Buffalo Grove may lift traffic restrictions on Armstrong Drive

Updated 10/8/2019 8:54 PM

In anticipation of the widening of Lake-Cook Road through parts the village, Buffalo Grove plans to lift turning restrictions at Armstrong Drive and Lexington Drive for the duration of the work.

Drivers headed west on Armstrong now are prohibited from turning right on Lexington Drive or heading straight on Armstrong from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays. They must turn left.


The restriction was put in place because westbound Armstrong had been used as a cut-through for rush-hour drivers avoiding Lake-Cook.

Village Engineer Darren Monico presented three possible solutions to the village board Monday: removing all turning restrictions; completely blocking the entrance/exit to the neighborhood just west of the intersection; or leaving the restrictions in place.

Village trustees directed the staff to pursue the first option.

"It's not an engineering solution that's going to make everybody happy," Monico said.

Construction on Lake-Cook is slated to begin later this fall or in the spring of 2020.

"We're waiting for Cook County to make a decision on when that will start," Monico said.

The intersection has been an annoyance for residents, commuters and employees of the nearby business park for decades, each with a competing interest on either side of the cut-through fence. The situation has proved immune to engineering and traffic calming solutions.

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Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steven Casstevens said it is a traffic enforcement nightmare, as drivers resolutely ignore the turning restrictions even in plain sight of police officers.

"This is one of those locations that enforcement and education does absolutely nothing," he said. "We have run enforcement campaigns. We have handed out thousands of informational brochures. We have put officers out there in groups of seven or eight, and nothing has changed. We will write hundreds and hundreds of tickets, and when the officers are there, people still make illegal turns looking right at the five squad cars."

While in favor of lifting the restrictions, Trustee Joanne Johnson also raised concerns.

"I agree that this is probably the best solution, but I think it's going to turn Armstrong into like a superhighway. And it's basically half a block from an elementary school," she said. "I'm a little concerned if those kids walk to school."

Casstevens said speed doesn't appear to be a factor.

"It's just the illegal turns," he said. "We do very little speed enforcement over there."

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