Draft Minutes
AHCA Special Meeting Related to the
South Hudson Street Portion of the Arlington Boulevard Frontage Project
Monday, December 13, 2011

County employee attendees: Kellie Brown, Project Manager; Chris Nixon, Neighborhood Services Division Chief; Jill Yutan, Landscape Architect; Ramzi Awwad, Design Team Supervisor; Valeria Shepeleva, Project Engineer; Wayne Wentz, Transportation, Engineering, Operations Bureau Chief

Arlington Heights attendees: Joy and Rod Bovernick, Ed and Jane Brandt, Michael Bromley, Diane Canova, Jose Ceballos, Michael Chistein, Mary P. Dooley, Paula Henstridge, Teresa Jennings, Greg Kissel, Dave and Jacint McCarthy, Frank Merlos, David Mitchell, Jonathan Moore, Chris Muldowney, Ella Nargele, Craig Palmer, Catherine and Ronald E. Peterson, James M. "Jay" Vennett, Mike Webb, Stacey Whyte.

AHCA President Stacey Whyte started the meeting at 7:04 p.m., and she explained the nature of the special meeting and the format of the discussion. Ms. Chris Nixon, Neighborhood Services Chief, introduced her county team and the team reviewed the frontage project as a whole. The county individuals explained the background and history of the project; outlined the project goals, scope, design review, and key neighborhood concerns; and described the South Hudson Street design.

Ms. Kellie Brown described the background of the Phase II beautification project extending from South Fillmore Street to South Irving Street. She outlined the timeline of the project within the civic association, the Neighborhood Conservation Action Committee and the county. The project has a total price tag of $381,000. Ms. Brown described the project scope, which included the preservation of access roads with upgrades, increased trail separation, landscape/beautification. Elements of the project include a ten foot wide trail, new bushes, separation between the trail and the Jewish Center, Garfield and Highland, and removal of some trees related to native species. She reminded the group that Irving Street has a separate project.

The discussion focused on aspects of South Hudson Street, including:

whether the current width of South Hudson Street causes faster vehicle traffic;
the turning radius of large vehicles from the narrowed opening;
whether narrowing the street would modify the behavior of others driving too fast on Route 50;
the statistics of any pedestrian hit or hurt at South Hudson Street (there were none, but the county stated that with a trail project, it is policy of the county to engineer to current standards);
splitting the area with a pork chop island (the county believes people would still drive faster);
pedestrians preferring short distances to walk;
extent of pedestrian use of the cross walk area (in the typical rush hour, fifteen people use it, and in the evening the number is five people);
the configuration of Irving Street (the neighbor mentioning this configuration felt that the lack of a dedicated turn lane on Irving Street causes traffic to back up Irving Street, and it encourages cars to use Hudson Street);
whether the narrowed opening at Hudson Street would cause accidents (the neighbor addressing this subject lives at South Fillmore Street and has witnessed many accidents due to the narrow opening of that street).

The group asked the county about the status of the Phase II project as a whole if any change was made to the recommendations on South Hudson Street. The narrowed opening is the recommendation of county staff, and they attended this meeting because they want to hear what the discussion brought up and ultimately what the association wants. Ms. Nixon explained that this is a neighborhood conservation project and so they look at the issues in this project in a different way: this is a pedestrian access and beautification project. She believes it would be all or nothing, the whole project or none.

The membership discussed whether a vote of the association could take place this evening. As it was getting late in the evening, and as a vote could impact the Phase II project as a whole, the group determined that a vote on the South Hudson Street portion of the Phase II project was better done at the first quarterly meeting of the association in 2012. Ms. Whyte thanked the county and the neighbors for coming out for the discussion. She adjourned the meeting at 9:04 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Teresa L. Jennings
AHCA Secretary