Busse Road residents in Mount Prospect remain opposed to expansion
Mimi Solt is bracing for the worst when it comes to plans to widen Busse Road between Central and Golf roads in Mount Prospect.
For Solt and her neighbors living along Busse, the project threatens to bring higher traffic volumes and lower property values, a trade-off they've rallied against with Facebook pages and petition drives.
"I love looking out my front door and feeling like I live in the country," Solt said. "I really don't think the traffic warrants putting in a center turning lane. I just don't see it."
The Cook County Department of Transportation and village of Mount Prospect pushed ahead with those plans this week, holding an open house at village hall to offer details about the proposal and get feedback from residents.
The plan, estimated to cost $10 million, calls for the addition of a center turn lane, sidewalks, curbs, bike paths, a drainage upgrade and road repaving along the two-lane stretch of Busse.
County Transportation and Highways Superintendent John Yonan said officials decided to make the changes after they found a pattern of rear-end crashes stemming from traffic congestion.
"We have identified this corridor as an area that has had some accidents because of the design of the roadway," he said.
"We're rebuilding the road, and we want to build something that meets the community's needs," Yonan added. "We tend to not want to make it about cost, because we want to do what's right."
But for some residents, the costs outweigh the benefits.
"It's a lot of money for a problem that doesn't seem that bad," said Lida Miller, who has lived in Mount Prospect for 14 years. "Many of my neighbors have said the same thing. We're just amazed that this is even a question."
Several residents say they support repaving the road, but not its expansion or the other additions.
"I'm concerned that this will actually increase speeds and decrease safety," said Brian Pulver, who lives on nearby Verde Drive.
Not all residents are opposed to the expansion. Jim Daly lives about half a mile northeast of Busse and said he's in favor of the plans.
"I think for the overall public, it's worth it," he said. "You're going to have a safer and faster-flowing road."
Mount Prospect resident Glenn Sedey noted that there are a lot of kids in the area.
"I'm in favor of it in that it will help traffic," he said. "I come home this way every day. It just needs to be safer."
Still, Busse Road resident Craig Stezskal said all his neighbors remain firmly opposed to the plans.
"They don't want to lose part of their front yards," he said. "It's going to be a pain just going through construction."
While Stezskal believes there's not much he and his neighbors can do to stop the construction, others aren't giving up.
"It's an astounding waste of money," resident Jim Ruddy said. "There's so many other projects that should be done."