Evanston looks for resident input in improvements to busy intersection

Jennifer Ball, Assistant City Editor

Evanston released a survey earlier this week for residents to provide input about potential improvements to the busy intersection of Emerson Street, Ridge Avenue and Green Bay Road.

“The existing intersection has an overall level of service rating of D, over 130 conflict points and is difficult for pedestrians to cross,” Suzette Robinson, the city’s director of public works, said in an email to The Daily.

The intersection is located west of Northwestern’s campus near Hecky’s Barbecue, 1902 Green Bay Road. The three improvement options to choose from on the survey are making Green Bay Road into a one-way northbound street between Emerson Street and Asbury Avenue, having a cul-de-sac on the north side of Emerson and reducing Green Bay Road from four lanes to three.

The goals of the improvement project include “improving the level of service for existing and future vehicular traffic; improving pedestrian and transit access; clarifying and simplifying travel patterns and lane usage; and enhancing the streetscape,” according to a news release from the city.

The survey also asked about four potential ways to improve the area’s viaducts, which serve as a bridge for the Metra rail to use above the street level. After replacing the viaducts, the city surveyed residents about the possibility of making the structures more aesthetically pleasing.

City staff held two meetings Apr. 2 and Oct. 29 to get the public involved in the project and make them aware of possible improvements.

The city hired consulting firm ESI Consultants, Ltd. to conduct a study of the intersection and look into potential improvements. The firm will provide the city with traffic and safety analysis, landscape evaluation and other data to put together a project report by February, according to the improvement project’s site.

The city plans to finalize the project in 2015 and begin construction in 2016.

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Twitter: @jennifercball