Chad Ellis lives on Hawthorne Boulevard near with his wife, and was the only resident to voice support for adding a new sidewalk in front of his home during Monday's village board meeting. His wife used to walk to the train in downtown Glen Ellyn every morning but now that she's expecting, walking on the street outside of their home doesn't seem safe anymore. Ellis is hoping the sidewalk will improve pedestrian safety.
Although many of Ellis' neighbors don't agree with this assessment, the addition of the sidewalk south of Hawthorne between Park Boulevard and Ellyn Avenue is just one portion of a series of sidewalks slated for the Glenbard West corridor. These sidewalks are expected to improve pedestrian safety, access to other parts of the village among improving the traffic flow.
"I think we really tried to address it as a regional issue and not just a local issue," said Craig Pryde, architectural review commissioner.
The most notable addition is slated for south of Crescent Bouelvard between Park and Ellyn. This sidewalk is not only for student pedestrians walking to Glenbard West High School but for Metra commuters, as well. Especially during inclement weather, Police Chief Phil Norton said the commuters are the ones who "struggle" at the intersection of Crescent and Park without a sidewalk on that south side of Crescent. Another stretch of sidewalk will connect Glen Ellyn Place to Ellyn Avenue but a reconfiguration of the high school parking lot is required so approval is needed from Glenbard Township High School District 87.
Other stretches of sidewalks were considered but later nixed. A potential sidewalk was considered along Ellyn Avenue from the Biester gym to the high school parking lot; and Ellyn Avenue between Duchon Field and Crescent Boulevard but current obstructions and costs stopped these plans.
The new sidewalk on the south side of Hawthorne will make the turn onto Ellyn Avenue and dump pedestrians into the Glenbard West parking lot. Trustee Pete Ladesic does voiced concern about extending the sidewalk around the bend until confirming with Glenbard Township High School District 87. However, the trustees approval for this portion of the project gives engineers the green light to come up with designs for the area to submit to District 87 for approval.
Most of construction for the sidewalk improvements would begin next year in conjunction with the Lenox Road repair project.