To the Editor:
Randall Road will be widened to six lanes, three in each direction. The Northwest Herald editorialized Dec. 3 in favor of the widening. The justification is based on two contradictory factors. The editorial laments the lack of direct interstate highway access to McHenry County and praises the widening as giving faster access into and out of the county. The other justification is to benefit shopping along the Randall Road retail corridor.
I contend that the widening will hurt rather than help retail access. A shopper patronizing stores on both sides of Randall will find it more difficult and more dangerous to merge through two lanes of traffic, and some drivers may simply give up. Also, it will be more difficult to get off Randall into a shopping area and then back on, because as the editorial states, “some of the right-in, right-out curb cuts in the area will be closed.” That does not bode well for the businesses where that access currently exists. For example, southbound between Polaris Drive and Algonquin Road, there are now curb cuts providing access to Costco, Chen, Moretti’s and the Bank of America, among other business.
The widening, when eventually completed, will only cover the distance between Harnish Drive and Polaris Drive, leaving choke points at both ends for three lanes of traffic narrowing to two lanes. And the years of construction will hurt everyone, especially retailers, if customers cannot navigate construction. Not all stores will survive the dearth of customers.