Proposed Speedway Meets More Resistance
Mar 19, 2014 10:53AM
● By Steven Jack
Additions of two right-turn lanes off of Route 30 and Wolf's Crossing Road are proposed for the new Speedway location on the northeast corner of the intersection.
A final annexation vote may be coming on the controversial Speedway gas station proposed for Route 30 and Wolf’s Crossing Road after a public hearing Tuesday night in Oswego.
Residents near the proposed station, Aurora Alderman Ed Bugg and representatives of Speedway appeared before the Village Board during a sometimes contentious annexation hearing in which many concerns were raised and questions answered.
Residents questioned everything from traffic safety and congestion concerns to the safety of local school children who likely would attempt to walk to the proposed location on the northeast corner of the highly traveled intersection. Plans call for a Speedway gas station/convenience store that would include enough room for semis to fill their tanks.
“We’re not talking about any kind of development,” said Lakewood Valley resident Shelley Perez. “We are talking about a Speedway with diesel fuel catering to tractor trailers.”
Speedway Project Manager Rich Yost insisted the station will not increase Route 30 truck traffic, and only will capitalize on existing traffic counts.
Residents also argued the lack of a plan for left-turn lanes into the station would cause further traffic backups at the already congested intersection.
Chris Kalischefski is the president of Corporate Design + Development Group — the company Speedway has employed to design the location. He said the Illinois Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over the intersection, and the state is only requiring right-hand turn lanes into the station off of northbound Route 30 and westbound Wolf’s Crossing Road.
Moreover, Kalischefski said Speedway already is spending nearly $1 million on local public infrastructure improvements before the station is even built. Those improvements also include the extension of underground water and sewer lines.
Village Trustee Terry Michels suggested the board take a field trip to the area to witness the problems at the intersection, saying it’s important to get a complete picture of all the issues.
“Even without your presence, (traffic) stinks,” Michels said. “ … It’s a terrible intersection, and there’s something that needs to be done there in terms of widening that we certainly don’t have the money for.”
Michels acknowledged that IDOT requirements were minimums and asked if officials from Speedway had considered installing a left turn lane.
In the absence of an answer to his inquiry, Trustee Scott Volpe asked the village’s Public Works Director Jennifer Hughes to develop a rough estimate for making grander intersection improvements. Village President Brian LeClercq said future meetings are planned between village, county and township officials to discuss an overhaul for the area.
Steven Savaglio, president of Barrington Ridge Homeowner’s Association, pointed to the proximity of the gas station to Wolf’s Crossing Elementary School and Bednarcik Junior High. He said students would attempt to walk to the Speedway to purchase candy and drinks.
“This intersection is dangerous now,” Savaglio said. “… Is there any thought to pedestrian traffic? You’re going to have kids running through this intersection with trucks. … There’s a moral obligation here, and I hope everyone realizes that.”
Speedway’s Yost said the designs do not call for the installation of sidewalks, and the company won’t be looking to attract pedestrian traffic. Yost insisted that safety at the location is a top priority, and that Speedway has a long history of working to better local communities through children’s charities. The station will also bring up to 40 full-time jobs to the area along with an estimated $225,000 in annual tax revenue to the village, Yost said.
The next step in the development could be a Village Board site visit and a possible final annexation vote within 60 days, LeClercq said.