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Evanston officials sought feedback Wednesday night from residents on three options for improving the intersection of Emerson Street with Green Bay Road and Ridge Avenue.

The options, presented during a meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn, are:

  1. Make Green Bay Road one-way northbound from Emerson Street to Asbury — requiring southbound traffic to use Asbury Avenue to get to the Emerson Green Bay intersection.
  2. Cul-de-sac Green Bay just north of Emerson — requiring all Green Bay Road traffic to use Asbury and Emerson.
  3. Reduce Green Bay Road from four to three lanes — a center turn lane plus one north and one southbound lane — through the intersection.

Joe Chiczewski of ESI Consultants Ltd., which the city hired to develop the plans, said each of the options would dramatically improve the overall traffic flow at the intersection — raising it from what the consultants rate a “D” to a “B” level of service.

A map showing the first of three redesign options for the intersection.

All the options would also increase the parkway or streetscape greenspace around the interesection and improve pedestrian crossings, Chiczewski said.

But they would have different impacts on parking. Option one would eliminate eight parking spaces and option two would eliminate 16 parking spaces, while option three would eliminate only four parking spaces.

And while all the plans would substantially reduce traffic conflict points from the 130 that exist at the intersection now, Chiczewski said, option one would cut them to 74, option two to 68 and option three to 77.

Concerned about parking.

One speaker at the meeting, who said he owned property in the area, said he was worried about the loss of parking in some designs, and about how the first two options would increase traffic on Asbury, which is largely a residential street.

But he said that the plans that options that would partially or completely close off traffic in the block of Green Bay between Emerson and Asburn could be helpful in sparking redevelopment of the Masonic Lodge building on the block, because they would provide for diagonal parking in the closed lanes of Green Bay, not far from the lodge building.

The city will continue to seek public comment on the plans at the project website through Nov. 12.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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3 Comments

  1. Usually your articles are

    Usually your articles are clear, but the options as described are pretty incomprehensible.  And the lettering on the map doesn't help since the options are not described by letter and the traffic direction is not indicated.  Am I alone in my befuddlement?

    1. Befuddled …

      Hi Joan,

      As the caption indicates, the map only illustrates option one. I thought the text descriptions did a pretty good job of describing the different options, sorry they didn't seem clear to you.

      The letters shown at the intersections on the map represent the service level for that intersection under option one. "B" is better — allows smoother traffic flow — than "C." Overall service level for the Green Bay – Emerson – Ridge intersection now is a "D."

      — Bill

  2. Masonic Lodge
    It is my understanding that the Masonic Lodge is being held up by the city’s insistence that any new owner install a fire sprinkler system throughout the building. This adds a huge cost that the needed renovations, enough that potential buyers have balked at the purchase.

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