank you!

– Wilmette Citizens for Active Transportation (WCAT)


Information from Village website:
Central Avenue Reconstruction Project

Meeting #3 Update

The next meeting of the Municipal Services Committee to discuss Central Avenue is scheduled for May 3, 2017 at 5:00 PM at Wilmette Village Hall in the Council Room.  The Committee will continue to discuss back-in diagonal parking in the downtown as well as bike accommodations on Central Avenue from 11th Street to Sheridan Road.

Bike Accommodations:  Central Avenue is not currently wide enough for bike accommodations, travel lanes and parking on both sides of the street.  At the last meeting, the Committee discussed the following three design options:

Option 1:  Existing roadway configuration (no bike lanes)

Option 2:  Dedicated bike lanes (similar to Sheridan Road)

Option 3:  Shared travel / bike lanes

The Committee determined that Option 2 was not feasible because of the loss of parking that would be required to build safe, dedicated bike lanes.

On May 3, the Committee will continue discussions of Options 1 and 3.  With Option 3, parking would be maintained on one side of the street from 11th to 4th Street.  There would be no parking between 4thStreet and Sheridan Road because of the narrow roadway.

The agenda materials for the meeting will be posted on the Village’s website www.wilmette.com the Friday prior to the meeting and like the last meeting, the meeting will be televised and available for viewing on the Village’s website.

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